Radio Advertising Advice for Beginners

Those who have never advertised on the radio…but are considering it…have questions.

Beginner (Studying)

Image courtesy of “stockimages” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But if you ask the wrong person those questions, you’ll get a big bag of answers that have nothing to do with making your advertising actually work. You want your radio ads to work, right?

You might be told about gross rating points or cost per thousand. But don’t get hung up on that. That still has very little to do with making your advertising work. If you’re not familiar with the radio stations in your area…or the size and estimated “listenership” of your local radio stations…ask around.

You might also get pounded with more information than you care to…about station demographics. Again, don’t obsess over this. There’s not one radio station who “owns” a particular group of listeners. Nobody “owns” women, age 25 to 54! You’d be amazed at which stations people listen to.

Most advertising salespeople won’t talk to you about what it takes for advertising to be effective. They’ll sell you on “the bling”, or their demographics, or show you a snappy “ad package” (loaded with tons of bonus value that isn’t really that valuable), or Powerpoint you to death with graphs, charts, and statistics.

If you find someone who talks to you about what your ad / commercial / message actually communicates to the public…then you’re on the right track. Because even if you advertise with the biggest, “baddest”, advertising medium in Sioux Falls, it’s still going to be a waste of money if you’re not saying anything that will help persuade someone to do business with YOU instead of your competition.

“The advertising message” and the “strategy” is what should be given the lion’s share of attention. And that’s what I specialize in. I’m not a great salesperson – I just love creating advertising that helps local business owners in Sioux Falls take a bigger slice of the market. If I don’t think I can help you…I’ll tell you. But chances are, after we talk a time or two…I’m going to start coming up with ideas and angles that you’ve never considered. These will be ideas to get you noticed, attract new customers to you, and get you towards the top of the short list of businesses that people will think of FIRST when they’re considering buying what you sell.

You want solid advice about advertising. You want to know that your advertising dollars are invested well. It all starts by not obsessing over things like demographics and other numbers that are easily twisted. Of course, some of that information is important to a certain degree, but not to the level that you’d think. Focus first on what you’ll say to your prospects.

If you’re a plumber or a furniture store or a car dealer…and you had someone on the phone or face to face…would you feel comfortable reading them your radio script? Doubtful. Your advertising needs a human factor to it. When you stop treating people like sheep in your advertising, they’ll respond better to your ads. People want to feel they can trust you before they do business with you. And a “typical” advertisement that you’re used to…isn’t going to do that.

Let’s make friends with some new people…and then watch how many of them decide to buy from you.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen (your local advertising resource for non-B.S.)

Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My Radio Website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

That Big Group Of People You Forget About

I’m re-reading a couple of books. One of them is about direct-response advertising. The author is a vacuum cleaner store owner. Through years of trial and error, this business owner talks about how to grab the low-hanging fruit with special offers and magical headlines in print advertising. And also with Yellow Pages. It’s a book written about 15 years ago, I believe.

Image courtesy of "xedos4" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “xedos4” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Then, the next book of his, he’s talking about how the economy sinking, really hurt his business and he knew he had to figure out what to do online. He talks about the decline of newspaper and the Yellow Pages…and that the majority of people are searching online for local businesses. So, he discusses how he dominates page 1 of Google searches at no cost. And he doesn’t pay for SEO. (I can help you do this too)

But…he talks about ALL the people he was forgetting about when he was only advertising with print and the yellow pages. He had forgotten about that group of people not quite in buying mode…but in research mode. The ones that were looking for answers to questions…and also looking for a business they might be able to trust. That group of people is mucho grande! That group of people is at least 10x the size of people who are ready to buy at this instant. So, his philosophy is to provide content online for those in the gathering information stage. Win them over BEFORE they decide to buy. Awesome! He gets it. But what nobody has taught this business owner is that the right kind of radio advertising is one of the best ways to win this huge group over. (It all depends on what you SAY to these people in your advertising)

Many business owners have only been told that your advertising must bring you instantaneous results…and that every penny you spend must be trackable. That’s great, but first, most advertising professionals don’t even know how to give THAT to you. So, you end up wasting money month after month, chasing something you’ll probably never find – Results that pay you back – Return on investment greater than what you invested in the first place.

So, back to radio…and that huge group of people you’re forgetting about. Using radio to talk to people 1) before they need you, 2) while they’re in research mode, and 3) when they’re ready to buy, is what will make you go, “Oh, yeah, this is nice.”

But that’s the tricky part. I’m not saying it’s Radio that is the Magic Key here…it’s talking to people like you actually care about them. It’s sharing a message of helpfulness and getting people to trust you before they’ve even met you. RADIO just happens to be one of the best mediums to get that kind of message across. People are listening consistently to radio. At all times of the day!

So, when you’re wondering how to take your business to the next level, and go after that big group of people you’re forgetting about…give me a shout. I’m here to make this process as easy and stressless as possible.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

I write ads, prepare radio schedules, create strategies for your ads (so you can stand out from your competition), give online and other marketing advice, and will keep your advertising fresh and new. I hear a lot of ads that air for 6 months or more before they’re changed out. That’s way way too long…and it’s not doing you any good. You have a lot of things you can share with the public that will help you become a trusted resource to them. Then they BUY. Let’s do that!

You Put Ketchup on Your Fish Sticks?

I was 7 years old. My sister and I were staying overnight at Aunt Jackie’s and Uncle Dave’s. But I need to give you a brief glimpse of who Dave is…before I get into the fish sticks.

Image courtesy of "Salvatore Vuono" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Salvatore Vuono” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dave had a sprint car photography biz back then. He had a darkroom in the basement. A dark darkroom. So, every once in a while I would tag alongside him while he developed his photos. Eventually, he taught me how to develop photos in complete darkness. The steps to take, the chemicals to use, the timing, the care, the precision…everything. I thought it was pretty cool. I respected Dave. He was fun. He let me try stuff, ya know?

Dave’s a Vietnam veteran. I think he saw too much. I’d love to ask him about it sometime…but I’m not sure if he’d be up for that.

Dave built cars, raced cars, fixed cars, and adored cars. He always teased my Mom saying he wanted me to drag race. Oh…I could only imagine. I never got into racing though. Mom always said something like, “Over my dead body.” Ha.

Dave was an Air Force recruiter for a while, too. He’d send me photos of awesome jets and bombers from Abilene, Texas, and cover every inch of the back of the photo with all the specs of those planes. I was in heaven. I’d memorize every detail and hang’em on my bedroom wall.

You probably understand by now that Dave did a lot of things. He wasn’t afraid to give something a whirl. To just “go with it”. It’s a quality that works for some, and for others it scares them to death. Some of him probably rubbed off on me…except I’ve really only been dreaming about things…not DOING them. Some day, right?

So, back to the overnight stay. Aunt Jackie made fish sticks. We each had some on our plates. Then, Dave grabs the fat, glass ketchup bottle, globs a pile on his plate and proceeds to dip his fish sticks in ketchup. Immediately, I said, “You put KETCHUP on your fish sticks?!?!?!?!” …with a scrunched up face. Dave said,

“Are these YOUR fish sticks?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “Am I telling you to put ketchup on your fish sticks?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “Then, maybe you shouldn’t worry about it.”

Wow.

I’m 38 years old. And I still remember that exact moment. But why? Was it a shocking event? Was it disastrous or monumental? No. I think there’s some deep, meaningful thing there that might have changed my life just a little bit. Even if it was just steering me a degree or two back towards “the road”…it meant something. Why else would that memory be burned in my brain?

I’m thinking that I was getting to the age where I might need a few extra attitude adjustments. Or “checks” on my mouth. Is THAT moment why I’m more open-minded today? Is it part of the reason I respected my elders growing up and still do today? Or why I don’t judge as harshly as others seem to?

I don’t put all of that “education” on Uncle Dave…my parents did a heck of a job raising a kid that knows the value of hard work, love, and discipline. I’m sure it’s a series of little events from the time we’re toddlers until the day we die…that makes us who we are. I’m glad Uncle Dave participated in a few of my “little moments”.

Whether it’s in your business, your advertising, or in your life…there are things worth worrying about…and there are things that you shouldn’t be throwing such a fuss about. You may be ready to take some leaps of faith, but your friends or family are holding you back. They say it’s too risky. They say you’re a fool. They say that your advertising is too “in your face”. Are you asking THEM to do the things you want to do? Nope.

I say…let’s go ahead and put ketchup on our fish sticks!

That memory floated to the surface a few days ago and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I suppose I was meant to share it then, eh?

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

Wouldn’t you rather be remembered… instead of a random option among your competition? I help businesses “say it better” in their advertising. Your advertising MESSAGE holds more power than any other element in the advertising “formula”. 

Your Radio Headline

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog…

Your Radio Headline

“It all starts with the snotty noses and green boogies.”

“I talk trash all day long.”

“Chainsaw juggling…”

“We have some fantastic sewing machines that are barely street legal.”

Image courtesy of "Ian Kahn" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Ian Kahn” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“When your car gets a case of the crinkles…” 

“What did the dog psychologist say to the dog patient?”

“Every year, there are more than 40,000 toilet-related injuries in the U.S…and I hope I’m not one of them this year.”

THESE are just a few radio ad headlines from past ads that my clients were daring enough to go with. They may not seem “daring”…but you wouldn’t believe how “SAFE” most business owners want to play. And if it came right down to it, I bet you would hesitate for a minute (or a week) before you gave the OK on one of these headlines.

But you know what? A headline that catches people’s attention like these…is part of the formula. Yes. I have a formula. Or I think it’s about 4 or 5 different radio ad formulas. Subconscious though. I wouldn’t now how to even explain them.

For example…

I don’t even remember why chainsaw juggling came to mind…but it caused me to compare chainsaw juggling to all of the things small business owners juggle every day.

I pictured in my mind what a smashed up car looked like. It was crinkly. So…that’s where the “crinkles” line came from for the body shop ad.

And what better way to lighten up a “psychology conversation” than with a dog psychologist joke?

I’m not a good organizer…I’m not a list maker…I’m not an accountant… so I think that makes me better at some of the creative stuff. Of course, I still have lots to learn. Even though I’ve been writing radio ads for about 9 years, I can see how I improve year after year. If you don’t strive to improve and learn consistently, you’ll get left in the dust. I don’t plan on getting left in the dust, I plan on being ahead of as many marketing people as I can. But… (I’m off track) back to the HEADLINES!

Don’t be afraid to be different with your headlines. They’re like the ad for the rest of your ad. If you don’t hook’em at the beginning…you’re screwed. And then…keep ’em interested all the way through. Don’t bore us to tears with the rest of the ad. Tell me something I don’t know. Tell me something that could cause me to make a new decision based on new information. Then wrap that around strong words and voices and inflections and realness and sincerity. A bit of humor doesn’t hurt once in a while either (but don’t go overboard – most national advertising is all humor and no selling – big fat wastes of money).

So, that’s the end of this hodge-podge blog post. Maybe my headlines I listed could give you a few sparks of your own. Just don’t be too “safe” with your headlines and your advertising in general. Being too “safe” is what will let your competition pass you by.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

(I work for Results Radio Townsquare Media – call me)  🙂

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

8 radio stations – radio commercial writing and production – strategy – sales – yada yada yada (whatever is right for you…that’s what we’ll do)

Of course you have questions. Rates? Cost? Stations? Just ask.

Up For Grabs

I absorbed a Roy Williams (Wizard of Ads) Monday Morning webinar thingy recently. He said something once about all the people “up for grabs”. So, it got me thinkin’.

Up For Grabs

Image courtesy of “Sura Nualpradid” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are a lot of people “up for grabs” …if only you would say something to them that doesn’t completely insult their intelligence.

“Up for grabs?” you say?

I don’t care what size of market you’re in… the majority of the advertising could be a heck of a lot better. Which means the ads aren’t working too well on people. These people are “up for grabs”. You could begin a well-thought-out advertising plan to win over a healthy portion of those people.

These are people who don’t know WHERE to go for a product or service… so they search the internet. And what do they usually find? A list of hopefully relevant businesses in which they most likely know nothing about. It’s a crapshoot. See? They’re up for grabs!

Now… if you only knew what kinds of things you should say in your ads, right? What could you say to people in your small business advertising efforts that would be the start of a profitable long-term relationship?

Hint: It’s not about you! It’s about THEM. How can you help them? How can you tap into their emotions so they begin to trust you before they even meet you?

You can’t make a friend by announcing, “Hey! I need a friend!” And successful advertising is no different.

There are more people “up for grabs” than are not up for grabs. It’s a big number. Why not go after the lion’s share of that group? These are people who would love to trust a good company like yours.

The biggest difference maker you have in making your advertising work… is saying something in your advertising that will “move” people.

SAY SOMETHING RELEVANT.

SAY SOMETHING SINCERE.

SAY SOMETHING MEMORABLE.

And I usually like to do those things with Radio. Oh my gosh…radio still moves a lot of mountains for local businesses! Yes, the world has more “audio options”, but the numbers (the people listening) have remained constant. The “other options factor” just means that we need to be even more focused on creating a better advertising message (no matter where you advertise).

Don’t bore people’s socks off. Either you have a revolutionary / unique / eyebrow-raising point of difference to share with audiences OR you need to lasso people’s emotions and help them love you before they meet you.

So…who’s ready to talk to that big group of “up for grabs” folks?

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

 

Advertising Small Business Wonderfulness

1966 was too early for me, but I remember listening to tapes of Bill in the late 70s and early 80s. Awesome humor. Unmatched.

1966 was too early for me, but I remember listening to tapes of Bill in the late 70s and early 80s. Awesome humor. Unmatched.

Bill Cosby released a comedy album in 1966 called “Wonderfulness”. What a great title. Just the word itself makes you want to listen to it. But do YOU have wonderfulness?

Do people know all the WONDERFULNESS that your product or service can deliver?

What do you DO for people? Think about that question. Go deeper than the obvious, “surface” answers. Figure out what you really DO for your customers. Figure that out first.

Then, how do you tell them?  How do you advertise?

If you begin “shouting” at folks about what you sell, you WILL be ignored. You’ll be ignored because thousands of others like you are doing the exact same thing.  Your words have become mere background noise.  Static. Annoyances.

Advertising can drive sales. Advertising can double your sales this year. It CAN if you scrap your current, non-producing ad plan, and start fresh.

WHAT IF…

What if you talked to your prospect about what’s going on in THEIR life?  What if you talked to them about what is truly important to them?  Or about something they wish to fix.  About pain they want to be rid of?  About something that can make them feel happy.  Something that will better their lives.  ??

Because isn’t THAT what we all want?  To be happy – successful – respected – loved – content – admired – free of stress – financially secure – independent – healthy – attractive – comfortable – safe – secure –     etc., etc.

What people want…is to better themselves.  So, tell them how your product or service can aid them in their journey.  Will you continue to tell them in the same ways as most other businesses do?  Will you continue to say the same things?  Will you continue to hope and pray that a Facebook page is all you need?…that it’s the magic potion you’ve been waiting for?

Define your TRUE customer, find out what they REALLY care about.  What “moves” them? What WONDERFULNESS can you share with them?

Have a day full of wonder!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

Home

Is Buying Radio Advertising Like Buying A Car?

Flat tire of old car image courtesy of "Toa 55" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Flat tire of old car image courtesy of “Toa 55” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When you buy a car…you don’t ever have a question whether it will work or not. And if you have doubts, you can test drive it. But I still think most people take more time in buying a vehicle than buying radio advertising. And with still much of the radio advertising I hear…there’s no way those ads are working. But you still buy radio ads without a glimmer of hope? And this isn’t just RADIO advertising, it’s ALL local advertising. A lot of the local, small business advertising is pretty nasty.

If you needed a good vehicle to get you from point A to B…you wouldn’t buy one that didn’t have an engine in it, would you? Then, why buy advertising that doesn’t have an “engine”?

Have you purchased so much local advertising that hasn’t worked, you’ve completely given up hope of finding some that does? You don’t have to keep throwing money at the next shiny, new advertising or marketing gimmick, praying that something sticks. I know I’ve written this hundreds of times – it’s not WHERE you advertise, it’s what MESSAGE you’re spreading within your advertising.

Don’t spend another penny until you’ve nailed down what kinds of things you can say in your advertising that people actually care about and will pay attention to.

Think of how fast everything online is changing. Think of all the social media things you could be doing. Should you DO all of them? Nooooo!!!! Pick a couple, and do those WELL. Don’t move on to the next “big thing” just because it’s new. You never figured out how to do the last thing right, why switch tracks and start the process over again? I’ve seen it in radio advertising too. Someone switches radio stations all of the time because they believe THAT is what will bring results – a better audience. They’re all people. You just haven’t found anything worth a darn to say to all the people. (let’s figure that out)

There’s a formula in advertising that works. But if you don’t put the lion’s share of your effort into your advertising strategy and message, that formula dies.

Wouldn’t it be awful if buying a car was like buying advertising? You wouldn’t ever be sure if it could even drive off the lot, let alone get you home. I’ll make it easier on you. I’ll help you be confident in a plan before you’re ever asked to write a check. I don’t study how to sell something one time. I study how to make your advertising work – and keep working. And working. And working.

After you and I talk, I feel that you’ll take a big breath of relief. “Ahhhhh.” And then say, “Finally. I think we’re on to something.” (instead of having to look up to the heavens asking for your advertising to work this time).

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

https://siouxfallsradioadvertising.com/

 

Small Business Advertising: Horsepower & Flavor

What if you decided to give $20 to the first 100 people who called a special phone number? No strings attached. You call…you get twenty bucks.

  • So, would an online ad work to advertise this cash giveaway? Absolutely.
  • Would newspaper work? Yup.
  • Would Radio work. You bet it would.
  • TV, Billboard, or Facebook ads? Dang right it would.

All advertising mediums give you access to an “audience”. You get access to PEOPLE. When you buy advertising space or spots, you are renting an audience. Some ad mediums just have bigger audiences than others. It’s part of the reason why one might cost more than the other.

Image courtesy of "M - pics" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “M – pics” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, doesn’t that help you realize that all advertising mediums can work? All you’re trying to do is reach people with a persuasive message.

Think of it this way…

The Porsche 911 Turbo – everything about it drips performance, class, and testosterone. But what if the legendary Porsche engine is replaced with something you would find in an old Yugo? Performance just went down the toilet. It’s the same with your advertisements. The MESSAGE IS THE ENGINE. The message is what drives your advertising success. Without a message that has “beefyness” to it…you might as well save your money.

But before you just pick an ad medium to get your message across, you need to understand that each have different ways to be most effectively used. Some allow you to use a lot of words. Others are for short, direct messages where the point you’re trying to make doesn’t need a lot of explaining. Radio and TV can tap into emotions and make a huge impact when used properly. Personally, I like Radio most of the time versus TV for small businesses. It’s easier to produce an ad. And cheaper. Plus, you can make people visualize whatever you want in a Radio ad.

The greatest branding gets us emotionally involved. Print and Internet advertising can make things happen pretty fast when you use a picture of a product, a punchy headline addressing a problem, a possible solution, and a sweet bonus offer at the end. They each have strengths and weaknesses and

Image courtesy of "lemonade" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “lemonade” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

have different rules to be followed regarding placement, the number of ads you buy, and the length of time you run those ads.

Just remember that the message is what drives advertising success. Give your message some FLAVOR! Are you going to serve up some high school cafeteria turkey loaf? Or would you rather give them a piece of Mom’s blueberry pie that causes them to sit back, shut their eyes, and roll them back into their head? If you want above average advertising results, you have to advertise with horsepower and flavor.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media (marketing rep)

Home

Patience and Diligence When Starting Your Radio Advertising

  • What should your radio ads sound like?
  • What kind of style?
  • Who should voice them?
  • Should you use humor or no humor?
  • Emotion or intellect?

These are all good questions. And they are questions that won’t get answered all at once. The more I talk to you, the more the answers will surface. Or sometimes smack me in the face. It’s amazing how many times I’m talking to a Sioux Falls business owner, and I’m asking questions left and right and listening, wondering where the “gold” for the radio ads will come from. And then… from out of left field, they’ll say something that dang near makes me fall out of my chair. They’ll say something that could possibly be the shiny nugget to make it all work. Almost as if it was sent down from the heavens (and they don’t even know they said anything important).

And then, another and another, and pretty soon I have 3 to 5 pages of scribbly notes with circles and underlines and capitals and exclamation points.

sioux falls advertising

Image courtesy of “digitalart” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It doesn’t always happen in the first meeting. Usually not. But this is what you need to expect when you’re calling someone for local advertising help. You should expect it…you just won’t usually get it. So, LOOK OUT… Most will sell you an ad package and then give a few notes to a production person back at their office. They’ll say, “Make an ad out of this. It starts tomorrow.” Can you see where your results may be non-existent from this method?

I won’t start a radio advertising campaign for you if I’m not completely confident it will “move the needle” for you. If it takes a month to get it right, that’s better than pulling the trigger prematurely and wasting your money, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’re a local Sioux Falls area business person who would love to stop “shootin’ from the hip” with your ad budget…and finally start making more from what you’re investing…then we need to talk. Are you just a teensy weensy bit competitive? It really helps. It’s almost required. If you’d like to grow your sales, an intelligent and creative advertising campaign would most likely make you a much happier human being. I’d like to help make that happen.

How much can you grow? How fast? What will it take? All good questions that I’d love to help you answer. Radio advertising isn’t a one size fits all sort of thing. If you’re sold a package by someone else and then put on “auto-pilot” …don’t expect too much for “results”.

What do I do for my clients who are on the radio right now? What would I do for YOU once you’ve started with an exciting new radio plan? I always have my radar up for the next great ad idea that can move someone a lot closer to doing business with you. We change the ads up about once a month depending on how heavy your ads are scheduled. There’s a limit to the number of weeks an ad can run before it gets “played out”. So, we keep it fresh – it’s in your best interest.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

605-940-7984

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

https://siouxfallsradioadvertising.com/

Take A Bigger Slice, Local Advertising: You’re Doing It Wrong (Amazon book reviews)

Here’s the latest review on “Take a Bigger Slice”. Very niiiicccce. Thanks a bunch! …

“…BUT…if you want a CHEAP guide to not only breathing new life into your small business, but watching it thrive…buy Duane’s book NOW! Don’t misunderstand me though…’cheap’ only refers to the small price you pay for this book. The contents inside are anything but. Honestly, you could spend 50 times what Duane is asking on other so-called “small business marketing” books. Or you can just buy this one book and start making waves with your business NOW. Duane doesn’t use bloated industry jargon to try to sound like some larger-than-life guru. He’s not out to impress. He’s out to help you grow your small business. You can tell he loves what he does…and he loves helping people. Don’t hesitate to get this book. It may just end up being the best money you’ve ever spent on your business.”

Here’s a link to see some others if you’re still not convinced that 4.99 is a pretty sweet deal for this 100+ page e-book…

Take A Bigger Slice, Local Advertising: You’re Doing It Wrong book reviews

Duane Christensen

http://smallbusinessadvertisingkapow.com/