Radio has been around for over a century and even with the rise of digital, it is still a very powerful medium. Last year, the UK’s commercial radio sector reaped its largest ever annual advertising revenue total, with spending worth £645.8 million (Radiocentre). Radio advertising offers businesses a cheap and quick way to get brand recognition as well as measurable results. Furthermore, radio offers an efficient way to target an audience.
A huge benefit of radio advertising and what makes it so appealing to brands is that production and broadcast is so inexpensive. Most adverts only need one voice over, maybe two. At a low cost, brands can access sound effects and background music. Many stations offer free production to their advertisers, giving brands access to everything they need to produce a radio advert. Furthermore, advertising on local radio is a lot more cost-effective than television.
Whilst advertising with TV takes months to give real measurable results and advertising with print makes it almost impossible to track results, radio advertising gives the ability to track results very quickly and accurately. Advertisers find the accuracy and swiftness of results which radio offers very attractive. It is a lot easier to spot if a radio ad is doing particularly well/badly than any other broadcast medium. This can also be seen within a few days and the fast turnaround time means advertisers do not have to fret over negative results. For example, if an advertiser is not seeing the results that they want, they can change their spot, or test a new message quickly and with little hassle.
Another benefit of radio advertising is the speed at which radio adverts can air. It can take months for a high quality television advert to air. On the other hand, a quality radio advert can be written, produced and aired in as little as one week. Radio stations also allow advertisers to revise their messages at very short notice.
Advertising with radio also hits a target audience easily. Local brands will benefit from the fact that your station’s audience is local. Local radio attracts people who want to keep up with everything local; be it local news; events or personalities.
Furthermore, advertisers can reach a specific target audience with radio. Radio stations know their audience demographics and allow advertisers to tailor and localise messages to each audience. Because each radio station operates with specific market segments in mind, advertisers can target a specific gender, age economic status or even people’s likes/dislikes.
Combats Ad Avoidance
When TV adverts come on, most people will go on their phone or divert their attention until their show comes back on. With radio, you cannot ‘switch your ears off’; we hear even when we are not listening. This means that even if we are diverting out attention to other things, we still automatically process music and sound bites and then link them to brands. It is extremely difficult for radio listeners to avoid adverts. Therefore, it is a lot easier to engage with an audience on radio than other mediums.
Last but not least, Radio is an intimate form of advertising. Listeners develop relationship with their favourite stations and bond with the radio presenters; a lot of listeners listen to the radio alone, such as when they are travelling or before going to sleep. Listeners usually trust their favourite station a lot, making them more likely to trust the station’s advertisers and therefore lead them to make purchases.