If you have a local business, radio branding is a great way to reach your customers. If you have a national business, radio can still be a great way to brand if you use national media buying services to drastically cut down your Cost Per Point (more on this later).
People listen to radio in many different places. One obvious place is their cars. However, people might hear the radio in other places as well, such as restaurants while they’re dining out, or at a friend’s house. According to Arbitron, the largest radio tracking agency, 94% of Americans hear the radio at least once a week.
How do you use radio to build your brand?
==> Get Crystal Clear on Your Target Demographics
Every radio station has a different demographic. Even each show on the radio station will have a different listening demographic. Different time slots will have different demographics, as morning commuters are very different people than noon listeners.
The key to success on radio is to know your demographic well. Targeting “women” is not a recipe for success. On the other hand, targeting women in their 30s who are successful and employed and live within ten miles of Boston is a great demographic.
Get as specific as you can, then talk to different radio stations to see if you can find a demographic match. If you have a large enough ad budget, going through an ad agency can help you save a lot of the “shopping around” work.
You generally won’t pay much more working with an agency, because agencies make their profits through bulk deals while charging you the normal price.
==> Sponsorships versus Ad Spots
The two primary ways you can advertise are through sponsorships and through ad spots.
A sponsorship is where you pay a specific radio show or program. The radio announcer himself will briefly talk about your brand. If you’re targeting the right audience, the added credibility of having the announcer read your ad can be enormous.
There’s also the added benefit of having more people listening. People tend to tune out during ad segments, but tune in when their favorite shows are starting.
That said, an ad spot gives you a lot more flexibility. You can run an ad spot in the morning, at night and across multiple stations. A sponsorship is often tailor crafted.
A good campaign should utilize a combination of both tactics.
==> Test Your Results before Spending Big
Before spending a lot of money on radio advertising, try to spend just 20% of what you want to spend for 3-5 months before gauging the results.
Radio ads take some time to take effect. People need to hear the ad regularly before they’ll act on the message. Give your message 3 to 5 months to see if you’re getting an increase in sales. If so, ratchet up your ad spend.
Radio advertising has been around for decades, but it still works. If you’re targeting a driving demographic or a local demographic, radio can be a powerful medium.