The Only Radio Advertising Guide You Will Ever Need

Radio has a weekly reach rate of 93% among Americans. This means that there are more people listening to the radio than using any other medium(surprising, i know!). That even means you can effectively reach more people than are playing on a smartphone – because people playing on a smartphone seldom ‘act’ on digital CTA’s right away! With an audience this large, it would be very foolish to not take advantage of radio advertising. It may be more expensive to advertise on the radio than it would be on the internet but the results may be worth the costs.

Radio advertising icon in isometric 3d style on a white background

First things first: Money

Once you start advertising you need to do a cost benefit analysis to see if the benefits of radio advertising outweigh the costs. This can be done by taking the average amount of sales that are done before the radio advertisement, then taking the average amount of sales after the radio starts playing. That would give you the basic ability to see if total sales increased. If total sales did increase, radio advertising is worth the cost you are plugging in. Make sense?

No, not really.

An increase in the number of sales might sound like a good thing, but the thing that you have to look at is to see the average revenue before the radio advertisement then the average total revenue after the radio advertisement. Then you want to make sure that the revenue after the radio advertisement is more – not just the sales!

You then take this ‘revenue’ difference and subtract the costs for running the radio spot. If the number is still positive, the radio advertisement may be worth the costs. A savvy marketer or business person will look at it from all angles before jumping to conclusions about their marketing efforts.

If not, you may want to rethink your advertising strategy and figure out where you are falling short. It might be something as simple as the advertisement not being played at the right time for the customers that would be interested in your goods or service.

Who are you trying to reach?

When you start advertising your business on the radio, you will want to make sure that the radio station you select would have the type of clients that would be interested in your product. If you select a station that a majority of the audience would have no interest in you, your campaign will fall flat on its nose! On the other hand, you may have selected the right station that would have plenty of people who would be interested in your product, but they only listen to the radio around noon. If you have your commercial running during their daily commute at 0800, guess what? You missed out on reaching your target audience because you did not pay attention to the people you are trying to capture.

This is research that you should do before you start running your radio spot! Many businesses think of this as an afterthought, however. You can ask the radio station for a media kit to see relevant data about the station’s listeners. When you receive the media kit you should study it thoroughly to help you in deciding if you should advertise on that station. It would be a good idea to request a media kit from multiple radio stations to gauge realistically who is listening to that station – and when. You can even use the information to compare it to basic demographic information to come up with an estimate of audience likes and dislikes. This may seem like a lot of work, but I bet you worked harder to get your business up off the ground – don’t let your marketing crash and burn because you didn’t do your due diligence.

Jab, Jab, Right hook

You want to create impact. Do anything you can to create impact!

If you are overworked, as many small business leaders are, you can hire an advertising agency to help you get this information. An advertising agency would not be able to guarantee you an increase, but they can make sure that your radio spot gets into the ears of the people that would be interested in your product.

Another impact-generating strategy – create a call to action.This could be something as simple as having them visit your website to get more information or as complex as playing the Amazing Race” around town as part of your promo. You can even tell them that the deal is only going on for a short time and if they do not react quickly they are going to miss out. When you create impact, you stay memorable and exciting in the minds of your target customers – and on radio advertising, creating impact can leave a very powerful impression on your customer’s psyche!