Diversification is for your Financial Portfolio… not your Advertising… kind of… 😃

radio advertising sioux falls

Image by Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you ever been told that you should diversify your advertising investments? You know… spread your marketing all around to as many places as possible… so you can “reach” the most people?

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the logic.  But when you stop to truly think about how to make advertising work really well… it’s not logical at all.

Let me explain. Good advertising RESULTS do not come from merely “touching” or “reaching” people with a logo or an advertising message.  Advertising results come from engaging people with your ads. Engaging, entertaining, informing, and persuading. 

But how many people do you think would switch from doing business with one of your competitors and become your loyal customer with only ONE ADVERTISING IMPRESSION? Based on research and my experience, I’m guessing it’s a fraction of a percentage, and that’s being really optimistic.

Have you heard those businesses who advertise on the radio? The ones you hear a few times each week, every month, and every year? They’ve made it impossible for you to ignore them. When you need what they sell… they’ve made it to the top 1, 2, or 3 businesses in your HEAD that you have to either say “yes” or “no” to.  Because of their consistent radio advertising and an unmistakable ad strategy, THEY’VE LAID CLAIM TO A SPOT IN YOUR BRAIN.  It doesn’t mean you WILL buy from them, it just means that you can’t ignore them. They’re one of the top options you’ll consider when you want to buy what they sell.

So, if you’re not one of those advertisers… you’re going to be farther down that list of options to go to… if you’re on that list at all.  If you get onto that short list of businesses who people think of when they need what you sell, it will affect your business growth incredibly.

Radio “reaches” about 93% of adults each week.  So, tell me why you’d want to spread your marketing dollars – no, let me rephrase that – why would you want to SPRINKLE your marketing dollars around here and there and over there… barely making any impact at all in the mediums where you place your ads?

In order to become one of the top choices that people think about when they need your product or service (i.e. branding), you must be consistent with your advertising on the ad mediums you choose. Why?  Because if you’re not consistent, and if you’re not trying to brand your name in the heads of consumers, then you’re only talking to the very small fraction of a percent of people who need you right now.  That means about 99% or more of your marketing dollars are then wasted.  

Wouldn’t you rather advertise to the other 99% of the people who don’t need you now, but may need you in 2, 6, or 12 months?  That’s a huge group of people who you could be engaging, educating, entertaining, and persuading. Over time, who do you think people would want to do business with… the business they know NOTHING about… or YOU – the one who has been consistently whispering in their ear about how YOU can help them?

Side note:  And I’m sorry to say… digital / online advertising won’t make that happen. Not on their own. If you put a small portion of your budget into some online display advertising of some kind, that’s ok, as long as you have enough coverage with your radio plan. Then, your online ads can kind of be a support team to your radio ads. People who see your online ads AFTER they’ve heard your radio ads, will be moved much closer to doing business with you, rather than just seeing an online ad. Click rates are pretty dang low. 

It’s the same thing with being found on the first page of Google in a search query. For example, if I don’t have a “go-to” plumber… and I see 5 or 6 plumbing businesses on the first page of Google… I’m going to first call the one that I feel like I know and trust because of the storytelling or interesting information they’ve shared via their advertising.  Whether they were the FIRST in a Google search or not.  Doesn’t matter to me.  I go with the one I feel most comfortable with.

We’re talking about Branding here… not Awareness.  I’m “aware” of a lot of local businesses, but I don’t know anything about many of them. But the ones who tell me their story and how they can best help ME when I need their product or service… they’re the ones I will consider first. Every time.  

Are you ready to be a household name in the Sioux Falls area? That’s what I’m here to help you do. But just beware… it’s not just about consistency with your advertising… your ads have to engage, entertain, inform, and persuade. And there are not many marketing people who understand how to do that. I do. We do.  

Results Radio devotes much of its training for us to the “writing better ads / creating smart strategies / being remembered” side of things. You won’t find that in many other places around the country. We asked the question, “How can we make our clients’ advertising WORK?” And then, we figured out how to make that happen.

Let me know if you’d like to discuss a marketing plan… and I’ll help you figure out what that plan might look like.  It’s what I do.  

Thanks! Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

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Improving a Radio Script (plumbing company example)

Here’s an ad for a plumber I did a while back. The first radio script was created by just having a quick conversation with the owner. He said, “I want to let people know that if they’d rather not take off work for a non-emergency plumbing call…they can have us over on the weekend. We’re open 7 days a week and don’t charge anything extra for the weekends.”

Ok. That information actually has some great potential because not all plumbing companies are open 7 days a week without charging extra on weekends. So…that gives a radio ad writer like myself something beefy to expand upon.

Tip: If you don’t have any major differences between you and competitors, create differences that customers would like and appreciate.

Here’s the original rough script that I wrote…

Have you ever had to take a sick day or vacation day just to wait for a plumber?  Hi, I’m Geoff Ellerbroek from Summit Plumbing.  If you’d rather not take a day off work for a plumber, that’s one more reason to call Summit.  We’re open 7 days a week from 8 to 5.  So, if Saturdays or Sundays would work better for YOU…give us a call and we’ll be right over.  And we don’t charge extra for Saturday and Sunday calls either.  All we want is to make your experience as pleasant as possible.  I’ve had customers tell me that they used to dread making that call to a plumber…but they don’t any more.  We work on Saturdays and Sundays to make it easier for you…

So, I let that script sit for a day or two…because it was missing something. I felt that the point Summit Plumbing was trying to make wasn’t “sticky” enough. Or dramatic enough. It needed some more “teeth” so it could be remembered better…and also a bit more entertaining to keep radio listeners tuned into the ad the whole way through.

Here’s the revision…

There are some crazy stories people make up so they can skip work.  Like the guy who said a chicken attacked his Mom.  Or the girl who said her Chihuahua had depression issues and needed a psychologist.  Have you ever had to take a sick day or vacation day just to wait for a plumber?  Hi, I’m Geoff Ellerbroek from Summit Plumbing.  If you’d rather not take a day off work for a plumber, that’s one more reason to call Summit.  We’re open 7 days a week from 8 to 5.  So, if Saturdays or Sundays would work better for YOU…give us a call and we’ll be right over.  And we don’t charge extra for Saturday and Sunday calls either.  All we want is to make your experience as pleasant as possible.  I’ve had customers tell me that they used to dread making that call to a plumber…but they don’t any more.  We work on Saturdays and Sundays to make it easier for you.  Now you don’t have to make up a story to miss work if you don’t have to.  Like the employee that said his mother-in-law made a surprise visit and he wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. Call Summit Plumbing in Sioux Falls.  The 7-day a week, no extra charge plumber.  728-4212.  728-4212.

That revision gave the ad more IMPACT. It was more “receivable” for the listener. It added emotion. It added some humor. It dramatized the point we were trying to make. It made it much better.

Whether you want your current advertising to improve…or if you’d like a completely new advertising strategy, let me know.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls SD

605-940-7984

Your On-Hold Message Needs Help

on hold messageThe on-hold message for your business matters.  And your on-hold message needs help.

I was recently on-hold for a few minutes the other day.  It was a local business.  Their on-hold message is what gave me the idea to write about this topic.  But I WILL give them kudos for trying to make an on-hold message that stood out from all the others. Yet I would have preferred some run-of-the-mill classical music.  Here’s why…

They had a radio jingle as part of the message.  They also had a voice telling me a few things.  They talked about the services they provided and the products they had. Which is predictable. (Remember? Predictability puts a choke-hold on marketing effectiveness)

Then, the voice kept saying, “Thank you for calling. Your call is VERY important to us.”  I heard that about 5 times within about 3 minutes.  Yes, I know my call is important to you, whoever you are. And then the jingle would cut in occasionally… which seemed very out-of-date and was kind of annoying.  (that’s the thing with jingles – they can either do wonders for a business, or turn people off)

So… what’s my advice on your on-hold message?

  • Tips
  • Advice
  • Stories

I would hang on every word of your on-hold message if you were giving me tips and advice regarding your industry or the products and services you provide.  And not lame tips that 85% of the population knows.  I’m talking about really interesting or even obscure information that would intrigue me and / or help me.

DON’T TRY TO SELL ME WHILE I’M ON HOLD!  At least don’t be so obvious about it.

If you told me a few customer experience stories…you’d have my attention.  As long as you don’t water them down.  I love to hear the specifics.  When you tell a detailed story…it means it’s real.  And then people know you’re not “full of it”. People also like to hear that they’re not the only ones who might be in the same situation.  Make them feel comfortable about calling.  Make them feel confident that you’re a business who cares about giving them a good end result.  If you can cause people to like you a little bit more because of a tip or a story you told them… then you’ve just moved them closer to buying from you, buying MORE from you, or buying more OFTEN from you.

All that from an on-hold message.  Can you believe it?  Believe it.  The communication you have with your customers matters.  The words you choose matters.  It’s not the “act” of doing something (direct mail, on-hold message, advertising, core customer emails, thank you cards, etc.) … it’s the manner in which you do it. It’s the FEELING you give someone about you or your company… that makes all the difference.  Make sure the sincerity level of your marketing communications is dialed up to a level 8, 9, or 10.

Do you think you should have a “professional” voice do your on-hold message?  I’d actually prefer if the business owner or someone within the business did it.  Because it cranks up the “Sincerity Level” another notch or two.  People want to do business with good, honest, hard-working people who care about their customers. So, show them that’s what you are.

It’s pretty much the same with all of your marketing communications.  Make it real.  Make it sincere.  Tell us something we might not know.  Tell us a story that can help get your point across.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

My website: http://www.duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com

Fancy and Expensive Doesn’t Equal Good Marketing

Fancy and Expensive Marketing

Your $750 logo isn’t going to be “the answer” to your marketing woes. Your $10,000 website isn’t going to be your savior when it comes to capturing new customers. That $5000 TV production will grow old far sooner than you wish it would.

There are a lot of websites out there that cost a lot of money. Some are worth the money because there are a lot of complicated programming elements in them. Some large entities need that. But some of the overpriced sites I see are for local, small businesses where most of the cost came from graphic design costs. Graphics that aren’t necessary. Sure it’s great that your website looks nice, but there are tons of lower-cost options out there with design platforms and templates that look really good.

There are also expensive radio ads. It doesn’t mean they’re working. Just because you hear a funny radio ad doesn’t mean it’s actually selling anything for the business – or that it’s helping any branding efforts. Just because you hear a professional voicing the ads in a dramatic fashion, with big cinematic music and sound effects in the background…doesn’t mean it’s effective.

Fancy and expensive marketing does not equal good marketing…

Good Marketing

All your website needs to do is 1) be easy on the eyes, 2) make it easy for visitors to find the information they need, 3) be able to be found on search engines like Google, and 4) say things that give visitors confidence in the fact that you can solve their problems – so they won’t feel the need to “back out” and look for a different option. More time should be dedicated to what you say within your website, instead of more time (and cost) on making it look fancy – just like all of your other marketing and advertising. The things you say in your marketing make a bigger, profitable impact than the visuals. Yes, visuals can play a role…but they’re not the lead role.

Good marketing can come in many different forms. But it doesn’t mean that you have to use all different kinds of marketing and advertising. I’m saying don’t waste your marketing budget as a small business trying to be everywhere and reach everyone. You don’t have to spread your advertising around to 15 or 30 different outlets. When you do that…with a smaller budget…you’re “watering down” the number of ads being distributed to the public. And just like how we learned our alphabet, we need repetition.

There’s no marketing rule that says you can’t put the beefy portion of your budget into Radio. I have a lot of clients who do just that. And it’s working wonders for them. We’re saying things in their ads that radio listeners don’t expect to hear. Which means we’re keeping those listeners’ attention… and causing them to remember my radio clients when they have a particular problem that my radio clients can solve. With good radio ads, you can consistently and predictably grow. With a consistent radio plan month-in and month out, with a smart strategy intertwined into the ads, you won’t have to wonder when or where your next new customer will be calling or walking in.

You won’t be remembered by the public because of fancy and expensive visuals. But you will be remembered when you say something to them that they care about, interests them, entertains them a little bit, and / or teaches them something.

Think about a good-looking, well-groomed man in a sharp, expensive suit. Does that mean you’ll like him? Does that mean he’s valuable to you? Nope. It’s just a first impression. It all comes down to what comes out of his mouth when he speaks. It all comes down to whether he makes you comfortable. He could be also be wearing something a bit more casual (for a fraction of the cost of that expensive suit)…and still get the same response depending on what he said. Now, if he hasn’t showered in a few weeks…and looks like a ragamuffin, then you probably won’t even give him a chance to see what he says. Which is why it’s good to have a good-looking website, or a good-looking ad… but you need to put the bulk of your effort into what you communicate to the public in your ads and your marketing. The words matter. A lot.

Your marketing is like when you were dating and looking for that one true love to settle down for the rest of your life. How will you seduce them? What really matters through the whole process? You can’t keep them drunk forever. You’ll eventually have to say some things that connects with what they care about. You’ll eventually have to reveal your true self and see if you have something in common.

The same goes for radio marketing. You could have a professionally-polished radio ad that doesn’t really say anything at all. You could also have a radio ad done by your local radio rep that doesn’t have any substance to it either – just a lot of gum-flapping about how long you’ve been in business or that you have a knowledgeable staff. Your radio ad rep needs to be a writer too. They need to find out what makes your business shine…and then portray that strength in a manner that solves problems for your prospects. The ad can’t be all about you… it has to be about the person you’re hoping to attract. And if you find a good ad writer at your local radio station (Duane Christensen at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls wink wink), then you won’t be paying anything extra to get ads that finally work!  : )

I take the time to figure out what your potential new customer wants to hear…so they’ll contact you and do business with you. And if we say things in your ads that give them confidence in you…and then you deliver beautifully with your products, services, and customer service – you’ll be golden. I’ll help you attract new business, and then you compound that with great service, and you’ll propel your good-word-of-mouth even farther. That’s really what good advertising does – it speeds up the inevitable – it speeds up word-of-mouth. If you’re horrible at customer service, good advertising will help you go out of business faster. If you’re a customer service rock star, good advertising will take you to heights you never thought possible.

This was a little all over the place today… forgive me. My ADD comes and goes. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

I watch more TV with my DVR

Yes…I watch more TV with my DVR.

DVRs are great for someone like me.  Probably for you too.  We’re busy, right?  When I’m not working, I’m busy with family, camping, yard work, family, movies, playing with my daughter, honey-do lists, and family.  So, when I get an hour or so each night to unwind, I can play one of my favorite TV shows whenever I want.  And my DVR allows me to fast-forward the commercials.

Before DVR, I would have to watch my favorite shows when they were scheduled to air.  But I’m busy…so that didn’t happen very often.  Yes, DVR does help me watch more TV programs – but NOT more commercials.

How many other people are the same?  How would a business owner effectively reach a TV viewer with a TV commercial?

I’m 37 years old, I don’t watch the news, I don’t read the newspaper very consistently, and I’m on the go quite a bit.  I don’t see many TV commercials or newspaper ads.  How do you, as a business owner, plan to advertise to me?

Two ad mediums come to mind: Direct Mail and Radio.

The average radio listener logs in about 23 hours of radio per week.  It’s a heck of a lot more affordable to reach that person with radio than with TV or newspaper.  AND you reach them more times, consistently.  Which is KEY.

What can you get with $1000 in a week on TV?  Not much.  Especially, after you’ve paid for the production of the commercial.  Newspaper?  1 or 2 ads maybe.  If that.

Direct mail could be a good combination with radio, if it’s done right.  You can’t just put your name, phone number, and a pretty picture on a postcard, and pray for your phone to ring.  So, how would you get my attention with a direct mail piece?

Make the headline the most noticeable part of it.  And make sure your headline is solving a problem I have.  Solve the problem of your prospect.  Your headline can also be a “teaser” with the notion that you can solve a problem.  It should give HOPE and open the door of POSSIBILITY to solving a problem or making your prospect’s life better.

If you’re looking for advertising that works well…ask an advertising rep for some references.  Talk to 5 or 10 business owners that use the ad medium you’re thinking about trying.  Ask them if it’s working.  Most advertising reps probably won’t get back to you because they won’t be able to find enough happy clients for you to talk to.

If you run a business in the Sioux Falls area…call me.  I can help you take you from where you are…to where you want to be.  Or at least discuss a game plan or strategy.  And I’ve got plenty of references for you.

Thanks!  Have a prosperous day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

If you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the Sioux Falls market.

Is there such a thing as GREAT advertising?

Pretend you’re at a networking event. And to introduce yourself, you have to say your name, followed by your advertising slogan (or a version of it). For example:

“Hi, I’m John Smith, when quality counts.”

“Hi, I’m Jenny Johnson, we’re people you can trust.”

“Hi, I’m Lenny Doonesbury, you belong with us.”

Those don’t really get you pumped up to learn more about them do they? But that’s the kind of drivel that’s used in advertising every day!

You want to use slogans and words in your advertising that create intrigue. Or that says something about you that nobody else could claim. Or hits an emotional hot button.

How about some BETTER examples:

“Hi, I’m Derek, we give you back your summer.”  (It makes you want to know HOW he can do that.)

“Hi, I’m Pete, I make taste buds do a jig.”  (Tell me you don’t want to know more about the food Pete creates.)

“Hi, I’m Angie, I help people wake up with more energy.”  (The majority of people would LOVE that! The person Angie said that to, raised their eyebrows about an inch.)

The goal of any communication with the public should be for SOMETHING to happen. Boring, cliché, and predictable advertising makes nothing happen. Yes…nothing. You might believe your ho-hum, yawn-city advertising is making people “aware” of you. But bad advertising doesn’t create awareness. It doesn’t make people “aware” of you because nobody sticks with your ad long enough for them to care what you’re telling them.

When you say things in your advertising that make people pay attention, good things result. Will advertising make people act IMMEDIATELY? Will they buy something from you right now? Not necessarily. Not everyone needs what you’re offering right now. In fact, only one or two percent of the population probably needs what you’re selling at this moment in time. And how many competitors are going after that one or two percent?

So, here’s how GREAT advertising works…

Your advertisement should make your prospects that need you now…ACT (a very small percentage). And mentioning your business name, location, website, and phone number six times  in your ads, will NOT make that happen.

Your advertisement should also move people who don’t quite need you now…closer to actually buying from you. Your ad should help them trust you more. It should make them feel good about your company.

When your prospects are “touched” by another ad from you, and then another, and another…their feeling of trust should keep growing. And guess what happens over time? When they finally are in the market for your product or service…they think of YOU first. THAT is what GREAT advertising should do. GREAT advertising is a process, not an event.

Good advertising brings you new customers that need you NOW.

GREAT advertising brings you new customers consistently because they remember you when they need you.

GREAT advertising eliminates the need for promotions, gimmicks, and price reductions.

It’s not “make-believe”. YOU can have great advertising.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.