How Much Do You Advertise?

How much do you advertise?  How much SHOULD you advertise?

How do you know if you’re investing too much or too little into some kind of

Advertising formula
Is there an easy formula?
Image courtesy of “khunaspix” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

advertising or marketing?

Here’s the “simple” way to determine a general sense of “how much” you need to do….

How much COMPETITION do you have?  A little?  Then, you don’t have to advertise as much.  A lot?  Good luck.  You better have something to say that differentiates you from the competition or give people a reason to choose you instead of all the other businesses that seem exactly like you.

How much do you want to grow and how fast?  If it’s a lot… in a short period of time, then you better pony up some cash.

How complicated is your product or service?  Does “your target” easily understand what you’re offering?  Or are you going to have to really SELL them on it?  The more complicated the message (your advertising), then you’ll need a more complicated ad.  You’ll need a longer ad usually.  You’ll need to compare what you do to something else that is more easily understandable.  Compare what you do to something that almost everyone “gets”.  Or give us a scenario of why and when someone might need what you offer.  You could use a sentence in your advertising like, “It’s like _______, only faster.”   OR “Do you know how when you _______ and _______ and you’re thinking OMG I’m going to pull my hair out…well, we fix that.  We make that go away forever.”  (get my point?)

If you have a niche that nobody else is promoting, but is desirable to your target, then you don’t have to have a very complicated message.  Just get attention with a good headline and be crystal clear with your message.  Don’t overload your ad with things you don’t need.  Don’t force any humor into your ad if you don’t need to.

Hey… if you don’t have much competition… congratulations!  Then, all you have to do is let enough people know that you’re open for business and then serve those customers extremely well so they tell others and so they come back again and again.

BUT… I’m thinking you might have more competition than you think you do.  It’s just not “traditional” competition or someone that’s in your precise type of business.  For example, if there are no INDOOR go-cart tracks in your market, you may think you’ll have no competition if you open one.  (Great idea!  Especially, in a place where winters get stupidly cold.)  But during the summer, you’ll have some other competition – a few other tracks.  You’ll get all of the winter entertainment seekers though, right?  Not so fast.  That word “entertainment” is the key to focus on here…

We only have so much money we can spend on “entertainment”.  You might think it’s going to be a perfect weekend for everyone to come out and hand over their cash…but that weekend might just be the opening of the latest Halo movie, stupid humor comedy, or the next sweet ass Star Wars film.  You’re competing with every other “entertainment” type of business, not just go-cart tracks.  Movie theaters, trampoline places, sprint car tracks, local sporting events, ski bumps, etc.

And if you’re a restaurant that serves the same kind and caliber of food as 35 other restaurants in a 3-mile radius, good luck.  Then, you for SURE need to keep advertising consistently.  Part of advertising for restaurants is to remind us that you’re there and that you’re an option.  Because we’re getting bombarded with offers and coupons and half-price deals every day.  By the way… why not just advertise why you’re good and how you’re good and tell us a good story along the way so we remember you?  Like on the radio.  Then, you won’t have to give away all your profits with coupons.  Then, when you attract the new customers, you better be able to back up what you’re saying in your ads.

Are you a MATTRESS STORE?  Oh Mama.  Did you know that JCPenney sells mattresses?  Dude.  If you’re a “middle man” mattress store or a furniture store that sells mattresses… you’re competing on price and you probably offer every crappy mattress out there. And maybe a couple decent ones, but you’re overcharging everyone grossly. Good luck.

I think the only chance you have is if you’re a mattress company that builds your own. Someone who has a proprietary “mattress formula”… and you actually care about your customers. You have to care that you’re producing a good product… and you have to NOT mark it up 1000%.  THEN, you’ll have a shot in this crazy Sioux Falls mattress market.

BECAUSE YOU HAVE SO MUCH COMPETITION… Your mattress advertising will have to push the limits.  Both your Ad Budget and your Ad Content has to push their limits. You’ll have to be consistent with your radio ad schedule and your ads will have to cut through the mattress advertising clutter and “puffery”.  They’ll have to demand attention.  But you’ll have to make a lot of friends with your ads.  Cause people to fall in love with your fresh approach to helping people sleep better.

Assess your complete market situation before you decide to pump any money into something.  You could be spending more than you need to… or not nearly enough to make an impact.

Keep the “fat” out of your ads!  Don’t fill me full of clichés and fluff and B.S.  Give me some substance.  Entertain me a little.  Keep me listening.  Wow me.  Because I have plenty of other crap to do.  It won’t take much for me to ignore every ounce of your wimpy and gutless advertising.  There’s an imaginary line you shouldn’t cross with how “creative” or “weird” or “out there” your ads are.  But the best performing ads will go right up to that line and flirt with it for a bit.

The more “beefy” and full of flavor your ads are… means THEY WORK BETTER.  Which means you get more big bang for you buck than the average, crappy ad.

For a general “ballpark” local advertising budget, take a percentage of your revenues (or your next year’s revenue goal if you’re looking to grow even more), like 5 to 12% depending on your competition and your profit margins… and stick to it.  Adjust it annually based on how things are going overall.  Of course there are many factors to consider – let me know if you want to talk “budget” or “cost of exposure” in more detail.  Because maybe you’re a retail store that would benefit a lot more by moving to a higher-visibility area instead of putting the extra money into advertising.  Maybe you wouldn’t.

Ok, maybe there’s not anything “simple” to figuring out how much to advertise.  But guess what?  There is NO EASY BAKE FORMULA that lets you off the hook of actually learning a little bit about this (or finding the right person to HELP you think it through).  You WISH there was a formula!  You and every other business owner.  Sorry Charlie.  Hey… you can always talk to me.  I’m the guy who has your best interest at heart and who knows how to make advertising work.  And I’ll let you know what kinds of things to avoid overpaying for… or avoid completely.

How much should you advertise?  Not too much.  Not too little.   Let’s find your sweet spot.  We can do that by assessing your competition, their advertising, their ad message, and their ad frequency… and then compare that to yours.

 

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

605-940-7984

 

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I Really Suck at Advertising and Marketing, Please Help!

I was trying to think of what you might Google if you wanted to learn how to improve your local marketing efforts.

  • “Better advertising”
  • “Where should I advertise?”
  • “Should I Advertise Online?”
  • “I really suck at marketing please help”
  • “Advertising salespeople are annoying can I do it myself?”
  • “I’m so much better than my competition why are people so stupid?”

But it’s kind of hard to know what your situation is. Maybe you already advertise on the radio. Maybe you’re already boosting a few Facebook posts here and there.

Let’s talk about advertising choices. There are too many of them. You can’t do everything. Don’t even try.

Here’s the truth about choosing an advertising medium or direction…

Most people (but not you, of course), are NOT fascinated by what actually WORKS… they’re fascinated by what is NEW. Right? Don’t you have this feeling that you’re missing out on something if you don’t give the new, shiny thing a shot?

I’ve said this before…

When you buy advertising, all you’re doing is renting an audience to “reach”.  Different ways to reach people change all the time. But what HASN’T changed is PEOPLE. Making advertising WORK, is all about PEOPLE, not about the new ways to reach them.

In order to be successful, all advertising must do 3 things:

  1. Impact (with people)
  2. Communicate (with people)
  3. Persuade (people)

Bill Bernbach impact communicate persuade

Let’s tackle the “Impact” part of that. The great marketing dude, Bill Bernbach says, “90% of ads do not get noticed.” What?!!! Are you crazy?!!! How is that possible?!!!

Actually, I would agree with that estimate. That statistic comes from a LACK OF IMPACT. Do you want a “Plain Jane” ad that only talks about boring facts of what you sell or what you do?

It will be ignored. You’ll be part of that 90%. Just by standing out (yet still relevant), you’re far ahead of your competition.

Stop being afraid to stand out. You won’t get warts. Your house won’t get egged. 

You won’t die.

What do you think happens when your ads get noticed and they’re part of that 10% group?

Hey, I get it. You’re afraid of offending people. There are certain things that I hold back from sharing on social media because I don’t want people to think I’m a flippin’ weirdo or something.

But hey… I’m weird sometimes. My wife loves it. My daughter loves it. If it’s not good enough for anyone else, maybe I shouldn’t care. I do and I don’t. It’s kind of sad that I’m 41 years old, and I don’t think I’ve totally come out of my shell.

I’m working on that though! And so should you!

Especially with your advertising. Stop insisting on blending in. It’s costing you a lot of money – and not making you any.

If you really suck at advertising and marketing your business, then we need to talk. The first thing to do is not make it so difficult and intimidating. All you’re trying to do is become friends with new potential customers. Get them to like and trust you. That starts with authenticity. There are people just like you who would love to buy your product or service. Let them know who you are, what you’re all about, and why you do the things you do. They’ll love you for it. And the best way to do that is through stories, humor, and transparency.

Don’t try to disguise bullshit in advertising with long words or extra words that aren’t needed. We have built-in bullshit detectors in our brains. All of us. So, don’t attempt to get us to love the smell of yours.

Be authentic and create ads with IMPACT! Remember… you won’t die.

Are you ready to advertise though? Is everything up to par within your business? How’s your customer service? How’s your product? Are your current customers happy with you? Here’s another quote from Bill Bernbach…

A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it’s bad.

So, just make sure you’re ready for a great advertising campaign. When you are… let’s get together and discuss the possibilities!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

I work for Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls. Been pounding away here at Results Radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota since 1998. Love helping good, local businesses grow.

radio advertising sioux falls

Learning the Hard Way

We’ve all learned lessons the hard way, right?  But we’re better people for it.  It makes that lesson sink in just a little bit farther.  Let me share a quick story about how it seemed like “back to school” for me recently.

radio advertising sioux falls

It was “back to school” for me recently. Image by “digitalart” / freedigitalphotos.net

I had a client who I began a “radio relationship” with late last year.  Everything seemed to be going fine… and out of left field I get a call from them saying that they are canceling their radio advertising… and going with some “other” radio people just to try it out.

They weren’t firing me… it was just a temporary thing they said.  They were curious.  They also had multiple people trying to make marketing decisions, which didn’t help.  But that’s not my point here.

My point is that I screwed up somewhere.  Me.  I didn’t blame anyone.  I didn’t get upset.  (please don’t get all mad and whiny if someone decides to not do business with you – if you do, you just guarantee that they’ll never ever come back to you – be the bigger person)

It had to be something that I could have avoided, right?

I dug a bit deeper.  I waited a couple days and then called and asked, “So, what really was the reason you’re taking a detour from what you were doing?”

They told me that the “other radio people” presented them with a really creative and funny ad that they couldn’t pass up.

Oh, shit.  The other guys.  Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.

How did this happen?!

My lesson here is that I forgot to tell them that they were going to be called on by every advertising platform in town when they started advertising aggressively on the radio with me.

I forgot to tell them that they’re going to be swooned over and given the world because people will heavily desire their business.

No, let me re-phrase that, I should have told them that their phones would ring off the hook with desperate advertising people begging for their business, showering them with empty promises.

My lesson is that I didn’t get face-to-face with them enough.  Why?  Because they were busy.  They are mile-a-minute type of people.  So, I didn’t want to bug them too much.  But I could have got around that.  I could have tried harder.  Heck, everyone has to eat, right?  I should have bought them a few lunches here and there.

My other lesson is that I should have continued to educate them on what a good radio ad really consists of.  I was just assuming that they loved me enough to stick with me no matter what.  I assumed.  Whoops.  Dumbass.

But these lessons help me.  They make me better all around.  Hard lessons teach everyone (sometimes painfully) how to avoid similar situations in the future.  So, don’t get down or feel beat up.  Get back on your horse and do it better.

Now, I’m working harder to get the business back.  I’m making it a challenge to get the business back.  And when I do… I’ll make sure I don’t take it for granted.

Maybe you’ve neglected your own customers here and there without realizing it.  It’s not that you want to.  Sometimes we’re just so busy.  Sometimes we have things going on in our lives in which the word “monkey wrench” isn’t even close to describing the chaos we’ve been through.  It’s ok.  Sometimes you just have to steer the ship back on course!  : )

Have a groovy day!

-Duane

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

radio sales marketing

Are Your Radio Ads “Skippable”?

When someone hears your radio ad… what do you think they do? Are they interested, entertained, or intrigued? Or are they annoyed, bored, or oblivious? There’s a great novelist and screenwriter, named Elmore Leonard, who has a quote that sums up how your radio ads need to be written. He said, “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”

Radio Advertising for Sioux Falls

In 1972, Elmore read The Friends of Eddie Coyle by the late George V. Higgins. It inspired him to “loosen up” and not be as rigid, to get into scenes quicker; Fifty-Two Pickup, (1974) Swag, (1976) and Unknown Man No. 89 (1977) remain the essential trilogy of the Elmore Leonard sound, the setting no longer the old west, but urban Detroit.
It’s never a bad idea to “loosen up” with your radio ads.

Dude. That’s all you have to do.

The WORDS are THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR ADVERTISING EFFORTS.

But unfortunately, most advertising you see or hear includes many “skippable” words within them. Don’t let it be yours.

How do you keep an ad from being skipped over? You have to put in the work up front. You have to do the research. You need to sit and think (yes, thinking is a lost art form – but if you get good at it, you can write your own paycheck). You have to get into the head of the people who want or need your product or service. What’s going through their mind? What do they care about? (Hint: It’s usually not how long you’ve been in business)

  • People want solutions to their problems
  • They want to buy from someone they can trust
  • They like to be entertained

And please, SKIP THE BORING AND IRRELEVANT STUFF.

So, remember those things when you’re putting your next radio ad together. If you think that radio ads are just the name of the business, a laundry list of what that business does, and the phone number 5 times, you’re going to be really upset with the lack of results you get.

“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”   -Elmore Leonard

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

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

radio advertising sioux falls

Radio Advertising in Sioux Falls – Who Can You Trust?

So… I was searching on Google the other day. And I typed in “radio advertising in sioux falls”.

Son of a biscuit!!! I wasn’t at the top anymore. Who was? A radio station across town. Hey, good for them. They’re on top of page 1 for those search terms. Now… one thing I’m wondering is how they did it. I’ll get over it. But I’m going to see if I can oust them off that spot.

BUT let’s talk about what I found on that “radio advertising in sioux falls” page…

  • A graph
  • Some statistics
  • And some check boxes so you can tell them who “your target” is

Pretty sweet.

Now, here I am thinking to myself, “Don’t be a poopy pants. Let it go.”

Ok. I will. Kind of.

The thing I want people to understand about Google searches is that the “internal Google gears and sprockets” are always changing. The only thing you can do is provide great content and VALUE to consumers on your website. When you do, Google will reward you.

radio advertising sioux falls

Image courtesy of “sippakorn” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

BUT BUT BUT… if you look at all the content on this blog, and then you look at the content of that other page, you’ll see that I have about a billion times more content and VALUE available. And the graph, statistics, and demographic stuff on that page really has very little to do with whether or not your advertising will actually WORK!!!!!!

Calm down. Breathe.  Ok.  : )

I could have dropped in rank only because I’m just a FREE wordpress blog and they’re an actual website. So, maybe I’ll convert this bad boy to a legit site and see what happens.

OR, if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Can you see what the difference might be if you advertised somewhere else? I hope so. If not, then I have some more work to do. But I bet you’ll really notice the difference when we meet face-to-face.

I can’t wait to talk to you about your business.  Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

SIOUX FALLS RADIO ADVERTISING blog

(workin’ my tail off at Results Radio Townsquare Media)

5/20/15 UPDATE – I think I found something to remedy my 2nd place ranking. Now… I’m going to see how fast I can overtake the top spot. It’s all an experiment, right?  : )

9/14/15 UPDATE – I re-took over the top spot in June. I love to learn about this stuff!  : )

power of sound and radio advertising

The Power of Sound by DC

The Power of Sound Radio advertising has the potential to OBLITERATE the local advertising medium competition.  Part of that reason is because of the power of sound.  Sound vs. Visual.  Which is better?  Which should you choose? You’ve heard that, right?  Or thought it? “I have a visual product.  Therefore it makes absolutely perfect and logical sense to use a visual advertising medium.” Geez, it would sure be nice if advertising worked that way.  Simple.  Straightforward.  A step-by-step formula for advertising success… Sorry.  It doesn’t work that way.

Have you ever read a great article? You didn’t read the whole thing because of a picture.

Has a song ever changed your mood?

Has anyone’s words ever hurt you?

Something to think about.

My clients are getting great results because of the words we’re using in the ads… the stories we tell… and the people used to deliver that message. It’s not about a picture. It’s about creating pictures in people’s minds… with words.

SIOUX FALLS RADIO ADVERTISING blog

Duane Christensen

(Weirdo at Results Radio Townsquare Media)

radio ads

Radio Advertising Ridiculousness

Roy Williams recently wrote a Monday Morning Memo that said…

“To accomplish the miraculous

you must attempt the ridiculous.

Before you attempt the ridiculous

radio ads

This image is only to remind you forgetful people that Valentine’s is in a few days. You at least should get a card. Better yet, write one yourself.
Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

you must announce it to the world.

If you don’t have the courage to announce it,
you must at least whisper it in the dark.
Because it must be spoken.
You’ve got to hear yourself say it.
And then you’ve got to take action.

Are you sufficiently ridiculous to do this?”

This was taken directly from his memo.  Click here to read the whole thing.  I forwarded that memo on to a few people whom I know are just a little bit crazy and just a little bit genius.  And I told them that I admired them for that… and I that hope to be those things some day.

There is no way in hell that I will ever make a real difference to anyone if I decide to “play it safe” every time and not be a little bit crazy.  Whether I’m writing a blog or writing a radio ad, I better not ever sell out.  I better not ever be someone who I’m not.  I’ve made it this far and have become somewhat successful because I tend to move to the beat of a different drum.  And that’s OK, right?  If it’s not.  I’ll move along.

Did you hear what Sam Smith said at the Grammys last night?  He said,

“Before I made this record I was doing everything to try and get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”

Did you catch that?  Only when he started to be himself

And it’s a good thing that the Brits only care about “the voice”… unlike America where all the singers have to be pretty.  No, Sam Smith is not a super model.  He’s a great singer.  He’s a human being.  And he figured out that all he had to do was be himself.

Why is this post called Radio Advertising Ridiculousness?  Well, it started out about Roy Williams’ Monday Morning Memo called Are You Sufficiently Ridiculous.  But it turned into a bit of ridiculousness from me.  I guess if I’m not being different (in a pretty big way) from the other 200 advertising “executives” or salespeople in my town, I’m not going to be happy.  I’m not going to be as successful as I want to be.

I think I hold back.

I think I care what people think too much.

On the other hand, I’m not a complete “follower”.  And I think that scares people in power.  I think that makes them nervous.  And for what?  Life is too frickin’ short ain’t it?

So, when you want advertising that is going to be different enough from the other 5000 advertising messages being HURLED at people EVERY SINGLE DAY… to actually make an impact… then I’d like to sit down and chat with you. 

Would you like to forge ahead of your competition?  Would you like to be the pioneer who isn’t afraid to get the attention needed to grow your business?  Hey… me too.

Radio advertising doesn’t have to be ridiculous… you just need your radio ad writer to be!

Duane Christensen

SIOUX FALLS RADIO ADVERTISING blog

(Head pencil sharpener at Results Radio Townsquare Media)

Radio Advertising in Sioux Falls

New Discovery! Thinner, Sexier, Smarter in just 40 Days. Naturally!

Radio Advertising in Sioux Falls

Image courtesy of “stockimages” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did I make you look?  Did I make you wonder, “What the schnizzit?”

Your radio ad needs a good headline.  If you don’t give it one…nobody will hear the rest of the ad.  But to the novice radio ad copy writer, or to the advertiser, you want to start your radio ad like this…

“ABC Horseshoeing has been in business since 1870.  They can handle all of your horseshoeing needs…”

I’m not saying the title of my blog post is a great headline, but it’s to make a point.  The headline is about YOU.  It’s telling YOU how YOU could possibly benefit.  It’s not about a company or a product.

Because you don’t know any better, you’ll feel like you have to put your business name up front and center.  After all… you’re paying for the advertising… why wouldn’t you put your business name right at the beginning and then another 19 times throughout the ad!  But wait.  Stop.  Don’t do it.  Why?

What does a radio listener (or any consumer for that matter) truly care about?  Do they care about you, the business owner?  Do they care that you want to make more money?  Ummm, no.  They couldn’t care less.  They have other shit to worry about.  They have a life.  And they’re trying to get ahead.  They’re worried about surviving and thriving.  They’re definitely not worried about you and your business.

Not to be harsh… but it’s the truth.  And by understanding the TRUTH and understanding a little bit about why people do the things they do, you’ll be able to start advertising to your prospects in a much more effective manner.

So, start your radio ad headline with a statement or a question that engages the radio listener.  Say something about THEM.  Say something that doesn’t automatically alert their brain to the fact that they’re listening to a radio ad.  You should be informing people about things they didn’t know about.  Teach them something.  Make them go, “Hmmm, I didn’t know that.”  Now, you’re setting yourself up as a potential “expert” in their minds.

You should also be entertaining a radio listener.  They’re listening to the radio for entertainment.  So, if you want to keep them engaged, then you better add some drama, humor, fun, etc. into your radio commercial.  Another great way to entertain is by storytelling.  We all love stories.  As long as it’s actually interesting and it doesn’t feel like you’re force-feeding us a story.  It needs to be relevant.

Whatever your headline, story, or humor in your radio ad… it better be guiding a listener all the way through the ad to a defining “aha” moment at the end.  Which is where the advertiser finally becomes the star or the hero.  You’re a problem solver.  So, bring up a problem… and then be the solution.  A better solution than your competition.

Another great way to critique your radio ad is to ask “So what?” to yourself after every line you read.  Is it a valuable phrase?  Or is it a cliché piece of garbage that will give the radio listener’s brain permission to stop listening to the ad you’re paying for?

Before you even consider mentioning your business name in your radio ad… you need to provide VALUE first.  To make your radio advertising more effective, you must prove to the listener that they could possibly benefit by listening to your ad.  Or entertain them while you weave your way unpredictably towards the defining “hero” moment where YOUR BUSINESS is the one who can either improve someone’s life or solve a problem for them.

To improve your lackluster advertising:

It’s NOT about who can shout the loudest.  

It’s the opposite.

It’s who can SEDUCE and PERSUADE… the deepest.  

And that all starts with a headline that is NOT about the advertiser.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

SIOUX FALLS RADIO ADVERTISING blog

Sioux Falls Marketing

You have tons of Sioux Falls marketing options.

Marketing Sioux Falls

Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Marketing options in Sioux Falls can make your head spin.  It’s daunting.  But let’s define marketing in regards to trying to attract more customers or increase sales.  Marketing… is anything you do inside or outside your business in an attempt to make a buck.  That could mean flyers on windshields, sandwich boards, signage in your store, improving your online presence, advertising on the radio, joining a networking group, etc.

Advertising is something you pay for where you’re “renting” an audience.  Radio has an audience.  TV has an audience.  Billboards have an audience (kind of – people don’t “choose” to use billboards – they’re just kind of in the way).  The Internet has an audience.  Advertising is a part of your marketing.

Back to marketing in Sioux Falls.  Consider your competition in town.  Are you one among many?  Or are you light on competitors?  That will be a big factor in how intensely you need to market or how much you need to invest in your marketing.

The biggest problem I see is that there are “marketing people” and “marketing firms” who don’t have a lot of experience in helping people improve their overall marketing efforts.  They just have their own toolbox to sell which may or may not be a bit of good for anyone.  They’ve just been told by their bosses to go sell their services.  Then, the creative people will create some fancy graphics.  Or the production department will put together some ads.

Do you see the problem?  There is a huge gap in there that needs to be filled with thinking, communication, research, and then finally a smart marketing STRATEGY for the business.  Because without that…you’re not doing the most you can with your marketing budget.  You might be throwing a lot of dollars in the dumpster, so to speak.

Marketing in Sioux Falls can be fun!

I’m serious!  Once we put a great plan together for you…and hammer out a good strategy for you and a first set of ads for the first few months…then, all we have to do is keep our ear to the ground.  You’ll start seeing new faces, consistently.  You’ll talk to more people.  Then, I just keep writing more ads and tweaking the overall strategy.  After a year, you could be truly amazed at how your business has changed.

Part of the fun will be that you will NOT have to constantly worry about where your next customer will come from.  I’ll be on the side working for you.  I’ll be doing my own research for you.  You’ll have a new radio ad at least once a month.  And that’s important because if you run the same ad more than that…the effectiveness of that ad drops off sharply.  You have a lot to tell the public.  So, we’ll keep your ads fresh, persuasive, and entertaining.

I like to help businesses see the bigger picture.  Marketing in Sioux Falls is not about trying this and trying that.  It’s about figuring out the best way to position yourself among your competitors.  Marketing is a process.  It’s not an inconsistent series of events that may or may not work.  Sioux Falls is still a nice size where word can travel pretty fast.  We can help you become a household name in town.  If you’re interested in talking, just give me a shout.

Not only Sioux Falls – you’ll also be marketing to the surrounding rural area.

This isn’t like a direct mail campaign to a few Sioux Falls zip codes.  You’ll be reaching an entire area.  Not just portions.  You won’t have to hope and pray that your direct marketing is getting to the exact people who need your service at this precise moment.  You’ll be getting your business name and what you stand for into the brains of the public, and we’ll make sure the ads are sticky enough so they remember you.  This is mass media.  You’ll be reaching a ton of people.  And here’s why that’s GOOD and why you do NOT have to “target” so narrowly with your advertising…

Everyone is an “influencer” in some way.  Even if your exact perfect potential customer doesn’t hear your ad… how many people are in that person’s “circle”?  People talk.  People chat about anything and everything.  And if we feel we can help a friend or family member out by mentioning a business we heard about…we will.  Decisions aren’t made in a vacuum.  If a husband doesn’t hear the plumbing ad…the wife still could have.  And the wife is sleeping with the husband.  They talk.  So, when there’s a plumbing issue, guess what happens?  They talk about who to contact.

When I said you don’t have to target so narrowly…that’s not entirely true.  We’ll target the right people (profitable potential new customers) with the message we communicate in your ads.  We target through the message…not exclusively through the avenue in which you advertise. Which is much more effective.

Advertising isn’t like a vending machine.  You can’t just put in money and automatically get something in return.  We need to actually sit down and think about this for a moment before you pull the trigger with your checkbook.  I won’t let you advertise with me until we know we’ve created something with the potential to do great things.

I’ll produce a campaign for you that will make a difference.  And if I don’t think that’s possible…I’ll tell you.

When we start working together, I’ll make your Sioux Falls marketing not seem so confusing and help you wade through your endless marketing and advertising options.  I’m not saying radio is the best of the best when it comes to local advertising.  But I am saying that I’ve learned quite a lot in the past many years I’ve been doing this, and I’ve seen my clients grow consistently year after year.  I know that radio advertising can make great things happen.  I know businesses who are “famous” in Sioux Falls and they put 85 to 90% of their marketing budget into radio at Results Radio.  We do it different here.  I do it different.  I care about your results.  I care that what we’re doing with your investment is giving you a return that will cause you to LOVE your radio advertising.

I’ll stop now.  I get a little passionate about this stuff.  : )

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

(Chief paper clip organizer at Results Radio Townsquare Media)

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

P.S. Let me know if you’d like to sit down and discuss your options. I’m not the “salesy” type. Just the “nice, helpful guy” type. Marketing in Sioux Falls doesn’t have to be so scary, confusing, frustrating, etc.