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Unique Advantages of Radio Advertising

by Brian Colling - October 10, 2018

The demise of radio has been over exaggerated for decades. Radio remains a strong and productive medium for all advertisers who use it. Here are the unique advantages of radio advertising:


Radio advertising is here stay because radio is the leading reach platform: 93% of us listen to AM/FM radio over the airwaves. Radio advertisers are once again dedicating increasing budgets to marketing over the radio airwaves. Even in the digital age, radio advertising is still seen as a highly effective and viable marketing medium. Why? Simply put, because it works.


Radio allows your message to be delivered to a targeted and captive audience at a cost that is much lower than most advertising mediums. For many small businesses, the costs associated with producing and airing a 30-second commercial during prime time television programming can be prohibitive, but the costs to reach the same audience on the radio are significantly more affordable.

Contextual Targeting

Radio is one of the few advertising mediums that include a built-in loyal audience. Most radio listeners have one or two favorite radio stations they tune in to regularly. Heavy radio users work listening into their daily habits and have specific times they tune in.  Radio advertisements can even be tailored to specific times of day to ensure you’re hitting your desired audience at the exact right time. This gives advertisers a unique co-branding opportunity. Radio listeners also report a greater willingness to not only listen to advertisements but have shown excellent response rates to radio spots. If you’re looking for a built-in audience for your brand, radio provides a perfect opportunity.

Geographic Targeting

Another significant advantage of radio advertising is the ability to market to both local and national audiences. Radio is one of the few forms of advertising that allows the brand a large amount of control over who experiences the ad and when. Radio spots can be run on local stations and programming only, or they can be distributed to a larger national audience. Radio advertisers can target by city, state, region or cover the whole U.S.

Demographic Targeting

Radio formats allow advertisers to dial in their specific audiences. Demographics such as women 18-34, men 25-54, or Hispanics 18+ can be reached through radio diverse formats.

According to Marketing Charts  9.6% of US radio listeners in PPM markets aged 6 and older were tuned to a News/Talk station, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR), at 8.1% share, followed by Adult Contemporary (7.5%), Country (7.4%) and Hot Adult Contemporary (6.4%). 

For the 18-34 and 25-54 age groups, Pop Contemporary Hit Radio and Country were the top-2 formats for each of these brackets, with News/Talk 10th among 18-34-year-olds and 5th among 25-54-year-olds. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio proved especially popular with 18-34-year-olds with a 12.2% share.

18-34-year-olds also displayed a greater preference for Urban Contemporary (their #4 format), Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio (#6), Mexican Regional and Alternative (tied at #7).

The 25-54-year-olds tuned in more to Classic Rock and All Sports formats.

Getting Started with Radio Advertising

Some companies will tell you that anyone can develop and execute a radio advertising campaign, and while it’s true that anyone can buy radio airtime and record their own advertisement it takes a professional who understands the ins and outs of radio advertising to manage a successful radio campaign. What time of the day should I run my spots? How many advertisements should I run at once? How do I know if my advertisements are making an impact? These are all questions a professional media and advertising firm can help answer. One of the worst mistakes many first-time radio advertisers make is to cut corners by trying to manage their own radio advertising campaign.

In order to ensure your message reaches the largest market segment and generates the best results, it’s important to work with an experienced advertising and media agency. At Colling Media, we understand how to help brand your organization using targeted radio advertising that generates high quality, measurable results. Our media buying experience allows us to ensure our clients receive the best value with their radio advertising campaign and ensures our clients’ advertisements reach the maximum amount of prospective customers.

Radio advertising is one of the most effective and most affordable marketing activities your organization can undertake. If you’re interested in learning more about what radio advertising can do for you give the experts at Colling Media a call today. We’re happy to discuss how your organization can benefit from professional, targeted radio advertising.


Related article: 10 Basic Rules to Billboard Advertising

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