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Guide to Radio Advertising

by Brian Colling - October 26, 2015

Important Aspects of Radio Advertising

Radio advertising offers a way to reach a mass audience unique to any other advertising. However, you have to know how to reach your target market. In order to deliver effective radio commercials, you need to understand how this promotional medium works.

How to Make a Good Radio Commercial

You need to have a well-produced commercial – not an amateurish production. Your listeners need to know what exactly it is that you’re trying to promote within an average of 30-60 seconds and sometimes in only 15 seconds. Moreover, you need to know how to time your ads just right, and it’s important to know when single ad units or series of ads would be more effective. It’s also vital to your business success that you know how often you should air your commercials.

These points are explained further below:

Make your audience remember your ads. Your message should be as clear as possible in order to reduce the number of times it takes to convey your message. In fact, you could even catch your audience’s attention the first time as long as your ad is as direct and as bold as possible.

Do not go on tangents! Although a company fact or two could establish your credibility, your radio ad content should focus on your products and services. You don’t have time to tell your life story in a segment lasting one minute or less.

Choose your ad themes carefully. This is especially important if you plan to use storytelling to keep your audience entertained. You want to keep them interested, and your ads can keep them in suspense as the memory of you becomes ingrained in their brains. However, don’t try too hard to be “cute” or “funny,” or you will lose them.

Do what seems “natural” – within reason. Think about a catchy ad theme, and take time to ponder and brainstorm with others. You’ll have an epiphany when the brightest commercial idea you have impressed your friends and colleagues. It will probably be the one idea that just seems to make sense without trying. By partnering with an agency you can expect to see a much better creative produced for your radio spot and agencies have that experience in production that you may lack.

Recommended Frequency and Timing of Radio Ads

Opinions differ on this aspect, however, the peak listening times are typically between 7:00-9:00 am and 3:00-6:00 pm. Scheduling ads between these times as frequently as possible will ensure that your target audience will remember you. The SBA recommends a block of 42 commercials on average (ideally, seven spots a day for six days).

Your Budget and Prescribed Commercial Length

It’s tempting to try to skimp on your promotional budget. Worse yet, you might only be able to realistically afford to purchase a certain number of time slots. It also might cause you to produce segments not long enough to warrant enough of an explanation of what you do, who you are, etc. Some commercials are only 15 seconds long, but usually, they last for 30-60 seconds.

Picking The Right Channels For Your Radio Ads

It isn’t all about the creative. It is also about putting your message in front of the right audience. All of your hard work may go unnoticed and your campaign may be a total flop if your message doesn’t reach the right audience. With radio being so fragmented it’s important to know the audience affinity of any channel you plan to place your message and its potential reach. Keep in mind that once an ad pod hits consumers may be more inclined to switch the channel so sometimes it will make sense to pay a premium to be the first ad spot on a commercial break. Find out more by contacting a sales rep at Colling Media!

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Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

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