Radio accounts for 6.9% of total media expenditure. Radio advertising is done when people pay for spots which are available on a radio station for mentioning their products on air. For this purpose they first pay the adverting agencies which produce an advertisement, and then broadcast it on air through a radio station.
In America, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates commercial broadcasting, and the laws regarding radio advertisements remain relatively unchanged from the original Radio Act of 1927, enacted to deal with the increasing problems of signal interference as more and more stations sprung up around the country. As radio advertising is a great marketing tool, it helps many to reach specific demographic segments of the general population. Since radio advertising costs change according to region and market, more information will be provided in the following sections.
Cost of Radio Advertising
In the various mediums of advertising, like newspapers, magazines, and television, radio advertising reaches target audiences at the lowest cost. The cost of radio advertising depends on a number of advertising techniques and factors, of which some are mentioned in the paragraphs below.
It is commonly understood that the number of listeners are the main deciding factors that affect the local radio advertising costs of a particular station. Therefore, when you want to get an inexpensive deal for your advertisements, try to choose radio stations that have the highest concentration of target audience, rather than the most popular stations. This will surely help in getting a good amount of response for your products, and you will save a few extra bucks on publicity.
Length of the Advertisement
When you are giving an advertisement for your product or company on a particular radio station, you have to consider the length of the ad as well. The radio advertising cost also depends on this major factor which has to be considered. The standard length of an ad being 30 seconds, 10-second ads are approximately half the price of 30-second ads. Thus when you go to advertising agencies, make sure you talk these terms through, before approving the ads.
Time of Day
Another factor of radio marketing which cannot be ignored, is the time of the day during which it will be aired. Early morning and late afternoon are the most desirable times, and are, therefore, the most expensive slots. You can research these timings, and then apply for the advertisement.
Length of the Campaign
Longer campaigns are more expensive, but are cheaper on a per ad basis. Generally, it is best not to advertise on the radio for more than 4 weeks, unless it's a highly intensive campaign. The reason being campaigns are charged more, than on the basis of per ad. This is where the profit of the ad agencies as well the radio station comes in.
Radio advertising rely majorly on repetition of the ads, so make sure your ads aren't spread out thinly. If you can't afford high frequency ads, consider advertising one week on and one week off over a couple of months. This will surely help you ease the budget, and keep your products publicized as well.
The Type of Advertising
Radio stations are flexible with whatever advertising options they have. For example, you can often sponsor particular shows or features, or run a competition on air. There are some advertisements which the radio stations make themselves and some are made by the ad agencies. These depend on your choice of expenditure.
Depending on the radio stations around America, there are varied costs of radio advertising which change regionally. Therefore, take a look at the following costs across various regions of America on a per ad basis.
- San Francisco, California $899
- Denver, Colorado $194
- Washington, DC $396
- Jacksonville, Florida $65
- Chicago, Illinois $362
- Boston, Massachusetts $453
- Las Vegas, Nevada $94
- New York, New York $1,405
- Houston, Texas $264
Thus, with these variable radio advertising costs in some of the major cities, you can make a choice as to how you want to campaign your product. Undoubtedly radio is one of the best marketing medias and you should use it, but economically.