Is radio dead? For the last two decades, the place of radio in marketing has appeared to be in jeopardy.  Amidst the rise of digital communication tools, it is easy to overlook the impact of radio in modern advertising. Data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) indicates that half of the world’s population is now online. Such statistics paint a grim picture for radio ads production.

However, if you are a marketer looking to reach a broader yet targeted market, there’s no better medium than radio. With an impressive script, superb production, and an option for appropriate timing, a radio ad is a powerful marketing channel. For this reason, radio ads production should be part of your marketing mix.

Many people today still depend on radio for their daily dose of news, and that’s where a good ad comes in handy. Just ask yourself, what do most people do on the commute or in traffic? It is an almost reflexive action to switch on the radio when driving.

Radio adverts are impressive popular because they tap into the “theater of the mind.”A listener who hears your advert will run with it and imagine it uniquely. There’s more room for creativity for an audio advert, unlike a visual one that limits the viewers’ imagination.

This guide explores the viability of radio advertising, benefits of radio ads and also explores different strategies to produce the best ads for your target audience.

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This post has been updated in August 2021.

Viability of Radio Advertising

The latest Nielsen’s 2019 Audio Today Report shows over 272 million Americans are still radio listeners. This is an increase from the previous numbers in 2016. A comparison of the number of people listening to radio against other media platforms also shows the potential of radio adverts. 92% of people in the country listen to radio over the airwaves compared to TV viewership at 87%, tablet use at 46%, PC use at 54%, and smartphone use at 81%.

Another 2018 report says there were 15,508 commercial radio stations in the country, double the number in 1970. This shows that investors still have trust in radio as a means of communication.

If you have had doubts about using radio to reach your target audience, it is time for a rethink. These numbers indicate that your target audience is tuned in to their favorite station. Looking at these numbers, it is obvious anyone telling you radio is dead is way off the mark.

Some of  the other reasons to leverage radio advertising include:

1. Selective Targeting

You can reach a narrow segment of the population by placing your advert on a specific radio station. Different stations target particular demographics and market segments. Your job is to find one where you will most likely reach your audience.

radio advertising production

2. Expanding Your Audience

Most of the digital marketing tools leave out some segments of the population. For radio, you have a communication tool that incorporates all age groups.  You can reach all your customers and even expand your target audience using this medium.

3. Memorable Ads

Compared to written adverts, radio ads are more memorable. You can also instill emotion into your ad using sound, which you can’t do with a printed advertisement. The idea of the theatre of the mind makes radio ads more useful as they allow the listener to come up with their unique image. Your radio ad impacts each listener differently based on their background.

4. Local Targeting

Do you want to reach the local market? There’s no better way to do this than with a local radio station. Such a radio ad will speak to the people you want in the community. It is a simple way to connect with a local community and boost your business.

5. Cost-Effective Advertising

Advertising makes a large part of a company’s marketing budget. The best thing about radio ads production is the lower costs involved. You require fewer resources for a radio ad compared to a TV ad, yet you will reach a broader target audience.

6. Performance Tracking

The best marketing tools are easy to track. Thus, this is one good reason to use radio ads. You can analyze radio ads daily through data collected. If the radio ad hasn’t performed as expected, you can change it or introduce a new radio spot altogether.

7. Radio Ad Frequency

The frequency of an advert can make all the difference. Radio ads air repeatedly depending on the package you have bought.

This exposure increases the effectiveness of your radio ad. The fact that you have specific people listening to a station makes it easier to build loyalty among the listeners.

8. Fast Lead Time Production

Making a radio advert is faster compared to TV productions. Producing a radio spot can take days or a week before the ad runs. It is also easier to adapt a radio ad quickly to any changes in the market environment.

The Gist of Radio Ads Production

The first radio commercial dates back to 1922 when an AT&T-owned New York station WEAF aired a real estate ad by Queensboro Corporation.  While radio ads are a powerful and versatile way to reach a target audience, it takes much skill to make an efficient ad.

Many radio ads play over and over again, yet never achieving the intended purpose. It takes more than creating a radio ad to meet your objectives. A good radio ad must reflect your brand’s personality. More importantly, the message must be in an amusing format/tone to connect with the target audience.

If you want to leverage radio ads production, below are some important considerations:

1. Formulate Goals For Your Ad

Before you commence a radio advert production, take time to list what you want to achieve with this campaign. Every radio ad should have clear-cut goals if you want it to be effective.

For instance, if you have a website, you can drive more traffic by including your site in the ad. If you own a local store, giving directions will lead to more foot traffic.

By listing these goals, you will have an easier time planning the radio ad production with your production team. What’s more, you will ensure the output does not veer aimlessly or go above budget.

2. Determine Your Audience

Now that you know what your radio ad seeks to achieve, it is time to determine your audience. Many radio adverts fail not because they are not high quality but because they have no target audience.

This takes some research to identify the age of the target listeners, radio station your target listeners are likely to be found, the best format for these listeners, the best timing to catch them on radio, the music they listen to, among other things. You have to work with the radio station to understand their audience and get advice on how best to engage with these listeners.

3. The Budgeting

This is an essential consideration for any advertising technique because you want to get the best value for money. Some of the factors that will affect the radio ad production cost include:

  • Demographic of the radio station’s audience: Radio stations whose listeners are between the ages of 24-54 will charge more for radio ads. This is because these listeners have more purchasing power. Radio spots on these stations are in high demand.
  • Special events/holidays: When there’s a holiday, a special event in town, or anything else that might make more people interested in radio, the charges for radio spots will go up. For instance, if there’s an election, you’ve to compete for space with politicians who have a lot to spend.
  • Demand/supply of radio spots: Is there a high demand for radio spots at your target radio station? If so, the spot will go to the highest bidder.

When creating a budget for a radio advert production, consider the different options available. For instance, you can choose to have the station create the ad for you, create the radio ad in-house, pay a professional production company, or hire a freelancer.

Each of these production options has pros and cons in addition to cost varies. You should confirm the rates for each production method when coming up with a budget.

4. Brainstorm Creative Ideas

Coming up with a radio advert idea is the hardest part of the production. It will make or break your advert. Therefore, you’ll need to invest much time in this. If you have a marketing team in your company, ask for ideas and toss them around during a brainstorming session.

Go through as many ad concepts as possible and always look for samples from similar businesses. Please choose the most compelling and creative idea and share it with your production team. They will then consider it and provide feedback.

radio advertising production must know

5. Script Writing

This is another crucial part of the radio ad production, albeit an overlooked one. Writing a good radio ad script can make all the difference for your advert. To do this:

  • Consider the purpose of the advert
  • Customize content for your target audience
  • Instill desire and create empathy in your ad
  • Evoke personal emotional experiences with your words
  • Pace your script and when to include dramatic pauses
  • Please keep it simple and include a clear, relevant offer
  • Include a call-to-action (CTA) in the radio ad
  • Offer some value for the listener (what’s in it for the listener?)

6. Invest in a Voice Over Professional

Voice over professionals can transform an otherwise dull advert into a gem. Your radio station most likely has voice acting professionals and they will offer these at a fee. You can also hire someone externally to voice your advert if you have specific needs. Whatever your choice, make sure you use an expert in voice overs for your radio advert.

7. Check The Other Aspects Of Radio Ad Production

In addition to voice over, there are other considerations, including the use of music and sound effects. All these will play an essential role in the quality of your radio ad. A good radio ad producer will have all the tools and expertise to do it all in-house.

Final Thoughts

Looking for an affordable, effective way to reach your audience?  Radio ads production should top your list of options. With a radio ad, you can influence a broad audience without breaking the bank. It’s easy to target any segment of the population with a radio ad making it one of the most versatile advertising tools. With these production guidelines, you are set to start your next radio ad. It is a decision that will revolutionize your marketing campaign.

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