If you are trying to grow your business, and you have a little bit of a budget, one of the most cost effective ways to advertise is via radio.
There are several advantages to radio advertising:
Very cost effective (if done correctly)
Full attention of the listener (if done correctly)
Very memorable and can be done quickly (if done correctly)
You can establish a presence in your local market (if done correctly).
What do you mean? If done correctly?
Before you spend a dime on radio advertising, ask yourself a question; Who are your customers? If your customers are typically of a certain demographic age and type, that's who you want to reach? (If your customers are older and white, advertising on a hip hop station might not be the best choice. If your customers are mostly Hispanic, advertising on a country music station might be a bad choice.) Know your market. Advertise to them.
Once you have picked a radio station, listen to it. Find out who the top advertisers are on that station. Then, visit them during a live promotion. Are they doing a live feed at a car dealership? Did it draw any attention? Did it bring people to the promotion? Did the listeners spend money?
There are three main types of radio advertising:
Spots (This is a typical advertisement. 30 to 60 second spots, on average.)
Promos (This is an event, usually a live promotional event where the radio station will come to your location, and be doing something...usually silly, goofy, fun, and highly interactive.)
Infomercial or full show. An infomercial, or full show can be a half or one hour show, done on a regular basis. When you do a full show, you connect much more deeply with your audience. I was part of an infomercial show. When we would show up for live events, people would greet me as if I was a celebrity AND a trusted member of the family. (Radio is the most intimate type of advertising, and when people listen to you, they trust you.)
There are two main types of radio broadcasts:
Over the air: This is your traditional radio broadcast, and it reaches a local area. (AM or FM).
Podcasts over the internet: This reaches a worldwide audience, theoretically. It also usually has a much smaller listener base.
When you are choosing a radio option, you have to decide what type of station you want to advertise with. There are two main options:
Music: With music, people keep the radio on in the background, or while they are driving. During the commercials, they are only half listening, if that.
Talk: With talk radio, you have a smaller audience, but they actually LISTEN. If you are doing a half hour/hour long show, where you SOUND like you are giving information, being entertaining, and are an expert, they will perceive that you are an expert, and listen intently. (Again, radio is the most intimate media communication. People will think of you as a celebrity AND as a trusted friend).
What type of personality do you have? If you are a born communicator, you may choose to be the host of your own radio show (for half an hour). If you are not that comfortable, but you enjoy talking about your business, having a host ask you questions, and making you look good, is a great way to have shared credibility, without being a radio star. If you are not comfortable talking on the radio AT ALL, consider advertising spots.
Frequency: When you are first starting out, you will view advertising as an expense. You have to go into this with a full program. Don't buy a single spot and expect results. You have to buy multiple spots. When you buy multiple spots, you will greatly lower your cost per spot. If you don't do these often, you are wasting money. Consider doing a radio station with less listeners, but more engaged listeners, rather than going with a higher rated station. (Webcasts are even cheaper.)
Tracking: Every new customer that comes into your business should be asked one question, EVERY TIME. "So, how did you hear about us?" Track your advertising dollars. Once a radio ad is broadcast, it is spent. Whether there was a positive result or a negative result, it doesn't matter. The money has been spent.
Before you spend the money, hire a marketing professional that knows radio, and your market, to help you maximize your advertising dollars, and get the best return on your money.
If you do it correctly, radio advertising can have massive results, and rapidly change your gross revenue and profitability.
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