Despite new digital channels and an abundance of innovative marketing strategies, radio remains a powerful advertising tool. According to Nielsen, 242 million people in the United States listen to the radio each week. Businesses understand that radio continues to reach an enormous audience of consumers and that certain advertising goals can be achieved with smart radio campaigns.
Because the market has changed dramatically in the last few years, some radio advertisers are hesitant to start new digital campaigns. They see radio as a stand-alone campaign, and not as a strategy that could benefit from SEO and SEM leads. At first blush, this makes sense: Why fix what isn't broken?
The challenge of radio isn't necessarily getting a strong return on your investment. Rather, radio advertisers that resist digital campaigns may be missing out on additional conversions that could result from their radio spots. In many cases, they could actually be sending business to their competition by not building a digital presence.
The risk of not complementing a radio campaign with certain digital assets is significant. If businesses don't respond to the anticipated digital actions of a Web-connected consumer base, radio marketing could be backfiring right underneath your nose.
Radio Inspires Top-of-Funnel Awareness
As a traditional advertising channel, radio's greatest value is more general in terms of inspiring consumer actions. It's unlikely that radio will directly trigger high-volume sales and conversions, but that's not the main goal. The goal of radio is to build brand and solution awareness. If the advertisement is relevant, it can stick in consumers' minds until they get a chance to learn more.
This is great, but it's not enough in today's digital age. Awareness from radio ads is likely to inspire digital research on the part of consumers. They will go online to search engines such as Google to learn more about what they've heard in your radio spot. If you haven't built up your digital presence and planned for this next step in the consumer process, it could be disastrous - your competitor could show up in the search results instead of you.
Meeting Consumers When They Go Online
If you're using radio ads only to drive business, it's as if you're shoving a boat off the shore and hoping consumers can paddle their way home. On the Internet, it doesn't have to be this way.
Interested consumers that go online can be easily targeted through today's technology. By employing search engine optimization, you can focus on key topic strategy and other SEO concepts that will place your brand's content prominently at the top of relevant Web searches — the kind driven by awareness built through radio. Investing in paid advertising and other SEM strategies that align with your radio spots will further establish your presence and help consumers find you online.
Just as importantly, this digital presence could save leads from being sent to your competitors. If your direct competition is building a digital presence while you stick to traditional channels, it's likely that your awareness advertising is ultimately benefiting those companies. In other words, you're paying for radio campaigns that drive SEO and SEM leads to your competition.
Digital strategy will not only prevent this, but it will increase the value of your radio campaigns.