Radio advertising may seem like a relic from a bygone era. Do not be fooled; today, a radio commercial can still stand out if it’s expertly crafted and cleverly executed. When those ads stand out, they’ll come back with solid returns. Your business has plenty of reasons to run radio ads, but how should you do it well?
In order to really strike a conversion from your listeners, you’ll need a creative strategy that not only writes up a script worth listening to, but handles all of the administrative elements of radio advertising that your business may need a hand with. That is where a radio advertising agency steps in.
Here, we’ll discuss the anatomy of a great radio advertising marketing strategy, and how a radio advertising agency can help you create an ad that sets the airwaves alight.
Understanding Reach and Frequency
If you pair with a radio advertising agency for your media planning and buying, there are two words you’re likely to hear in the conversation: reach and frequency. Before you begin to build the anatomy of a great radio advertising marketing strategy, you’ll need to understand these two terms.
Reach refers to the number of individuals who hear a radio commercial. Frequency, on the other hand, refers to the number of times an ad is heard by an average person over the course of a single calendar week. Once you understand reach and frequency, tapping into radio advertising will become much more manageable.
Building A Strong Ad
There are many different types of radio commercials, and you’ve likely heard at least one of each. For the most part, radio listeners encounter:
- A skit: These use the seconds they have at their disposal to set a scene. It can be anywhere; a doctor’s office, a grocery store, a schoolyard, etc. It uses at least one character to tell a story – usually, a person has a problem, and a product or service the business offers solves it.
- A sales pitch: More straightforward, sales pitches tell listeners who, what, how, and why to engage with their product, service, or event. It may include a catchy jingle, a slogan, or other tactics to help the pitch stick in the listener’s mind.
- Live reads: This is when the DJ/radio personality will read the ad while they’re on the air. These can be extremely effective because the audience is already familiar with the DJ’s voice, and may be more likely to trust and engage.
- Sponsorships: Think “today’s traffic report brought to you by….” In a more subtle radio advertising strategy, sponsorships can be placed on news, competitions, traffic, sports, and other regular programs that the station offers in its lineup.
A radio advertising agency will work with your brand to see which type of ad will best tell your story and express your brand’s voice.
Theatre Of The Mind
Radio advertising can be very profitable – and tricky. This is primarily because it lacks a visual element. If your business sells a physical product, you’ll need to rely on sound cues to create images in a listener’s mind. Even if your radio advertising strategy doesn’t involve a skit, a sales pitch can still be elevated with sound effects, music, or ambiance.
That said, don’t overdo it with sound effects and music – unless you’re writing a jingle, letting the music speak over the message is unwise.
Play With The Medium
You want your radio advertisement to stand out. So why not use the airwaves to your advantage? For example, your audience members will likely listen to the radio while driving. While the AUX cable has its place, according to Edison Research, 73% of American drivers still tune into the radio while in the car.
Your radio advertisement could contain a bit of self-awareness, referencing traffic, the morning commute, or something similar that will relate to the listener, so long as it’s relevant to the message your brand is displaying.
There’s no need to stick to an automotive angle. Think about your time slot, your audience, or how the business’s brand or service could be a boon to the listener, and use that to play in the radio medium.
Keep Your CTA Strong
A business isn’t going to buy radio advertising space just for the fun of it. What is the purpose of the ad? Should the listener log on to a website, head to a store or event, or donate? In a perfect radio advertisement, the call to action, or CTA, should be strong and clear.
Knowing Your Audience
It’s the classic piece of advice for any marketing strategy, and any good radio advertising agency will back it up: you need to know your audience.
Listener surveys and the amount of data gathered by radio stations regarding their listeners’ income, occupation, and age groups can help build a profile and help you choose the best time slot and angle to advertise with.
Take a step back and look at your business in terms of years. When are the busiest seasons? Where are the lulls? If your company sells an evergreen product or service that’s needed year-round, do sales hike up around the holidays? What about summer or the end of the financial year? When purchasing a time slot, learning the best timing for your commercial can be beneficial.
On the subject of timing, though, it’s crucial to be flexible. While you’d like to have your pick of the litter in terms of your placement, this simply isn’t always possible. If your business is firm in where it wants an ad to be placed in the radio’s rotation, you might expect to pay a much higher price for this part of your media plan – which will make it harder to achieve a more significant ROI.
Ultimately, the radio station will decide when a radio ad is run. As a result, an ad may need to be rotated through different time slots. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your ad will miss your audience – in fact, you may be in for the opposite. If the ad is spread out over the ‘run of the station’ (or ROS), you’ll cast a wider net and catch more listeners because of it.
This is where flexibility comes in again; to capitalize on frequency, a good radio advertising agency will advocate for multiple ads per week run on a single station. Reach comes in when an ad is played several times a day during peak listening hours.
Partnering With A Radio Advertising Agency
Setting up a radio ad can be extremely rewarding, especially if you know the ins and outs of media buying and how to work with the audio-only medium of radio.
At BloomAds, we’re a radio advertising agency that knows the radio industry. With our experienced, enthusiastic, creative team, we can help you through each step. As a result, you’ll maximize your exposure while minimizing spend, allowing you to balance a big dream with a not-so-big budget.