Radio advertising can be a small business’s best friend. It’s relatively inexpensive, very effective, and allows you to target your audience pretty specifically. It’s also a level playing field — your commercials can sound just as good as those of a corporate giant.
But not all radio ads are created equal. Too often, they’re wasted on “name recognition” spots that have to be run over and over, only hoping to produce a positive impression in the audience’s mind. Eventually they promise you more business, but nothing you can trace.
There is a better way. When done right, radio can be one of the most potent weapons in your marketing arsenal. Here’s how:
1. Never let the radio station write your ads. They’re usually very nice people, and good at the job of selling radio advertising. But they’re generally not trained writers. At best, you’ll get a decent ad that sounds like everything else on their station. At worst, you’ll get a lousy ad. If you’re going to do radio, do it right and hire a professional copywriter.
2. Tell a story. Radio is powerful because it is an intimate medium. It’s often listened to when someone is alone, such as when driving to work. It can easily arouse the emotion that leads to sales, and the best way to do that is by telling a story. Create a humorous conflict that is solved by your product or service and have it acted out. Story-based commercials get consistently better results than traditional announcer-based ones.
3. Stick to one idea. 30 — or even 60 — seconds is not a lot of time. Spend all of it on one idea or benefit. Any more than that just confuses your audience.
4. Give a clear call to action. You won’t get results if you don’t ask for them. Tell your listeners what it is you want them to do, whether it is visit your store, call you or visit your web site. Whatever else you do, don’t leave this step out. If you don’t ask your audience to do anything, they won’t.
These ideas can not only super-charge your radio ads, it’s possible they will save you money as well. Because a well-written ad will generate more response without having to be run as much. Try it and see!
Does your marketing forge an emotional connection with your prospects? It can. Lisa Packer, author of “The Power Of Emotion: 6 Triggers That Turn Prospects Into Customers,” specializes in copy that does just that.

(Prices starting at: $997, includes production)

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