Getting the most out of a radio advertising strategy

How to get the most out of radio advertising from both a messaging and media strategy perspective.

Let’s face it, mainstream media is here to stay. Television will always be part of our daily life. It is the medium of the evening and the escape from the daily grind. The outdoors will always be part of the urban and rural landscape, it will not lead anywhere. And the radio – the news jingle will always get us to hit the volume button, our favorite song gets us singing and we team up and empathize with the DJs.

The radio offers strong and enviable offers: Reach, immediacy, frequency, geographic targeting, targeting by time slot, linguistic targeting. Turnaround time is quick and production can be relatively inexpensive.

So how do marketers get the most from their radio campaign? Making radio work for your business requires strategy, skilled media buying, and engaging creativity.

But what makes radio advertising attractive?

The creative and media strategy process begins with a clear understanding of your brand, your audience, and the targeted goals you want to achieve – whether measured in cost per leads, cost per order, or just increased site traffic. Web!

Let’s start with that dreaded phrase “the brief”: you can roll your eyes, but the brief is a necessary part of every campaign’s success.

First step: the creative brief

  • The clearer the brief, the better the message.
  • Your ad is important to you, the marketer. Remember, though, listeners don’t log in to listen to advertisements. Listeners are busy and easily distracted.
  • You have seconds to get your message across – those first 10 inches are vital. If you don’t get attention in those top 10 ”forget it.

Step two: the idea of ​​messaging

  • The idea must be clearly understood and stimulate and excite the audio senses to awaken the imagination. There is no luxury of beautiful graphics and Instagram worthy images. Close your eyes and listen if it works.
  • We say radio is the theater of the mind, but don’t leave too much room for the listener’s imagination. People don’t want to work too hard to connect the dots.
  • The dialogue, the script, should be short, punchy and to the point and should engage the listener.
  • Pay attention to direct translations into other languages, key messages may be lost in the translation. Roses are love for some people but mean death for others.
  • Eliminate this clutter with a unique concept that stirs up emotions.
  • Where possible and appropriate, make your post relevant to current topical issues and trends, but be careful!
  • If you are offering prizes, cash prizes are king.

Third step: production values ​​and cost

  • Your creative agency should be looking for talented, new writers who understand and get radio. Voice talent for the best messaging delivery.
  • Production is still relatively inexpensive, so change the execution as often as needed to keep your post up to date and keep it out of this overly dangerous “wallpaper” territory.
  • Be very careful not to use too many voices as this can be a very expensive exercise eg 9 ALS stations with two voices per script = 18 voices!

And what are the guidelines of the media strategy?

Step one: media penetration

  • Radio is the mobile medium par excellence for reaching captive commuters stuck in their vehicles, taxis, trains or buses.
  • Understand and leverage your target market’s listening habits, morning and afternoon commutes, lift time, school sports on Saturdays, or gospel music on Sundays.
  • Understand the penetration of each radio station, each has its regional strengths and weaknesses.
  • Do not simply fly below the required threshold weights (range vs frequency). If you do, your message will not get through. So decide up front what your strategy is and which element is most important: a lot of people versus a lot of posts.

Second step: Correspondence between the station and the target market

  • Choose a DJ to represent your brand based on the tastes of your target market, not your personal preferences. Stay on top of DJ training.
  • Establish a definition of success: do you want to raise awareness? want sales or more feet through the door.

Third step: Cost of the radio

  • Don’t just think of the cost per thousand or the cost of the reach. Consider creating a bond with your consumers.
  • Listeners love to be engaged, so look beyond the traditional generic 30-inch message: include competitions, live readings, calls, event pairing, outdoor broadcasts, and giveaways.

Fourth step: Radio 360

  • Commitment, commitment, commitment.
  • Include a call to action from the listener to increase engagement with your brand.
  • Radio continues to evolve in a 360 ° space. Work with that and take advantage of all the great things a station has to offer with live messaging.
  • Finally, do not allow the stations to “reintegrate” you into their existing competitions. If they don’t work for you, get the stations to work with you to deliver a great campaign.

The last word, a great short and effective media strategy led to the following award winning campaign:

Dove ‘Self-awareness’

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather London
Creators: Simon Lotze, Miguel Nunes
Producers: Victoria Smith, Sarah Hall
Sound engineer: David Gritzman, Gramercy Park and H&O


Voiceover: The more someone makes you think about your body, the harder it becomes to ignore them.

Your language, for example. Usually you barely notice it’s there. But when I mention it, you can feel your tongue banging against your lower front teeth. The tip is on them. You notice that your tongue is a little too long for your mouth. And you notice it never really stays still. You move it constantly, without thinking about it. Forward and backward. And from side to side. Suddenly it feels weirdly wet and heavy in your mouth, doesn’t it?

A few seconds ago you barely noticed your tongue. But one message assured you that you can’t stop thinking about it. Now imagine the hundreds of messages girls are exposed to every day, subtly changing the way they think about their bodies.

Find out how you can help at Dove. Be your beautiful self.

Margie Knap (@MarmeeMargz) is Senior Strategist at The MediaShop (@MediaShopZA)

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