As advertising trends have evolved over time, radio has remained one of the most effective ways to reach both new and existing customers. Radio continues to be a leading advertising medium for many reasons. With a wide reach and immediate delivery, radio allows businesses to get their message in front of targeted, yet large audiences. Not only has radio proven itself to be a powerful tool for advertising, it’s also a great way to reach existing customers with important information and updates during the pandemic. With 83.3% of the Bay Area listening to the radio each week, it’s as much, or more, during the current COVID-19 crisis (according to a recent report from Neilson). Radio is an important platform to keep current and potential customers up-to-date on how they can access your products and services during this important time.
Here are 10 reasons why radio is more relevant than ever, with some suggestions on how best to utilize radio during the pandemic.
1. Radio is Immediate
Radio is one of the most immediate ways to reach your audience. Listeners can count on the radio as a "right now" source for news and information. As radio shows are airing, listeners are able to hear it in real-time, as broadcasters provide them with entertainment, news, and current information.
Whether the announcers are sharing breaking news updates, sales and promotion information, or event updates, radio allows businesses to connect with listeners in real-time. During the current pandemic, radio also continues to serve as a valuable tool to get important information and updates to your customers across a variety of devices including in their cars, and at home while they’re on their computers, mobile devices, and listening to smart speakers.
2. Radio Reaches Everyone
Radio is one of the best media platforms to reach the most people. With 92% of Americans listening to AM/FM radio, you’re able to get your message to a broader audience, while still maintaining targetability across different station formats. In addition to reaching huge listening audiences, radio also provides diversity in listeners, reaching the more than 44.6 million Hispanics and 35.1 million Black Americans each week, and it’s growing. The Bay Area is 54% White, 21% Hispanic, 15% Asian, 5% African American and 5% other, so reaching this diversity is an important part of most marketers’ goals.
With radio, you’re able to reach a large audience that mirrors the demographics and psychographics of your customers. Radio is a companion medium and reaches listeners while they’re at work, at home, and while they’re mobile.
3. Radio is Adaptable
Radio has adapted to changing technologies and consumer trends. Radio is now accessible through laptops, computers, phones, and even smart speakers. Listeners can tune into their favorite radio stations whenever they want, through whatever device works best for them. Radio listeners do not need to set aside a specific time to be at a certain location, like other media types, which makes radio even more user-friendly.
Trends in technology and marketing continue to evolve and grow over time, but radio has withstood the test of time. As new media and forms of marketing come about, radio remains one of the most effective ways to reach an audience due to its portability and its adaptability. For instance, during the current COVID-19 crisis, on-air radio talent have been able to pivot by live-streaming their shows from their homes. This allows our talent to continue to connect with their listeners, and provide a calming oasis, away from the barrage of negative stories, while still providing important messages and information.
4. Radio is Cost-effective
Radio reaches consumers more efficiently. With radio, one transmitter covers a large geographic area, regardless of the number of listeners. This allows you to put your marketing budget to good use by reaching a larger audience at a more affordable cost.
Due to the financial impact caused by the pandemic, businesses will look to utilize more cost-effective advertising platforms to reach larger audiences.
5. Radio Can Segment and Target a Specific Audience
Targeting the right consumers at the right time is critical to the success of any advertising campaign. Radio's array of formats and stations allows advertisers to target listeners that best match their businesses needs. Media companies have in-depth knowledge and research of the demographics of each station, so we can offer insights into what days, times, and formats your business would benefit from the most.
6. Radio is Local
Radio stations have always been an important source for local information for the communities they serve. Advertising on local radio is one of the best ways to connect with customers in their local communities.
One of the more powerful ways to make that connection is by utilizing on-air talent as endorsers and influencers. On-air personalities have listeners’ trust and those special connections can increase the effectiveness of your messages. To check out our local influencers click HERE.
7. Radio is Interactive
Radio can be one-on-one and personal with listeners. Shows with call-in segments give listeners an opportunity to be involved and to be heard. Contests reward listeners for their loyalty and increase their interest in the radio station. Polls allow listeners to see how other listeners feel about things as well. Social media presence provides a space for personalized interaction with the stations and their on-air personalities.
Radio gives listeners the opportunity to engage with a program or personality in ways other media platforms cannot. And, many times, radio can spark introspection and conversation with those around them.
8. Radio is Trusted
Radio is one of the most trusted sources for entertainment, news, and information in America. It’s important to remember that listeners trust radio because it's live, local, and listener-focused. Radio personalities become trusted friends. They’re sources of information that can be counted on with up to date local news and information that matters to them, along with their favorite music.
On-air personalities curate the conversations, content, music, and culture that are important and relevant to the everyday life of their audiences. This trust between the on-air talent and their listeners can be comforting and valuable during a time of crisis. This bond can bring a sense of security and normalcy during a time of uncertainty. There’s a transference of that trust to sponsors and advertisers in that environment.
9. Radio Can be Life-saving
Radio broadcasts are a vital means of communication in emergency situations. When disaster strikes or is anticipated, radio can be relied on to provide timely news and updates. Even with a loss of power, a battery-operated radio can be relied on for information that may be lifesaving. In times of crisis, radio has always been a reliable source that communities can depend on.
10. Radio is 24/7
Radio is always on and always available. For generations, radio has been a constant in our lives. Even with ongoing changes in technology and communication platforms, radio remains a constant and a much loved reliable familiar friend. In times like these, with the pandemic, radio brings comfort and familiarity back to a world turned on its head.
This is a great time for advertisers and businesses to connect with their consumers. They will want to know how they can continue to purchase products and services, during the pandemic and beyond. They’ll also want to know what measures are being taken to ensure their safety. It’s an important time for advertisers to demonstrate their solvency and their desire to continue to earn their customers’ trust.