Advertising your business on the radio
Even though the overall popularity of radio has declined in recent decades, it is still a form of mass media that millions of people listen to every day – consider that there are over 300 million radios in the United States alone. Radio advertising remains one of the most affordable ways to promote your business to a large audience, but you need to understand how best to use this powerful medium, and what its advantages and disadvantages are, before you conceive your radio ads.
Pointers for Successful Radio Advertising
For radio advertising to be effective, your message must stick with the listener long after your ad has run. Most people listen to the radio in the car or at work, where they are not typically able to act right away to purchase your products or services. This is one of the reasons a memorable, catchy jingle is a long-standing feature of radio advertising.
When buying radio advertising, you must keep in mind that repetition is extremely important. There is no telling exactly who will be listening to the radio at exactly what time, so for your ad to reach the widest possible audience, it has to run again and again. Station employees who sell radio advertising aren't just trying to coax you into making a bigger financial commitment when they recommend that your purchase a considerable amount of air time – experts suggest that you should run your ad at least 15 times per week per station, and even more frequently than that if you have the budget.
Radio advertising rates depend on how often and at what times of day or night you want your ad to run. For both regular and online radio advertising – an increasingly popular form of Internet advertising – one tried-and-true strategy is to sponsor a regular programming feature rather than run an ad during a commercial break. This approach is more likely to capture a wider audience, since a lot of listeners tune out longer commercial breaks, but regular programs usually have a regular audience.
Pros and Cons of Radio Advertising
With both traditional and Internet radio advertising, the number one problem is the "luck of the draw" factor; there is just no guarantee how many people are going to be listening to the radio at any given time. However, there are certain times of day that have higher numbers of listeners than others, like commuting hours – but radio advertising rates vary considerably, and it can be pricey to buy an ad spot during these popular times.
Radio ads are also "there and gone" by nature; one key advantage of print is that consumers can cut out your ad for later reference. No such thing is possible when it comes to radio advertising.
On the plus side, radio ads are very affordable to produce, especially when compared to the cost of television advertising. Properly handled, radio ads can make a lasting impression with listeners, too, since they rely so heavily on repetition. To get the most for your advertising dollar, it is recommended that you seek the counsel of an advertising agency that specializes in the conception and production of radio ads. Their experience is very valuable, and often proves to be the difference between a campaign that works and one that doesn't.