Did you know that the first radio ad script aired in 1922 in New York? Back then, the radio ad cost Queensboro Corporation $50 for 50 minutes of air time. Today, with the shift in interest and shortened attention span of consumers, the landscape of radio ads has greatly evolved.
Recall the number of times you craved for a burger after listening to a radio ad? Marshall McLuhan once said, “Radio affects most intimately, person-to-person, offering a world of unspoken communication between writer-speaker and listener.” Through the decades, the emergence and advancement of multimedia technology have seen many new formats of audio ads. But still, traditional radio ads remain an ever-popular channel for commercials, and for many good reasons.
If you are reading this article, you are probably considering if radio ads are worth the hassle and investment. Here to help you push that decision button, this article will discuss why radio advertising remains a top contender in the corporate marketing strategy. Read on to find out the secrets ingredients to writing and producing a powerful radio ad script. One that will reap you great ROI!
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
Why Radio Ads?
We’ll let statistics do the convincing. Did you know that 95% of Americans listen to the radio every week and 25% of listeners gain interest in brands through radio ads? Numbers don’t lie and the radio remains the most accessible media to all. But aside from quantity, let’s also talk about the quality of consumers and the potential conversion that can lead to a boost in your sales numbers.
No doubt, we sometimes get annoyed by a radio jingle ad the very first time we hear it. However, after the fifth time or so, we find ourselves humming along to the tune despite our best intentions to avoid it. That is the power of increased frequency. We listen to the radio on our commute to work, when we are at work, and even have it on at home in the background. Throughout these hours of the day in intervals, you are exposed to repeated ads. Repetition in addition to our auditory senses creates a longer-lasting memory of the brand, compared to other means of advertising.
Don’t let your investment fall on deaf ears! How many times have you used television commercials for a toilet break, or to grab a cold beer from the fridge? How many times have you done the same to avoid a radio ad? Exactly the point! Because radio ad lasts for an average of only 30 seconds, its more unusual for the audience to bother switching channels just for the duration. That goes no matter how annoying we find an ad. In addition, sound travels and the ad will most likely be audible from your kitchen as well. We simply can’t avoid radio ads! With radio, the listener absorbs everything. All you have to do is make your radio ad script compelling.
Anyone who understands how to craft an effective marketing strategy will know the importance of consumer demographics. Casting a wide net, whether it’s to an untargeted audience, or with generic content usually results in ineffective ROI. This is because your ad will not strike a chord on a deeper level with your audience. This will make your ad come across as impersonal. Each radio channel usually has loyal listeners. Depending on the vibe and genre of music the channel plays, one will be able to identify the age group and interest of the listeners. In addition, radio ads are great for geographical targeting. If you own a homegrown store, going for a local channel would be ideal to reach consumers in your local town who will find your store more conveniently accessible.
It costs a substantial amount of time and money to create a television ad compared to an audio ad. Recording video content versus just audio production requires a much bigger investment. That includes hiring models, video and studio equipment. Let’s talk about the magic of radio ads. Radio is a perfect medium for sheer poetry. Just voice and inspired imagination. No visual distraction. Your radio ad script can instill emotion and draw from the audience’s own personal inferences simply with the use of music, voices, and sound. Not to mention, outsourcing audio ads can be done very affordably and in a short time-frame.
How to Write a Radio Ad Script?
Radio can be the most intimate and socially personal medium in the world. But learning how to harness all the elements to make your ad a personal dialogue to your listener is part of conquering the medium. There is no one sure-fire way to craft your radio ad script. But we’re here with the blueprint to help you get there. All you need to do is inject a dash of creativity and a touch of your brand’s authentic voice.
Step 1: Decide the Purpose of your Radio Ad
Just like all projects, a clear objective on what you are looking to achieve with your audio ad will help drive the direction of your radio ad script. Going in without a clear and concise goal would simply be a waste of time and money. Here are some objectives you can consider:
- Are you looking to increase brand awareness?
- Is there a new product you would like to advertise?
- Are you trying to drive traffic in that area towards your store?
- Is your goal to make known the benefits of your product?
- Is there a promotional discount you are offering?
- Are you looking to differentiate your product’s benefits from your competitors?
Step 2: Tailoring Content to Your Audience
Who exactly is your target market? Being as specific as possible always helps. Here’s an example of some demographics you can identify. Say, you’re selling some rad trendy sneakers. Your audience would most probably be a male between the age of 16 to 35. This means that he would probably be someone who enjoys new chart-topping music. He likes to keep up to date with the latest trends and is conscious of his personal appearance. With this information, you will be able to make the following decisions:
- Pick the radio channel with your ideal target audience.
- Type of background music to play with your ad.
- The tone of language to use in your radio ad script.
- Top 3 information in points that you wish to include in your ad. (e.g.: Benefits, discount, new product)
Step 3: Crafting the Content
Now that you’ve got a list of items you wish to incorporate, it’s time to get your hands wet. Writing a radio ad script is really not that tough. To help you get there, here are some guidelines to follow.
1. Allot Number of Words
Deciding on the length of your radio ad will determine the number of words suitable for your ad. Unless you’re going to rap your ad like Twista (the fastest record-breaking artist for rapping) you will need to pace yourself! On average, many prefer to go with a 30-second ad. That allows for about 40 to 70 words depending on how you plan to use the allotted time. A 15-second ad calls for a maximum of 35 words and a 1-minute ad allows for approximately 120 to 140 words.
2. Establish Empathy
Compelling audio ads mean content that resonates with your audience. A huge part of it is to use emotional marketing strategy. Emotional marketing is proven to perform twice as well as content that only focuses on rational content. Ads that pull on heartstrings be it through nostalgia or a brand story are also proven to be more memorable for brand recall. If you can reach your audience on an emotional level, you know that you are connecting with them by creating a personal experience. You can establish empathy by amplifying the pain of a situation, or simply by writing in the shoes of your audience.
3. Create a Desire
Have you ever purchased a product that you haven’t considered buying before? That’s the power of marketing! One way of doing so is creating an air of mystery to keep people excited before the launch of a product. While being crystal clear about a strong brand culture, Ford uses this tactic to create a desire for the brand.
Another shoo-in way of doing so is to paint a picture of grandeur to your audience. Create a dream in which your consumers can picture how their lives can be better by outlining the benefits of your products. Or, how your products can solve the problems faced by your consumer on a daily basis. If your objective is to differentiate your product from competitors, don’t just talk about the unique selling points (USPs) of your product. Your consumer doesn’t want to know the specifications of your lawn mower’s cutting edge engine. Instead, always write from the perspective that resonates with your audience, such as how the benefits can make their lives better.
4. Write for the Mind’s Eye
While television can give people a visual image, the radio can give a burst of life to a million images in a million minds. Everyone has a different experience and a unique perspective. The goal is to reach your audience on a personal level to evoke those personal emotional experiences. Sometimes, all it takes is one song to bring back a thousand memories. Knowing your audience and choosing to play the right sound effects or music can help your audience create a picture in their mind’s eye. Use this technique to create a desire for your brand.
5. Pace Yourself
You have two tools when it comes to audio ads. They are sound, and silence. Sometimes silence expresses a thousand more words than words itself. Learn how to pace your script and when to include dramatic pauses. Your radio ad script should be like a music score. Denote where the pauses and crescendos are so your voice actors can correctly portray and express your intent.
6. Motivate Some Action
Sometimes it takes a little more push for your listener to take action. If you are aiming to gain customers new to your product or brand, providing an incentive helps. For example, you can include a limited time discount on your product in your script. This will help motivate your listener to take the initiative to try your product.
Step 4: Including a Call-to-Action
A radio ad script without a call-to-action is moot. Imagine driving all that enthusiasm successfully and then ending with an anti-climatic loss. Where should your listener go to purchase your product? How can they find out more about your brand?
Because of the shortening attention span of consumers today, it is impossible to cram too much information into your script. So make your call-to-action short and sweet. Nobody is going to take out a piece of paper to write down your store’s address unless it’s a once in a lifetime deal. So if you’re directing traffic to your website, make sure your URL is short and simple to catch. If you’re providing a number to call, be sure to make the number catchy and easy to remember. Sometimes, repeating helps.
Pitfalls of Radio Ads
Yes, we all do aim for the best. But knowing where most ads fall short can help you avoid making the same mistakes. Here are a few things to note:
1. Keep it Simple
Remember to only include 3 points for your ad. Cramming too much product specification or information will make you lose your audience’s interest.
2. No Clear Call-to-Action
Unless you’re an already well-established chain such as Mac Donald’s or Coca Cola, make sure people know where to find your product. Many ads fall short on doing so which causes a huge leak in ROI.
3. No Benefits
Make sure you outline the benefits from a perspective understood by your audience. Don’t drone on about how many pixels your camera functions on. Instead, talk about how your consumers will see the difference in clarity.
You’re Ready to Roll
Don’t be a broken recorder, be entertaining. There’s no harm in injecting some humor. If you find yourself falling short of inspiration on how to write a radio ad script, outsourcing is always a great option. Whether it’s hiring someone reliable to write your script, a suitable voice to record your radio ad, or someone to develop the entire audio ad altogether, make sure you choose wisely. Pick ones with a track record of awesome recommendations. Here’s one to consider. And now, you’re ready to rock and roll!