ALL direct-response radio testing needs you to consider several key factors. High frequency, low CPM, type of format, and length of campaign almost always play significant make-or-break rolls in the success of a radio test campaign. Sixty seconds of compelling offer, mixed with strong copy and a testimonial or two, also helps determine the fate of your campaign.
However, part of your radio buy negotiation (as with any media buy) should include getting extra added value which CAN INCREASE YOUR ROI. If your product has retail distribution, these added values can also help drive your store traffic as well. In doing so, this added value shouldn’t only be given to you to appease you to feel like a great negotiator. Rather, they should be practical tools that contribute to the very reason you are testing radio – to find a new media through which people will buy your offer. As such, you should ALWAYS ask for these five added values:
Website links or banner ads (which can be said in the creative tags)
This is an obvious no-brainer added-value to ask for if (especially if your offer is internet-based). More stations and networks have been charging for mention on their Websites. However, there are still plenty of stations that will give you a banner ad or link on some portion of their page if you push for it. This can be the perfect value, not just to generate Web traffic, but to encourage purchases via coupon downloads. Or, try offering the station product samples for contest giveaway, in exchange for creating a contest section on their website for you – not only does this generate interest in your offer, it’s the PERFECT way to place a display photo to demonstrate why your offer is so great (i.e. before and after photos for weight loss offers). Radio stations promo their Websites many times per hour – taking advantage will not just help stimulate consumer interest. Their Webpage potentially gives you a tool to use RADIO to demonstrate your offer VISUALLY!!
Street Team appearances at specific retail locations to help direct people to a product’s location.
Local radio stations can still create an “event” in a way unlike any other medium. Almost all stations promote either proprietary events that they put on (concerts, celebrity appearance, sports team rallies or viewing parties, etc.), or their street team appearances at major festivals, sporting events or community events. No one creates hype and hoopla better than radio station street team appearances, with constant free giveaways, blaring music on speakers, and providing games for attendees to play.
Look on the Website of the station you are buying for their upcoming events – and figure out how to get added value from them. Maybe they will share part of their booth with you to display your product or service. Maybe they will train their Street Team to demonstrate your product. Maybe they can give away product samples, or offer them as contest prizes. And maybe they can even get people to give their contact info to be reached out to about purchasing your product or service. Many stations will offer this as an added value – you hit them with the practical means by which to merge their event and your offer, and often times, you will get this added exposure.
Station giveaways located near your Point of Purchase display.
Some stations will cleverly hype a giveaway that is a “must-have” for all loyal listeners, such as a hat, bumper-sticker or T-shirt. If your product has retail shelf-space, arrange with your local retail partner to put these free giveaways near your point of purchase display. It’s win-win-win for everyone – customers HAVE to see your product display, your retailers get free added retail traffic, and the station has an outlet to promote their giveaway without paying for it.
For example, let’s say you sell “Mega Pet Food”. Arrange for stations to run the following type of promo throughout the week. “Pick up your Q 104 FM MORNING ZOO “Wild Life T-Shirt” this week only at the Mega Pet Food’ section of PetSmart.” This creates urgency to check out your product line this week.
Coupon or Free Sample giveaways
As mentioned in section 2, public station appearances are commonplace. Many stations also patrol the community in a prize van, or with a mobile caravan that that sets up at a different “lunchtime location” each week or each day. You can arrange for one of the appearances to take place at a location where you have retail distribution. Street teams can then direct listeners into the store with the enticement of a coupon for your offer. OR, they can merely hand out flyers, coupons, samples, or any other enticement you see fit to encourage listeners to order from your toll-free number or website.
Added Value promo mentions and sponsorship tags on air.
Offer to give away product or offer samples as part of an on-air contest. In those cases, you can work with the promotions department at the station to schedule a certain number of promos to air each week plugging your giveaway. These promos can even mention your Website or toll-free order number in some cases. If you buy a schedule of say 30 spots each week, and can negotiate another 20 or so promos each week, especially in prime time, you’ll be in 50 of a potential 65 Primetime broadcast hours. Now, that’s how to penetrate an audience!
Finally, ask for some :05 to :10 sponsorship ID liners. If you can get a station to give you these in strong frequency near your paid spots, this will help reinforce the message. You’d be amazed how much you can say in :05. For example – “Love Your Pet? Buy Mega Pet Food at 800-555-1212 Now!” If these air around the same time each day, near a traffic or weather report, the repeatedly frequency will help yield some more orders.
Smart buyers will position their radio reps not as “people who sell me schedules” but rather as “Marketing Partners.” Put the onus on your rep to be your “marketing partner”, coupled with the above suggestions. If they comply, and your test spend is reasonable, your ROI or retail sales WILL increase!!
Joe Rashbaum is president of The Radio Solution Company, a radio direct response agency and consulting firm celebrating 11 years of success. Reach him at (805) 279-3391 or inquire below.