Performance Marketing Agency Expert Series: Radio Advertising

In a world of streaming audio and connected TV, people often ask us if radio is dead.

Quite the opposite. Despite the rise of digital platforms, radio advertising has remained a classic form of promotion since the early days of radio. It still holds significant power for businesses due to its extensive reach and the personal touch of audio content.

Read more: Video Didn't Kill the Radio Star, According to Statista and MRI-Simmons. Here's what to know about radio advertising in 2023.

According to Edison Research's "Share of Ear" Report Q4 2022, AM/FM radio accounts for 76% of the daily audio time spent on any ad-supported platform.

Let’s quickly run through the different types of radio ads:

  • Spot Ads: The most common radio ads. Durations range from 15 to 60 seconds, and they play during commercial breaks and can be tailored to specific local or national audiences.
  • Sponsorships: Brands can sponsor specific segments or shows. For instance, a sports brand might sponsor a sports update segment on a radio station.
  • Live Reads: The radio host or DJ reads the advertisement live on air, often adding their personal touch or testimonial. This method leverages the host's connection with the audience to promote a product or service. Authenticity is a big component here!
  • Branded Segments: A brand might create and sponsor an entire segment relevant to its product. Think of a travel agency sponsoring a weekly travel tip segment. These help increase brand awareness over time.

But, even with radio’s staying power, it’s critical that brands learn and adapt to make sure they’re getting the most out of radio advertising and adapting their strategies for the digital age.

Here are some ways we’re helping our radio clients stay ahead of the curve.

Add Interactive Elements to your Radio Ads

Interactive elements integration is transforming the game for broadcast radio. Using interactive elements, brands can actually track listener responses, which provides valuable insights into audience preferences and behaviors.

This feedback loop not only helps to refine content and optimize placements, but it also creates a more engaging and personalized listening experience.

Read more: Understanding Tracking and Attribution with Radio Advertising

We’ve had great success with current and past clients in utilizing response-provoking CTAs in our radio ads. For example, incorporating a texting CTA is an effective way to get your listeners engaged. Utilizing keywords that are simple, easy to remember, and easy to text is more likely to increase performance!

Take a Multichannel Approach

A multichannel approach capitalizes on the strengths of each platform. Combining terrestrial radio with TV, CTV, social media, or podcasts, for example, makes achieving a more comprehensive reach possible versus single platform campaigns.

This approach enhances a brand's overall visibility, caters to diverse audience preferences and behaviors, and seamlessly blends them.

The real power of multichannel marketing lies in creating a cohesive, multi-dimensional brand presence and engaging with audiences across various touchpoints.

For example, building on early success with radio campaigns for a home healthcare client, we strategically expanded our channel strategy, adding TV followed by Direct Mail and CTV, knowing that this multi-channel approach would boost brand awareness and recall. We expanded our client into 43 markets and reached 20 million households.

Tapping the Nostalgia with Local Reach and Personal Connection

Local radio offers a rare ability to connect with local audiences amidst the sometimes overwhelming abundance of global content. There's something deeply comforting about tuning into local news, events, or music. It provides a sense of comfort and reminds us of the place we call home.

Broadcast radio can remain competitive in the digital age by adapting to new technologies and leveraging its strengths while effectively advertising for clients across many categories. As we move forward, there is every reason to believe that our favorite radio stations will continue to influence, entertain, and promote, one broadcast at a time.