How to Use Radio as an Effective Content Marketing Medium
Table of Contents
- An Overview of Radio Marketing
- How to Use Radio as an Effective Content Marketing Medium
- Advantages of Using Radio as a Marketing Medium
- Limitations of Radio Marketing
- Key Takeaways
Radio isn’t dead as some people might perceive it to be. In fact, radio is the most inexpensive and cost-effective medium for content marketing since it invokes listeners’ imagination. Well-scripted ads may even spark their interest in the product. Radio covers 97.5% of India’s population, with 205 radio stations. Despite the popularity of music apps like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc., the FM remains a preference for many people.
An Overview of Radio Marketing
Radio advertisements traditionally referred to broadcasting audio-based short commercials on the AM, FM, satellite, and the internet radio. However, the modern definition of radio advertisements also includes podcasts and music streaming services as a medium.
The main characteristics of radio ads are their short duration (10-30 second commercials), call-to-action driven approach, and repetitiveness.
How to Use Radio as an Effective Content Marketing Medium
Content marketing through radio helps brands reach a more well-defined target audience through local channels, including those who don’t engage with the television or any video platforms. With the pandemic, the industry has witnessed a rise in listenership, slowly resulting in more radio advertisements even during out-of-prime-time hours. Here are some ways to help you make the radio an effective medium for content marketing.
- Know your audience
Like any marketing effort, you need to understand your target audience well for running successful radio ads. Before approaching the radio station, you must have well-defined demographics so that they can guide you to options that would best suit your needs. Before running a campaign, you can also interact with existing customers to understand their preferred radio shows, channels, and timings. Many people even tune into international radio stations or those from different cities with internet radio. Understanding your target audience’s preferences will help ascertain what radio channels/stations to target and the best hours to run your ads.
- Write a catchy radio ad script.
Due to the absence of visuals, the success of your radio commercials will only rely on the words you choose and their tone. It is, therefore, extremely crucial to write an attention-grabbing and intriguing radio ad copy. While crafting the script, you can begin with the last step, i.e., defining your call to action first. Your script must be empathetic, offer a solution to the target audience’s problems, and have a clearly highlighted offering. Before putting it on-air, do make sure to test it out with a small group by reading it aloud and getting their feedback.
- Build your brand identity
Like display ads and video ads, radio advertisements also help build your brand’s identity. In fact, you can even use the audio from your radio ads in your videos and social media stories. When someone hears the same audio through different mediums, they are more likely to remember it and associate the tune with your brand.
Amul poses a perfect example of audio branding where as soon as you come across the words “Utterly Butterly Delicious…,” your mind automatically starts playing the tune. Even if you hear just a part of their tune somewhere, you’ll be quick to associate it with the brand. That’s how powerful radio advertising is for your content marketing strategy. This is especially helpful if you have a low marketing budget yet wish to reach a wider audience.
- Connect with your customers
To make radio an effective content marketing medium, you just need to find the best ways to connect with your customer. People don’t just listen to the radio while driving or sitting in a salon. They can even hear radio ads when shopping in a mall or out on the street, during a commute, or while enjoying a relaxing evening. Apart from running ads, you could also run sponsored contests on a popular radio show, host a radio Q&A, or even get the radio influencers and popular RJs to advertise your brand.
Advantages of Using Radio as a Marketing Medium
When you create an excellent audio script, you captivate your audience with it and can use it to make interesting videos that further help in marketing your brand. If you go for the radio as a medium for content marketing, you’ll enjoy the following advantages.
1. Low cost of marketing
Whether you are running a radio contest, co-hosting a show to market your brand, or simply running branded commercials, marketing on the radio is extremely low budget. A typical 10-second ad would cost anywhere from Rs 30 to Rs 2500, depending on the time slot and channel you choose. This is far less than TV advertising, social media marketing, or even print media.
2. Wider reach
Radio has been popular in India even with the internet slowly taking over. Everyone from a local barber, vendors, people driving every day to and from work, and even the rural folk tune into their favorite station each day. It is the only medium that reaches everyone, and that’s probably why PM Narendra Modi prefers to communicate with the common man through his radio show “Mann Ki Baat.”
Moreover, you need not belong to a certain class or have specific qualifications to listen to the radio because it caters to everyone’s needs. So, any ad running on a popular channel is heard by everyone tuned in, irrespective of their status, preferences, or educational qualifications.
3. Ease of ad production
With video and print ads, you have to write a good copy (and a video script) while also ensuring eye-catchy visuals. But when marketing on radio, you need only focus on creating a great script or a jingle of 30 seconds or less. This makes ad production easier. You can repurpose your old content, too, and broadcast it through the radio to reach a wider audience. In fact, some radio stations even have their own production teams, so you don’t have to deal with the nitty-gritty and can completely focus on your business.
4. Right targeting
Marketing your content through radio can help you target the right audience at the right time. Today, rather than focusing on the demographics, brands have started gaining more success when advertising to customers based on their tastes, mindsets, and motivations. The radio has different stations and programs, targeting users with different preferences. And if a brand can identify what their users like and when they are most likely to listen to the radio or what shows they tune in to, they can run effective campaigns.
You can even combine influencer marketing through radio since most people listen to a show because they like the RJ. By tying up with the radio station, you can get the RJ to talk about your brand on their show and get a better response.
Limitations of Radio Marketing
1. Lack of visuals
We are usually more attracted to visuals than to audio. So, unless the message being portrayed is exceptionally catchy and intriguing, people won’t pay much attention. Moreover, radio advertisements are repetitive, and people prefer quickly switching channels to avoid repeatedly hearing the monotonous dialogue.
2. Not a primary entertainer
Most people tune into the radio to listen to their favorite host, interact with a community, listen to a preferred song, or even get the latest updates. Everything else is just background noise, especially the advertisements, which they promptly avoid.
3. High competition for prime spots
Commute time is most Indian’s preferred time to tune into the Radio, and for brands, this is the most competitive time to book their advertisement slots. Not everyone can get their ads into these prime slots and not reach their target audience.
- Despite many other entertainment alternatives, a large section of the Indian audience still actively listens to the radio. This wide reach and the extremely low cost make radio an effective medium for content marketing.
- Since advertising on the radio is relatively inexpensive, brands prefer running ads more frequently than television or even social media. This means that they can convert far more casual listeners.
- When users first hear about your brand, they will search more about it. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, a study of 8 brands and 2157 advertisements revealed that radio ads alone led to a 29% increase in Google searches.
- If marketing through radio has a lot of perks, there are some downsides, too. Unless you are incredibly creative with your script, empathetic, can solve the target audience’s common problem, or help address some of their concerns, you won’t succeed on the medium. Radio adverts aren’t just about getting to the listeners’ ears; they are about forming an impression in their minds that prompts them to explore more.
- Amongst all advertising channels, the radio provides a feeling of belongingness. People tune in to share their woes and happiness with strangers and trust the host. So, they connect with it more deeply, resulting in a well-articulated marketing campaign being treated with more interest than those on any other medium.
Radio is an effective medium of content marketing for brands looking out to expand their reach in a short time without spending too much money. However, to make the most of this highly valued advertising medium, you must understand how to effectively use the radio.
You must know the importance of a radio host’s influence over the public, the correct type of content to share, the frequency and time to share content, and your target audience’s tastes and preferences. There’s every possibility that you won’t get it right the first time. But since radio is inexpensive, you can easily afford to make a few mistakes and get better at radio content marketing through experience.
Radio allows brands to tailor and localize their message to a specific audience. It is an effective medium to run audio-only ads for broadcasting to a much wider audience at extremely low prices.
A wide reach, cost-effectiveness, low-cost production, shorter lead generation time, flexibility, and the ability to reach even low-income audiences are some of the perks of marketing through different radio channels.
Yes, despite the internet taking over, people still prefer listening to their favorite radio shows irrespective of where they are in the world. Moreover, its cost-effectiveness and inexpensive advertising make it a highly popular marketing medium.
Radio ads must be catchy to grasp the listener’s attention, entertaining, different from the usual brand adverts, convey a unique message or tell a story, and resonate with the target audience’s interests.
To market your business on the radio and build a positive brand image, you can purchase an advertising package, participate in a large-scale community event, run a radio contest, or interact directly with the audience by partnering with one of the popular radio hosts.
You will come across four main types of radio advertisements in India. These are dialogue commercials, straight commercials, integrated commercials, and dramatized commercials.