Radio spot advertising just may be the most cost-effective and customizable direct response vehicle available.
Radio is mobile. Eighty percent of adults listen to radio in their cars, and a quarter of the population also listens while at work. Or at least those were the old stats of yesteryear – how many now listen on their iPhone or other mobile devices?
Radio is always new. Many stations now stream their programming on the internet, create web-specific programming, and design entire online and street-based communities of loyal audiences. What's more, if online listeners like what they hear on streaming radio, they're just one click away from your website. And through all this innovation radio has still managed to maintain its credibility.
Radio is a highly credible medium. For small businesses, online services and many products spots are ideal. Here are some tips and tricks to consider for your next spot ad test.
1. Zero In On Your Audience. Who do you believe will buy your product? If you can answer this question you can craft an effective media buy. Write it down: what does your consumer look-like, act-like, talk-like and spend? Try and make this one sentence. This sentence should include age, gender, and relative demographic information including household income. Send this sentence to your media buying outlets and they will send you back a market specific radio proposal that will zero in on your audience.
Ex. My buyer is 45+, male, with middle level income, who is worried about hair loss.
One place to start might be zeroing in on Classic Rock radio stations.
2. Know the power of 3: Reach, Frequency and CPM
Reach refers to how many people can hear the radio broadcast during the time you buy your media. Frequency refers to the average number of times your audience will hear your radio spot. CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand) is the basis for evaluating the cost effectiveness to reach 1% of your target audience. CPM is the best way to compare station to station and is determined by a blend of reach and frequency. Your media buying team must provide this to you.
3. Always be “promoting” your radio spots.
Radio stations are promotional engines- it’s their life blood. Whether it is through website banners, contests or on-site events you need to use every bit of promotional advantage the station is willing to give you along with your radio spot schedule. Remember, many listeners turn to the radio station’s home page to check weather, sport scores, local events and more. Take advantage of this viewership so that the next time a listener logs on they say “Oh, yeah I heard about that product. Llet me click here for more information!” In this same way you can take advantage of the station’s newsletter sponsorship and local events. Radio listeners are loyal to their stations and the more they see what they have already heard the more likely they are to purchase. Additionally, most stations offer the opportunity to sponsor news, weather reports or other types of regular programming. As a sponsor, you generally get additional mentions and lead in’s to your spot. It’s like the station saying, “Hey listen to this next commercial!” Often, sponsorship will guarantee your spots air first in the commercial breaks, or pods, so you'll reach more listeners before they have a chance to switch stations or tune out during long breaks. You won’t get this type of treatment with remnant spot radio but you’d be surprised how cost effective these integrated spots really are AND how much more profitable.
4. Write Good Copy!
Zeroing in on your audience is only half the battle – entertaining them is the other half! Don’t opt for do-it-yourself spots since they are rarely effective. Your spot needs to grab the listeners attention and hold onto it. Your spots must tell stories or present situations your target audience can immediately relate to. If you are going to run the spots month in and month out creating a campaign theme will help keep spots fresh and the audience responsive. Remember 80% Offer! 10% Big Promise! 10% Details! And always try and make the URL or 800# as memorable as possible. Even without a vanity number you can make the 800# pop using voice and sound treatments. Experiment with the URL and 800# - there are many places you can send a listener to but it is the one that converts them into a customer that matters most.
And always use radio responsibly as it just may be the best way to test your next TV or Online mega-hit!