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/

A Story About Tracking Your Marketing Efforts

I whipped my phone out and searched for All Tune & Lube in Sioux Falls (because they’re my “go-to” people for anything car repair-related). I needed to set up an appointment for new tires. And I didn’t have their phone number in my phone…and I couldn’t remember the number even though I’d called it many times before. Getting old I guess. The info I needed came up on Google after I typed in “All Tune & Lube Sioux Falls”.

But the phone number didn’t seem familiar. I called. All Tune & Lube answered. I said, “Did you guys change your phone number?” They said No.

I’m assuming that they were doing some kind of tracking with that different phone number. Tracking their online calls.

Image courtesy of "Paul" / FreeDigitalPhotos.netMeasuring your return on your marketing isn't always as easy as you wish it would be.

Image courtesy of “Paul” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Measuring your return on your marketing isn’t always as easy as you wish it would be.

So, what’s going to happen here? They might “count me” as a customer who found them online. And then, they’ll think “online” is where they should put all of their marketing and advertising efforts??? Or maybe there’s an Internet marketing company who sold them an SEO package of some sort with a different phone number??? That’s great as long as they realize that their past customers who love them… may find that number online (like me). And that their past branding efforts have glued “All Tune & Lube” into their audience’s brain – so those people already know who they want to call.

Those people they had reached effectively with their radio campaign don’t have to type in “auto repair” into Google…they type “All Tune & Lube”. So, was it the past radio ad campaign that should get the credit? Or the expert service and above average customer service they received in the past? Or the word-of-mouth? Who knows. It should all work together when you’re marketing correctly. As long as they’re reading those online metrics properly…and my phone call isn’t being categorized as one more new “online prospect snagged”…I’m totally cool with it.

Maybe they are tracking the number of online calls versus Yellow page calls. Great. They’ll soon realize they should shift all or most of their Yellow budget into their SEO plan or something else.

If I owned my own local business… I wouldn’t care HOW people found me… just as long as they do. My tracking would be with my sales revenues. Or number of customers daily/weekly/quarterly. Or whatever best illustrated that I was attracting more new, smiling faces. But it would be over a matter of many months or even a year. Of course, since I know Radio Advertising can work wonders, I’d put most of my budget into radio. You may think I’m biased, but I’ve seen how it works. I’ve heard the feedback. I’ve seen the growth numbers. Shiny and new marketing efforts aren’t a substitute for tried and true.

Are there BAD radio advertising campaigns out there? Absolutely. Even a lot of the national radio ads I hear are completely missing the mark. That’s why you might want to work with yours truly. “Creative” is no substitute for “Selling”. I believe what David Ogilvy said, “It’s not creative if it doesn’t sell.” Your ads need to WORK…not just be something cutesy, funny, bizarre, or creative. But when Radio is done right…with the right message and strategy in place…prepare to be delighted with the results.

Radio is one of the only mass media advertising mediums where the audience is holding strong. Are some of those listeners also listening to Pandora and their iPods? You bet. But they’re also still listening to Radio. Around 90% of the population tune into their local radio stations consistently. And when you find a radio group who’s progressive, keeps enough live and local DJs in the booth, and constantly wonders how they can make a radio listener’s experience better…it’s a good group to go with. Hey…like us! I’m happy to be with a company who knows we have to stay relevant and change when we need to change.

Just be careful with your tracking and measuring. Don’t give something credit if it’s not deserving of the credit. I know you want to know absolutely, 100%, which advertising and marketing dollars are giving you the best return. But it’s not a simple thing to do. You could start by NOT dividing and spreading your ad budget around to so many different mediums. Then, you’ll never know which works well and which ones are just money thrown in the garbage. Start with one or two. Don’t sprinkle. “Own” the advertising medium you choose. Be there. Be there in force.

If you want to have an honest talk about local advertising, let me know. We won’t just talk about Radio…but how local advertising really works. And how we can make your local advertising efforts pay you back many times over. We’ll also talk about how you’ll plan to MEASURE your RESULTS.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Radio Marketing / Ad Writing / Sales

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

605-940-7984