Radio is alive and well and a viable advertising source for mid-market businesses.
Terrestrial radio is one of the oldest forms of media. While the explosion of the internet has brought on an enormous number of digital mediums and apps that would have people believing that no one listens to it anymore, that simply isn’t true.
Satellite radio continues to grow and according to Statista in 2017 had 35.26 MM weekly listeners and more people are using pureplay apps like Sound Cloud and Spotify to set their musical choice channels. What these services don’t offer that local radio does are the sheer number of weekly listeners and a localized flare.
Traditional radio today has become more about the on-air personalities and less about the music they play especially during prime drive times. These local or syndicated personalities are folks they trust and can relate to. They understand current events, topics and cities they live in. They cover everything from political landscapes and topical news, to sports and tom foolery.
A regional company should tap local stations to connect with their audience on a local level. In most markets there are so many stations that cover different genres, that there is an outstanding opportunity for any mid-market company to reach their targeted local consumer.
Like any other medium, the key is making sure that only the correct stations receive any of your budget. Radio needs to be very strategic. You need to understand who your audience is, and which stations entertain most of them. Simply choosing the most popular station in a market, may not be the wisest way to go. Especially once you narrow your audience demo.
Look at stations’ second largest demo group because many times one stations secondary demo may still be larger than another station’s primary demo. (Example: 21 – 34 men, CHR vs. Alt Rock)
The next step is evaluating seasonality and consumer listening patterns. While drive times are surely some of the most listened to times of the day, broadcast companies know it and charge accordingly. If your budget is tight, you’ll receive the best value using prime time for reach and use perimeter times for frequency. Keep genre, ethnicity and race in mind because they also alter prime and perimeter timing strengths.
Other factors that can be useful with radio advertising are streaming ads and promotional ads. In many cases, these “commercials” can be bonused into the contract at little to no cost and help lift both reach and frequency.
Personal endorsements, if done properly and kept fresh are nearly as valuable as a celebrity endorsement for a regional company who can’t afford a national figure. Remember, they like and trust these personalities, so it has more value.
With 245MM weekly listeners, radio is not only alive and well but still attracts more users every week than the entire internet in the USA.