Advertising on the radio can be an effective lead generation strategy. But like all marketing tactics, success or failure lies in its implementation. Here are 15 important tips to help make your radio advertising more profitable.
1. Make sure you match the station to your intended target market. For instance, if most of your projects are sold to an affluent middle-aged clientele, it’s best to advertise on a station who’s audience is comprised of this same demographic. To pick the right radio station, poll your best clients and ask them what station(s) they listen to. If you begin to see a consistent station pop up in your survey, there’s a good chance that you’ll find more clients amongst that station’s listeners.
2. Use a first sentence that grabs the listener and demands attention, preferably by leading with a benefit or asking a curiosity-provoking question. Example: Would you like to have the nicest home in your neighborhood?
3. Make your spot easy to understand. Be straightforward (not clever or funny).
4. Use a compelling voice. Having a popular radio personality deliver your spot, if possible in a loose, conversational way, often works best. This works even better on a talk format, or call-in style program. The transition between “show” and “commercial” is often seamless, making the spot seem like “news” from the radio personality.
5. Authenticity –If you can, offer to do some small job for the radio personality as a way to demonstrate the quality of your work. This way, when the radio host endorses your company, he/she can say “they’ve worked on my home and they did an outstanding job. Showed up on time, did the job right the first time, stayed on budget and they were clean”. This type of first-hand endorsement can be powerful, especially if the radio host is popular with his/her listeners.
6. Test your spot on a small scale before committing to an extensive advertising schedule.
7. Make your phone number easy to remember and repeat it often.
8. Include specific, compelling, reasons why your company is unique and the best choice. If you have a good company story, use it.
9. Have a strong offer. Few advertisers using radio understand the importance of an offer. An offer answers the question in the prospects mind, “why should I call now”? This also makes your advertising measurable and provides a list for follow-up marketing. Avoid weak offers like “free estimate”.
10. Ask for action. Have a strong call to action – “Call now”.
11. Negotiate ad rates. Oftentimes advertising rates are negotiable. Don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal.
12. Consider off-peak times. Morning and afternoon drive-times are often the most expensive time slots to advertise on. Test your spot just before or after these peak times. Example: if morning drive-time is 6:00 – 9:00 AM try advertising at 5:30 AM and see if the reduced ad rates are worth it.
13. Don't try to reach too many people all at once. It is better to reach 10% of your prospects 100% of the way than to reach 100% of your prospects only 10% of the way.
14. Don't select radio programs or formats for your own personal likes or dislikes, but rather for the audience you want to reach.
15. Distinction is an effective tool for attracting people. That sound effect, theme music or “sound signature" will help your ads make an impression.
Tyrell MacGregor is Managing Director of FootBridge Media, a Referral Marketing Company that specializes in client newsletter templates and home improvement marketing solutions for home improvement contractors. Visit them at http://www.footbridgemedia.com