Radio advertising is a proven and effective way to tell potential customers about your business. Done well, you can capture the imagination of customers and encourage them to explore further online or at your showroom. All too often though, radio done badly makes you sound irritating and has customers avoiding your ads and more importantly your business in their thousands.
Getting it right can be tricky. Choose your station wisely – Radio station sales people are well trained in ‘moulding’ their stations audience to fit your customer profile. Here’s a hint, they can’t all be a perfect fit with your customers profile.
Do your own research find out what their core audience is by listening to the type of music they play, the competition prizes they offer, the way the presenters speak. Listen to the news, what are the main stories? Add all that together and decide if that would appeal to your customers.
Don’t base your research purely on your personal preferences either. If you didn’t own the business/ work at the business – would you be the target customer? Think about your customers and what they are most likely to listen to. A good tip is to listen to the breakfast show of the station. The tone, pace, and humour will be aimed at the core audience of the station. If this fits with your customers, then that’s a good start.
Every three months an independent body called RAJAR measures how many listeners are tuning in to each radio station. The great news is that every single radio station will either claim to be number 1 for listening figures* or have grown their audience**
*there will always be a caveat stating that they are number 1 for 16-24yr olds with blonde hair, who go to work on a skateboard or similar.
**Or that compared to this time 9 months ago we have more listeners between 8am and 9am.
Radio station listenership goes up and down and this doesn’t really matter, so don’t take too much notice. Radio remains a very cost effective way to reach large numbers of people. You can usually find a radio station that will cost less than £5 cost per thousand (CPT). The CPT means exactly that, is it a Cost Per Thousand impacts. In other words, the cost per one thousand times your advert is heard. Radio stations that operate a ‘spot rate’ usually have a high CPT, and spot rates are a good way to hide that.
So what do you say in the ad? Well firstly let’s avoid the ‘two blokes talking in a pub’ scenario, and we can scratch the phone number, address and probably your web address too. If your message is strong enough – the customer will find you, the internet is a wonderful thing, make sure you are on it.
Radio is no different to any other media – it doesn’t matter how many adverts you have, it will only be a success if your message is strong and simple. Don’t ask listeners to take on too much info and don’t ask them to jump through too many hoops. Avoid lists of reasons why they should love you, everybody offers a family business with professional/personal service, the best deal and probably free parking. Think of 1 or 2 really great reasons that make you stand out from the rest. The answers are often found in the reason you set up the business in the first place. Either way, less is more when it comes to the words in your advert.
Another common thing to get in a knot about is how many ads you are getting? Don’t worry too much about how many, or even at what times they are going to be broadcast. Generally, adverts are priced based on how many people are listening at that time, eg: Night time ads are a fraction of the price of adverts during the day so can be a worthwhile addition to your schedule. You should get a good mix of all dayparts. People listen to the radio all day and all night, shift workers, nurses, taxi drivers are all real people.
A general rule is this: Your campaign should reach over 70% of the total weekly audience who listen to the station. The listeners should all be hearing your advert at least 4 times this is called a 4 OTH (opportunity to hear).
In a world where everyone is heading online for digital adverts, Radio offers a real alternative. It can bring new customer to your business, that perhaps hadn’t heard of you prior to hearing your advert. For the people who are already online, searching away, they are far more likely to go to your website first if they’ve heard of you, or better still will type your name into the search bar.
If you’d like some help planning a campaign, or want to check if your current campaign is working hard enough for you, please get in touch.