Marketron

Why Digital-Only Brands Should Become Broadcast Radio Advertisers

Contributor: Beth Osborne, director, marketing and content, Marketron

As digital advertising continues to become a growing part of a station’s revenue, you may have a book of businesses that are digital-only advertisers. Maybe they aren’t convinced of the value of radio ads or seek an audience outside of your station demographics. For new advertisers, they may have never purchased an audio ad before. There are many reasons they may be in this bucket. The question is, should they be?

Data Supports Radio as a Strong Base for Advertising

The story of radio’s ability to be an effective advertising vehicle has evolved dramatically, yet it’s just as powerful as ever and often underestimated by advertisers. A new analysis by Nielsen Media Impact demonstrated that reach increases when advertisers add AM/FM radio to digital-only campaigns. The reach doubles when there’s a 20% increase to the budget to include radio. Out of all the potential mixes, the plans with AM/FM as the “base” generated the greatest market reach.

Radio excels at this because it helps brands generate and convert demand. Only a small part of any audience is in the market for a product or service at that moment, whether they hear a radio spot or view a digital ad. Radio has a way of planting a seed because it outperforms other media in terms of attention and recall.

study from Dentsu found that audio has greater attentiveness scores and generates better recall from consumers than video. This connection with audio has long been an advantage for radio. Considering our busy lives and digital interactions, many people may be more attentive to what they hear than see. People also generally have a more favorable impression of ads they hear on the radio. There’s a stronger trust factor with radio, built upon the familiarity of personalities and the fact that stations are part of the community.

The more exciting news for radio is that it’s now the top mass media for reach in the U.S., besting linear TV, according to Nielsen.

The RAB published a study last year on how radio drives brand conversations. A key finding was that heavy radio listeners have 4.7 billion weekly brand conversations. Additionally, 51% of those conversations convert to purchase intent. 

All these data points allow you to connect the dots for advertisers that need some reeducation on radio’s value.

Digital Benchmarking Report Reveals Advertiser Buying Trends

In the 12th annual Borrel-RAB digital benchmarking for radio report, 40% of stations said that 80% or more of their digital customers also buy radio. The report assessed that this is an opportunity for radio to expand sales opportunities and service offerings beyond broadcast-only advertisers.

Having a more diverse roster of customers is always a good idea for many reasons. It can improve the bumps of seasonality of some advertisers and help a marketing professional to sell a mix of tactics to grow business.

Radio may not be top of mind for all advertisers, but it’s worth a more detailed conversation to discover why it isn’t since radio will lift reach and engagement. There are mountains of data demonstrating that radio and digital campaigns perform better, with radio yielding outcomes like more website traffic, an increase in search engine activity and improvements in interaction with Google and social media advertising. 

Address Digital-Only Advertisers Objection to Radio Spots

You may hear other objections outside of erroneous beliefs about radio’s ability to impact audiences across the sales funnel.

Much pushback could be due to a misconception that that station’s demographics is not the advertiser’s core audience. Brands might perceive that those listening are not perspective advertisers. It would be hard to define any programming as entirely absent of listeners across demographics. It’s a misperception that women don’t listen to sports talk or younger generations don’t listen to classic rock. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Some brands may reason that their product must be seen because they believe that people need to see it to want it. Visuals help with physical products, from capturing the appeal of food and drink to demonstrating how a power tool works. Audio ads illicit the imagination, so someone hearing a promotion for these products will create personalized visuals. The act of doing this may even keep it around longer.

The third objection may be the trackability of a radio ad versus a digital one. Digital ads leave footprints and generate lots of metrics for understanding their performance. There are ways to measure radio ads, too. It can be part of the creative with a unique URL, email address or phone number. Companies can also view website traffic, clicks and organic traffic by date and can conclude activity by when their spot ads run.

More Advertisers May See Radio’s Value with Your Insights

You won’t influence every advertiser to initially consider broadcast radio in their mix. It may prove helpful to highlight the different ways that radio’s content is available and delivered today – via streams and smart speakers, across social media platforms and podcasts. More people, especially younger ones, are listening to radio via apps and streams, so this is a way to test out audio spots in a digital way.

Ultimately, you’re a local media expert providing a business with many advertising options. You want to know their challenges and what they’re trying to solve by advertising. What you learn from this should guide what you propose. Too much attention on recommending what has the best margins only creates a short-term gain. Advising customers to build campaigns with the best potential to achieve goals leads to long-term relationships and easier renewals.

Radio and digital make a wonderful pair, offering the best results and reach. They are a great combination to connect with current and potential consumers wherever they are. They add to what’s most important – delivering on what your customer needs. That value is greater than anything a competitor could promise, developing trust that will keep relationships loyal and strong.

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