28 Dec 11 Ways to Reduce Radio Advertising Costs
11 Ways to Reduce Radio Advertising Costs
As you go about planning your media strategy for promoting your business or product, you need to make sure that you consider all available options. One mistake that some business owners make is they have an overly narrow focus when it comes to choosing advertising media. Maybe the owner will become too preoccupied with television or online advertising, and will lose sight of other key promotional options. One rather important method of promotion that you don’t want to overlook is radio advertising. When done well, it gives business owners the opportunity to reach out with a message that will be heard by a significant number of people.
In order to get the most “bang for your buck”, it’s important to keep in mind the different ways to reduce your radio advertising costs. And keep in mind that many of these tips also relate to other negotiation situations that involve looking for a discount or better price when it comes to advertising.
1. Sponsor a radio station event
Find out if the radio station is hosting or promoting an event, such as a concert, show, or something similar around the time that you want to advertise your product or service. If the station does have such an event, and if the activity is one that jives with your brand or image, you can find out about the possibility of becoming one of the sponsors of that event. The nice thing about this kind of arrangement is that the station will make it a point to regularly advertise the concert or show on air. Every time it does so, your company, brand, or product will be mentioned as one of its sponsors. This will allow you to potentially gain more airtime at a lower cost. It will also offer the added benefit of additional advertising on the materials for the concert, such as tickets, as well as advertising at the show’s venue.
2. Use the station’s community bulletin board
Check if the radio station has some sort of community bulletin or calendar type of airtime. What happens is that some radio stations will make it a point to give a rundown of upcoming events in the local area. If your company is planning to hold an event that involves marketing your product or service, you can find out from the station if this can be included in the community bulletin. In certain cases, the stations don’t charge for this type of listing, so you could potentially end up with radio advertising at no cost to your firm. However, you will need to check with the station first because some of them only allow listings from civil society organizations and the like.
3. Try a public service announcement
Consider a public service announcement or PSA. For this to work, your company needs to be announcing something that will offer a significant benefit or provide important information to the community. For instance, if you run a restaurant, you could offer a free class on dish presentation with a limited number of slots on a first come first served basis. Or if you run a barbershop, you could offer a limited number of free haircuts for people currently looking for a job. If the station sees the merit in your PSA, it may be willing to announce this on air – for free.
4. Trade for airtime
Find out if the radio station would be willing to accept something other than money as payment for airtime. If you run a cake shop, the radio station may be willing to offer a certain amount of airtime in return for a cake centerpiece on the occasion of the station’s founding anniversary. Even if the station does not accept your products or services as full payment, this may at least result in a reduction of the advertising costs.
5. Contrast radio station rates
You can also try comparing and contrasting the rates offered by various radio stations. This will mean that you will have to shop around a bit in order to get an idea of the various costs associated with airtime from different radio stations. You can then try to pit one station against another, asking if one station would be willing to offer a price lower than that offered by a competitor. Your mileage will vary, of course, but in certain cases this may allow you to get a rate that is lower than usual.
6. Check for a bulk discount
Find out if there is something akin to a volume discount. The idea here is that the radio station may be willing to offer you a better rate on radio spots if you are thinking about purchasing more airtime. Work your way up, asking what kind of discount they can offer you if you get this much additional airtime. Then ask if the discount will increase if you purchase even more airtime, and so on.
7. Take advantage of promos
Stay updated regarding promotions and discounts. This means that you need to have a way of keeping tabs on the rates that radio stations offer, so that you can take action if there is a dip or discount in these costs. It would be helpful to have people at the various radio stations with who you are in constant communication. Let them know that you would like to hear as soon as possible about any discounts, promotional packages and the like.
8. Take your time
Be willing to wait things out. If you’re being offered radio advertising costs which are higher than what you are comfortable with, you need to be willing to step away from the negotiation. It may be possible that the radio station will, during the interim, decide that it will be better to charge you a lower rate just so that they can get your business. For this to work, you will need to be in a position to wait, and perhaps engage in negotiation with other radio stations, while waiting to see if the first one will become more flexible.
9. Get information from other customers
Talk to other customers of the radio station. You can try asking the station for a list of customers that they can offer as references. You can then use that list to contact those companies and ask them about the kinds of rates and the quality of service that they received. Once you’ve taken note of the rates quoted to those other companies, you can use those numbers to ask for something similar, especially if you’re being quoted a number that is much higher than what you learned from those other companies.
10. Buy in advance
Consider buying ad spots way in advance. If you’re able to map out your advertising needs far ahead of the actual dates when the ads will be played, that will give you more options. A radio station may be willing to offer you a better rate in order to be able to lock in that additional revenue. Also, if you purchase your ad spots way in advance, you’re going to have more available open spots to choose from.
11. Try shorter ads
One fairly straightforward way to reduce radio ad costs is to make use of shorter ads. So instead of making use of a sixty-second ad, you can go for something thirty seconds long or even shorter. This will require you to take a good look at your advertising needs and check if you can communicate your message over a shorter time period.