As social media and streaming platforms continue to gain in popularity, advertising budgets continue to turn toward digital media. As such, brands often overlook radio advertising. But radio advertising still maintains massive audience reach, engaging populations in ways digital advertising cannot.
In this blog, we’ll explore these two channels and demystify why radio should still maintain a place in advertising budgets. You’ll learn about:
- The benefits of radio advertising for brands
- The rise of digital advertising
- How radio stays competitive
The Benefit of Radio Advertising for Advertisers
Radio is often viewed as a legacy channel. But for that reason, it has cemented itself in the daily lives of generation after generation. Radio’s weekly reach in the United States is just north of 82%. The radio market is also expected to reach $81.93 billion by 2026, recovering much of the rearranging pausing budgets during the pandemic.
Much of radio’s maintained presence in advertising can be attributed to the unique benefits that set it apart from other channels. Its massive reach makes it an inviting channel for many advertisers looking to engage broader audiences or target specific locales. Because of this, advertisers can target specific demographics they want to reach through radio.
But one of the longstanding benefits of radio is its cost compared to digital advertising. The pandemic upended budgets as many companies paused or drew back ad dollars to protect themselves. Today, we are again faced with a tumultuous market in flux. During times like this, companies want to look for areas they can acquire the most bang for their buck—enter radio.
Radio traditionally has lower CPMs than digital advertising channels and other media channels in general, for that matter. Daniel Konstantinovic, an analyst at Insider Intelligence, commented in a recent post on audio advertising that “… radio has a very dedicated listenership. [Advertisers] are very cautious about where to spend right now, and something like radio is cheap, effective, and always there [as] a safe bet.”
Radio offers an “X factor” that other channels cannot provide. It has always bound communities together and created an emotional connection with the listener. In fact, 51% of radio listeners said their connection with radio is the main reason they listen. Case in point: Listeners trust radio more than other mediums and often tune in when disaster strikes to garner information. Radio, in this way, is woven into the daily lives of communities and, for that reason, remains a strong advertising channel despite the advent of digital.
The Rise of Digital Advertising
Of course, digital advertising is appealing to brands for a number of reasons. First, there’s a wide range of targeting options. You can really go as broad as you want (though that’s not always recommended) or pinpoint down to your audience and become more granular. To do this effectively, best practice in digital advertising is to run tests to seek the lowest cost and highest-performing ad. Various factors can impact measurement results, so testing is important to find the right recipe for success.
That leads to another reason why digital advertising appeals to marketers. You can track and measure success with real-time tracking, providing clear feedback so they can understand best how to spend their budgets—especially if they are tight and advertisers must be hypervigilant with their spending. New solutions have helped radio become more on par in this sense, which we’ll get to later.
Due to rich data, digital advertising enables advertisers to experiment with more versatility in ad format and creativity. In addition, with that immediate feedback, they can quickly pivot and adjust their strategy, enabling greater cost-effectiveness compared with traditional channels historically.
While these benefits make digital advertising channels attractive, there’s a right and wrong way to use the radio channel. With modern solutions coupled with industry know-how, radio can punch above its weight to compete effectively with digital channels in terms of performance.
How Radio Stays Competitive
New technology integrations that plug into radio station broadcasts have changed the game for the channel. Veritone, a long-standing media and entertainment industry solutions provider, recognized the opportunity presented if stations and advertisers could track radio campaigns more effectively.
To enable stations and advertisers alike a clearer view of how an ad correlates to brand lift, we build Veritone Attribute, a broadcast-to-web attribution solution. Connecting together a station’s CRM with the advertiser’s Google Analytics, stations can track the web lift an advertiser’s website sees, providing greater insights into the success of campaigns.
That’s just half the battle, though. Tracking all on-air content, pulling airchecks in a timely fashion, and re-engaging with advertisers to prove and verify ad runs was traditionally a manual process. Veritone Discovery changes that enable stations to capture all their on-air content to repurpose on social media, create bite-size content pieces, recall future episodes, and much more. But more importantly, it provides them an easy way to continuously reengage with advertisers, thereby improving client relationships to reduce turn. Westwood One did just that, using the tool to cut down four-hour aircheck pulls to just a few minutes shortly after a program has run.
In addition to new technologies taking radio to the next level as a competitive channel, selling ad inventory also plays a critical role in helping stations achieve their yearly goals. Given the economy’s ebb and flow and just the general pulse of the ad business, ad inventory sometimes remains unsold. Stations can move this remaining ad inventory with VeriAds, a solution offering that helps you meet your goals by moving all your inventory.
Radio Advertising Remains Relevant
With these new advances in radio solutions and the benefits of the channel that set it apart from digital advertising, radio should not be overlooked when building campaigns. It’s typically more affordable, offers greater demographic targeting, and provides the greatest reach among advertising channels.
While digital advertising provides much data to help optimize campaigns, new radio solutions can now provide a similar experience. Whether you need to provide faster airchecks for optimized integration with advertisers or metrics to back up spending, you can help reduce turn and grow the business. In the next blog, we’ll discuss innovative advertising methods to help reach and engage radio listeners.