How to Determine if Radio is a Good Fit for Your Local Media Campaign

local media buying strategy

Radio is not the right fit for every local media campaign.

Ask yourself these questions before including radio in your media mix.

1. Are you trying to reach a concentrated geography?

The geographic coverage of radio is much smaller than that of television.  The radio metro will cover several counties around a city center, but will not provide a broad reach to outlying areas.

If you are advertising for a couple of stores, located in the city, radio is an effective tactic.  However, if your service area also includes several locations outside of the metro area, you need to purchase additional radio schedules in each local area.

While radio is one of the least expensive advertising mediums, it is important to evaluate the total cost to reach your desired geography.  You may find it is more expensive to purchase all of the necessary radio schedules, versus investing in television, online or direct mail.

2. Is a goal of the campaign to reach a specific audience with a high frequency?

It can be difficult to reach a large percentage of your target audience with a radio schedule, as a result of fragmented listening.

Every station will have a different demographic composition.   Those that listen to a local News/Talk station may skew older and more male, whereas the audience of a Top 40 station may be younger and more female.  You may not hit the majority of them, but you can hit a minority many times – that’s called frequency – and its something radio can deliver at a reasonable price.

Nothing drives people to an event like radio – because it takes frequency of message to get your audience to remember a date.

3. Do you need to send a message quickly?

Radio can facilitate a quick turnaround, with the ability to get a schedule on air in days instead of weeks or months for other media tactics.

This is helpful for advertisers that need to get a message out quickly, or those that change creative frequently throughout a flight.

 4. Do you have a limited production budget?

Since radio only uses a voiceover and a music track, it lends itself well to limited creative budgets and short production schedules.

The creative cost is even less if the schedule includes elements like traffic sponsorships or endorsements.  These are read live by radio announcers on air, eliminating the need for any kind of production.  The biggest cost for creating a radio spot isn’t studio time, but talent.  The more talent you use, the more it costs.

If you are trying to reach a specific audience, in a specific place, with a high frequency, radio could be the best medium for you.

photo credit: baboon™ via photopin cc

Shelby Nichols

About Shelby Nichols

Shelby is Director of Digital Media at Sheehy, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. With close to 15 years in the industry she has planned and purchased a wide range of media and has a passion for all things digital.

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