Small Business Tips: The Benefits And Costs Of Radio Advertising And Sponsorships

For advertisers, radio is relatively inexpensive and efficient. The benefits of radio commercials and sponsorships.

Television, the Internet, movie theaters, billboards, newspapers and magazines, sporting events: The variety of advertising mediums available to businesses today seems to multiply constantly. However, one of the oldest venues for advertising is still one of the most cost-efficient and far reaching available: Radio.

Whether you operate a small business in a metropolitan city or a big business in small town, there are considerable benefits to using radio advertising to get your message out.

First, think of where you listen to the radio. Radio reaches approximately 77 percent of Americans every day with the typical American household owning more than five radios each. In a big city, a person who commutes the national average of 47 minutes is very likely to tune into a favorite station for traffic reports, news or entertainment. Now, think of how often you heard the radio being played in grocery stores, shopping malls, stores, fairs and festivals, the park or the beach. It seems radio is everywhere.

Depending on the station and frequency, radio stations are often transmitted much further than just the local area. With the use of high-frequency radios, listeners can pick up stations cities and states away further increasing an advertiser's audience. Another benefit to radio is cost. Compared to television broadcasting, running a radio show is normally much less expensive. Those savings are passed on to advertisers. While prices vary according to market, radio advertising prices can range from a couple hundred dollars for a 15-second ad to the thousands for an ad that runs one-minute or longer.

Developing an ad for radio is also a relatively simple process. Working with an experienced advertising agency can ease the stress of trying to convey your product or services benefits on air. If you can afford multiple 15- or 30-second radio spots, radio is a great medium for issuing several different executions that have a central core theme. For example, the main campaign focus could be about the versatility of mustard and each ad could be a vignette on mustard as a condiment, mustard as a tool for cooking and so on.

In addition to the relatively low cost and wide reach of radio, the wide variety of stations available in most major cities gives advertisers the opportunity to target specific audiences. Sports stations are a good bet for electric razors while a new nightclub may prefer to advertise on a Top 40 station. Radio is also flexible. It isn't costly or difficult to change your message and time schedules. If you have a promotion or special event every week, radio is a great medium for quickly developing a new ad and having the ability to reach consumers with that new message in a relatively short amount of time.

Because consumers hear radio advertisements repeatedly over time, they are likely to retain the information conveyed. If your budget allows, buy multiple ads since a consumer rarely makes a decision to buy based on just one ad. Keep in mind when buying radio time that choosing more ads over shorter period of time is better than stretching ads throughout the day. The typical listener tunes in for a half-hour to 45-minute block of time and if during that time, your ad has played three times versus once, it is probable that it will be remembered.

If you can only afford one ad, be consistent. Play it at or around the same time every day or as many days as you can afford. Consistency will pay off. And don't forget to bargain with radio stations. Many will offer new advertiser discounts or package deals. Also, for bigger advertising budgets, consider sponsorships. Practically all regularly aired radio programs solicit sponsorships which ensure that your business will receive mention by broadcasters on-air anywhere from once during a program to several times, depending on your level of sponsorship. Advertisers can also sponsor short segments of a program, which may include the news or weather report or traffic.

In the world of advertising, everyone is looking for the furthest reaching, most cost-efficient way to get their company name, product or service in front of consumers. As one of the oldest mediums, radio is still one of the best, least expensive options available today.

© High Speed Ventures 2011