5 Tips for Advertising on Local Radio

In a time where podcasts and ad-free music apps are quickly taking over consumer preferences, chances are local radio is not on your advertising radar.

radioHowever, there are still millions of people out there who find this free resource invaluable. Don’t overlook these consumers, as radio is affordable and working for many agencies.

Here is a little cheat sheet on how to successfully advertise your business or product via radio.

  1. Find High Frequency Ads

Running your commercial only once or twice a week isn’t enough. In order for listeners to really absorb your information, you need to run your ad multiple times a day on a local station. A commercial will have a better change at resonating with potential customers this way. Just be aware of the “nag” factor, as playing your commercial too much can possibly create a distance with customers.

     2. Production is Crucial

Radio gives you the chance to be extra creative on a small budget as you are depending on the listeners  imagination. Since production is simpler, all you need is good voice talent, music, an original, innovative script and sound effects. However, since your commercial isn’t relying on visuals, it is imperative to capture your audience with these tools, right away. Keep your copy clear and concise. And find good voice talent, with a strong radio presence. An experienced ad agency has access to good talent for less and can write and produce your spot so that it has the best chance of succeeding.

    3. Know Your Target Audience

You need to know that your target audience is listening to your commercial. The best way to do this is to find radio stations in your market. Some simple investigation can help you figure out what kind of listeners are tuning in to these stations and if they could be potential customers for your service or product.

    4. Timing is Everything

Radio ad rates are divided into four quarters, for the year. Generally speaking, ad rates are less expensive in the first and third quarters. Running your commercials during these time frames can be cheaper to advertise and potentially easier to negotiate rates with the station. By keeping in mind quarters or the time of year you are advertising in, you have the potential to be more creative with your approach. For example, by connecting your product with the time of year, or say, a holiday, you can establish a closer connection to your audience.

   5. Find the Best Rates

Obviously, you want to get the most bang for your buck. Even though ad rates are always rising, there are bundle deals and remnant ad agencies that can help you stretch your dollar. Sometimes, the more ads you buy, the better.

Keep an open mind as well.

In the new age of media, it is important not to forget about ad-supported free versions of apps like Pandora and Spotify, as they do run local advertisements. Since these apps have access to your registration information, like zip code, gender and birth year, they are able to provide relevant advertisements to each listener.

I hope you found these tips helpful! For more information, you can contact Media Partners directly at (800) 579-3031.

Writing Radio Ads that Work

Bad writing can mean the death of your radio campaign.writing

Because the power of radio relies so heavily on the quality of the copy, it is in your best interest to find a writer who recognizes this medium and understands how to target your specific audience.

Here are some tips for writing ads that will work and generate sales.

1. When Hiring a Writer

The best writers are those with broadcast experience. Radio relies on skill and salesmanship so you need someone who has an understanding of  direct response marketing. You also need to be willing to spend some money, as good writers aren’t cheap.

When hiring a writer, remember to let them write. Good writers will listen to you, but they will also do what is necessary to create the best ad to sell your product. Don’t get in their way and take over the project. Let them do what you hired them for.

2. Timing

Most radio spots are broken up into 30 second or 60 second segments. 60 seconds gives you twice the amount of time to get listeners attention. 30 seconds are usually good for well known products or a simply offer. We typically advocate for a 60 second commercial, as you need to mention the phone number or call to action, such as go to your website, at least three times. A 30 second advertisement is usually too short to include everything you need.

3. Call Now!

Since the main focus of direct response advertisement is to make the phone ring with inquiries, everything in the spot should prompt the listener to pick up the phone and call. Offer free consultations, free information or limited time offers to instill a sense of urgency in the customer. You want them to ACT NOW.

4. Selling Comes First

When you only have 60 seconds to work with, every single second counts. Get the listeners attention, make an offer and generate a response. That is your objective.  A good way to test if your ad is concise enough, remove the product from the copy. If you still have a complete concept, then your ad isn’t selling. The product, website, offer, phone number or selling idea should make up the entire spot.

5. Know Your Audience

This is key in any form of advertising. With radio, you have two options: Talk Radio and Music Radio.

With Talk Radio, your audience is ready to listen. Catching the listeners attention or blending into the surrounding talk are two ways to infiltrate talk radio. You want to encourage further listening.

With music radio, your ad will be an interruption. Your spot must peak the listeners interest before they can change the station.

6. Choose a Creative Format

There isn’t a set way to write a radio ad, however, here are a few creative formats that have been proven to work and get your listeners calling.

Straight Announcer- With a clear, straightforward copy and a strong, direct voice, nothing could be simpler for your ad. The announcer should speak as if addressing one single person. Asking questions such as “Have you ever…?” or “Wouldn’t you like…?” helps create a personal connection with the listener and makes the ad feel less like a lecture. With the right voice, this effortless approach can pull listeners in quickly.

Dialog – A typical example of this type of format, involves two people conversing with one another. One person is excited about a product or service and wants to share this information with the other person, who knows nothing about it. That person asks questions, while the other relays the information, thus divulging your product or services main information. If you have voices that match your demographic, speaking in a believable way, then this ad will come across as a testimony or referral, which is great for business.

Person on the Street– Asking real people what they think of your product is a great attention grabber. Get the person you are talking to on the street to describe how the product worked in their own words, or how it benefited them. Ask if they would recommended this product to others. Listeners will hear real people giving their true opinions and this will act as a testimony to your product. You can take this one step further by having the person on the street address the audience directly. Add in a celebrity endorsement or an experts opinion works great as well.

Vignette– This creative format, starts off with a short life scene exhibiting a problem. Then it cuts to the announcer who will describe your product as the solution. Time permitting, the life scene will continue, this time to show how your product has made their life easier. Make sure to return to the announcer to end the spot with a call to action and your 800 number.

7. Establish name identification early and often

Give the name of your company, service or product early in the spot. Since you only have 60 seconds, you want to establish everything your listener needs to know about your business as quickly and efficiently as possible. Repeat this information at least three times throughout the ad.

8. Use a memorable or relevant 800 number

Most radio isn’t interactive, like podcasts and apps like Pandora where you can click to call or purchase right from your phone. Most listeners are in the car or at work when they hear your ad. Therefore, they need to be able to remember your phone number if a phone isn’t within their reach.  A special 800 number relevant to your product, is very helpful.

9. Call to Action

Answer the question that listeners might have: “What do you want me to do right now?” Of course, you want them to call! Don’t be subtle about it either. For example, the announcer could say, “For a free brochure on how to get rid of extra weight fast, call 1-800-LOSE-FAT.”

10. Limited Time Offers

People respond well to limited time offers. It provokes a sense of urgency and urges a call to action. People don’t like to miss out on good deals. Establishing a deadline forces an immediate response.

I hope you found these tips for writing radio advertisements helpful! For more information, call us at 800-579-3031.