I’ll bet you do recall at least one or two jingles from radio or TV commercials, even from back in the Stone Age when you were a kid. That’s what a good jingle does; it sticks in your mind because it’s short, catchy and memorable. If you ever catch yourself humming the U.S. Army’s “Be All That You Can Be” commercial or “I’m lovin’ it®” from McDonalds, you know what I’m talking about.
Promoting your business or products in radio ads is an excellent way to reel in prospects and keep existing customers. Follow these tips for success:
1. Make your message straightforward and simple. Focus on one product or one offer. Don’t shove a size 10 foot into a size 6 shoe. People need to know who you are, what you’re offering, where they can get it and why they should get it.
2. Solve a problem. Identify a problem and offer a solution. For example, in this “stop them in their tracks” ad for the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago (FCAC), I focused on a pain point for property managers – tenants leaving their buildings. The solution is to spruce up their spaces with professional painting, wallcovering and drywall finishing.
3. Be concise. A 30-second radio spot is about 65 to 75 words, while a 60-second commercial is about 135 to 155 words. Read the commercial aloud several times at an even, realistic pace and time it before producing it. You want to be sure the ad doesn’t run over and that the announcer doesn’t have to talk at warp speed.
4. Repeat the most important information. Repeat the company’s business name and website at least twice for a 30-second ad and four times for a 60-second spot. Use them at the beginning and at the end. Trim “www” from Web addresses. You don’t need it and it will save time.
5. Avoid phone numbers if possible. They’re too hard to remember. People typically listen to the radio in their cars, when they’re getting ready for work and while doing housework. They’re not standing by the radio with a pen in hand waiting to jot down a phone number. If you have to use phone numbers, repeat them several times in a row. “Call 800-555-1234 now. That’s 800-555-1234. 800-555-1234.”
6. Sound effects and music make ads more engaging. Production details make ads sound more professional and help attract attention to your message. Incorporate them for flourish, but don’t go overboard to the point of distraction. Remember to allow plenty of time for them, because they will require some of your run time. This low rates 30-second spot I wrote for the FCAC is a good example of how special effects can jazz up an ad.
7. Build in variety. Sixty-second ads provide the ideal forum for having more than one voice. Create a conversation between two or more people, for example. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to deliver your message and make a compelling offer. Listen to an example.
8. Include a call to action. Are you having a sale? Are you offering a two-for-one discount? Are you offering a unique product? Tell listeners what you want them to do.
So there it is in eight easy steps. Hook new business with radio ads and keep them coming back for more with these foolproof tips.