How to Develop a Radio Marketing Plan

Radio Advertising

Radio is one of the most reliable forms of advertising. The first commercial radio broadcast was on KDKA and aired to the residents of Pittsburgh, PA in 1920. It was sponsored by Westinghouse, who had the idea when looking for ways to sell more radios. Long before the internet, radio and popular radio hosts were the original influencers. 

Radio marketing is as popular as ever today and continues to reach 93% of Americans, as it has since the 1970s. It remains highly accessible for businesses of all sizes to implement for excellent results at a reasonable cost. Small businesses can and should develop a radio marketing plan as a part of their overall marketing strategy. To develop their advertising more effectively, companies need to understand the specifics of how radio works. In this post, we’ll lay out the steps businesses should take to develop their radio marketing plan.  

Determine Your Ad Goals  

Step one in developing a radio marketing plan is knowing what you want to achieve. For instance, do you want to increase brand awareness? Perhaps you want to promote a sale or event. Do you need to increase foot or web traffic to increase sales?  

Different types of ads work more effectively than others to optimize the different parts of the sales funnel. Whatever your goal, it should be based on reaching your target audience to drive the desired action.  Keeping a few best practices in mind ensures your radio ads are highly effective: 

  • Capture their attention 
  • Convey a powerful but simple message 
  • Create urgency with special offers or discounts for a limited time 
  • Clearly state contact details, such as the store’s location, website URL, or phone number 
  • Repeat the essential points 

Choose Your Metrics  

Your ads should have metrics built into them to give you insight into their performance. Ultimately, those same metrics will help determine your ROI for that ad spend. There are several you can use based on proxy measures like web traffic or foot traffic. You can also track direct results from special promo codes or URLs meant to track traffic from the source. 

The most critical metrics change as your customer moves through the sales funnel. You want to track metrics like unique views, value per visit, and social media followers in the reach stage. Tracking leads or leads to conversion are the best metrics in the act stage. Measuring online and offline sales, average order value, and profit align with the decision stage.    

Promote One Area of Your Business  

One sure way to lose the interest of your potential customer is to focus on one primary goal. Giving your listeners too much information can be confusing and overwhelming, ultimately diluting your message. Your ad campaigns should have a narrow focus so that customers get a clear impression of who you are and what action you want them to take. If you want to communicate more information, you need to create multiple campaigns. 

For instance, say you are an automobile manufacturer. You want people to know that you have sporty, fun, fast vehicles with outstanding performance. However, you also know an increasing number of your target market is concerned about the environment and the use of fossil fuels. For them, you might have a completely different campaign highlighting your hybrid, electric, or alternative fuel vehicles or your company’s efforts to reduce your carbon footprint with carbon offsets.  

Decide On Your Budget  

Determining your advertising budget is a critical step in developing your radio marketing plan. Start by setting your budget based on a percentage of your revenue so that it will automatically increase as your business grows. Your budget may naturally start smaller if your business is new, but will reflect your business’s growth over time. However, you must make sure that your budget is large enough to achieve your goals. Creating radio ads is an investment in your business that will help it grow.  

As you start out, your budget should be a higher proportion of your overall revenue, which will balance out as you expand. Instead, determine how many people your ads must reach to encourage the purchases or sell the services that will achieve your ROI goals. Work backwards from there to determine how big of an investment will make that possible.

Create Your Ads  

Radio offers a variety of advertising. You can achieve different goals by using various techniques such as pre-recorded ads, scripts for hosts to read, and even partnering with radio influencers to promote your brand. Your marketing materials need to be cost-effective while being able to resonate with your target audience. Radio spots offer flexibility in how much you want to pay and how your message is delivered. 

Factors that impact your cost are the length of the spot and the technique used. There are essentially four types of radio ads: 

  • Live reads – Having your radio influencer speak live about your brand comes off as a personal recommendation, engaging their many loyal followers. 
  • On-site broadcasting events – Invite your local radio host to your business, and their loyal audience will follow. 
  • Sponsorships – Some businesses find great success in sponsoring segments of the broadcast, like sports or news. 
  • Traditional pre-recorded spots – Advertisers can convey pertinent information concisely while engaging listeners with pre-recorded spots using voice actors, jingles, and more. These have a clear call to action to purchase from your business. 

Develop a Radio Marketing Plan That Grows With Your Business  

Radio is a cost-efficient, highly effective way to reach your target customer. However, getting to the right type of ad, the most impactful message, and the optimal delivery, whether live, pre-recorded, or using a popular radio influencer, are all factors that impact the efficacy of your ad spend and, ultimately, your ROI. A media partner and their account executives will help you develop, produce, and implement your strategy to the best effect. Working with a trusted account executive gives you the marketing expertise that ensures you will meet or exceed your goals.  

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