Integrated marketing campaigns can be easily overlooked amid the hype of the billions spent on paid search, social media marketing and digital display. But a recent report cited by Ad Age showed some surprising results: The medium with the highest ROI could be radio, with a $6 return for every $1 spent on ads. Yet, according to eMarketer, the typical marketer only allocated 8.6 percent of the budget to radio advertising in 2014, and this is expected decrease to 7.1 percent by 2018. Meanwhile, digital advertising is expected to increase from 28.2 percent to 37.3 percent during the same period.
Should You Shift the Bulk of Your Budget to Radio?
Well, no. Like any good investment consultant will tell you, a diversified portfolio is the best option for most needs. Radio advertising isn't for everyone. Let's say, for example, you own a small, one locataion business in a major metro like Chicago or New York City. Since many consumers only do the majority of their everyday purchases within a small radius of where they work or live, paying for the massive reach of a top-rated station in a major market is likely not the most efficient use of marketing dollars. The same goes with other factors, like intent, niche products, and other areas that need more targeted means of reaching a specific consumer. But what about brand recognition and gaining top of mind awareness? Radio is one of the most efficient means of accomplishing these goals.
While radio marketing goes in search of the customer, paid search sees the customer searching for a brand like yours. But when you factor in the low click-through rate (CTR) of paid search campaigns, you can see the dilemma: Radio without paid search could mean you're forgotten, and paid search without radio loses potential engagement.
For this reason, you can see why an integrated marketing strategy that combines the two might be your best solution.
How Do You Combine Paid Search With Radio Ads?
It's not as difficult as it may seem. Make sure your radio campaign helps to drive traffic by matching the wording in your radio copy to the key words and phrases in your paid search ads. When the listener searches for you later, she'll remember the key phrases that caught her attention and spoke to her need, and she'll search for those terms. With your paid search campaign fine-tuned and ready for action, a search of those key phrases will return your brand to the top of the SERP.
You can also add a call-to-action (CTA) to break down barriers that might prevent listeners from contacting you. The classic is an easy-to-remember 800 number or Web address, but you can extend this to a free trial, a special offer (for quick responders) or a money-back guarantee. A rise in these searches, as well as brand name search queries, will be key indicators that your radio campaign is effectively working with your search.
Despite skewed marketing budgets, radio and paid search go together like peanut butter and jelly. With the proper copy and CTA, you can exploit radio's huge ROI to drive traffic and overcome low CTR. Meanwhile, properly tooled paid search makes sure that listeners can contact you later, and its analytics mean you can measure your results and adjust as you go. When you can effectively maximize each strategy to play off the strengths of the other, integrated marketing campaigns deserve a place of honor in your marketing toolbox.