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The benefits of using radio for advertising are many, ranging from its effectiveness to its low cost.

Radio is an intimate form of advertising. Many people listen alone, such as when jogging or driving. Listeners develop strong relationships with their favourite stations, identifying with the music.

No matter whether you advertise with an all-chat or pop format station, stations should know their audience demographics, so that your advertising reaches the gender, age and economic status you target.

Radio advertising works as a mobile medium, consumers don’t have to be in front of their television or at their computer or go shopping for a newspaper.

Insights for a Successful Radio Advertising Campaign

Profitable direct response radio campaigns are a product of excellent strategy, and insightful radio commercial development. This article will address the radio commercial development piece, presenting the top ten concepts that interact to produce successful radio advertisements. We at Peppermint Media as media experts know what it takes to successfully promote business on radio.

With that in mind, here are the top ten keys to creating great radio ads:

10. Production value and voiceover talent.

Contrary to popular belief, these are not the most important elements in great ads. Yet they are what clients often use to determine whether they "like" an ad. From the data we've collected we've found that there is very often an inverse relationship between production value and ad performance. Nonetheless, production and voice are still important. Production must enhance believability, catch attention, and ensure the message can be ingested by the audience with minimal effort. And the voice talent's read must be evaluated for it's non-verbal communication, not just what the words mean as they're strung together.

9. Distinctiveness of the offering.

The greater the "me too" factor, the lower the potential for the campaign. If your product is another of the hundreds of weight loss products or diets, then you're likely going to have a difficult time coming up with something new to say to people. Distinctiveness applies not just to the product benefits, but also to the creative approach, the offer, and any other element of the campaign.

8. Effective use of the interplay between emotion and logic.

There are points in the ad where emotional appeals are appropriate, and there are other points in the ad where logical appeals are potent. Few people make a purchase decision based solely on one or the other. Quite often we're "reeled in" with emotion, and just before we buy we look for a logical reason to rationalize our emotional decision. Successful radio ads recognize this dynamic and flow accordingly.

7. Articulation.

There are a number of different ways to express your message. Any one can get the message across. But only one is the optimum formula that presents the combination to the lock on the door of your customers' minds. Changing just one word or a few words in an ad can have an amazingly large impact on results. We've seen this over and over again - some key insight that produces a small copy change that dramatically boosts results.

6. Simplicity.

You have forty-five seconds. Packing too much into the ad overwhelms the listener if you own a restaurant don’t insist on broadcasting your whole menu, triggering the natural cognitive processes that minimize sensory overload. Leave the kitchen sink in the kitchen. If the kitchen sink is what's so impressive about your product or service, then at least test a focused approach next to it so you can learn which performs better.

5. Use of sound elements to enhance the message.

This is radio. The theatre of the mind. In TV you can just show someone. In radio, you show them with sound. It's both a burden and a benefit of radio advertising because it's both harder to do but more impactful when done well.

We've separated this from #10 because we're not talking about a slick production value, rather the use of a specific production technique to help the ad stand out. This can't be done at the last minute. Use of sound must be considered as the ad is written, and the use of sound that is irrelevant or detracts from the believability of the spot is a detriment to ad performance.

4. Authenticity.

This is hard to do because we're so conditioned to look outside our business for clues as to how to succeed. The result is inauthenticity. Me-too-ism. All things to nobody or nothing to everybody. The best radio ads flow from an authentic connection to a product or service's uniqueness, passion, and identity. Authenticity is influential, believable and enhances credibility. It is also a differentiator (unfortunately).

3. The offer.

As with nearly any direct response advertisement, there must be a call to action that is relevant, compelling and simple enough to grasp quickly. Relevant means it matters to a potential customer - it reduces my risk, makes picking up the phone a no-brainer, or gives me a reason to go with my emotions instead of my logic. Compelling means it has a "wow" factor. As in, "wow, they must really believe in their product to do that. And simple means it's ... not complicated. It doesn't make me stop and think too much. It doesn't confuse me with language that's spun to sound like it's a great offer but really isn't.

2. The opening attention grabber.

The first impression of a great radio ad must provoke a desire for further exploration. If not, the radio ad will be categorized by the brain as the same old noise it always hears. And it will be blocked out - a victim of the cognitive processes that ensure we don't experience sensory overload. One way to think about this is 'don't bury the lead'. Make sure that the most impactful aspect of your ad is expressed early on. Don't wait until 20 seconds into the ad to make your first point; we have heard many radio adverts where they save the best to last why?

1. Benefit orientation.

One of the biggest mistakes made is assuming people care how something works before they care what it does for them. You must only say how if the what is so incredible that you need a "reason to believe" in the ad - and then you do it in one sentence or less. Clients seem to love the how, but it typically doesn't sell.

The ad must answer the question: what's in it for me? How will it impact my life in a way that I think it will make my life better, happier, or easier? This requires understanding and tapping into the fundamental human beliefs around these topics. A product that prevents a problem I don't yet have? I don't care about that because I have current problems that matter more to me. Prevention doesn't sell. What does sell is something that solves my problem quickly, safely, better and more conveniently than anything else. If you use your 45 seconds in any other way, you're wasting time.