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.
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.