WHY BECOME A SPONSOR, OR ADVERTISE ON RADIO?
Radio on the Road
Fast-food restaurant McDonald's ad campaign targeting drivers on the road is a situation to which we can probably relate: late-night driving, quiet radio tunes, rain on the windshield, passengers asleep around us. At the end, they throw in the idea that they're awake too and, oh, by the way, they have coffee and apple pie hot and ready to go.
What advertising medium do you think would work best for this type of advertising? If you said radio, you're correct. After all, you can picture yourself in that scenario because you're already in the car, right? A commercial called 'Driver' holds a bit less weight if you're sitting in the comfort of your living room.
So, how does radio advertising work?
What Is Radio Advertising?
Just like advertisers pay for the commercials you see on television during your favorite show, some advertisers also choose to focus their marketing dollars on radio advertising. That is, buying commercials, frequently called spots in the radio industry, to promote their products or services. Advertisers pay commercial radio stations for airtime and, in exchange, the radio station broadcasts the advertiser's commercial to its listening audience.
In radio advertising, there are numerous types of commercials that an advertiser might employ, similar to how brands might pursue different print advertising options (newspaper vs. magazine, for example) or electronic advertising options (email vs. social media).
Let's take a look at a few of the more popular types of radio advertisements.
Types of Radio Advertising
Depending on your brand and the type of message you're trying to convey, you'll likely lean toward one of these popular radio advertising choices.
1. Live read
The ESPN Radio show Mike & Mike is a good example of a format where you can hear commercials read in real-time online by a radio announcer, a type of commercial also known as a live read. This type of advertisement is more effective with a really popular on-air host because advertisers hope that the host's voice will carry extra weight with the show's audience.
Many radio stations implement sponsorships for certain types of radio segments, such as traffic, weather, or sports scores during halftime of the big game. It will generally sound something like this: 'This hour's weather update brought to you by Beach Rentals. Call Beach Rentals for all of your vacation needs.'
3. Produced spot
A produced spot can either be a straight read of your advertising message or a read that incorporates multiple voices, sound effects or a jingle. A jingle is a short, catchy song about your company. These typically tell listeners where to find your business or your products and can be funny, serious, or informative.
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using these types of radio advertising? Let's take a look.
Why Radio Advertising?
Some people might say that radio advertising is a less effective form of communication than others, given the prevalence of personal mp3 devices, smartphone music applications, and satellite radio. Yet, radio advertising still presents many advantages, as well as disadvantages, of course.
First, let's check out the advantages:
1. Reaching your demographic
Radio advertising specialists know who is listening to their programming, which means you can reach your intended audience without the guesswork.
2. Saving money
Buying spots on local radio can be a great way to reach your audience for less than it would cost to run the same advertisement on television or to implement a costly direct mail campaign.
Radio advertising is a broad topic. It’s both subjective and customizable, and there are no two strategies alike. That’s what makes the medium so powerful. What types of radio ads would work best for your business? Let’s explore your options.
WHAT DEFINES YOUR BRAND?
THE LIVE READ
Your commercial is voiced live on- air by a radio personality. Most stations’ on-air talent are well known, and lend expertise to the community they're a part of. Having someone’s familiar and popular voice on your ad will help drive engagement – and will stand out from the pre-recorded batch that will also be playing on the station.
THE JINGLE AD
The connection between memory and music is strong. One way to make your commercial really stand out is to create a memorable jingle to go along with it. A well-produced jingle or music bed adds professionalism to your brand and is a sure-fire way to gain recognition.
THE PERSONIFIED COMMERCIAL
Adding characters to your radio advertising strategy is another way to dramatize your message while making it memorable. Without visuals, listeners are left to craft a picture in their heads of who and what your brand is. So, when you create your character’s story, make it unique! The more relatable your character is, the more listeners want to find out what happens next, which means following along on the radio.
Someone who can give a real account of how your business improves their life is a great way to gain a listener’s attention. It’s real, it’s relatable, it’s believable. Trusting other human beings is hardwired into our brains, so we believe other people more than we believe advertising. Let your product users speak for your product themselves, and do the selling for you through testimony.
THE SPONSORED AD
If you prefer a more subtle approach to radio ads, sponsorship is the way to go. You can sponsor news, weather reports, traffic updates, or other types of regular programming. This often guarantees your spots air first in the commercial breaks, so you’ll reach more listeners before they have a chance to switch stations or tune out during long breaks.
Which one do you choose? It is a difficult decision to make. Promoting your business through a traditional marketing tactic, often overlooked in today’s digital marketing world, is an advantage over competitors. No matter what ad you choose, having an effective message will make for a very successful long-term radio campaign and your business will reap the benefits.