Radio advertising continues to play a strong role in helping small businesses grow their sales. It is also still one of the least expensive forms of paid advertising that local businesses can use to market their products and services. Here are 2 ways you can make local radio work for your small business.
Use local radio to acquire and retain: As a small business owner, the two main things that you want to do are 1) acquire new customers and 2) retain existing customers. That should be your driving goal every single day.
The lifeblood of any business is to bring in new customers. Radio allows you to do this because you are able to reach potential customers that you may not have reached through other media channels. The average radio listener generally listens to only 2-3 channels. Listeners are time and routine oriented, meaning they tend to listen at a certain time of day while they are doing one particular thing (like driving to work). Creating brand awareness for your product through repeated advertising will help drive new customers to your business.
Radio is also good for helping to retain your current base of customers. Your customers want to know that you are active. They want to hear about any new specials or offers that your company is having. They also want to feel good about being part of something larger. There is value in having your customers feel like they are associated with a good company.
Most radio ads are built with the purpose of acquiring customers, but the end result is that they help reinforce your marketing message with your current customer base.
Use Local Radio to amplify your social media messages: Because a radio ad campaign is repetitive and consistent, you are able to pound messages into the listeners head. If social media marketing is part of your overall marketing campaign, then using radio’s repetitive nature can help you quickly grow your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
At the end of your ads, why not do a quick mention of your social media presence? Example: “For more great offers, follow Sam’s Hardware on Facebook and Twitter”. This should take no more than 2 to 5 seconds of your ad. People are savvy enough to seek you out without having to know your exact Facebook page or Twitter handle.
Organic growth in your follower numbers will happen on it’s own, but it’s generally slow unless you’re supplementing that growth through promotional media like radio. And if you think about the long term effectiveness of amplifying your social media, remember that the more followers you have, the more it allows you to eventually market more cost effectively.
Why? Because you can begin to use Facebook and Twitter as promotional tools just like radio. You will be reaching individuals that have chosen to follow you and, because of this, they should be more valuable. This also helps to reduce your reliance on traditional media (though as you see media outlets work best when used in tandem).
More Local Radio Advertising Tips:
A typical radio ad is 60 seconds. This is plenty of time to describe your product or service, make an offer and direct customers to a phone number, website or retail location.
Don’t get too fancy with the creative. Use the problem / solution approach. You have 60 seconds to leave an impression in the listener’s mind regarding what problem you can solve for them. Study copywriting approaches for radio before crafting your message. There are numerous ways to create a radio ad, but try to focus on ‘best practices’.
Unless you are a national direct response advertiser, don’t use 800#’s or local phone numbers – people simple will not recall them unless you plan to repeat the number 3x -5x per ad.
Consistency is key – running a flight of ads for one week and then stopping is simply a waste of money. Be prepared to run a 3 month campaign. Listeners need to hear a message numerous times – or have the opportunity to hear the message numerous times – before a message sinks in. Needs are not always present. While I might not need new tires this week, in 2 months I just might.
With radio, you are seeding for the future. As a marketer, you’re trying to build brand awareness for your product or service so that somewhere down the road, when the listener needs a solution to a problem, you are front and center in their mind.
Before you start running ads, outline how you intend to measure the success of the campaign. Determine a baseline of where you were when you started so you can compare results along the way. For example, if you’re a local restaurant planning to run ads to promote weekday visits, you need to calculate your daily visits (or ticket orders) based on past history.
If you know exactly who your average customer is, you can laser focus your ads. Example: If you are a local golf course and know that your best customers are men, the vast majority of your ads should be running on sports radio programs.
Use the radio stations for buying ads, not creating the ads. Ad production needs to be handled by an experienced marketing group who will help you plan, craft and produce your radio ad. The cost might be marginally higher than if the radio station did it for you, but the results will be noticeably better.
Radio can be cost-effective. And importantly, because local radio markets are highly competitive, radio sales reps can throw in many ‘extras’ including more radio spots at the same rate, free online banner ads on their site, tickets to local events which then can be re-marketed, mentions by radio personalities, and much more.
These are just a few Local Radio Advertising Tips. Here are some other radio advertising tips.
Remember, each product or service advertised will have a different set of challenges – and solutions! Keep working until you find the solution that is best for you.