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How to create radio spots that sell

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Radio continues to be powerful weapon in your advertising arsenal, especially on a local level. The key is to develop radio spots that motivate listeners to take action. How do you do that?

Tips to keep in mind

Promote results

Results aren't necessarily the same as benefits. For example, a benefit of a car with four doors is that passengers can comfortably step in and out of the back seat. If you're selling four-door vehicles, pick a result of that benefit that would appeal to your target market. To reach listeners who are parents of young children, your radio spot could explain that it takes less time to pick up the neighborhood kids from school in a four-door car than a two-door vehicle because the kids can more quickly scramble into the back seat. A related result is that you aren't holding up drivers who are parked behind you, honking their horns while the kids are climbing into the car.

Know when to mention the advertiser's name

If your spot starts out with your company name, as in "Bing's Taffy Tavern announces…" listeners will tend to conclude that the spot isn't about their needs, it's about Bing's Taffy Tavern. A better opening is to describe the listener's problem and how you can solve it. The best time to reveal the shop's name is when the listener starts to wonder where he can buy the creative taffy gifts that he just heard about for his wife and kids.

Stick with a single core message

Your core message is the message you want your targeted listeners to hear, understand and remember. If the core message of an ad for a sporting goods store is that participating in sports like tennis can make life better, promote your store's impressive selection of tennis racquets but don't mention golf clubs or skis. Produce separate spots for each merchandise category you want to promote. Retailers in particular are prone to promoting several products in one radio spot. But unlike ads on the Web or in print where consumers can read about multiple products in any order they wish, radio listeners can only absorb information in the order you provide it.

Avoid entertainment overload

Yes, a radio spot can be too entertaining. If you work with an ad agency that produces spots in which creative jingles or funny patter overpowers the sales message, it may be time to look for professional assistance from an advertising agency.

See also