10 Reasons to Advertise on the Radio

Radio is on 24/7, reaching over 93% of people age 12 and older every week and 78% dailyOften considered a frequency medium, radio is an ideal reach medium when planned differently – especially based on Nielsen PPM data Reach 3 consumers 1X rather than 1 consumer 3X since that 1 consumer is less likely to need a product/service than any 1 of the 3 would be.  Ads are most effective when they remind people of brands they know, at the time they happen to need a product or service.Reminding is a perfect job for radio when used as a reach medium

Radio’s diversity of programming affords advertisers niche channels to zero in on narrow target groups. Formats allow advertisers to speak selectively to consumers they want to reach. Local/regional structure means brands can focus on key marketing areas. 

Consumers vary in their stages of the purchase cycle – on-going Radio ads allow your product or brand to be front and center when people are ready to buy, even during off seasonsRadio reaches consumers close to the time and location of purchase, whether they’re in-store or online shoppers.Reach listeners in-car when they’re driving to stores, restaurants, etc.

“Radio continues to be perceived as central to people’s lives, especially when contrasted with the precipitous decline by other traditional media” – Nielsen/Edison “Infinite Dial”. Radio continues to be the #1 source of music discovery despite the numerous audio options that exist today. People spend more time listening to news on the radio each day than they do reading newspapers or getting news online. The amount of time people listen to radio news has remained more stable over the last decade… -- Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Listeners tend to listen to relatively few radio stations and are extremely loyal to their favorites. Research shows that Radio listeners have a low level of ad avoidance, staying tuned in through commercial breaks. Because ads can run frequently and listeners tend to stay tuned for long periods of time, a brand that is big in Radio can create a disproportionately large share of mind for itself.

Listeners feel an emotional connection with their preferred Radio stations.  Passive forms of advertising merely list merchandise or tell where a product is available, radio is an active medium capable of stirring emotion, creating demand and selling products and services.
Radio is a call-to-action medium

Approximately 1/3 of TV time is devoted to commercials, about 2/3 of newspapers are comprised of ad copy, and Internet users are now subjected to a barrage of advertising. With an average of 10 commercial minutes per hour (about 1/5 of each hour), Radio affords an uncluttered environment for advertisers. Radio ads are always forefront for the listener’s attention – ads aren't surrounded by competitors’ spots or buried in the back pages.

Radio has a “multiplier effect” on other media. Audio-only medium stimulates a different part of the brain than video, print, online images Adding Radio increases recall of TV, newspaper, internet ads.  Radio is proved to drive consumers to advertisers’ web sites

Consumers need to be exposed to ad messages multiple times before they begin to respond.  Radio’s relatively low cost in relation to other media allows advertisers to use multiple stations to reach their targets and build frequency levels for maximum Impact.

Creative Flexibility
Radio stars in the theater of the mind, stimulates emotion-filled images within the listener’s own mind – voices, music, sound effects, recall of video images.  No matter how small or large the advertiser, Radio allows creativity to brand and create a unique identity that consumers will remember. Affordable production allows tailoring ads for compatibility to various formats, increasing appeal to listeners.  Radio advertisers can adapt quickly to changes in their own situations and marketplace to make sure their dollars are effectively utilized.

Cost Effectiveness
Radio production costs less than TV, print.  Radio is less expensive to buy than most major media, allowing advertisers to afford maximum reach and effective frequency

How to Set An Advertising Budget

How much should you spend on advertising your business? The price to promote your company can escalate quickly -- newspaper ads, banners, radio commercials, direct mail, online marketing, telemarketing. It all adds up. Here are the top four methods for setting an advertising budget used by the most successful independent businesses.

Fixed percentage of sales. Start with last year’s total gross sales or average sales for the past few years, then allocate a specific percentage of that figure for advertising. Most businesses set aside between 2% and 5% of annual revenues for advertising. So if your annual sales are $300,000 then spend $6,000 to $15,000 on advertising.
Pros: It’s easy to understand and safe: Rather than predict the future, you’re dealing with a known amount. If you’re in a stable, predictable industry, this method is sound. This strategy keeps your budget in relation to sales volume -- the very thing advertising is attempting to affect.
Cons: The budget is based on past performance. You may lose the opportunity to capitalize on shifts in the business climate or customer trends. This method also assumes that sales are directly related to advertising, which isn’t always the case. Numerous other factors affect sales.

Comparable to the competition. Adopt the industry average for ad budgets for your company. Many trade associations and industry publications can provide the average amount or percentage companies spend on advertising. 
Pros: This is an easy approach for companies with predictable sales patterns.
Cons: It assumes that the industry average applies to all businesses in the marketplace. Companies may ignore local market forces -- and miss opportunities to increase market share -- if they stick rigidly to this figure rather than boost spending.

Objective and task-based. Begin by setting specific marketing objectives and deciding on the tasks required to meet those objectives. (Example: Increase out-of-state clients by 5% using online promotions.) Then determine your budget by estimating the costs of carrying out those tasks. If you can’t afford to fund all your ideas, rank them and focus on the top few.
Pros: It’s an accurate method: It ties the use of funds directly to the tasks you want to accomplish. If properly executed, the advertising becomes an investment, not an expense. By spending whatever is needed, the company may grow at a faster rate.
Cons: If the advertising campaign flops, it can be pricey. You may not recoup costs on a bad promotion.

The maximum amount. Lots of fast-growing businesses put their faith in this strategy, which advocates setting aside just enough money to sustain the business -- and your family -- then spending the rest on advertising. 
Pros: Like most aggressive methods, it offers the reward of rapid growth.
Cons: It’s risky. Unless you have a solid reserve to operate your business, you may run it into the ground if your advertising fails.

Information courtesy of the National Federation of Independent Business

Tips for writing an effective Radio Commercial  

Producing Radio Ads to Promote Your Business
In 30 or 60 seconds, a good radio ad grabs attention, involves a listener, sounds believable, creates a mental picture, spins a story, calls for action, and manages to keep the product on center stage and the customer in the spotlight — all without sounding pushy, screamy, obnoxious, or boring.  Done perfectly, a radio ad is a one-on-one conversation with a single target prospect, written and produced so well that the prospect hears the introduction and says, in essence, "Ssshhh, be quiet, you guys, I need to hear this. It's talking to me."

Writing to be heard
Great writers tell you to write out loud when you create radio ads. Here's how:
Use straightforward language that is written exactly how people talk.  Write to the pace people talk, not to the pace at which they read.
Include pauses. People need time to think, and the announcer needs time to breathe. Cut extra verbiage. You wouldn't say indeed, thus, moreover, or therefore if you were explaining something exciting to a friend, so don't do it in your radio script, either.  Rewrite elaborately constructed sentences. Don't expect listeners to track through phrases linked together with who, which, and whereas. Instead of The new fashions, which just came off the Paris runways where they made international news, are due to arrive in Chicago tomorrow at noon try The newest Paris runway fashions arrive in Chicago tomorrow at noon. You're invited to a premiere of the world's leading looks.  Tell listeners what to do next. Prepare them to take down your phone number(Have a pencil handy?), or at least repeat your number for them. Most important, help them remember your name so they can find you in the phone book or online. (Warning: Don't waste radio time telling people to look us up in the Yellow Pages, especially if your competitors overshadow your presence there.)

Use the following checklist of ideas to employ and landmines to avoid:
Do stick with a single theme in each ad.
Do make a simple offer that calls for immediate action.
Do generate leads by making no-risk offers for free estimates, free brochures, or free information.
Do limit a 30-second ad to 60 or 70 words unless it includes an intentionally rapid-fire conversation.
Do use radio as a complement to other advertising: Look for our coupon in Friday's paper.
Do say your name three times.
Do match your ad to the format of the stations you air it on. If you advertise on a country western station, you won’t want an ad with new-age music in the background.

Don't expect the ad to make the sale; use it to make the contact.
Don't advertise products with a bunch of disclaimers.
Don't fast-talk the prospect.
Don't use incomprehensible jingles.
Don't use weak attempts at humor.
Don't talk to yourself. We've been in business 25 years. . . . We're excited over our new inventory. . . . We're open until 10 p.m. Instead, turn every statement into a consumer benefit (Shop 'til 10 nightly!) if you want to hold listener attention — and you do!

Developing Sound Methods That Increase Your Company's Bottom-line
Gets Results