Compared to television, radio can be an affordable broadcast medium to test. Still, we recommend a budget of around $20,000 for the creative development and media spend required to do an adequate test.
Not everything lends itself to radio advertising. The biggest issue is whether the product or service is so abstract that it requires a visual component for people to understand it. Products that are so new or cutting edge that consumers can’t picture how it works, or products that people will buy solely on how they look, such as clothing, aren’t easy to pitch in a 60-second radio spot.
That said, some of the most successful categories for direct response radio include:
Video DIDN’T kill the radio star, and 309 Marketing can prove it! Radio advertising offers unique benefits, such as:
Before you develop your offer and write your ad, make sure you base your creative strategy on solving a current problem, filling an urgent need or providing an immediate benefit.
People don’t respond well to ads promising to prevent problems from occurring or save you from a future need.
Instead, highlight an immediate benefit: a product that will help regrow hair, not prevent you from ever going bald. Once you determine your customers’ urgent need, you can articulate how your product provides a solution.
The success of your campaign will depend in large part on making the offer unique. In some cases, the distinctiveness of your offer comes from the inherent uniqueness of your product. But in many categories, you can face dozens of competitors with similar products, where simply saying, “Our product really works,” won’t cut it.
You can approach distinctiveness from different angles:
Without images to help deliver your message, copywriting becomes the crucial element of your ad. Astor suggests taking an intensive approach to the copywriting process, starting out with a detailed campaign brief document.
Begin with what your offer is going to be and then list the following:
From this, brainstorm a host of concepts for possible approaches, narrowing them to two or three versions with the strongest possible message. Then, make sure your copy includes these features:
Remember that a marketer’s favorite benefits may not be the most important to the audience, so turn to any primary research you have on your existing customers. If you don’t have that data at the outset, you can incorporate benefit options into your testing phase (more on that later).
You want your ad to sound professional and feature elements that tell the story without taking away from the offer or the call to action. Marketers may be tempted to load their ads with additional production elements in an attempt to catch listeners’ attention, but beware: These bells and whistles may end up distracting listeners.
Here are a few production elements to pay close attention to:
The best way to deal with sound effects is to think about them while the ad is being written — not treat them as an afterthought for the production team. If you save the decisions until the editing/production process, you run the risk of getting lost in effects for effect’s sake.
Once you’ve developed different versions of your ad, design a media test plan that puts those messages in front of your target audience. A test phase typically involves six to 10 stations, chosen by format and time of day to match your customer demographic.
Targeting starts with the format, which attracts the following audiences:
Each format can be further broken down with details such as gender split, household income, listening habits, and other factors.
The breakdown for the alternative format includes:
Your goal is to track the results by ad and by customer audience to determine which creative and media variables are most effective.
For ads that require a telephone response, assign a unique phone number to each ad and use a call center that can track incoming calls by geographic region. Ads requiring an online response should use unique URLs.
Buyers who respond to radio ads can be high-value customers, spending a median $59 per purchase compared to a median $40 per purchase for TV infomercial buyers.
Marketers will have to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns by tracking response by ad and radio station to calculate metrics such as:
There are no benchmarks or averages available that marketers should expect to see. Results will vary by company and campaign and on factors such as price point and lifetime value of the customer.
For example, a company in the financial services category with high price point products might generate a good ROI with lower response rates. By contrast, a company with a low price point item would need higher response and conversion rates to achieve a good return.
Even for low-price items, though, a lower conversion rate can still lead to good ROI for a campaign if the company knows it has a high lifetime value for each customer.
Radio advertising is still an effective way to build your brand and market your business. For help getting your radio ad campaign started, call 309 Marketing today. You can contact us at 309-213-9398 to request a quote. Also, our Peoria office is located at 311 SW Water Street, Unit 201 Peoria, IL 61602. Other office locations include Schaumburg, Tampa, Orlando and St. Petersburg.