4 Common Ways to Do Radio Advertising THE WRONG WAY

radio advertisingHere are some great ways to make sure your radio advertising does NOT work for you…

1.  “Let’s try it for a couple of weeks and see if it works.”  

If you’re going to do this, it better be a Help Wanted or a Sale ad and you better have about 8 to 10 ads running a day. Radio’s big strength is constant, consistent brand building. And be prepared not to be completely Wowed for 2 to 6 months. And then… plan to be elated at the end of Year 1.

BUT… that’s ONLY if we take a tedious, creative, and intelligent approach to the message we’re putting out to the public. My specialty is figuring out what we need to say in your ads so your radio advertising works… and you grow because of it.

2.  “We just want a straightforward Radio Ad with the facts.”  

I heard this one the other day. He’s a fairly new HR guy. They’re doing some Help Wanted advertising. This local company has been using radio for recruitment advertising with me for about 8 years now. And it’s worked for them because we’re bold and creative in their radio ads. But the new guy just wants something “straightforward”. And we’re changing the ads from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. Ok, I’ll give him a break. He’s new. He doesn’t know that we went through this trial and error phase 8 years ago. The fact is… people like to be entertained. Especially, when they’re listening to the Radio… because that’s why they turned it on in the first place. So, if we weave a persuasive message into an entertaining and Non-Ignorable radio spot, it’s a win. It gets heard more often. It gets remembered more often. Radio listeners get weary of radio ads aimed only at their logic. When you add emotion and entertainment, that’s when the real results show themselves.

3.  Not taking your competition into account.  

If you create a radio campaign without “strategy” in mind, your ads won’t work as hard as they could for you. So, you have to think about how you compare with your competition. Where are they strong? Where are you strong, where they are not? We need to “open a wedge” where you stand above your competitors. We need to highlight the points where you shine. And those points need to be things that people really care about.

For example, I have a banking client who’s on a consistent yearly radio plan. They’re a smaller bank with multiple locations that 1) answers the phone when you call, 2) is small enough where the employees know who you are, and 3) cares more for the individual. Our strategy is to highlight the shortcomings of the big banks – like customer service and always having to wrestle with automated phone systems… and then explain why you’ll be happier at a smaller bank. We’re using humor and also reminding people of how it used to be and that they can have that level of service again. We’re also going to possibly incorporate some good testimonial ads into that mix of humorous ads very soon. At least, that’s my vision. Getting customer testimonials isn’t always easy.

If we just gave a laundry list of services and cliché lines about customer service and a knowledgeable staff, the ads would never get any attention. They would be ignored. And the radio advertising wouldn’t work.  No matter where you advertise, it’s ALL about the message and the strategy within your ads. And radio advertising is one of the best places to create messages that have a huge impact with listeners.  Why?  Because of the massive range of creative angles, “theatre of the mind”, the power of sound, and versatility.

4.  Getting too technical about demographics and the radio stations you choose.

Most radio stations would work for a good, local branding campaign. Yes, some might have a few more listeners that seem to be in your “wheelhouse” of the demographics you’re looking for… but barely. Don’t try splitting hairs.

Consider a demographic range for many radio stations… 18 to 35… 25 to 45… 35 to 60+. That’s a pretty big range. You know why? Because you can never tell what kind of music someone enjoys. Or whether they prefer Talk Radio over a station that plays music. And most people have 2 to 4 favorite radio stations. There’s not one radio station, TV station, newspaper, magazine, website, or social media channel that OWNS an audience. People are people. All you have to do is make sure you’re saying something in your ads that people might actually care about. THAT is when your advertising will start working. It’s not about WHERE you advertise. It’s about what you SAY in your ads. I don’t mean to be a broken record about that (well maybe I do), but it’s the most important thing that business owners and “marketing people” need to understand. Your advertising results depend on it.

Radio just happens to be one of the best mediums in order to place your well-crafted, entertaining, and engaging advertising message.  Why?  Because it’s a “friend”.  It’s a place we turn to for information and entertainment.  Every day.  And 90+% of people listen every single week.

YES… I could keep going with reasons to do radio wrong… these just happen to come up a lot in my many years of experience in the local advertising arena.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media - Sioux Falls

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

 

 

Local Marketing When You Have Ample Competition

advertising and marketing sioux falls

It’s the week that two more Sioux Falls restaurants are closing.  It’s possibly some evidence that they could have used a good radio advertising campaign, eh?  I never heard one from either of them.  Actually, they needed a good marketing consultant.  Someone who could be trusted to give them the honest truth – good or bad.  The truth that their customer service or their menus needed a bit of improving.  They needed someone to consistently be their 2nd set of eyes.  Every business needs that. 

First of all, there are about 17 billion restaurants in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  You almost need an act of God to make it last.  But I don’t want this blog post to be specifically about restaurants.  It’s about those who have a pack of wild dog competitors… all fighting over the same pie.  

ANY BUSINESS with ample competition, could benefit greatly from a long-term, consistent radio campaign.

I think of the dentist that I’m working with to eventually get them advertising on the Radio.  (There are almost as many dentists as restaurants, I think.)  As I was gathering some information and doing my research, I noticed this dentist had about 10 Google reviews.  4 of those reviews were terrible. Like BAD BAD.  I brought it up to them.  I advised that they fixed whatever issue was going on, and start burying those bad reviews with good reviews before they started their radio advertising.  I didn’t want people who heard the radio ads to then find their phone number and location on Google, and have their poor “review star average” sabotage the radio campaign right from the start. 

When you have a lot of competition, everything needs to be pumping on all cylinders, otherwise you’ll fall hard and fast.  If we had started their radio ads too soon, it would have only brought more eyeballs to their bad reviews, helping them to eventually go out of business.

Let’s pretend you have all your ducks in a row, and are ready to get going with a better marketing plan…

The easy part is to set your budget annually for your radio campaign.  Radio’s superpower is unleashed when you schedule your ads 36 to 52 weeks per year.  We’re BRANDING here.  We want to stamp your business name onto the brains of consumers.  When they need what you sell… we want them to think of YOU.

I can make this work for you.  Period.  If you’ll give me the time to do some digging and get to the bottom of what you do best, how you do it best, and how your best customers feel about you… I can help you make the next year and beyond… better than you’ve ever experienced.  Especially, if you’re frustrated with marketing and advertising.  There are so many choices out there!  And they all try to make you believe that you MUST buy advertising on their medium.  It’s not true.  You can’t do it all.  You can’t afford it.  Especially, when most of it doesn’t work.

When you focus your advertising efforts on just a couple of things (instead of dozens), then you give yourself a chance to succeed.  When you run a business that sells products or services to the masses… then, mass media is where you should put the big part of your budget.  And when Radio reaches 90%+ of people, doesn’t that sound like a great place to start?

I mentioned the easy part was setting your ad budget annually, and starting a 36 to 52-week radio campaign (depending on the competitive landscape).  The harder part of your “advertising success equation” is the creation of Ads that actually work.  It’s the harder part because it’s the most important part.

Your ads can’t sound like every other ad.  Your ads can’t sound like a newspaper ad read into a microphone.  There are a bunch of ways to do advertising the wrong way, but only a few ways to do it the RIGHT WAY.  Radio is for entertainment.  So, your ads need to have an “entertainment factor” included in them.  They also need to hit the emotional hot buttons of your potential new customers.  If you remember that your ads are NOT ABOUT YOU, but about your customers… that’s one of the most valuable lessons you can learn about marketing.

Whether you’re a restaurant, a plumber, a mattress store, an auto dealer, a roofer, a medical center, etc., you need to talk to the needs of your potential new customer.  Make them feel something.  Make them feel comfortable with you before they even meet you.  Increase their trust in you.  Decrease their risk of doing business with you.  Make them feel at ease.  Cause them to LIKE you.  Cause their eyebrows to raise a bit by something you share with them.  All you’re trying to do is make friends with new people.  And one of the best ways to do that in your radio ads, is to tell them stories, be vulnerable, be transparent, be funny, be honest, and talk to them about the things they care about.  Most importantly, be human.  Don’t be an annoying salesperson in your ads.

Because when your ads sound like “ads”… people ignore them.  They don’t even know they’re doing it.  Our brains do it for us.  Automatically.  

Another way to break down some barriers and increase the “trust factor” is to have someone from your business be the “voice” in your ads.  Either the business owner or manager, preferably.  Let me explain something first about how our brains interact with “ads”.  Your brain filters out things that you don’t need.  It scans your environment for relevant items.  It tells you to ignore irrelevant ones.  And advertising is usually in the irrelevant category.  But your advertising can sidestep a brain’s “gatekeeper” by not sounding like typical advertising. 

By voicing parts of your own radio ads, it provides a built-in level of trust that will speed up your radio advertising success.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Who would a consumer potentially trust more?  A “radio voiceover person” who has nothing to do with your business and is just reading the script that they were given… or someone from your business?

Are you thinking… who the heck is going to write my radio ads?!

I am.  It’s what I’m trained to do here at Results Radio. 

We’re constantly learning and training on how to make your advertising work.  And the #1 “making it work” factor is the writing of your radio scripts.  It’s what I love to do.  Once we have the strategy figured out… and the direction you’d like to go… then we grease up the wheels and hit the Start button.

It’s exciting.  And then, it’s not.  Because you want your advertising to be like a switch you flip On and Off.  But remember… you’re branding.  Radio’s superpower is getting people to remember you first when they need what you sell.  And getting your business name (and what you stand for) stamped onto consumers’ brains… takes some time.

You need to give your radio advertising campaign at least 3 to 6 months for the ball to start rolling a little easier (Depending on the purchase cycle time for your product or service).  Not that you won’t get some people acting right away because of the ads that they heard… but the majority of your new customers will come later.  Building trust takes time.  Making new friends takes some time.  You’re planting seeds.  And that seed needs a time to mature.  And then, once harvest time comes… it gets exciting again. 

When you do this right, your competition will know something is happening.  You’ll be taking a bigger slice of the pie.  Their slice.  And that’s good… because you’ll be treating your new customers better than anyone else could.  Right?  Right.  And when that happens, you’ll be on your way to some pretty eye-opening growth.  Growth that you’ve been seeking, but couldn’t find.  Until you discovered the power of sound in your advertising.  The power of good radio.

Ready?    

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

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