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

I’m Seeing This Mistake – A Lot!

Digital Advertising

“You HAVE to advertise on the Internet.”

We spend a lot of time online.  We also ignore the crap out of 99.9% of ads we see on the internet.  Tell me I’m wrong.

I’m assuming you might be told that “You have to TARGET TARGET TARGET the right person.  You need to figure out who your best customers are and then target those same demographics and behaviors with a laser-scoped rifle.”

I’m talking about “Display Advertising” online.  The images with text on them.  How many do you ignore in a day?  How many do you EVER click on?

How about Pay Per Click advertising?  Like Google Adwords? (which is changing to just “Google Ads” I guess).  I actually think there is some value with Google PPC ads for the right type of product or service.  It’s easy to test, too, without spending a fortune.  Then, when you find something that works, you can increase your budget a bit or your territory.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they bomb. But it’s all about the product or service you’re advertising and the wording you use in the ad.  If you have questions about using Google Ads… give me a shout and we can discuss.

Ok, the same is probably true for display advertising… but there are local businesses spending thousands upon thousands each month on display advertising.  Personally, I bet their ROI doesn’t even pay for the ads.  Sure, they see that they’re getting ad impressions or clicks… but most aren’t measuring things correctly to know if it’s actually bringing them new business. Because that’s what matters, right?

Bottom line… you’re spending too much on display advertising.

Guess what?  I actually SELL display advertising once in a while.  Townsquare Media is really good at it.  Like REALLY good.  So, if I find the right client with the right product / service / offer… then I might recommend it… because I know that Townsquare will give them more bang for their buck than any other digital ad agency that I know about.

BUT BUT BUT… if I have the choice of adding $1500 to $2500 per month onto either 1) more radio stations or 2) display ads………………….. I’m picking the extra radio station(s) every time.  EVERY. TIME.

WHY, you say?  Because given the choice of playing an engaging and entertaining radio commercial to 100,000 people per week versus flashing an internet display ad to 100,000 people, which one do you think has more impact?  Which one do you think is more memorable?  And if you’re not thinking about the same kind of radio ads that I’m thinking about, then click HERE to play a few samples.

The HUGE NET you cast with a great radio marketing campaign will target 3 groups of people: 

  1. The teeny-tiny group that needs your product or service now (which is what most online, print, and “sale” advertising ONLY targets)
  2. The considerably bigger group who doesn’t need you now, but will need your product or service within 1 to 12 months. And you can start telling them why you frickin’ rock, and how you’ll be the best damn choice for them when they DO need you (while most of your competitors are only advertising to the teeny-tiny group of low-hanging fruit).
  3. The much much bigger group of people who have no intention or inkling of using your product or service within the next year or two or three.  Your engaging and entertaining radio campaign will start forming a relationship with these people. They’ll feel like they know you before they even meet you! They’ll come to TRUST you before they even meet you (if the ads are done right)!  And what happens then? When they actually NEED the product or service you sell… who do you think they THINK OF FIRST?  Yup.  You.

Recent Radio Advertising Client Story

I have a radio client that’s been on the radio for 1 year and about 4 months with me.  The phase of RESULTS (or ROI) he’s knee-deep into right now from his Results Radio campaign… is impressive.  He went from doing NO RADIO, to radio ads on 2 big radio stations, 4 weeks each month… and his business is kind of exploding.  He went from ONE front desk / administrative professionals to THREE in this short time.  And I don’t know how many other service employees he has hired.  ANYWAY… here’s what happened…

He recently asked me to put his radio ads on hold… so they can CATCH UP!

He is also in a category that nobody had ever tried to lay claim as “the leader” in Sioux Falls.  Meaning, the competitors in his category didn’t advertise much…. or very effectively anyway.  That makes it prime pickins’ for snagging a huge share of market.  But that only comes when you snag a huge share of the minds within that market.  If you’re one of those categories where nobody is really “running away with it”… and you’d like to make your mark… give me a holler!

If you’re wondering who the client or the category is, just shoot me an email, and I will happily share some of the details of the campaign, and why I feel it’s working so well.

I did tell him, “I’ll pull the ads for a bit, but I don’t think you’ll slow down much because you’ve ‘duct-taped’ your brand onto the brains of a big chunk of the public.”

Oh, and guess what.  He doesn’t do digital advertising. Or much social media at all. Or pay per click. Just a little bit of TV on ESPN I believe.  And he’s killing it – with his long-term, 4 weeks per month, radio advertising.  And that makes me really happy.  : )

Duane Christensen
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
605-940-7984
duane.christensen@results-radio.com

Local Marketing When You Have Ample Competition

advertising and marketing sioux falls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready?    

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

You Are Not Special – Or Are You?

You’re thinking, “Damn right we’re special.  People love us!”

That’s awesome if you have customers who love you. You should work really hard to keep it that way!  But what about Non-Customers? Do they love you?  Nope.  They couldn’t care less.  Especially, if they barely know you exist. Especially, if they know nothing about you. Especially, if they are content doing business with your competition right now.

So, what’s the main goal in your advertising investment?

It’s to get RESULTS, right?  Sure.  But HOW do you get results?

Throw a bunch of money at different advertising packages and “deals”… and see what sticks!  Wha?  Nooooooo!  Don’t do that.  I want to help you get a phenomenal return on your advertising.  And that does NOT come by shooting from the hip…

Yosemite-Sam-Quotes-300x281

Looney Toons legend: Yosemite Sam

BOOM!  Die, Varmint!

You’ll be disappointed. And you’ll waste a lot of money.

Back to the question of the hour. HOW do you get advertising results?!!!!!

The answer is in the title.

You must prove to the public that you’re special. PROVE to them… that you’re SPECIAL. Easier said than done though, right?

You can’t just throw up all over people, saying that you’re special and that you’re the best, and you’re “quality”, and a bunch of other horseshit that YOU know is true… but that nobody else believes. They may believe you some day. But first you have to PROVE it to them that you’re special.

Proof.

It’s in the pudding.

Meaning, you need to help your customers “taste” what you have to offer that’s better than what they’re chewing on now. What’s so great about your competition? What’s the big deal that they’re talking about? Probably nothing. They’re most likely just holding up a sign and yelling about who, what, and where they are. That gives YOU an opportunity to POUNCE!

This is where the “strategy” part of your advertising plan comes in. (Want help with strategy? It’s my specialty.)

Take that SPECIAL thing about you in which your competition can’t claim or not talking about. Then, you shine a light on that special thing, so that when the public thinks about your product or service, they INSIST on getting that special thing that you offer. And when they think of it, you want them to think of YOU.

Good advertising is not something as simple as “branding”. Good advertising is making friends with your prospective customers. FRIENDS are much more likely to do business with you that someone who doesn’t know you. So, start your advertising with the idea that you’re trying to make a new friend. Think about that. It’s not branding. It’s more like bonding. It’s being helpful, vulnerable, sincere, and human. That’s what it is.

Take that “special thing” about your awesome local business and weave it throughout a story that you tell the public. The special thing about you is the LOGIC side of your advertising. And the “friendly” part of your advertising is all of the rest. It’s the STORY. It’s the humble and caring part of you. It’s the reason why you love what you do. It’s the passion.  OR… is all of that a great big PART of what makes you SPECIAL?  Hmmmm.  I’d say that you may be on to something!  : )

Need help writing that advertisement? That’s what I love to do. I love to sift through the good, bad, and what your future customer truly cares about (because it’s about them, right?)  And then, we come up with a strategy and radio advertising plan that has immense potential.  A plan that will put you at the forefront of people’s minds. Not because you’re spending the most, but because you’re saying the right things in your ads. You’re proving to people how you will be their superstar.

Then, pretty soon… you have a bunch of new FRIENDS, who think you are SPECIAL, and are ready to be YOUR CUSTOMER.  

And dang, that’s really cool when it all comes together. I have a healthy handful of clients in and around Sioux Falls who would love to tell you about their experience with me and Results Radio. I’d be happy to get you their contact info.

Let me know if you’d like to have a conversation about this sort of stuff.

Have a groovy day!

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Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

 

 

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

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

The Power of Sound

The Power of Sound

Radio advertising.  It’s affordable… it’s versatile… and over 90% listen to broadcast radio every week.  And overall… Americans, still spend more time with our radios than we do on Facebook.  And radio doesn’t melt your brain like Facebook does.  “Melt your brain” is my technical term for “makes you dumber, lonely, depressed, and narcissistic” (and it’s just my opinion – but look at the research).

Radio advertising has the potential to outperform most marketing mediums today.  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.  Doesn’t exist.

Have you ever read a great article?  You didn’t read the whole thing top to bottom because of a picture.  A picture may have gotten your attention.  But the words are what kept you engaged.  The words that were being spoken by you silently in your head.

Has a song ever changed your mood or brought an old memory flooding back?  All the time!  Sound is powerful.

Has anyone’s words ever hurt you?  Sadly, yes.  And I’ve hurt plenty with my words.  Words I wish I could have back.

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.  Spoken words.

Duane Christensen

Your Local Marketing Helper

Sales – Marketing – Copy Writing

Your On-Hold Message Needs Help

on hold messageThe on-hold message for your business matters.  And your on-hold message needs help.

I was recently on-hold for a few minutes the other day.  It was a local business.  Their on-hold message is what gave me the idea to write about this topic.  But I WILL give them kudos for trying to make an on-hold message that stood out from all the others. Yet I would have preferred some run-of-the-mill classical music.  Here’s why…

They had a radio jingle as part of the message.  They also had a voice telling me a few things.  They talked about the services they provided and the products they had. Which is predictable. (Remember? Predictability puts a choke-hold on marketing effectiveness)

Then, the voice kept saying, “Thank you for calling. Your call is VERY important to us.”  I heard that about 5 times within about 3 minutes.  Yes, I know my call is important to you, whoever you are. And then the jingle would cut in occasionally… which seemed very out-of-date and was kind of annoying.  (that’s the thing with jingles – they can either do wonders for a business, or turn people off)

So… what’s my advice on your on-hold message?

  • Tips
  • Advice
  • Stories

I would hang on every word of your on-hold message if you were giving me tips and advice regarding your industry or the products and services you provide.  And not lame tips that 85% of the population knows.  I’m talking about really interesting or even obscure information that would intrigue me and / or help me.

DON’T TRY TO SELL ME WHILE I’M ON HOLD!  At least don’t be so obvious about it.

If you told me a few customer experience stories…you’d have my attention.  As long as you don’t water them down.  I love to hear the specifics.  When you tell a detailed story…it means it’s real.  And then people know you’re not “full of it”. People also like to hear that they’re not the only ones who might be in the same situation.  Make them feel comfortable about calling.  Make them feel confident that you’re a business who cares about giving them a good end result.  If you can cause people to like you a little bit more because of a tip or a story you told them… then you’ve just moved them closer to buying from you, buying MORE from you, or buying more OFTEN from you.

All that from an on-hold message.  Can you believe it?  Believe it.  The communication you have with your customers matters.  The words you choose matters.  It’s not the “act” of doing something (direct mail, on-hold message, advertising, core customer emails, thank you cards, etc.) … it’s the manner in which you do it. It’s the FEELING you give someone about you or your company… that makes all the difference.  Make sure the sincerity level of your marketing communications is dialed up to a level 8, 9, or 10.

Do you think you should have a “professional” voice do your on-hold message?  I’d actually prefer if the business owner or someone within the business did it.  Because it cranks up the “Sincerity Level” another notch or two.  People want to do business with good, honest, hard-working people who care about their customers. So, show them that’s what you are.

It’s pretty much the same with all of your marketing communications.  Make it real.  Make it sincere.  Tell us something we might not know.  Tell us a story that can help get your point across.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD

605-940-7984

duane.christensen@results-radio.com

My website: http://www.duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com

The Great Eraser of Advertising

The Great Eraser of Advertising

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising

The great eraser of advertising is SLEEP.
Image courtesy of “Maggie Smith” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The great eraser of advertising…is sleep. And I’m going to give credit to my understanding of this…to Roy Williams at the Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas. When I went there for 3 days, years back…he literally changed how I looked at the world. And of course he also changed my understanding of how advertising works.

So, the great eraser of advertising is sleep. Every night we go to sleep, our brains purge all the junk out of our brains. It starts putting things like the hundreds of irrelevant marketing messages you were exposed to today into the proverbial trash bin. If it didn’t do this, our brains’ estimated 2500 terabytes of memory would fill up pretty fast. To put it another way, your brain has the potential to store about 2 trillion pictures of cats. Ha! But this is an estimate. Our brains are amazing and we’ll never truly understand how and why it does things.

So, how do we get a consumer’s brain to start remember the plumbing ads for Bob’s Plumbing? Or the mattress ads for the Princess Pea Mattress Factory?

For starters you need repetition to overcome the brain purging every night we sleep. You’ll need enough ads airing on the radio so that the average listener hears a certain radio ad 3 to 4 times per week. And after looking at radio listening habits across the nation, that equates to running 21 to 25 radio ads per week between 6am and 7pm. It’s the closest we can get to a formula when it comes to radio ad scheduling. Of course, there are other options regarding an ad schedule and the best use of your budget. And we can’t forget to take into account your competition and how much they’re advertising to the public.

This is how you get people to start remembering a business’ radio ads. Repetition is the first step towards branding. Just like Pavlov’s dogs, remember? The meat paste and the bell ringing and the drooling?

But getting the dogs to drool when they heard the bell wouldn’t have happened if Pavlov didn’t use meat. If he used lemon juice or Windex, he wouldn’t have got the results he did. In branding a business, there must be a message that’s pleasant and relevant shared with the radio listener that’s tied in with the business itself. You want to associate something good or something helpful with doing business with the particular advertiser who’s trying to get advertising results.

Otherwise…you’re just spouting words across the airwaves that nobody cares about – and will never have the chance to be remembered when people need what the advertiser offers. Amazing results from advertising will come when your ad is of the branding or relationship building nature that has a chance of making someone feel warm and fuzzy in a sense, when they hear it. And when you repeat those kinds of ads over and over, consistently, in a long-term plan, that’s when the “true branding” starts happening.

Then, your ads must also use words that aren’t boring us to death. They need to tell a story. They need to give us useful information. They need to “connect” with us and include a strong emotional element. We’re emotional beings. We like to do business with those we like and trust. Therefore, radio ads should always be increasing the listeners’ chances to like and trust an advertiser before they’ve ever even met them. Then, when the listener actually HAS a plumbing problem… when they’ve had enough of their sore back in the morning… they’ll definitely have Bob’s Plumbing and Princess Pea’s Mattress Factory among the top prospects or hopefully THE top choice for them to call.

Great advertising comes from the words you use…and the manner in which they’re used. I feel like I’m pretty darn good at that. Let me know if you’d like to talk about making your mark on Sioux Falls and the surrounding area. Thank you. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
605-940-7984
duane.christensen@results-radio.com
http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/