Thousands of Southwest Florida small business owners depend on radio advertising to successfully market their goods and services.
Take Bob Bigelow, for instance. He and his wife Dawn opened Biggy's Place, a 164-seat Fort Myers restaurant five years ago. Their sales have grown by 600% since they started advertising on Fort Myers radio.
"Three months after we took over the restaurant, we began investing hot-and-heavy into our radio advertising," says Mr. Bigelow. "I've been involved in marketing for over 37 years, but I have never been as overwhelmed by the response to our current advertising. Almost every day a new customer will tell us they learned about us on Fort Myers radio."
Conditioned Air is a Naples-based heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company. Theo Etzel joined the company in 1995 as President and CEO. That was the same year the company began advertising on Fort Myers radio as part of an aggressive growth strategy.
"To accelerate our growth at the beginning, we needed a strong platform to share the company's story," recalls Mr. Etzel. "So, we invested heavily in radio advertising." To this day, Fort Myers radio is still Conditioned Air's predominant form of advertising.
There's a right way and a wrong way for SWFL business owners to advertise on Fort Myers radio. Fortunately, there is a free resource at AdvertiseInFortMyers.com that can help replicate the successes of Mr. Bigelow and Mr. Etzel.
The resource is called "Learn the 7 Steps for Creating a Successful Advertising Campaign on Fort Myers Radio." Here is an overview of each step with a link to more in-depth information.
Step 1: Define A Key Marketing Objective
An effective advertising campaign on Fort Myers radio needs a specific marketing objective. The objective should correspond with an advertiser’s key challenges or opportunities. The objective will influence which radio stations to purchase, the length of the campaign, the timing of the advertising, as well as the length and the content of the commercials.
It is possible that over time, a business could have many different marketing objectives, but it is a proven, best practice for each campaign to focus on one. The objective selected should be both crucial to the continued success of the business.
- Marketing objectives typically fall into one-of-two categories: BRANDING or PROMOTION.
Branding objectives focus on convincing consumers to believe something about a product or business. For instance, a financial planner in Cape Coral might want adults approaching retirement to regard her firm’s annuity plans as the safest way to ensure worry-free living.
Promotional objectives are used when a business owner’s goal is to encourage the target consumers to take a specific action, quickly. They are usually time sensitive with a specific call-to-action. For example, a Pizza Restaurant in Naples might want working moms to order take-out dinner on their way home from work taking advantage of a two-for-one promotion.
Step 2: Pick the Right Radio Stations to Advertise On
The stations selected for advertising a product or service on Fort Myers radio should be determined by the marketing objective.
There are 28 radio stations that service the Fort Myers-Naples area. Each provides a unique blend of music, information, and entertainment. Some stations focus on politics or sports. Some play country music. Some play the hits. Some play classic rock. Some are on the AM dial. Some are on FM.
Fort Myers radio listeners are fiercely loyal to their favorite stations. Despite numerous listening options, the typical listener tunes-in to about two stations each week. So, to create a successful advertising campaign on Fort Myers radio, a business owner must identify those radio stations that attract the target consumers defined by their marketing objective.
The pizza restaurant referenced above, for instance, wants to target the 66,782 moms in Fort Myers who work full-time. It takes just three local radio stations to reach the majority of these moms. This information, alone, allows the restaurant owner to narrow the choice of Fort Myers radio stations from 28 to three.
The question then becomes, which combination of these three stations should ultimately be chosen for the ad campaign? The answer is determined by the marketing objective.Learn More About Step 2 --->
Step 3: Choose the Right Time of Day To Advertise
The times of day a small business owner should advertise on Fort Myers radio stations is determined by the campaign’s marketing objective and the budget for achieving it.
Radio stations breakdown the day into segments called dayparts:
Listeners tune into Fort Myers radio stations throughout the day, but the greatest concentration of listeners occurs on weekdays between 6:00am and 7:00pm. This is referred to as radio’s “prime time”.
Fort Myers Radio Reach by Time of Day
Consumers in Southwest Florida spend close to 16 hours per week listening to their favorite radio stations. This equates to more than 2 hours per day.
Research indicates that the typical person tunes-in at about the same time throughout the week, as. An example is the listener who turns on the radio at 5:20 every weekday afternoon for a 38-minute commute home from work. Or, maybe, the new mom who listens for 20 minutes every morning when she wakes up for a 2:00 feeding.
Achieving a branding objective requires frequency of message among the target consumers. To build effective frequency, a business owner should concentrate commercials during specific dayparts over an extended time frame.
Conversely, if a small business owner has a promotional objective, then utilizing multiple dayparts throughout the week would be recommended. Remember, since individual radio listeners habitually tune-in at the same times every day, to reach the most, different listeners requires using as many dayparts as possible.
Step 4: Choose How Long A Campaign Should Run
The most successful SWFL marketers avoid “going dark” or stopping their advertising. In other words, they advertise consistently. These local business owners know that there are always consumers in the buying cycle for their products and services. Converting these prospects to customers is critical to their success.
Ongoing advertising strategies comprise individual campaigns that run throughout the year. The duration of each of these campaigns is determined by the underlying marketing objective. There are times when these campaigns run concurrently, but most often, they are rolled-out sequentially.
Again, if a particular campaign has a branding objective, then a longer campaign is required. Remember, a branding campaign focused on convincing consumers to believe something about a product or business. Creating or altering a belief usually takes time and repetition of message (frequency). Therefore, branding campaigns often run for extended periods and can be scheduled continuously or in well-timed “pulses”.
When a campaign on Fort Myers radio is promotional in nature, it typically lasts for a shorter timeframe. Keep in mind, the purpose of a promotional campaign is to compel a consumer to take immediate action.
Step 5: Creating An Effective Commercial
The number one job of any radio commercial on Fort Myers radio is to break-through and be heard. If it is not heard, then it can’t be remembered. If it is not remembered, then it can’t be acted upon.
Breaking through and commanding a listener’s attention is a function of a commercial’s creative content.
According to a Nielsen study, the creative content of an ad contributes more to a commercial’s ability to drive sales than any other element of an advertising campaign. Content is more important than brand, reach, and frequency combined.
Nielsen’s findings are confirmed by a study from OMD, an advertising agency whose clients include McDonald’s, Apple, Pepsi, and Google. This study found that ad engagement has an 8-time bigger effect on sales than size of audience.
Commanding attention can be a challenge. Ordinary life activities, other media, and smartphones are also battling for the listener’s attention. To win the engagement battle, every word and sound of the entire commercial needs to be relevant and engaging.
There is no single formula for creating effective ads on Fort Myers radio stations. What follows, though, are 11 proven guidelines to assist in the creation of an effective radio commercial.
Step 6: Choosing The Length Of A Commercial
Fort Myers radio stations offer different commercial length options to fulfill the marketing objectives and budgets of local SWFL small business owners.
The most common lengths are :60 seconds; :30 seconds; :15 seconds; and :10 seconds.
Typically, fulfilling a branding objective requires longer-form commercials. Media expert Seth Godin describes brand as “a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Obviously, a message of this complexity would require a greater number of words.
Shorter length commercials are, generally, less expensive than :60-second commercials. Fulfilling promotional objectives typically requires more commercials spread over multiple dayparts on several radio stations to reach as many consumers possible. By taking advantage of the lower cost of shorter duration commercials, advertisers can purchase the volume of commercials necessary to generate that additional reach and frequency.
Reducing the length of a radio commercial by half does not equate to a commensurate reduction of effectiveness. Erwin Ephron, the architect of modern media planning pointed out, “On a pro-rata basis, a :30 is worth half of a :60. On a communication basis, though, the difference is far smaller.”
Step 7: Determine An Advertising Budget
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that established businesses with more than $5-million in gross revenue should budget 7-8% to advertise. Businesses who have not yet achieved that level of revenue should plan on investing 10-12%. Newer businesses that may not yet be familiar to their target consumers should plan on investing a larger percentage.
Once an advertising budget is determined, then station selection; campaign durations; and commercial lengths can be decided in a manner that conforms to the budget. Individual station pricing is based on several factors:
- Number of listeners
- Day of week
- Time of day
- Time of year
- Current advertiser demand
- Commercial length
The allocated budget for most campaigns can be fulfilled by carefully considering each factor above. Reputable radio station account executives can provide the necessary data for business owners to weigh both the efficiency and effectiveness to balance these factors.
Deloitte, the world's largest business consulting firm recommends, "radio should be a big part of the mix for those buying advertising."
Meet successful local business owners who agree.