Despite what you might think in these days of multi-media and digital, radio advertising isn’t dead. Far from it. Let’s cover some of the basics.

Radio is flourishing in the digital age.

Advertising has been around in one form or another for centuries, but radio was one of the earliest non-print media to emerge, right back in the early 1920s. It’s easy to assume that radio has been eclipsed by the many alternatives which are available these days.

Assumptions can be misleading, though.

Today there are over 300 commercial radio stations in the UK and 38 million adults listen to the radio every week. That’s not even taking into account the rise of multi-platform radio, which means people are now listening via phone, tablet, PC and DAB enabled digital device. Radio advertising has never been easier.

The reasons why radio advertising works are simple.

Like all media, radio advertising has its advantages and its disadvantages. But it’s still very effective if you know how to use it well.

  • Radio reaches out to people in ways no other medium does. Radio ads can make us laugh, cry, think and feel, and emotions are crucial in advertising. Perhaps it’s something about the absence of visual elements which triggers our imagination to engage with what we’re hearing? Whatever the reason, the messages you hear in radio advertising really stick.
  • Research shows that, along with cinema advertising, radio breaks through in an ad-avoidance world. People don’t tend to switch between stations (or leave the cinema) when ads come on, so there’s a great chance of them hearing your commercial.
  • Radio has always returned strong results in getting people to take action, and that hasn’t changed. There’s something about the way it talks directly to your audience, making them stop, think and act.

Radio isn’t just about standard spot advertising, either.

Radio offers a wide range of different formats for advertisers to use, if you know how to identify and secure the right opportunities. Non-traditional advertising on radio can be massively effective in really engaging people with the detail of your product, service or cause. Examples of this kind of radio advertising include DJ-led promotions, ‘Radvertorials’©, and story-led approaches (and at ma we have expertise in them all!).

You have to segment your target audience if you want the best results from radio advertising.

As with all advertising, you need to make sure your message has the best chance of reaching your target audience as possible. Planned and researched well, radio is heard by the right people at the right time in the right place.

The huge number of radio stations these days means you have more choice about where you place your commercial, but that means you have more decisions to make. The key to all this is in the way advertisers use target audience segmentation. Otherwise those advertising slots you’re paying for could just be wasted money.

Deciding where to place your radio ads.

With all that choice, how do you choose which radio stations to place your ads with, and which days and times to target?

The truth is, it’s not easy. To get the best return on your investment in radio advertising, you need a really strong understanding of how to use it properly.

That means having access to the right research, a database of past results, and expert knowledge of the sector. And for that you need to work with an agency who specialise in media placement and buying.

Radio advertising with ma.

At ma, the intelligence and systems we use mean we plan cost efficiently, we ensure your ads reach highly specific audiences, and that you get the very lowest rates in the market.

And we don’t just handle the media planning and buying. We can help you through the entire process of radio advertising, from the initial ideas to hearing your commercial on the radio. We work with writers, producers and sound engineers we know and trust, taking care of your brand’s radio advertisements right from the initial concepts through to production, legal clearance and airing. That’s exactly what we do for one of our repeat clients, Herts for Learning

Teach in Herts: using radio advertising for recruitment

2019 marks our fourth year working with Herts for Learning on their annual Teach in Herts recruitment campaign, promoting the recruitment events they hold around Hertfordshire. We love working with the education sector– a lot of our other work is more commercial, and variety is a wonderful thing!

As well as dealing with all the media placement and buying for this year’s radio ad, we scripted it, sourced the right voice artist, and handled the recording process, getting the advert from initial idea and onto the airwaves.

Neena Raj, Marketing Lead at Herts for Learning says “ma have provided us with invaluable media and creative support over the years. The whole team have got behind the project and helped us to explore all opportunities so that we can generate maximum impact throughout our campaigns.

We’re delighted with the results, especially the various radio campaigns, and would highly recommend them.”.

Radio has proven to be the best performing media for Herts for Learning over the last few years, which is why we’re focusing on it again for 2019’s campaign. Using all the data available to us, we’ve chosen the radio stations we believe will work best for their target audience and for the locations of the events. We’ve also carefully picked the days and even the times of day when the ads will air, ensuring the best chances of them being heard by the right people.

Listen out for the adverts on Heart Four Counties, Heart Cambridgeshire, Smooth Radio, Vibe 107.6, Total Radio Essex and BOB fm from January until May 2019.

And if you’re interested in going along to one of the events, whether you’re looking to get into teaching for the first time, or are an experienced teacher, you can find all the details here.