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)

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I Love Your Radio Ads

“I love your radio ads.”

Some people say that…to a pretty good handful of my radio clients. That’s great! But it doesn’t mean much if the ads aren’t working.

But…

There’s something to be said for getting people to like your ads. That means they’re listening all the way through. If you bored the snot out of them for the first 5 to 20 seconds…they won’t stick around to listen to the rest. And therefore…they won’t tell you “I love your ads.”

I love your radio ads

Image courtesy of “basketman” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What does it take to have radio ads that are liked or loved?

It usually involves a story. Or some piece of interesting information shared in such a way that engages the listener. Maybe you teach the listener something. Maybe you get them nodding their head saying, “That’s me. I know exactly what you’re talking about.” Or your ads are sincere and touch an emotional hot button…and then provide a solution to a problem that doesn’t seem “sales-ey”. When you truly want to help…that shines through.

I read a quote recently (and for the life of me I can’t remember who said it) “People don’t listen to ads. They listen to what interests them.”¬†And I remembered the quote because it’s soooooo true. Just because you’re on Radio, TV, online, Facebook, Twitter, billboards, bus benches, etc…. it doesn’t mean you’re actually getting your message across to those people who use or come in contact with a particular advertising medium. You better be telling them something they care about or providing enough intriguing info that keeps them listening.

A good headline is crucial. But if you decide to take the easy route (after the interesting headline) and start telling them how great you are, that you’re the best, that you have excellent customer service, yada yada yada…you’ll lose them. Have an intimate conversation with the listener. (I say listener instead of listenerS because your ad needs to speak to one person. It’s one on one. Make it personal. Make them feel like you’re face to face with them. Keep your radio ad about your prospect – not about you.)

I forget that I need to say this more often: People don’t care about you…they care about themselves and their family and how you might be able to HELP them. That’s it. If someone doesn’t feel you have their best interest at heart, good luck snagging that fish.

Not everyone will say, “I love your radio ads”. But when you finally get on the right track…some people will. And you’ll notice the effect it has on your business.

I can’t end this without a little disclaimer though. There have been thousands of advertising campaigns that have won big awards and popularity contests…but they didn’t end up attracting any new business for the advertiser. Humorous, outrageous, or heart-warming might get some attention…but your ads still have to sell. They still have to move people closer to doing business with YOU instead of your competitor. It can get kind of tricky. The right strategy comes into play here. You need to make sure the message you’re conveying is something that people will care about and can cause them to buy more of what you sell.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

605-940-7984