In an age of downloadable music that is listened to online or on your phone or on an iPod—not to mention any other ubiquitous handheld device—is it still relevant and cost-efficient to advertise on the radio? At Mad 4 Marketing, we are frequently asked about the merits of radio advertising. The truth is that there are still plenty regular radio listeners out there—approximately 230 million, in fact. But the trick is knowing who is listening and when. As with most marketing formats, the greatest value in radio advertising comes from doing your homework in order to hit your niche demographic as often as possible with a memorable, informative ad.

Picking the right station and time slot for your ad to air is rather important, but you also have to buy enough time. Radio commercials are traditionally offered in 30-second formats, although you may also be able to purchase a full minute of air time for a steeper price. Another option might be to sponsor a section of radio programming, so that announcers themselves mention your product (and this can be backed up by regular advertising during commercial breaks). Regardless of the amount of time one commercial takes up, it is vital for that commercial to be heard over and over again. One trick is to continuously buy air time during the same short time period (such as 12-2pm). That way, the same very targeted audience (like workers who have a daily lunchtime commute) will hear your commercial over and over again, giving it time to sink in. Exposure on the radio is known as ‘frequency’—which is not the number of times your ad airs overall, but how much exposure you have to your preferred audience.

When it comes to crafting commercials for radio, you must keep in mind your formatting. Creative cannot take on the same hurdles as print, television or online advertising, which come with enticing visuals and interactivity. With radio, sound is the most important factor. Your ad needs to catch listeners’ attention with the right music, jokes and sound bytes. And because listeners cannot click on your ad or rewind it, key messaging must be extremely tight and make an impact the first time around. Contact information must be at the forefront—after all, what good is even the most entertaining, persuasive call to action if your potential customer cannot reach you?

Additional benefits to advertising on the radio include:

  • Cheaper than television commercials, but with the same big-audience outreach
  • Smaller cost to produce than television commercials or broad online campaigns
  • Can be used to supplement other marketing efforts (‘See our ad in the Daily Post’)
  • Easy to adapt and re-place ads according to effectiveness
  • Catches the same people at the same time on a regular basis (built-in audience)
  • Utilize trusted on-air personalities by buying sponsored segments or endorsement

Interested in discussing the logistics and pricing for how to put your business on the radio? Contact Mad 4 Marketing as the radio media buying experts to get you the most effective scheduling at the best cost so that you can be heard. Contact us for a consultation.