Working Fast

Quick story. I’m having the exterior of my house painted. They’re on Day 2. And they should finish up today. BUT… it’s gonna be HOT. Hot hot. So, when they got here this morning, I opened up the window of my office and said, “I bet you’re gonna work fast so you can be done before it gets too hot.”

And I wasn’t trying to imply to them that they should bust their ass, so my house could be finished. I was just kind of feeling bad that they were going to be stuck outside on such a wicked hot day.

But the owner, Dana, said to me…

“I hear ya, but it’s hard to work fast.”

I stopped and thought about that.

He’s a painter. He’s working on the trim today. There’s some delicate work. If he rushes… then the quality suffers.

There’s “hustle” and then there’s “rushing”. There’s a difference. If I rush through any process of creating great ads for my clients… or skip parts of the sales process… then, the end result suffers. So, yes, sometimes it’s hard to work fast… especially when you’re in the good habit of doing the best work for your customers that you can. Which ensures that some day you’ll get a referral from that happy customer.

Here’s another quote – I think I heard it in the movie “Shooter”…

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”

Slow doesn’t have to mean turtle-slow or sloth-slow. It can also mean “smooth-slow”. And isn’t “Smooth” something you’d like to be?

There are many times that I need to hustle. And that just means putting a little extra giddyup in my step and staying focused on my task at hand… and when that’s done, starting my next task. And the next. But I don’t rush something that shouldn’t be rushed. Because then the work suffers. When you can see the bigger picture, “smooth” and “hustle” will always bring you greater success in the long run versus just working fast just to get something off your plate.

Maybe you have employees and you wish them to work a little faster. It might not be “fast” that you want out of them. They might just need to quit with excessive “Lolly-gagging”. Or maybe they need more focus and direction. Don’t assume that faster work means more money for the company. Because if work suffers from too much “fast”… then, your customers will “smoothly” never be repeat customers.

We’ve hired our painter multiple times and referred him to others. And we’ll keep hiring him when we need his unique kind of “smoothness”.

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

SiouxFallsRadioAdvertising.com

Image by Robert Balog from Pixabay

Radio Advertising Questions and Answers

I was emailed these questions about radio advertising the other day the other day…

  • Do you write the promotions?
  • Do you research the reach? Or, have suggestions on where we could push our product?
  • How many ads is good to have in rotation?
  • How many people can we reach?
  • What time of the day is best to run our ads?
  • Cost/per ad during the week?
  • How many times will this run throughout the week and/or on weekends?

All great questions. And usually the answers to those questions are the core materials in any media rep’s presentation. Which is why their ad campaigns will probably fail. At Results Radio, our “presentations” are a bit different. We focus on figuring out how we’re going to make your advertising actually work.

So, let’s add a couple questions to that list above that are more important…

  1. How will we make it work? (what’s our strategy?)
  2. How will we measure success?

These are more important because the other questions above won’t matter, if we’re not going into this campaign with the expectations of making it work… and knowing that it’s working. Right?

Let’s answer those questions up top first though

Do you write the promotions? Yes we do. At Results Radio, that’s what we train on most heavily. The words that are written and then spoken that go into people’s ears are what makes or breaks an ad campaign. And that is why we spend so much time figuring out what to say in your ads. Because that’s the core of making your ads work for you.

Do you research the reach or have suggestions on where to push our product? I’ll have to clarify this question with the business, but I think they’re asking something about demographics. Yes, we suggest the stations that will work best based on the people you’re looking for. But you need to understand that particular stations don’t own an audience. Meaning, most people listen to an average of 2.5 stations. For example, if you’re looking for “car parts type of people”, aka motorheads or “truck people”… can you imagine the different types of radio stations they could be listening to? Sports, Classic Rock, Modern Rock, Top 40, 80s, 90s, Modern Country, Classic Country, Talk Radio, etc., etc., etc.!

So, you pick a couple that seem like a good fit, and you start there. Or whatever works with your budget. And if you can’t afford to buy enough ads to run each month on the biggest of the stations, then you pick a station with a smaller audience that you can afford to talk to month-in and month-out. You’re trying to win a group of people over, one station at a time. Once you start seeing growth, then you can afford to add another radio station to your mix.

How many ads is good to have in rotation? You can air multiple ads that rotate at whatever percentage you wish. Most businesses don’t need to rotate different ads at the same time, but if you have a few different products to push… maybe you rotate 2 or 3 at once. But you also have to make sure you have enough ads airing each week in order for everyone to hear each of those ads enough times.

How many people can we reach? You can reach about 90% of the adults in the radio stations’ coverage areas if you’re advertising on enough stations. But that doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them. Remember when I said the average listener listens to 2.5 radio stations? Well, that means if you advertise on 2 radio stations, you’re theoretically advertising on about 5 stations. Cool, right? When it comes to actual numbers… there are some ratings out there on most stations. But the thing is… the number of people that are surveyed for radio station ratings is very low. Like, grossly low. So, the level of accuracy is low. So, one year a station can be listed as the #2 rock station, and the next it’s #8. How does that work when nothing else changed in the radio market in the last year? Radio rankings are hit or miss. There’s a disclaimer on those rankings that mentions something like, “use these ratings at your own risk”.

How many people are we reaching? It all depends on the popularity of the station. It could be anywhere between 5000 people to 40 or 50,000 people depending on the station… and the time frames in which you’re running those ads. If you’re only running ads during a morning “drive time”… you’re only reaching a fraction of that total audience.

What time of the day is best to run our ads? You want to reach the entire audience if you can afford it. And it costs less per ad to run ads all throughout the day. You can never predict when someone is listening. We all have different habits when it comes to radio listening. Some listen from 6 to 7:30 every morning. And then not again until 2pm or 5pm. Others listen periodically throughout the day, some all day long at work. Others only when in their cars. That’s why it’s a fool’s errand to only want to run ads during certain times of the day. You’ll pay more for the ads, and you’re hitting a smaller audience in the end.

Cost per ad during the week? This depends on the popularity of the radio station, the length of the ad, and the time frame they are airing. We’ll have a discussion about actual prices face-to-face.

But let me drop this little nugget on you… It doesn’t matter how much an ad costs if it doesn’t work. Even the cheapest ads are still expensive if you don’t see any results.

How many times will this run throughout the week and/or on weekends? My recommendation for “ad frequency” depends on your competition and your “share of marketing voice” within your industry. If you’re placing ads all throughout the day (let’s say 6am to 8pm), then you’ll need anywhere from 19 to 25 ads per week… at least 3 weeks per month if we’re trying to brand your business (make you the business people think of first in your category). But if your business category has a lot of competition advertising, then you need to adjust your ad load a bit higher to make sure your “share of voice” is high enough to make an impact on the radio listeners. You don’t want to be “drowned out” by your competitor’s ads.

So, those are my basic answers to those questions… but they aren’t comprehensive by any means. The questions asked in a face-to-face meeting and extra research on how much local marketing their competition is doing, gives much more insight into the radio scheduling tactics that would need to be implemented.

But you must know… the actual MESSAGE that we put into the ears of the radio listeners is what will ultimately determine the success of a radio advertising campaign. If the radio script that is written is just an afterthought… your radio marketing plan will fail. No doubt about it. But if enough time, research, and thought is put into the writing… “mountains” can be moved.

And… I’ll address those two questions I added to the list…… next time. 🙂

Thanks for reading. Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio / Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

What Successful Radio Advertisers Have To Say About Digital Advertising…

Oh, it warms my heart! Sometimes when I bring up our Digital Advertising options to clients, they say something like… “why would we do that? we love what radio does for us.”

Some specific comments to me have been:

“Do you think we need it?”

Where I will say, “I just wanted to make you aware of our capabilities, just in case YOU thought you needed it. When it’s time to add to your budget and continue with your growth, I would add another radio station before I added digital. And they said, “We love our radio.”

“Every time we start a new ad, I know about it the first day it airs, because someone mentions it to me. I don’t think digital advertising is where it’s at.”

I asked if I could give them a hug after hearing that one.

“I don’t remember one digital ad I’ve seen recently. But I could name at least a dozen different businesses who I’ve heard on the radio in the past week.”

I said, “That’s interesting because it’s so much easier to brand a business with sound than with sight only. There’s a whole lot of neurological mumbo jumbo proving it. I’ll send you a short, but interesting article on the power of sound.”

“Online ads are just in the way when I’m trying to read an article. It’s annoying.”

I told them that I agreed that online ads can be annoying, but we could do digital ads that would complement their radio and they would allow us to “touch” people in another way, and also link to their website. Which they replied, “We want people to call us, we don’t even care if they go to our website.” And I said, “Exactly. I’ll shut up now. I just wanted to see how you felt about it.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m ok with digital advertising, as long as we have a solid enough radio campaign to go along with it. The best kind of advertising for a local business is the kind the brands you in the brains of the people. So, when they have a need for what you do or sell, they think of YOU first.

For example, if someone needs their carpets cleaned, but they don’t have a regular carpet cleaner they trust… do you want them to type “carpet cleaners in Sioux Falls” into Google to see all of your competition? Even if you are ranking #1 on the first page… or even buying Google Ads… you’re still right there with a whole list of competitors. OR… would you rather they immediately think of YOU when they need their carpets cleaned and they simply type YOUR BUSINESS NAME into Google and contact you directly?

The power of good branding is so much more beneficial than obsessing about ranking the highest on Google.

BUT… a good SEO plan and website is also beneficial. What if a person didn’t quite think of your business immediately, and they typed “carpet cleaning” into Google? Do you think they’ll choose someone they’ve never heard of? Or will they see your name, remember the radio ads, and call you because they have a good feeling about you and they feel like they know what you’re about? Right. They’ll call the business they’ve heard of and they’re familiar with long before they call anyone they don’t recognize or know nothing about.

Did I just get way off track? Yes. But that’s the nature of marketing today. You have so many choices, and it’s confusing. Do you know what I think you need? I think you need a good marketing person in your corner that you can trust. Someone who will honestly answer the questions you have… and who has the “stuff” to actually make your advertising work.

Someone like that could quite possibly be priceless. Am I that person? Maybe I’m a good fit for you, maybe I’m not. But my goal is actually to BECOME PRICELESS to my clients. And that doesn’t happen by just slinging “Ad Packages” or cheap rates. It comes from being a good marketing resource, and it comes from making advertising work. Which is what I obsess about for my clients every day.

And it’s also why I have clients who say things like… “We love radio. I say we double-down on THAT.”

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

(image by: https://pixabay.com/)

Too Many Advertising Choices

I was talking with a long-term, very successful radio client the other day.  He was feeling overwhelmed with all the advertising choices today.  From TV, Radio, and Print… to all the digital platforms, and so many others.  Hundreds.  He said he gets at least 2 calls a day from an advertising salesperson!  Talk about make you want to pull your hair out!

Photos taken by Jason Davis of Starhaven Films.

He asked me when I was going to start my own marketing company, so he could let me handle it all.  I said it wasn’t happening this year… or is it?  : )

His marketing budget isn’t big enough to justify using an advertising agency.  But it IS big enough to where he’s trying to juggle multiple different ad mediums.  

But because I’ve had a blog for years… I’ve built websites… and I also create digital advertising campaigns… I can talk about all of this stuff with him comfortably.  Not just about Radio.  I put his mind at ease a bit when we agreed that Hibbu was probably a big fat waste of money for him (and a few other minor marketing investments he was flirting with).  And we discussed his TV ads, and how he needs to update the TV ad about 4 times a year in order for it to be more effective (his current ad has been running for over 12 months and has lost the “oomph” that it once had).  Ya gotta keep it fresh.   

We also discussed his radio budget.  He was concerned about fewer radio listeners.  I said radio listenership hasn’t gone down.  It’s been steady for decades.  And actually seems to be rising a bit.  I said, “I have faith in radio… or else I’d go work for some other advertising medium.”  I actually have the MOST faith in RADIO than anything else out there.  It’s where I know how to consistently reach a large number of people.  But not just “reach” them… reach them effectively with ads that don’t sound like ads.  Ads that get attention, persuade, and entertain.  Ads that cause people to feel really good about a local business.  And when they trust a business and like what that business stands for… guess what?  There’s a pretty BIG chance they’ll eventually become a customer of that business.

That’s what good radio does. 

There are so many “professionals” around every corner and dark alley… telling you different things.  All they do is add to the confusion. 

The person that you should really find… is the one who has your best interest at heart.  The one where “the sale” doesn’t matter – your RESULTS do.  Your happiness does. 

We shook hands and I went back to my office and wrote 2 good radio scripts to get produced.  These are ads that will strengthen this client’s ad strategy and strengthen the bond between his good, local business and our listeners.  

After all, good radio advertising is just making new friends with people before they even meet you.

So, when you feel like advertising is an emotional roller coaster… Happy, Frustrated, Angry, Confused, and then back through those emotions and many more… over and over… please, contact me, and let’s discuss your local marketing.  If you’re tired of TOO MANY CHOICES… and don’t know where to turn, you’re not alone.  Let’s talk.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

How To Allocate Your Advertising Budget 💲💲💲

Here’s the screen shot of the exact text I received from a client…

sioux falls advertising options

You can’t afford it.  You can’t afford to advertise everywhere. I know you’d love to… but there only a few advertisers in the Sioux Falls area who can afford to advertise properly on a lot of different advertising mediums.“So, now what… DU-ANE… you’re saying I can’t afford to advertise?!”No, that’s not what I’m saying.  I’m saying you waste big wads of money if you advertise in too many places, too thinly.What’s the reason you’re looking to advertise right now?  Here are a few potential reasons…You just got to the point where you want to GROW.  It’s because you’re hungry and you want a bigger slice of the local market…

  • OR you have more and more competition moving in year after year…
  • OR you’re new, you have competition, and you know you have to advertise if you’re going to have a chance at sticking around.

And if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.  So, you’re going to have to set a budget and figure out the best way to invest that budget.I’m assuming you’re already doing some social media. Or at least have a few accounts out there. The first thing that most will want to do is get their logo and contact info in front of a bunch of eyeballs.  So, spending some money on social media ads can get your business in front of some new people… but it’s very limited.  To make an impact, you’ll need mass media.So you say…“Let’s see how much billboards cost. Oooh, maybe those digital ones would be good.”“What about those free magazines?”“And postcards.”“Might as well find out how much TV ads cost, too.”“Let’s get some radio ads going.”“Online. Everyone’s online.”You get the point. You want to be EVERYWHERE. You want everyone to know about you.  But the thing with advertising is… if you spread your message to thinly in front of an audience… they won’t experience your ad often enough to get your message to sink into their brain.  So, you’re just sprinkling and dribbling your message here and there and everywhere, and most of the audience is probably not even seeing or hearing it.People aren’t just sitting around waiting to experience your ads… we’re busy doing things.  Your ads will hit some people and miss some people.  The next day, they’ll hit others and miss others.  Hopefully, the day after that, your ad hits the same people again.  Hit and Miss.  Happens all the time.  And when your spread your advertising around too thinly… it’s miss, miss, miss, hit, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, hit, miss, miss…..WHERE TO PUT THE HEFTY PORTION OF YOUR BUDGET“Yup. Here it comes, Duane.  This is where you say RADIO RADIO RADIO!”You’d be correct.  Or TV.  But TV has its challenges that radio doesn’t.  And vice-versa (for those who don’t know how to “do” radio advertising effectively).  But to be honest… I don’t see TV commercials very often at all because we TIVO the shows we like… and use a lot of Netflix.A good radio schedule takes care of the REPETITION part.  More “hits” when it’s done right.  To a big audience. Repetition is so important in this busy world. People aren’t sitting around waiting to experience your next ad. We’re busy. It’s easy to miss us. That’s why finding a big mass media like Radio… plus the repetition… 2 out of the 3 parts needed to persuade people to do business with you.You don’t have to be everywhere.  You can’t.  And if you try… you’ll be massively disappointed in your advertising efforts.  But most good radio stations HIT a lot of people.  What if you could talk to 20,000 people, week in and week out with whatever you wanted to talk to them about?  You don’t think that if you convinced even 10% of them to do business with you within the next 12 months… that wouldn’t impact your business in a good way?  What if you eventually convinced 30 or 40% of them to give you a shot?  Whoa.  But that only happens when you say good things to the same group of people over and over.  Not annoyingly… or too frequent… but consistently.  Consistently telling your story.  Consistently making friends with a big group of people.  There’s tremendous power in that!And what happens when you expand to another radio station or two?  Whoa… now you’re really reaching a LOT of people.  And you’re doing it with enough repetition.Great advertising campaigns throughout history all have the majority of their budget put into advertising that utilizes the sense of SOUND.  We remember things longer when sound is used versus only visual.  It’s how the brain is wired. Don’t get me wrong.  There are strengths and weaknesses for all media.  It’s just that “sound” advertising has a few more advantages over “sight only” media (online, billboard, bus bench, mags, etc.).  Here are a few of the best ones…It’s INTRUSIVE (you can’t close your ears)

  • It sticks in our memory longer (it’s science)
  • You can paint any picture you want with sound (set the stage with the spoken word, instead of being limited to props – the only limit is your imagination)
  • You can personalize an ad more with sound (if I show you a picture of any dog, it’s just a dog… if I say, “YOUR dog” in an ad, well… that’s emotional – and when emotion is injected into your ads, that’s when you’re getting close to a home run)
  • You can speak to people for 30 or 60 seconds!  Not many advertising mediums can do that.

With a consistent radio campaign week after week, you’ll hit the low-hanging fruit… but you’ll also start doing something far more beneficial.  If you have a good STRATEGY, you’ll start the branding process with those who don’t need you right now.  And when you “brand” your company well, people will remember you when they NEED YOU. And that’s when your advertising is kicked up into a gear that you did not know even existed.Cementing your company into the hearts of people is the goal.  And that’s what we do for our clients.  The time we put into planning your advertising campaign is mostly used on your ad strategy and writing your ads. Because if that’s not done right… it won’t matter where you advertise.Radio is alive and well.  93% listen every week.  I have a nice handful of wildly successful clients who put the majority of their ad budget into radio.  It’s their “go-to”.  So, let’s make it work for YOU, too! For example, here’s a text I received from a client who’s on a 48-week, annual radio plan…  radio advertising text from Sioux Falls client

It doesn’t hurt to meet, have a coffee, ask some questions, and talk about your business goals.  We’re not right for everyone… but we could just be exactly what you need.Duane Christensen  (Account Executive / Ad Writer / Marketing Helper)Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls605-940-7984duane.christensen@results-radio.com

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

 

 

How and Where to Schedule Your Radio Advertising | Stop! You are Doing It Wrong!

 

how to schedule radio ads

You want control.  You want the best bang for your buck.  And you think that radio listeners have the same habits that you do, or that more people listen to the radio at 7:45 AM than they do at 3:17 PM.  Because of that belief, you may think that you want your radio ads placed in specific times throughout the day.  And I’m here to tell you it’s a waste of money.  You’re going to be paying a lot more for those “specific time frames” when scheduling radio advertising… and it won’t put your ads in front of more people.  Possibly less.  

Don’t confuse how to place ads on television with how to place ads on radio.  It’s not the same. Don’t believe that everyone has the same radio listening habits. They’re listening all throughout the day when their unique schedule allows because they want to be entertained and feel good.

Radio listeners are habitual with their listening in most cases. Meaning, they tend to listen during the same times each day based on their work / life schedules.  But everybody’s daily lives are different.

Some people listen for 15 minutes on the way to work, 15 minutes on the way home, and any other time they’re in their car.  Others listen for 3 hours each morning to their favorite morning show… then, might switch to another station or two or three for the rest of the day.  Some are in LOVE with their radio station and would never change the dial – and listen for 6+ hours a day.  Some listen to satellite, pandora, music on their phone, spotify, AND local Radio.  Some listen to our stations online.

(But guess what? 90+% of adults listen to local radio every week.)

You can’t predict when someone is listening.  Just like you can’t predict what day someone is more likely to be ready to buy your product or service.  Sure, there may be some hours that might get a few more listeners here and there.  But we’re not talking about huge swings throughout the day.

If you want to advertise during specific times of the day, you’re only reaching those who habitually listen at THAT time of day.  You’re missing the others, who can’t tune in at that specific time.  A lot of others.  So, you’re shrinking your audience.

The same goes for the question, “Which days should I advertise?”

You may want to place your ads on Thursdays and Saturdays because those 2 days are your highest sales days.  Sure, if you’re a convenience store and have a sale on milk on those days.  But not if you’re selling something with a longer purchase cycle.

Usually, only a couple percent of people are in the market to buy what you sell at any given moment.  So, your best use of advertising is to advertise to those who will need you months from now.  It’s a MUCH bigger group of people.

The goal is to win people’s hearts long before they’re in the need for what you sell.  Then, when they NEED what you sell, they automatically make YOU one of their top choices because you made them feel good about your company.  Because you gave them confidence that their money will be well spent.

And that didn’t happen because of the Radio Ad you placed between the Noon and 1pm hour on Friday.  It’s because of the ads they heard at all times of the day for the past 3 to 6 months!

I don’t care if they came to your store and said I heard your latest radio ad.  They also heard the last 5 or 6 ads you aired that led them to this moment of choosing YOU.  You won their hearts and trust with multiple ads and stories.  Not just ONE.

They may have also seen an online ad, newspaper ad, or Facebook post, and told you THAT is why they came in your store.  But they didn’t tell you about the dozen radio ads that were subtly telling them why YOU would treat them right and be their friend in the business.

They may have decided to even Google your business name because they heard about you and wanted to know more.  So, they went to your website and saw that you were legit and seemed like a worthy local business they could trust.  And when you asked them how they heard about you, they say they “Googled you” or “visited your website”. But they didn’t tell you about your Radio Ads they had been consciously or subconsciously hearing for the past 17 weeks.

Don’t try to predict when someone will be listening to the radio or when they will be ready to buy.  Just place your ads all throughout the day, every day, every week, and they will remember you when they need you. That is IF… if if if if… you’ve been telling them about yourself in ways that invoke trust and a good feeling about your business – not just a laundry list of what you do or by telling them you have the best products and service.

Your ads need to entertain and persuade at the same time.  It’s not easy to do.  But when you DO… good things happen.

The SECRET SAUCE is in the ADS themselves.  Not the times that you place your ad.  You want an ad schedule that reaches people all throughout the day at all different times.  THEN… you’re reaching the entire audience – not just a little sliver.  THEN… you can worry about more important things… like making sure your advertising message doesn’t go in one ear and out the other without making an impact with that listener.

Radio is the ultimate social media.  People listen to learn about what’s going on in their community and be entertained.  So, do the same in your radio ads (teach them and entertain them), and they won’t even feel like “ads” to the listeners.  THAT is when you WIN.

Give me a call and let’s discuss how to finally make your advertising budget start working for you.  Can’t wait to meet you and learn about your business.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio-Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising - Duane ChristensenRadio stations in sioux falls

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

Slow Down And Do It Right

radio advertising sioux falls

 

When you decide to advertise… you want to see something happen FAST!

But I’m here to tell you to “Calm down, bro.”  When you “do advertising” the right way, your results will come slower than you want them to. And then in 12 months, you’ll be thinking, “Holy crap! This is pretty dang awesome!”

Since, I’m an amateur farmer who helps his old man out with the crops every Spring and Fall… let me put it to you in terms of farming. When you start advertising on the radio, your ad message is a seed.

You can have low-grade seeds that will yield very little, skip the fertilizer, ignore the weeds, and you won’t make any money. Especially, if you’re in a hurry and want to harvest after only having your seed in the ground for 3 weeks.  This is representative of not putting the right effort into your advertising messages and not giving your advertising plan enough time to mature in the minds of consumers.

The alternative is to have a high-yield potential seed, prepare your soil with the right nutrients, make sure the weeds stay away, and then harvest after the seed has grown and matured.  This is representative of a radio campaign that is developed properly. One that cares about the message that is created and one that allows enough time for those ad messages to really sink in to consumers’ minds.

The best things in life come with time.  Just like a good harvest.

Each radio ad is a seed that’s getting planted in a mind. Will someone drop what they’re doing and buy from you the first time they hear your ad?  Of course not.  But what if you keep saying really great things that they care about? Consistently. Again and again. What if you start getting people to trust you because of the stories, helpful information, and entertainment you keep sharing in your radio ads? Over and over. Consistently. Over time.  Hmmmm?

Those seeds begin to take root and grow.  Those ads start to do their job. They’re sinking in.  They’re sticking in brains.  Then what?

Then, over time… as radio listeners live their lives… they’ll eventually need what you sell. And who do you think they’ll think of when they need the product or service you sell? Who do you think that they’ll feel best about? Who do you feel they will have the most confidence in ? ? ? ? ?

YOU.  Your business.  Your people.  They’ve come to trust you before they’ve even met you because you were being patient with them. You were educating them slowly and effectively about why they should do business with you instead of someone else. But you didn’t ever “hard sell” them.  You went through the process of making friends with them through your radio ads that did NOT sound like typical radio ads.

Your seeds were the good ones.  And you watered and fertilized.  And nurtured those seeds.  You had patience.  You slowed down, gave your advertising campaign some real thought before you started it, then you let it go to work.  Nature ran its course and gave you a harvest that you never thought possible.

Slow down… and do advertising right.  It takes a lot of thought and planning at the beginning.  When you set a marketing budget… and focus that budget on a big group of people (a couple radio stations is a great start!), then that big group of people will start to be won over by your sincere advertising messages.

Warning: Don’t scatter your seeds to the wind.  Don’t glitter-blast them into the atmosphere and hope that the marketing gods catch them and turn them into Thousand-Dollar Bills.  That’s the “spray and pray” method.  It doesn’t work.  If you want the full-blown explanation of WHY that doesn’t work, give me a call.

RADIO is one of the most fertile soils you can find to plant your seeds. The power of sound is amazing when it comes to branding.  We can recite the lyrics to songs we never intended to remember.  We can remember tons of details when those details are wrapped into a good story.

Sound.  Radio.  Good soil.

Are you ready to plant some seeds for one heck of a nice harvest, year after year?

Let’s talk about that.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Radio Sales

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