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Radio Advertising Guide: It’s Still Effective in 2021?

Every year on February 13, World Radio Day is celebrated by radio stations around the world. After all, on February 13, 1946, the UN first broadcast a radio wave from its headquarters in New York. Since then, radio has grown into a mass medium for music, stories, news, and advertising. Today, music streaming services and social media are increasingly pushing radio aside. Is radio advertising still effective? You can read that in the rest of this article.

Less Recognizable Than Television Advertising

The internet and television have nestled themselves alongside (and perhaps above) radio as a communication medium. Television is, of course, one step ahead of radio because it combines sound with image.

This advantage can also be seen in the marketing results. Research shows that television advertising is more memorable to the viewer than radio advertising to the listener. Logical because people remember images more efficiently than just sound.

In addition, people generally watch television more attentively than they listen to the radio. You often hear commercials on the radio while doing something else, such as driving or cleaning. As a result, radio spots have to be heard more often on average before the listener remembers them. 

The Big Difference Between ‘good’ And ‘bad’ Radio Advertising

Precisely because it is more challenging to get into and stay in the listener’s mind on radio, there is a big difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ radio spots. Some radio spots stick so well that listeners can still recite them or sing along a year later. Other spots are forgotten in the minute after broadcast.

Good radio advertising is, in most cases, catchy radio advertising. The ad should stay in the mind of the listener after listening as few times as possible. That’s why radio commercials often consist of repetition of words and sentences, songs, and catchy jingles.

For example, in 2021, a radio spot of beautiful makers promoted bags for waste in the car. Pretty much the whole spot consisted of the same tune and the sentence ‘I want a bag like that for all that garbage in my car.’ It an annoying spot, but it stuck. The next time you were in the car with an empty soda can, you wanted a bag like this for all that garbage in your car.

Another way to make radio advertising recognizable is to keep the same style across different radio campaigns. Humo is the first example that pops into my head. You only have to hear the first seconds of the radio commercial to know that it is a commercial from Humo.

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Radio Advertising Creates Brand Awareness.

Anyone who invests in radio advertising can expect an increase in brand awareness. Just because a brand name or jingle has to be repeated so often to get into the listener’s mind, your brand awareness increases considerably, even if your campaign wasn’t focused on awareness.

A radio advertising campaign can, of course, also lead to more sales. It is essential that you can express your message briefly and powerfully. The offer should be attractive enough for the listener to remember, and the instructions should be simple and straightforward. So no complicated procedure with seven steps. If someone hears your radio spot in the car on the way home, the listener should come home, get out of their car, and know exactly what to do to convert.

A simple example: if you want listeners to call your company after hearing the ad, make sure the phone number is easy to remember. ‘Bel 0468 51 47 57’ will only remember the ‘Rain Men’ in this world after one listen. Even if you mention a website, it is best to keep the URL as short and straightforward as possible.

Radio Advertising As A Supporting Channel

What is very striking from results analyzes of radio advertising is that radio advertising performs very well as a supporting channel. An ad campaign in the newspaper or magazine, for example, performs much better when supported by radio advertising.

This effect is the result of the recognisability and reliability that a commercial generates on the radio. People trust your company faster because they ‘know’ you from the radio. This lowers the threshold for responding to an advertisement.

With that knowledge in mind, you can choose to focus entirely on brand awareness with radio advertising in an advertising campaign and then build on that brand awareness with advertisements aimed at sales.

Unleash Your Creativity With Radio Advertising

Radio advertising boils down to this: be as creative as possible. A gray radio spot that doesn’t get in is wasted effort and money.

The most important thing is that your radio commercial stands out; it grabs the listener’s attention. That’s step one. Because your offer can be as good, if the listener does not hear, notice or remember the offer, he will not convert.

Is Radio Advertising Still Effective?

Radio advertising can still be effective, even in a world where television and the internet take the upper hand. Radio has not yet been written off as a medium for consuming content, and therefore not a marketing medium either. 

As long as you approach your campaigns strategically and creatively, you can undoubtedly achieve great results with radio advertising.