Not All Chicago Radio Stations Are Created Equal


With all of the media and entertainment options consumers have today, AM/FM radio still plays an important role in their everyday lives. In fact, radio reaches 93% of U.S. adults—but they’re spending 87% of their listening time with just three stations.

Clearly, not all radio stations are the same. And that means not all stations provide the same benefits or opportunities to advertisers. How do you choose the right Chicago radio station? Today’s post breaks down four steps to take to ensure you’re choosing wisely.

4 Steps When Choosing a Chicago Radio Station


1. Solidify Your Marketing Objectives

Before you can make a decision about when and where your radio ads will run, you need to first determine what you want to achieve. Are your goals focused on brand awareness, or are they tied to specific promotions? Knowing your objective will allow you to articulate your target audience in a meaningful way—such as young, employed parents with disposable income, or home improvement do-it-yourselfers with household income over $100,000. Having a specific target audience that’s defined by a mix of demographics and lifestyle factors is critical to being able to choose the right radio station.

2. Remember Quality Over Quantity

Generally speaking, the more listeners a radio station has, the more expensive it will be to advertise on that station. For Chicago business owners who need to reach a defined target audience, the station with the most listeners may not actually be the best value. What’s most important is audience fit. The more a station’s listeners match your target audience, the greater the advertising value. A reputable radio station representative should be able to give you the specific research necessary to determine if your target consumers index against their station.

3. Consider the Power of Personalities

Chicago radio stations that abandon local personalities in favor of pre-packaged programming lose a vital connection to their audience. People tune in to hear their favorite on-air personalities, and they listen when they talk about local businesses. A radio station personality’s influence extends beyond the airwaves into engagement on social media and in-person at community events. Advertisers can leverage radio endorsements to tap into personalities’ influence and build trust with consumers.

4. Trust Your Gut

Before you partner with a Chicago radio station, make sure you feel like they understand your goals and have a plan to help you achieve them. Ask them if they have a no-bump policy or run limited commercial breaks. Talk about other opportunities, like digital banner ads on their station websites or sponsorships of certain sections, social media posts from their personalities, and more. You should be comfortable and confident launching your radio advertising campaign, not second guessing if you made the right choice or wondering what happens next.

With these steps taken, you’re on your way to making an informed decision about what Chicago radio station or stations will be right for your business. Got a minute? Watch this quick video on the Hubbard Difference to see what makes Hubbard Chicago stand out.

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