Radio Advertising Guide: How to Get Started Today

Cody Cromwell
Written by
Last update:

Pros & Cons of Radio Advertising

To make an radio advertisement, you’ll need to do some research and also hire some talented music composers. Though some companies simply hire a musical composer to write a jingle at a minimal cost, his services can be quite expensive.

Once you are done with your advertising, you can use digital technology like slim FM Radio Performance Tracker to time your radio advertisement and analyze the results of your radio advertising campaign.

The main idea of radio advertising is to create an attention grabber which can make the listener listen to your advertisement or connect your brand with that listener. Eventually, this can lead to a customer call for your product or services.

General Advantages of Radio Advertising:

Cost Effective

In an increasing competitive market, you can always survive by getting way bigger than your competitors; you can promote your product among your competitor’s customers and gain their loyalty, enhance your reach and customer base, and ultimately increase your sales. The best part is that radio broadcasting can offer you an additional tool to reach your target customer 24/7.

Reach of Radio Networks

The largest radio networks have an extensive reach in multiple regions which means you can start your advertising campaign and reach an additional 25 million potential customers in your target market.

When to Use Radio Advertising

Radio advertising has the ability to reach listeners at all times of the day. Whether you’re aiming to promote your latest product during the evening commute or you’re looking to bring customers into your store during the weekend, radio advertising has the ability to reach your target audience at the right time.

Radio’s adaptability serves as a key reason why radio advertising is becoming more and more popular with businesses and consumers. Because radio is able to reach its audience at different times and at a variety of locations, radio advertising can easily complement other advertising methods.

Radio advertising works well for businesses that have a high level of engagement within the community. Whether you’re a small business owner who offers seminars and consultations to local restaurants or you’re a regional clothing brand that wants to target customers within a certain area, radio advertising could be a feasible option.

Radio is especially valuable for businesses that specialize in a single product or service. For instance, if you’re a plumber looking for more customers, a radio ad campaign may increase the number of new plumbers’ clients in your area.

How Much Radio Advertising Costs

There are different radio buying options. The least expensive method is to have your company send your audio to a station directly. This method is good for smaller, regional companies who don’t want or require commercial production of your radio advertising. Often, they’ll bring you on board to do the planning and the execution of your radio campaign.

Your radio buying agency may not be able to get your company on board with this option. Sometimes, it’s the only method they have available. It’s a common occurrence in many radio markets; stations without on-staff commercial production capabilities. If this is the case in your market, you’ll need to find an agency that can play that role. In some markets, this service is going to be included in your budget. In others, you get to choose your selected agency yourself.

For medium and larger companies, they sell the airtime. Your radio campaign is going to air on a local radio station. They can provide you with an estimate of the number of spots you’ll need to buy. They’re also going to handle the production of the spots and handle programming.

Number of People Listening to Your Ad

It’s important that you choose the right radio station and the right day for your radio ad. A recent study from the University of Connecticut showed that 94% of people are in the car or on a train when they’re listening to the radio. Of all these people, just 13% are listening to spoken word ads. This might explain why so many commercials sound the same and many radio stations offer little variety in their programming. However, this study also showed that the average number of people listening to your ad goes up by 7% when the time of day is later in the day. So, if you’re running a late hour radio ad, it’s a good idea to choose a radio station that’s popular in your local market. The radio station you choose should also depend on the type of ad you’re running. If you want people to call your number and talk to you, consider adding a toll-free number to your radio ad.

Demographic of the Radio Station’s Audience

Notice that on the top of both demographics examples we are stating that the radio station audiences are 70% and 80% over 25. These demographics were chosen because they are the most common, but maybe your station’s audience demographics are different. You will want to match your station’s demographics to whatever type of style show or topic you’re trying to represent.

Also, keep in mind your demographics are only a starting point, and that your station’s audience will grow and change over time like it did in this survey.

As you will be advertising over the air, station demographics are very important to understand. Once you know the station’s listeners, you can begin advertising on radio stations that are relevant to their interests (we talked about this more in the radio advertising guide).

Another thing to keep in mind with your demographics is that different demographics will listen to radios of different styles. Stations that are trying to target families won’t be trying to target the same people listening to heavy metal. So make sure your listeners are the right match to the style you’re looking for.

Demand for an Ad Spot Among Advertisers

Radio ads remain one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to advertise to the masses. As we all know, radio is available in every community, in every town, and in every neighborhood in the country. Plus, most people tune into the radio rather than the Internet or cable TV. With an estimated 1 billion people worldwide listening to the radio every week, there’s no better advertising format than radio.

Additionally, radio is the only medium available that offers nationwide promotion as well as local areas. Radio is also the only medium that can be used to target the entire population in any given area.

Veteran and New Advertisers: The Pros and Cons of Radio Ads

Radio has inarguably the largest and most experienced commercial advertising company in the world. As a result, it’s in a great position to target the right demographics for your products and services. Unlike the Internet and other print media, radio ads are most effective when they focus on the targeted listeners in a particular region. This is because radio is the one advertising format that reaches the whole population, while other media reach only a portion of the overall populous. Therefore, radio ads are more expensive to radio stations, but it’s an effective and effective ad campaign because it targets the entire audience that it reaches.

Special Events & Occurrences

When to Advertise

Create a second ad copy that calls out your message every time you cross over to this station. For example, if your radio ad says “We’re here today to provide you with a stress free auto maintenance experience”, your tagline might say “We’re here today to provide you with a stress free moving experience.”

As you can see, word processing software allows you to provide two different messages with one single ad copy. This will enable you to create more creative and memorable commercial radio ads.

Another advantage of using radio to advertise your business is the low cost. Because of the low costs, you can advertise on radio while you’re waiting for a return on your investment. The low expenses of advertising on radio are necessary to expand your brand with minimal outlay. Unlike a television advertising campaign, radio advertising presents no risks since you are not directly investing money on each advertisement. Moreover, radio advertising is more cost-effective because there is no production cost. Radio advertising is broadcast for free.

Ways to Create a Radio Ad

Whether you sell products or services, a radio ad is one of the most powerful tools you have to reach your target audience.

Radio is a great way to advertise because it reaches people across a wider demographic than print or television ads … and unlike print or TV, radio advertising is not constrained by the length of the ad! A 30 second radio ad can be much more effective than a 30 second print ad. A radio ad can take any length that is needed to accomplish its purpose.

There are three main ways to create a radio ad: … voice-over, … in-depth, and … interview. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to the designer to pick which format works best.

A voice-over is an in-depth description of your product or service with supporting sound clips and demonstration of the benefits. It usually takes place over several different audio tracks.

A radio interview is an in-depth interview with the sponsor or the spokesperson for your company. It takes place over multiple audio tracks. The interviewee always speaks, but the interviewer … or the show host … usually asks questions to promote the interviewee’s product or service.

Ways to Measure Radio Ads Performance

Radio is a significant medium used by advertisers and marketers as radio adds a unique touch to promoting any brand and product and thus the needs of advertisers vary from one to another. Though radio requires a lot of planning and spending, it offers a wide variety of programming options and opportunities to advertise. Radio is one of the most inexpensive media to advertise for and is the most popular medium for increasing brand awareness.

But to get the highest potential from radio ads, you need to know “how to get started today.”

This guide is specially prepared to help every beginner who is planning to advertise through radio.

Radio Advertising Terminology

Radio advertising rules and regulations are strict. Anybody trying to promote a product has to follow a certain amount of rules and regulations. Defining, marketing, promoting, and advertising a product are just a few of words that are used to label each of these radio advertising steps. Every phase has to be defined in order to fulfill every step of the advertising process and make sure every step is done the right way. If there is a word in the market that you would like to add to your radio advertising vocabulary then give the following terms a try.

Radio advertising is just as good as television marketing in terms of branding and promoting a brand. However, it is a strange, misrepresented, misunderstood, and in some cases, over-stepped industry. It is also a misunderstood industry because of the lack of radio advertising professionals providing significant opportunities for radio advertising alone.

Radio Advertising Terminology

Marketing – The planning and strategy behind advertising.

Promotion – How a product is advertised.

Advertising – General name given to broadcast advertising.

Publicity – Information that is published about a company or its products.

Paid Advertisement – A radio ad with a price tag.

Direct Response Advertising – A radio ad that offers a prize or lead in exchange for a call or visit.

Radio ad copywriting – Writing radio ads that get people listening.

Radio commercial production – Producing radio ads.

Best Alternatives to Radio Advertising

Radio advertising is one of the most cost effective, effective and powerful methods to reach out to your targeted market. Whether you’re an opportunity or business owner, that should not discourage you to build your own radio campaign. Building your own radio campaign is rather easy than you think. First of all make sure that you have a credible radio station to start off. Radio advertising is one of the most cost effective, effective and powerful methods to reach out to your targeted market. Whether you’re an opportunity or business owner, that should not discourage you to build your own radio campaign. Building your own radio campaign is rather easy than you think. First of all make sure that you have a credible radio station to start off.

Before starting your radio advertising you can build your own radio campaign you have to know what radio station is better for you. There are so many pros and cons of radio advertising. Broadcasters are selective, which means that they are not going to program your spot just because you sent it. However, they are interested in hearing from advertisers who will benefit them financially. Not only that, broadcasters want to make sure that their listeners are also benefiting from their advertising spots.

Your radio spot will have the best reach and impact when you are on the same station of your target audience. The deeper your radio spot can get into the brain of your target audience the more that you will benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the purpose of radio advertising?

The purpose of radio advertising is to reach your target audience. Radio advertising can be used to generate awareness of your business, create brand recognition, reach new customers, or just introduce your product.

Sometimes, radio advertising folds into a bigger radio, television, or internet marketing campaign.

What are the benefits of radio advertising?

Radio advertising is a very cost-effective marketing method. You pay a one-time fee, and you reach thousands of potential customers at no additional cost for each impression.

What is the radio advertising process?

Radio advertising begins with assessing your needs. You’ll need to consider the size of your target group and your budget. Contact one of our skilled radio advertising specialists, and you can begin with a radio advertising strategy that can be tailored to your growing company.

Once your radio advertising plan is laid out, we’ll advise you on the best radio stations to target that will get the most exposure. Then, we’ll work with those stations to schedule your national and local advertising, and a radio promotion campaign will launch.

We’ll provide you with detailed reports to help you determine the effectiveness of your radio advertising campaign.

What are the different types of radio advertising?

Why do radio ads fluctuate in cost so much?

Radio ads cost quite a bit to produce for the following reasons. Radio has a very narrow medium of communication, and general advertising takes more time to produce for radio than for any other medium. Only local radio stations offer the opportunity to deliver media at a low cost per impression. Regional and national radio stations charge much higher fees per impression.

You also have to consider that space on the radio is valuable, and that expensive daytime radio players have limited locations.

The bottom line is that radio ad delivery is more expensive than most forms of display advertising (press, outdoor, and point of purchase) because radio is a very narrow platform of communication, and radio advertising is very time consuming.

What is the daytime radio average CPM?

If you’re interested in learning more about radio advertising, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re interested in radio advertising for the morning drive show, midday drive show, or the top 40 markets cash, here’s an overview of some of the dayparts and their CPM averages.

Since CPMs are an important indicator of the market rates and the competition for spots in a particular daypart, these averages are an important factor to consider when deciding where to buy radio advertising. These CPMs are as of September 2011 and were determined by Ace ring back advertising and by Arbitron book in rates.

How do I find the best radio stations to advertise on?

It’s definitely going to take a little bit of work on your part to pinpoint the best radio stations to advertise on. But in the long run, it will be worth it so you can be sure that you’re reaching the right target audience.

If you’re just starting out, consider building your advertisement strategy and listing based on demographics, zip codes, favorite sport, or college – all those will give you a good idea of who you should target. And once you start listening to radio stations, you can stop over and over for a couple of minutes each day to identify a station that would work well for your product or service.

If you already have an idea of your target audience, target the radio stations that are playing music, talk shows and programs that appeal to what you are selling.

Just as you can find the best television stations to advertise on, for radio, you can do the same thing. All you have to do is look for the stations that broadcast popular shows that attract large audiences, and you’re golden. You can also think about targeting stations that play music and news. And once you’ve found the right stations, you can use the information below to help you find new radio stations to advertise on.

What is the average return on investment (ROI) for radio ads?

The average return for a radio advertising campaign is usually on the order of 6-7% ROI on investment. This means that for every dollar spent you’ll get back roughly 6-7 cents (or more, depending on the day and time on the radio and format used).

By comparison, TV ads typically require a larger investment with much less guaranteed return. In some cases, you won’t see any significant ROI for 6 months or more after the ad campaign starts – but even then, you’re looking at a positive ROI.

How much growth can I expect from the advertising spend?

With broadcast radio, you’re going to get the most growth in your brand through the name recognition and awareness levels.

Why? Because more than 80% of your audience is listening in a car or while they’re driving.

As far as growth with TV advertising, you’ll see the biggest increase in your brand growth, awareness and recognition if you’re advertising on TV programs that target his/her demographic (i.e., CBS is generally going to target younger people, while GSN, ESPN, etc. are going to be for young adults).

What programs will benefit from my media spend?

Bottom Line

Radio is a one stop solution for a professional and classy advertising radio. It’s one of the best medium as it is available to billions of people worldwide. Radio is the only medium which uses technology and not even some ad produced in radio is somehow irrelevant or reflects otherwise. In the field of Radio advertising it is true that every piece of recorded audio is a tuner is a potential customer which has been demonstrated by many successful campaigns in the market.

Radio commercials is a single or a few spots for the short duration of 15 minutes on air at a time. But, keep in mind there are several ad units that can be played in a single 15 minute time slot. Except this, there are analogs of this and one of them is the –Super short spot” that is aired in some stations for only a few seconds.

Radio work is conducted in different ways and is one of the best medium for a wide reach of the ads, national and international. In short radio advertising one can say it is the right choice for national and foreign markets.

You Might Also Like…

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Popularity does not spell success. However, popularity might be a good indicator of the health of a product, or service, or even a large corporation. But from a purely philosophical perspective, popularity also raises an intriguing question. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are among the foundational principles of the United States of America. These are deeply held beliefs that are embedded in the nation’s very DNA. From the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution to the Bill of Rights, these are the principles that the government of the United States of America was established to protect. It stands to reason that, if the country has any credibility when it comes to pursuing life, liberty and happiness, and of pursuing happiness itself, then the principles, beliefs, and ideals represented by these three words must be more than just lip service.

The founding fathers also understood the importance of marketing. They shrewdly realized that selling _happiness_ had an inverse relationship to filling one’s pockets with money. Many a man has sought shelter from the rain, but fewer have sought shelter from the cold, the hot, and the hunger that comes with being hungry.