How To Advertise On The Radio

Advertising on the radio is one of the best ways to promote your business. It’s one of the cost effective advertising mediums, second only to outdoor. Radio has its highest audience and reach in its 100 year history. It reaches today’s mobile audience on the go. It is a great part of an overall media mix, complementing and enhancing everything else you do. Radio is one of the best mediums for branding, increasing awareness and driving traffic. And it’s easy to do. Here’s how it’s done.


Determine your goals. What are you looking to accomplish? Are you looking to increase sales of a product or service? Generate leads? Increase awareness? Brand? Drive traffic into a retail establishment or online to a website? Generate phone calls? Generate Facebook likes or Twitter followers?


Determine who you are looking to reach.  Who is your ideal customer? What is their buyer persona? Where are they located? What are their interests?


Determine your budget. How much can you afford? What should you spend? A typical yearly advertising budget is 5.5% of your gross annual sales. Depending on your specific business or industry, it could be more or less. Your radio budget could be 100% of your advertising budget or a percentage of it. Refer to my 2/10/15 blog on media planning and allocating your media budget.


Determine what stations to advertise on. Advertise on stations that reach your target demographic to help you accomplish your goals. Research stations. Radio locator lists all stations in all cities in the country. Contact local stations only if your market is local or national stations also if your market is national. Look for stations with formats that reach your target market. For example, talk radio reaches middle aged to older affluent consumers. Usually stations will have listenership and demographic information on their website.


Contact the stations. Ask for the person who handles sales, either salespeople, sales managers or general managers. Get their rates. Usually it will be for 30 or 60 second spots though they could be various shorter or longer lengths. Usually a 30 second spot is sufficient for an ad though a 60 could be helpful. Ads could also be 5, 10 or 15 second mentions or 90 second or 2 minute or more vignettes. Vignettes are short form shows with more information. Vignettes can also have a shorter doughnut within it that can be sold to a sponsor that can pay for it. You’ll get more frequency for your budget with shorter ads. Your message and goals will determine the ad’s length. Most stations will help you write and produce the ad at no additional production charge. They will request information from you to help write the ad. Most good ads have 5 attributes; an attention grabbing headline, core message you’re looking to convey, appropriate emotion, enticing, urgent offer and easy call-to-action. You could voice your own ad or the station will have a professional to voice it. Give them your budget. Get proposals from them based on their rates and your budget. Depending on your budget and their proposals, you could spend all of your budget only on radio, partially on radio or on one or more stations. Many stations, including KFNX, will give you added value, bonus spots at no charge in addition to the paid spots. Get multiple proposals from multiple stations. Go with the best one or ones. To maximize the effectiveness of your budget, you want to reach the most people within your target demo with the right message with enough frequency most cost effectively. That will probably be on the best stations with the best reputation, with the most audience, on the best shows at the best times, most targeting your specific demo in your target area with the best creative for the ad at the best cost. Depending on your budget, your message, what you’re offering, your market and your competition will determine what response you can expect over what timeframe. A direct response ad promoting a low ticket item should get more, quicker response. A branding ad promoting a higher ticket item would get less response over a longer time. An ad campaign could be a short term promotion or promote an upcoming event. The nature of the campaign would determine if it is onetime, short term or ongoing.


Measure the results. Have a monitoring system in place to measure performance. Track results of specific campaigns on specific stations. Short term campaigns can be measured over the short term while long-term campaigns should be measured over the long term. Compare results to your goals. Measure the ROI based on your costs and results. You could try different messages or schedules before discontinuing a campaign. Continue successful campaigns and discontinue unsuccessful ones. If you discontinue one campaign on one station, you could try another on another station.


Now you know why you should advertise on the radio and the best way to do it. Are you doing that? Why not? Some of our clients at KFNX and other stations have found radio to be the most productive part of their media mix. I look forward to listening to your ad on the radio. And listen to KFNX and our ads. Let me know if I can help you promote your business on KFNX.


We write this blog to help small business owners with their dilemmas, because that is what who we are, and those are our clients.

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