by James Shaw and Amelia Penner
Radio Advertising in the Okanagan – Part 2 of 2
- Deciding on the right radio station
- Knowing who your audience is
- Choosing the right time of day
- Comparing Okanagan radio stations
Get Them to Remember
Hearing is not the same as listening. People hear background noise, but listening is focused and active. The average person needs to hear your radio ad 11 times before they will actually listen to it. Once they do listen to it, are your customers remembering what you say? Below are some suggestions to create a winning ad:
- Use humor – people love to laugh
- Create curiosity upfront with an odd intro or sound – a well designed ad interrupts the listeners’ current thought process to switch them from “hearing” to “listening”
- Mention some related facts or “did you knows?”
- Turn part of your ad into a catchy song that is sure to get stuck in someone’s head
- Make your ad a conversation between two people
- Sponsor the news or sports or weather with a quick 10sec sound bite (shorter ads but more repetition for the same dollars)
- Jump on board with a station’s contests or quizzes. You may have to provide prizes which will cost extra money, but the brand awareness and foot traffic may be well worth it.
Most importantly, do not forget to mention the name and important contact information of your business. You do not want them to remember just your ad, you want them to remember you. The average person needs to listen to something at least 3 times before they can remember it. So… repeat repeat repeat.
Get Them to Take Action
What is the goal of your ad? Do you want them to call you, check out your website, or come into your store? If no one is taking action, try some of these tips:
- Say the phone number and email address in a way that they will remember
- Advertise a sale. Yes, people still love sales. Be specific though. Eg. “No tax on all couches and loveseats this Saturday and Sunday only.”
- Make a limited time offer or limited amount available. In the example above, the sale is limited to a certain product and a specific time frame. Interested listeners now have an image of a new couch in their minds AND a deadline. A bit of pressure prompts action.
Whatever you want your listener to do – make it clear and easy.
Measure Your Results!
John Wanamaker, a US department store merchant, once came up with the most famous advertising quote of all time:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
So inevitably the phone rings (or the web traffic spikes)…. do you have any idea if they are calling because of your radio ad or because of your website or yellow pages listing, or billboard, or newspaper ad, or…. or….? Let’s talk for a moment about ways to measure and compare.
Companies like MongooseMetrics (MongooseMetrics Tracking) allow you to register a separate phone number to use in your radio ad (or wherever you like). When someone calls this number it will still ring on your phone at work, but you will be able to track online how many people called from hearing your radio ad. Tip: you can use unique phone numbers on other ads too, like print and web ads. It’s a great way to measure the effectiveness of each to start to understand what type of marketing is making your phone ring.
Web Traffic Tracking
There are a few different ways you can track who is visiting your site from your radio ad.
- You can register a new domain that forwards people to your website
- You can add a subdomain (subdomain.website.com)
- You can add a section to your website (website.com/section)
All of these unique URL’s can be tracked within your web stats program (we love Google Analytics – it’s good and it’s free!). Using unique URL’s for each piece of your marketing campaign makes it easier to attribute the source of the traffic that results from them. The next step is to change things around in the current ad to boost its effectiveness or dump the losers and boost the winners…. but that’s a topic for another article.
Buying Radio Ads
Here are a few quick tips to remember when buying radio spots…
- Do not pay the standard rate card price – negotiate for a better deal
- Heavy load your ad spots into a short time period if your budget is small – alternate two weeks on and two weeks off to get the better bang for your buck
- Do not run on more than one station at the same time unless you have a large budget – switch between your target market stations to get increased frequency and measure the results
- Do not always buy direct – sometimes buying through an ad agency can get you a better deal
Do you have an opinion on a local radio station? Have good story about an epic radio ad failure or smashing success? Share it! For the good of all humankind and the ears of our children! Don’t not hold back! Okay, that was a bit melodramatic…