Here are some tips to successful radio advertising.
To build a critical foundation for successful radio advertising you will need to have a clear and precise understanding of who you are targeting and what you are trying to achieve.
Know your target audience. Who are you targeting?
It is extremely important to have a clear understanding of your target audience when advertising on radio – in order to marry this with a radio station’s audience, for optimal results. You should be able to quite easily identify your ideal customer by analyzing the sales data of your business.
For example, if the vast majority of your customers are tourists, then this is your target audience. Keeping with this example, if the most popular radio station in town has listeners who are predominately local spaniards, they obviously don’t reach your target audience, and you could quite easily end up wasting your money with this station (despite being the biggest radio station in town). Advertising your restaurant on a english speaking station makes a lot of sense.
Make a list of the radio stations in your market. Listen to each one to help identify your target audience. What kind of listeners will be tuning in, and are they a potential customer for your product or service?
What are you trying to achieve?
As well as identifying your target audience, you need to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. There are 3 predominant categories with radio advertising objectives:
Branding Objectives – used when you want to build brand awareness by letting your target audience know who you are and what you do.
Promotional Objectives – used to advertise a specific event or promotional offer.
Tactical Objectives – used when you want to evoke an immediate response from your target audience.
The objective of your campaign will greatly impact the design and cost of your advertising package, and is thus critically important to think about this before you get started.
Once you understand your audience and objectives, you can begin to focus on what stations to advertise with, based off their ratings.
Write a great script for your ad.
Without a truly great script, everything else will be waste of time and money. You can have the best production, talent, time-slot, and have your target audience nailed, but a poor script will make it all worthless. So, the pressure is really on to make that script stand out.
Ideally, you’ll want to hire a professional copywriter or creative advertising agency to do this for you. However, money can be tight when you’re running a small business, and you may have to settle for your writing skills to make this work.
First, listen to a lot of radio. You need to pay attention to what catches your ear, and what passes you by. Which ads speak to you? Which ones are memorable, hours, or even days later? Which ads are OK on the first listen, but incredibly annoying after a few more plays?
Most important, remember that you can paint any picture you want in the minds of the listeners. You don’t have to rely on special visual effects; this can all be done with voice talent and some sound effects. And the results can be incredible.
Don’t be tempted to voice it yourself.
So, you have a winning script. Now you need to breath life into it. The first step in that process is to hire the perfect voice talent for the job. You may be tempted to do it yourself (which rarely works, unless it’s ideally suited to the product or service). Don’t do it. You don’t have the required skills, timing, or vocal presence to pull this off.
Ideally, you’ll want to be present when the voice talent is recording the audio though. You want to give some direction before and after each take, to ensure you are getting just what you want. Don’t be afraid to redirect the talent, or ask for different approaches. Voice actors are consummate professionals and want to give you just what you pay for.
Good production is must.
Unlike TV commercials, production is more simple for a radio ad. You need all together: a good, imaginative script, voice talent, music, and sound effects.
Your copy isn’t relying on any visuals, so it’s vital you capture the listener’s attention from the start. The copy needs to be crystal clear and not muddied by trying to be too cutesy in your pitch.
Invest in a high frequency of ads.
A radio commercial needs to air multiple times before it sinks in with the listener. Running your commercial once a week for a month isn’t going to be enough.
Frequency refers to how many times your ad airs in a short amount of time. A commercial that airs multiple times in a day has a better chance of reaching the listener than a commercial that only airs a few times in a week. However, if you are going to create an ad that runs many times a day, be wary of the “nag” factor. If it’s too annoying, you will alienate potential customers.