Radio ads remain a highly effective and efficient tool for business. Each week, nearly 17 million Australians 14+ (86%) listen to radio during the week, (Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, April 2015 – March 2016 n = 50,392 Australians 14+) — and over seven in 10 listeners tune in at multiple time slots. The growth of the mobile phones, has given Australians access to radio anytime and anywhere. Online radio alternatives like Spotify (while still growing), also offer a new highly-targeted radio audience. To be successful, the right ad needs to reach the right listeners, and then motivate them to purchase your businesses product or service. So, what are the prerequisites for a good radio ad? How can you convey the ideal message? Or more importantly, in what way can you encourage listeners to take action when they’re nowhere near a PC, pen or paper? There are seven important rules to follow for radio ads, that will help encourage potential customers to consider your offering.
Rule #1: Understand Who Your Target Audience Is and Where They Will Hear Your Ad
Regardless of the advertising medium (TV, radio, print, online ads, etc.), each business needs to understand their audience and how they will consume their ad. How old are they? Are they male or female? How much money do they make and what are their spending patterns? And most importantly for radio advertising, which station do they listen to? A business must be able to describe their prefect customer or primary target, as well as their numerous secondary targets. Each radio station has a primary audience they target and numerous secondary ones. For a business’ ad to reach the right audience they must choose the right station. You wouldn’t put an ad targeting teenagers on an easy listening or golden oldies station, and you wouldn’t put an ad targeting an older demographic on a hip-hop station. Choose relevant stations, channels, and/or shows where your target market is likely to hear your ad.
Rule #2: Timing is Everything
The time your ad hits the radio has a major impact on listeners as audience size varies dramatically throughout the day. For instance, A.M. drive time (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) has the most listeners and they are the most receptive as well. They’re ready for the news and radio ads like yours. Midday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) will have fewer listeners as most people are at work.
When purchasing ad time, consider your target audience. If the listeners you want to reach are businesspeople, choose an A.M. advertising window to catch these consumers as they commute or drive to work. If you’re aiming for a younger crowd, produce a late-night ad that they’ll hear when they are out and about in the city.
Rule #3: Start with A Bang
If you can’t grab your listener’s attention from the start, then you may have trouble from the start. Think about those online ads that give you the opportunity to skip after 5 seconds (where many people do), this is also true with radio. If the listener is driving, they will change the station. If they’re online, they may mute the ad. Don’t waste time with boring introductions or wordy explanations. Radio advertising slots are short and costly, and people are busy. Get directly to the point and start selling the benefits. Sell the sizzle not the steak. Since you’ve got to know your audience in Rule #1, now you can create a strong intro that grabs their attention and holds it. Try adding a jingle, a funny story, or a discussion to help keep the listeners attentive. Also, avoid unclear words or terminology.
Rule #4: Copy is King, Write for the Ear
For your radio ad to make a major impact, it needs to have a creative edge. It should provoke the listener’s imagination and ask them to join in the process of imagery generation. To do this, you need to convey one or two simple yet powerful messages that will drive people to purchase your products or services. This also means that your script should feel authentic, credible and human. When your script sounds genuine, there will be a natural connection between your product and your target audience.
Additionally, avoid the comfort of clichés. Writing for audio means the words need to be spoken convincingly and clichés will eat up precious time with little to no payoff.
Rule #5: Have an Effective and Powerful Call-To-Action to Drive Sales Now
With no pictures, everything depends on the voice and the delivery. The voiceover person should sound afraid, enthusiastic, edgy, peaceful, etc. if that’s the style of the ad; neglecting to find the perfect sound for your ad can result in missed sales and, worse, wasted money. Find a professional voiceover to fit the material for your commercial and the demographic of your target audience. An old voice talking to young listeners may not be the way to go, unless the radio ad was written with an older voiceover person in mind.
Rule #6: Have an Effective and Powerful Call-To-Action to Drive Sales Now
What should listeners do after they hear the ad?
Go to a website? Call a telephone number? Go to a shop? No matter what it is, make sure that the message is straightforward and simple enough for your audience to understand.
Radio listeners can’t click a button while driving or while going for a run. They are unlikely to memorize or have enough time to make a note of a number on a notepad (if they were even carrying a pen and paper). Follow these simple guidelines that will help listeners recall your ad:
- Obtain a telephone number for your business that is easy to remember. This can be done with the use of a 13, 1300 or an 1800 phone word, or with a number containing duplicates making it easier to remember such as 8966 3355.
- Make your URL simple and memorable or use words that match your mission.
- Repeat your Call-To-Action a few times during the ad (if the ad is long enough). Potential customers may not have caught it initially.
- Encourage potential customers to act immediately. If a potential customer catches your ad and is interested, you must get them to act immediately. If not, they will leave it for a later date when it may be forgotten. Provide them with a limited-time special offer, or an exclusive discounted deal. Provide an incentive and generate a feeling of urgency.
Rule #7: Test, Test, and Test Again
Never trust gut instinct or intuition – instead, test out your radio advertising campaign repeatedly to discover what works. An effective strategy is to make two different radio ads and then run them equally across a predefined time-period. Each ad would direct listeners to a different landing page or contact number in order to track results.
Gather the results after the desired timeframe, analyse the results, and then implement the most successful one. You can keep testing this ad, trying different intros or call-to-actions and, soon, you will have a commercial that converts at a far greater rate than the initial version.
- Understand Who Your Target Audience Is and Where They Will Hear Your Ad
- Timing is Everything
- Start with A Bang
- Copy is King, Write for the Ear
- Use an Amazing Targeted Voiceover for A Targeted Audience
- Have An Effective and Powerful Call-To-Action To Drive Sales Now
- Test, Test, and Test Again
If it all seems too hard to do yourself, don’t worry, call Media Crew now or send us an email click here. We understand you don’t have time to study all the ins and outs of radio advertising and look after your business as well. We know the ins and outs and have implemented them for many of our clients. We know what works and what doesn’t. Contact us today! For the latest Australian capital city metro radio survey results click here.