The success of any business relies heavily on its customers. A multi-billion-dollar corporation or a small mom and pop restaurant operating around the block will both depend on new and returning customers to thrive.

Attracting new customers can be hard work, but it does not have to be. Not when advertising on the radio has proven to be a perfect way to reach more people in a cost-effective manner. Despite the different ways that we can now access music and information, radio is still one of the most affordable and effective mediums in advertising to reach new potential customers.

According to the Small Business Administration, radio advertising has two major benefits for small business: It is affordable. Plus, while less expensive than the cable television advertising, it often has the same reach.

With COVID-19 this year, media consumption, which includes television and radio, has been on the rise as more people opt to stay indoors. According to a Nielsen survey, 83% of consumers have said they are listening to as much or more radio as they were before the pandemic began. The survey also found that 60% of Americans of adults 18 and older trust that the radio will deliver timely information about the current coronavirus outbreak.

“In a time of heightened uncertainty and disrupted routines, consumers are turning to radio as a trusted source of information and community connection, mirroring patterns observed during past regional and national disasters and weather events,” remarked Brad Kelly, Managing Director at Nielsen Audio.

“Radio is a local lifeblood for millions of consumers and specializes in keeping audiences up-to-date and plugged into what matters most to them in their community,” said Kelly. “In this environment, it’s no surprise that people say they use radio as a major source of information and connection. Whether it’s for local news, a place to listen to what is happening, to connect with community members or to find out which essential retailers are open for business, radio is continuing to fill those needs for consumers everywhere.”

Nielsen found that Americans are already spending almost 12 hours each day with media, and that time could grow by 60% among those who stay indoors. It is no surprise that advertising on the radio, whether it’s digital radio, internet radio, or even podcasts, is considered one of the most powerful mediums.

Podcasts in recent years have become very popular as they allow audiences to multitask and save time while listening to their favorite celebrities and/or topics. For the first time this year, over 100 million Americans listen to at least one podcast each month. This is according to Edison Research and Triton Digital who recently released the data as part of the annual study: The Infinite Dial. The study also found that 68 million Americans are now weekly podcast listeners.

In 2017, Bridge Ratings projected that businesses expect to spend over $500 million on podcast ads this year. “There is a lot of momentum in the sector [podcasts],” Amplifi Media CEO Steven Goldstein has said. “Anecdotally, many advertisers are looking for new platforms and fresh ideas. The ‘live reads’ and limited commercial loads are attractive.”

Steve Pratt, a partner at Pacific Content has commented, “Consumers are so empowered now that they can bypass almost any kind of marketing they want. People will ignore or skip anything they don’t like. So brands have to make things they love.”

As stated in an article on WordStream by Brad Smith, influence on consumer behavior from podcast listening has risen over the last few years as “75% of podcast listeners not only pay attention to podcasts ads, but they also follow specific calls to action after hearing them.”

According to AdvertiseCast, the industry average rates for podcast advertising are: $15 for a 10-second ad CPM. $18 for a 30-second ad CPM. $25 for a 60-second ad CPM. Podcast advertising rates can range from $18–$50 CPM on the highly acclaimed Joe Rogan Show per Midroll. CPM stands for cost per mile or cost per 1,000 listeners. With these prices, podcasts are proving to be one of the cheapest ways to build a brand and an audience.

It is a grave misconception that people hop into the car and skip the radio to only listen to their jams on Pandora or Spotify. Nielsen’s 2019 Audio Today Report discovered that 272 million Americans listen to traditional radio every week. Keep in mind that the USA has a population of around 328 million, so this represents a lot of listeners!

Radio can improve the cost-effectiveness of advertising campaigns by over 20% because it helps a brand to win “share of mind” with consumers, revealed research from Radiocentre, the trade body for British radio.

Mark Barber, Radiocentre’s planning director, said: “For many years we’ve been promoting radio’s suitability for brand-building campaigns and this study is the final piece of the jigsaw, providing robust evidence of radio’s effect on brand metrics to support the theory.

“I hope the findings and the practical guidance it provides gives more advertisers the confidence to fully exploit radio’s brand-building capabilities.”


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