AM/FM radio advertising is still the most cost-effective advertising medium today, despite all the changes in the last decade in how consumers access music. It’s an inexpensive way to reach your existing and potential customers.
For optimum results, when scheduling radio ads, you want to control – reach, frequency, and consistency.
Frequency in radio advertising.
Frequency is the number of times your ad is heard by listener over the course of a week. How often are you sharing your message with the target audience? Be selective in targeting because you don’t have to reach everyone. Everyone isn’t your potential customer. Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to build frequency. Think of it as talking to people a lot.
Based on the way consumers use radio, there are three key strategies that can be optimized for building frequency:
- Advertise in short, but powerful bursts.
- Concentrate advertising into narrow times of day, such as the morning drive or night show.
- Dominate a day and saturate a minimum number of radio stations for an entire day.
Reach in radio advertising.
If frequency is talking to people a lot, reach is talking to a lot of people. Reach is the number of different people who hear a radio commercial.
If your objective is promotion, meaning you want the target audience to take a specific action, reach is required. There are a few different concepts that can be employed to talk to a lot of people about your brand:
- Advertising over a longer period of time
- Advertising during multiple times of day
- Using a few different stations
- Taking advantage of short-duration commercials. A High Impact Plan (HIP) using six-second ads at the beginning of every commercial break all day long. Or you could opt for :15 second ads with a short and sweet message.
In any advertising medium, reach refers to the number of people your message reaches (hence the term) in a given time frame, typically a week. For radio, you can increase your reach by placing ads on more radio stations.
Consistency in radio advertising.
Reach and frequency are opposing forces in the radio advertising realm. They compete with each other for dominance. By increasing one, you decrease the other – unless you have more money to feed it. To be effective, your business doesn’t have an infinite budget; however, reach and frequency remain crucial elements for a successful campaign.
How do you find the perfect balance? It’s easy, ask the experts. Your radio rep can help immensely here. Optimizing reach and frequency based on your specific goals and budget requirements is one of the many things they specialize in.
So, if you ask if radio advertising is effective, then an imediate answer is “YES”. No other medium can reach such a broad cross section of potential customers as radio can. In addition to the audience, there’s the attention factor. Being able to place your company’s marketing message in front of a consumer for 30 (or 60) seconds is a gold mine. Compare this to the few seconds the average web browser spends on a single web page.
Repetition (frequency) also helps your local radio ad be more effective. While that web browser may never return to that web page, he or she will likely hear your radio ad multiple times. And, of course, repetition enforces recognition.
Low production costs are another advantage to local radio advertising. With a radio ad, you don’t need a spokesperson or an elaborate set; you just need a good, well-written script.
While the glitz and novelty surrounding online radio stations can make it seem that such stations are taking over the market, the truth is that local radio is still as relevant as ever and offers small business owners a way to reach a lot of people without spending all of their marketing budget.