If you feel your time and advertising budgets getting strained, you aren’t alone. Many business owners, especially small ones, feel your pain. As technology continues to storm forward, it is hard to keep up with ads trends.
Appropriately dividing your ad dollars between various video and audio ads can be a daunting task. Back in the good old days, there were TV ads and radio ads. Not cheap, but more impactful than buying ad space in the local newspaper or phone book.
Well, I may have just aged myself with that last bit, which is part of the problem facing brands today. There is a severe generation gap in TV, Radio, and Social Media usage. While researching this post, I texted my 16-year-old niece and asked her if she ever listens to the radio. Her response, “Like in Dad’s truck???”
The market, reachable with radio, is aging and shrinking, rapidly overtaken by the fast, flashy, and cheap social media and online audio ads. While not as drastic as the shift from radio advertising, television ads are also feeling the pinch. Nevertheless, there are benefits of each, tv, radio, and Facebook ads.
This post was updated in May 2021
Traditional Radio Still Has Life
Rumor had it that video killed the radio star. Killed might be a bit strong. For the time being anyway, “it’s just a flesh wound.” We shouldn’t discount the fact that radio was the beginning of it all!
A quick google search will show you that “Radio remains a strong and productive medium for all advertisers who use it,” or “radio’s failure to improve its popularity is a dire sign.” Unless you are trying to sell radio ads or digital ads, you can assume that the health of radio advertising is floundering somewhere in the middle of these claims.
Regardless, under the right circumstances, radio is still a potent advertising tool. Particularly for small businesses trying to reach a local audience. Furthermore, country music stations are dominating with nearly 15% of the 15, 508 stations in the U.S. offering the genre, although news and talk radio stations are commanding 10% of audience time countrywide. While radio ads may not give you the narrow target delivered by Facebook, the research is available to hit your audience over the airwaves.
If you currently have radio ads in your marketing mix, you may be thinking about re-routing some, or all, of those advertising dollars. Or, you may be considering throwing some money at the medium. In either case, here are some things you might want to consider:
- Who are you targeting?
- Does your product or service have a wide-reaching or narrow market?
- Do you even know your target market?
- Do you need a far-reaching yet relatively inexpensive advertising platform?
- Can your product be marketed without a visual component?
- Is your message simple enough to be conveyed in a 30 to 60-second spot?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you should consider radio ads as a potentially useful format for your business.
Radio Ads On Point
Should you decide that radio ads are something that you should stick with, or add to your repertoire, some vital points that will contribute to the success of your campaign.
- Your message needs to be concise and crystal clear
- Be natural but catchy and entertaining
- At least seven spots per day with most scheduled during commuter hours
- Only target stations that your primary audience is most likely to frequent
- Frequently test your radio ads and ensure ROI measurability with a distinct call to action
Choosing where to spend your time, energy, and dollars is challenging. While we are focusing on radio ads, tv ads, and Facebook ads, you might also want to consider online audio ads. You may find that radio ads appeal to you, but more narrowly targeted audio ads will get you in front of a more specific audience.
TV Ads: Still Reigning Supreme
In my lifetime, television has been the centerpiece of almost every household. Granted, way back in the day, my folks had one 13″ black and white TV with maybe five channels and bunny ears. In the 70s, my Mom watched her “stories” during the day, and we spent evenings as a family watching Mash, Hawaii Five-0, Wild Kingdom, and The Wonderful World of Disney. At the time, the tv ads seemed A-MA-ZING! Looking back at them now gives me a combo feeling of sweet nostalgia and awkward embarrassment.
Today, TV ads are legitimately amazing, but I imagine 40 years from now they too will seem silly. Technological advances have thrown open the door and invited creatives to look through a lens of limitless possibility.
Let’s compare this Pepsi commercial from 1978 with this one from 2018 in which Pepsi uses its own tv ad history to create a slick and star-studded Super Bowl commercial. Regardless of whether TV ad revenues may be declining at a concerning rate, we are still tuning in to live and real-time programming. As long as we do, TV ads will have value.
Top 10 Most Expensive 30-Second Spots 2019-2020
- Sunday Night Football $685,227
- Thursday Night Football $540,090
- This Is Us $359,413
- The Masked Singer $201,683
- The Voice (Monday) $192,983
- Grey’s Anatomy $186,026
- The Voice (Tuesday) $179,951
- 9-1-1 $172,215
- New Amsterdam $172,085
- Empire $171,187
As with most things, you can find sources to support both thoughts as to whether it is a good idea to invest in TV ads or not. The reality is, live and real-time viewership is declining, television networks and advertisers need to get more creative, and the future of tv ads relies on the development of an interactive experience. But, right now, Proctor and Gamble is still paying for several 30-second spots during Sunday Night Football, and Pepsi forked over millions on a holiday campaign with Cardi B, their latest spokestar. If TV ads are good enough for the most recognizable brands in the world, you’ll likely see ROI.
Four Keys to Successful TV Ads
In spite of any technological advances, four truths about tv ads are holding strong:
- Viewers respond to an emotional connection. Throughout time the most successful emotional triggers for consumers have been empathy and humor. Put your audience in another’s shoes or make them laugh.
- A good story will win over an audience. Overwhelmingly, viewers connect with characters like themselves and stories with messages of hope or success. Bring them on a journey.
- Catchy jingles, intriguing content, and celebrities get people talking. This talk is of particular importance now that people are communicating on social media. Twitter is the new water cooler chat, and it is 24/7.
- Highlight your brand’s logo early and often. The more familiar viewers are with your visual imagery, the more likely they are to recognize it when shopping or searching for a particular product.
Facebook Ads: Your Audience Awaits
Undeniably, Facebook is the current supreme domain for video and audio ads. Unbeatable in target market specificity and user accessibility, nearly 70% of all U.S. adults have a Facebook account. And, of those, 74% are logging in at least once per day. Brands looking for substantial returns for minimal investment can’t afford to overlook the promise of Facebook ads.
Need help writing Facebook ads? We’ll take care of it! Submit a project right now!
Unbelievable Facebook Stats
The current statistics about Facebook engagement, ads, targeting, and reach are mind-boggling. Regardless of whether you are engaged in radio ads or TV ads, you must include a strategy for Facebook ads. The sheer numbers associated with Facebook activity and ads demand your attention and participation. The following are just a handful of reasons to get your brand into Facebook ads:
- Users access Facebook eight times per day on average
- 96% of users access Facebook via mobile app
- Users have posted more than 2.5 trillion times
- User comments surpass the half-million mark every minute
- Over 6 million businesses use Facebook ads
- 67% of companies using Facebook ads consider it their most influential social media platform
- Every month users engage in 2 billion searches per month
- The potential reach of Facebook ads is 1.9 billion
- The average CPC on Facebook is $1.72
- In 2018 discoveries on Facebook led to at least one purchase by 78% of U.S. consumers
From an advertising perspective, the promise of Facebook’s targeted demographics and reach is undeniable. With the right approach, a few simple guidelines, and a relatively small investment, your brand will benefit from Facebook ads.
Facebook Ads Tips for Beginners
Getting in front of your audience multiple times per day is invaluable. Your current and future clients begin to feel a personal connection to you and your brand. Also, the metrics help you tailor content to those most active on your page, and those most likely to make a purchase.
Start with a narrow audience.
Facebook Audience Insights (FAI) within Facebook’s Ad Manager is where you will find the audience that you are trying to reach. Down to the most minute details and specifics, FAI offers the best way to dial into your target market. Learn the tiniest details about potential clients. Far beyond just location, age, and gender, you can zero in on consumer’s activities on Facebook, and even what devices they use to engage. In the beginning stages of your Facebook business page, narrowing down your audience as small as possible is smart. Then, as you learn more about what people are looking for and what you have to offer, your audience reach will seem limitless.
Use all the tools available.
There is absolutely a learning curve when you venture into the depths of Facebook ads. Some essential tools available are Facebook Pixel, for tracking, and Creative Hub, for ads creation. Within Facebook’s Creative Hub, Image Text Check, and Split Test Tool help you maximize engagement and success.
This is a lot. If you had nothing to do except focus on ads, it would still be a lot. Full disclosure, my first foray into a Facebook business page and ads lasted a whopping 25 minutes. I suggest small bites. Any marketing campaign that you choose will require time and effort that you may not be able to afford. Unfortunately, building a following for your brand today requires that someone put in that effort.
Creative outsourcing is one option that allows you to focus on the logistics of your business.
While you build your product or service, a giant team of experts and creatives at Bunny Studio can develop the podcasts, videos, audio ads, and written content that will deliver potential clients to you.