This morning, having come to the end of an audio book, I turned on my car radio. I don't listen to much radio lately, and I'd forgotten what traditional, "interruption" advertising sounds like.
At each commercial break, advertisers literally screamed at me, insisting that I buy their products - – shaving cream, plumbing services, debt consolidation, feather beds. Their stores and offices were all conveniently located (convenient to whom?) and their services intended for people just like me (really?). All slick, salesy and presumptuous.
Are you doing any advertising on radio (or TV, or in print)? Are you attracting all the new business you want?
Here's the thing. Even though your prospects may be listening to your ad on radio, chances are they spend a lot of time online. Email and social media marketing have changed consumer expectations. Not just online, but offline – on radio, TV, or in print – as well.
If you want your audience to pay attention, give them fascinating, educational, trust-building content. For example, explain how to get better gas mileage (the car dealership), arrange pillows so as to avoid a stiff neck (feather bed store), or reheat coffee without making it bitter (cooking school)?
And constantly refresh or rotate the content, or your listeners will tune you out.
Here's the formula for effective radio advertising: compelling content delivered with authenticity and authority, over time. It makes you the obvious choice should a need arise.
Identify your prospects. Speak to your ideal prospects – people likely to have a need for your products or services, and let them know who they are.
Be gracious and authentic. Listeners aren't going to do business with you unless they like you.
Educate your prospects. Establish your expertise and genuine concern with lots of fresh, useful information.
Encourage listeners to engage by phone or email. You're building relationships.
Commit to a several months at a minimum. Trust takes time to establish, and most listeners won't hear all your ads.
Follow these five rules, and the ROI on your radio ads will go from awful to awesome.