Radio advertising can open the doors of your business to new customers; introduce events, new products and services; and repetitively brand your business. Before you run out and purchase a 30-second spot, you need to determine the five W's about your campaign, including:
- Who is your target market?
- What will your advertising copy communicate?
- When is the most effective time to reach your target audience?
- Where will your ads be most effective — a country music station or talk-radio news station?
- Why are you creating a radio ad?
Listen to your audienceBefore you start your campaign, find your audience's peak listening time. A coffeehouse would most likely find success if its ads were run during early-morning rush hour. Each community market varies a bit, so the commute might be earlier or later or longer or shorter depending on the location.
Dial in the right stationThe type of radio station is just as important as the time your spots run. If you're trying to appeal to housewives, then a pop station would be better than a sports talk station. Think about your target audience and ask the radio stations in your market for their listener demographics.
Producing your radio spotInstead of hiring a graphic designer as you would with print ads, you'll need to start with a producer to come up with a concept. Many radio stations produce ads in-house. But if you're planning a campaign with more than one radio station, you may want to have the freedom that an independent production company can provide.
Brought to you by…When you meet with the sales representatives at the radio station you choose, ask about alternatives to 15- or 30-second advertisements. For instance, ask if you can host an on-site remote broadcast, or ask if they'll name you as a morning show sponsor if you purchase a certain number of spots. Even when they read the traffic report, they usually drop the name of one of their advertisers.
Ready, set, advertiseAfter you've had your ad produced, you can use it any time by purchasing your own radio ad spots. If you want to save money, you can have radio stations bid against each other in an online auction for your business.
- If your radio spots include information that will expire, such as event dates, it may be most cost-effective to have the radio station produce the ad in-house using the station's on-air talent.
- For a campaign with a single commercial that will run on multiple stations, hiring an outside production company is a good idea. You can control the production and get a consistent message out to your entire audience.
- Make sure you have your ad saved in mp3 format so that you can easily email or upload it to radio stations.
- If you're the face or voice of the business, you can do the voice-over yourself and help your customers identify with you.