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Radio Advertising: What You Ought To Know

Last week I started an interesting project with a friend revolving around buzz marketing. We decided to setup a niche web site for American Idol’s Sanjaya Malakar. The web site focused on Sanjaya’s “Pony-Hawk.” You can visit Pony-Hawk.com for more information.  One of the marketing channels that we had at our disposal was FM radio. We were able to secure a number of “plugs” from a local radio show.  The station we selected was an ideal demographic match for the web site. 

Our project didn’t involve actually buying advertising.  The station agreed to feature the web site a number of times during the morning as part of a cross promotion.  Each time the web site was mentioned the listener was prompted to visit the site.  Pony-Hawk.com led to some interesting observations when it comes to radio advertising.

Compare Ad Run Times with Web Traffic
If you are advertising on a radio station make sure you can get a report of when your ad is broadcast. To my understanding this is something the radio industry will provide clients as part of their advertising package or upon request. Use your web statistics and compare the advertising times with when people are visiting your web site.  Use the correlation to determine a rough return on investment.  It might take a few weeks of advertising to get accurate and good data.

Try To Advertise When People Are Using Their Computers
It’s so easy to forget a domain name by the time you get in front of a computer.  There are also times when you can’t even search for the company or service because the web site isn’t indexed properly.
Try to run radio spots when people are at work or in front of their computers and listening to the radio.  Companies try to dissuade personal internet use during work, but people check the web all the time.  If someone hears an ad and is interested in the product or service, they might be apt to visit the web site.

Some Other Radio Advertising Points To Remember

  • Is the domain name easy to remember?
  • Is the domain name repeated at least three times during the ad?
  • Does the radio add have a USP and call to action?

Our radio results for web site mentions that translated into web site traffic were fairly low.  This isn’t to suggest that radio advertising doesn’t work.  I’m a big believer in consistent messaging across multiple channels.  You can’t just advertise for short period of time expecting big results.  At the same time I don’t believe you should advertise on a medium with no ROI.  You statistical data can help determine if you’re missing the mark.  Dan Kennedy has great advice when it comes to marketing: “get the right message to the right people via the right media and methods.”

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