Four Mobile Strategies To Optimize Radio Advertising For Local Businesses

Article by Sara Sisenwein

It is an ongoing discussion for businesses large and small, local and national — where are the best and most effective places to allocate advertising dollars? For many businesses, digital media like search, display (both desktop and mobile) and email marketing are appealing because of the tangible metrics produced, including click-through numbers, Web site visits and direct sales. However, these tactics limit the potential of a campaign, as they don’t have the reach of other media channels.

Traditionally, local radio has only been able to offer the metrics associated with the size and diversity of its reach, which include more than 243 million people nationwide and 90 percent of all demographics. As a result, while radio has a large and loyal audience base, the medium has struggled to compete for digital ad dollars.

However, thanks to new technologies, advertisers are able to pair local radio with digital and mobile media to create interactive radio campaigns that will optimize results for local businesses. Mobile interactive radio campaigns use radio’s diverse, local audience and pair it with a radio station mobile app to enable listeners to access local business offers, download music or get more information about items discussed on the broadcast.

Here are four ways that local businesses can optimize their advertisements using interactive radio.

  1. Pairing Engaging Radio Ads with Station Mobile Apps: By tying mobile ads to their radio spot counterpart, listeners can engage with the advertisement on their phone immediately, during and after the ad is heard on the radio. Look for radio stations that have embraced technology beyond the basic streaming mobile apps and can deliver a digital offer or additional information to the listener. Some of these applications can even collect opt-in email addresses and contact information for businesses to use as future sales leads.
  2. Metrics, Metrics, Metrics: Optimizing local radio advertising with interactive radio allows businesses to see how many people are actually interested in their radio ads based on who is accessing additional content through the app. This provides valuable statistics like Web site visits, clicks to purchase a product, event ticket sales and lead generation through tools like email collection. Advertisers now receive the same metrics from a radio campaign that they would from a digital media buy.
  3. Campaign Optimization: Now that advertisers can get listener engagement metrics on advertisement performance through interactive radio, they can test the advertisement’s message and design a call to action to see how many listeners are interested. The next week, the business can easily pivot to test another message and then compare the data to see which one is getting more traction. The same tests can be done with local business offers, events and other promotions.
  4. Remarketing: Companies should continue to foster the relationship with those consumers who raised their hands and engaged with the ad through the interactive mobile radio apps. Developing post-campaign outreach will significantly aid in building confidence with potential customers and provide more personalized offers.

Radio stations in Portland, Atlanta, Indianapolis and San Diego are some of the first in the nation to offer interactive radio ads for local businesses. Many organizations are not aware of this and therefore continue to miss out on the opportunity to try these cross-platform advertisements, which can dramatically increase the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

As one of the first forms of mass media, radio continues to be the top vehicle to reach local audiences for stations and advertisers. Now, through interactive radio, businesses can utilize the significant reach of radio while optimizing their ads with a digital component to better deliver ROI and bring in new customers.

This article was adapted from Image courtesy of

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Jim Sherwood
Jim is Chief at Skyrocket Radio. He started his radio career in 1988. Since then he has worked on-air in all day parts and held nearly every other station position at one time or another.