The Buggles may have predicted the unfortunate demise of the radio star at the metaphorically murderous hands of video way back in 1979, but history tells a different tale — at least when it comes to advertising. In fact, 21st century radio is not only a brave new world, but also remains a powerful platform when it comes to reaching consumers and converting them into customers. We’ve rounded up six reasons why radio should be an integral part of your home improvement advertising strategies. Let’s count them down.
1. Radio reaches listeners during prime daytime hours.
Radio remains the leading reach platform with an impressive 93 percent of people tuning into AM/FM radio over the airwaves, according to News Generation. This outpaces all other platforms, including television, computers, smart phones, and tablets. All in all, 265 million Americans over the age of six listen to the radio with the majority tuning in for more than 12 hours during the typical week.
But it’s not just how many are tuning in, but also when. As we know all too well here in sunny Southern California, “rush hour” is far more than 60 minutes, and can easily span the hours between 6am and 10am in the morning and between 3pm and 7pm in the afternoon/evening. While this may be bad news for commuters, it’s great news for advertisers for whom this prime window of opportunity arrives every weekday in the form of captive listeners.
The ability to listen to radio online, meanwhile, also changes the how part of the equation. Edison Research findings indicate that many radio listeners are now doing so through mobile devices. Considering that approximately a third of home improvement consumers make purchases through digital platforms, according to a report from IAB Research, and the value of serving up relevant content directly through their devices promotes sales-boosting interactivity.
2. Radio leads are more upscale….
What do all of these people stuck in their cars listening to the radio have in common?
They’re on their way to jobs. More importantly, jobs that pay them money. News Generation further reveals that employed people make up the vast majority of radio listeners. The takeaway? If you’re looking to catch the attention of consumers with dollars to spend, you’re likely to find them listening to the radio. In this sense, radio advertising not only reaches more consumers, but qualifies them in the process.
When it comes to qualifying prime home improvement candidates, radio advertisers are also in luck. According to Nielsen, Millennials spend 11.5 hours a week listening to the radio, Gen Xers spend 14 hours a week, and Baby Boomers come in at a significant 14.5 hours a week.
If you’re looking for an even more qualified audience for home improvement advertising, SiriusXM comprises an affluent audience consisting primarily of wealthy married professionals. In fact, a whopping 82 percent of SiriusXM listeners are homeowners with an average income of just over $110,000! With the prime so well-pumped, it’s hardly surprising that so many savvy advertisers are opting for spots on SiriusXM — which saw advertising revenue increase from $3.8 billion in 2013 to $4.2 billion in 2014.
3. Radio stations are largely personalized.
While people may have favorite television shows, they’re not necessarily committed to one TV network over another. Why not? Because it’s about the content, not the network.
Radio, however, tells a different story in which loyalty to the station is the driving factor. Because the content played by radio stations reflects personal preferences, they become unique outlets for self-expression. In short, radio listeners aren’t just listening to music; they’re telling you who they are. Advertisers looking to deliver targeted messages will find useful insights at the ready by paying attention to these demographics.
4. Radio lets advertisers play to their strengths.
Because radio comes in many formats, advertisers gain unique leverage when it comes to optimizing their reach. Have a narrow geographic focus are in mind for your services? Local radio fits the bill. Looking to cast a wider net? National radio opens the door to millions of new listeners. On a tight budget? Remnant advertising is your new best friend.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to making the most of radio advertising efforts, the sky’s the limit when it comes to exploring how best to put radio to work for you.
5. The podcast has power.
According to Forbes, “Podcasts are doing to advertising what Uber has done to transportation.” What does this mean? In “catering to the modern need for passive companionship” and by placing the “emphasis on pathos above rhetoric” podcasts — and podcast advertising — are inherently social, and thereby enjoy many of the same word-of-mouth perks. Now consider the amazing specificity of podcasts (a quick iTunes search yields more than 100 returns in the Fix It Home Improvement category) and the ability to simultaneously expand and refine your reach grows.
Factor in that the number of Americans who listen to podcasts doubled between 2008 and 2015, and the contagious popularity of shows like Serial, and the potential of the podcast is just beginning to be seen. In fact, podcasts represent a particular opportunity for considered home purchases businesses. Why? Because home improvement consumers are vastly more receptive to advertising through mobile channels, according to the IAB’s Digital Influence on Home Improvement Plans analysis.
6. Peer-to-peer radio done right can offer big time payoffs !!!!
Today’s consumers aren’t exactly pro-advertising. In fact, according to a survey from YouGov, the majority of Americans put conventional advertising somewhere between used car salesmen and politicians on their list of least trusted things. (Don’t shoot us — we’re just the messengers.)
Even worse news for advertisers? The more educated consumers are, the more likely they are to believe that advertisements are dishonest. We’re not suggesting that you throw your hands up and walk away, but we are suggesting that a different approach might be in order.
Now consider Nielsen findings indicating that 92 percent of consumers trust people they know — a statistic which far outpaces trust rates for conventional forms of advertising. Bridging this gap? Radio station DJs. While listeners may not technically know the voices on the other end of their radios, they feel like they do. In fact, one study from the University of California reveals that not only do endorsements from radio DJs make ads more personal, but that 60 percent of listeners consider radio host to be the equivalent of a trusted friend. In other words, listeners seeking information on the latest products and services find DJ banter not just to be entertaining, but also useful — a magic word among today’s consumers.
We’ve leveraged this knowledge and our years of experience creating DR radio campaigns to develop a different more powerful approach. Not just DJ endorsements, but DJ endorsed interviews. These brief-yet-mighty spots are personable, informative, and inherently valuable without triggering alarm bells with listeners. In other words, they allow advertisers to deliver a compelling message while building consumer trust. As a result, we have seen these commercials, backed by our years of response data, consistently, increase response upwards of 400%.
If you’ve been considering switching the dial to “off” when it comes to your radio advertising efforts, you’ve now got six solid reasons not to pull the plug. But sticking with your same-old radio advertising strategies may not be the way to go, either. Tuning in to new approaches while making the most of today’s data-driven advertising methodologies can help you maximize your marketing dollars.