your great untapped marketing opportunity radioDesigning a modern marketing strategy isn’t easy. We have an excess of choice in this day and age – our media takes all different forms, from print newspapers to internet websites. There are as many ways to advertise as there are ways to consume written and visual content. You can advertise between episodes of a streaming TV show, in the margins of online blogs, and on billboards at the sides of highways. So when it comes to designing a marketing strategy for your company, the choice can be paralyzing. Is it enough to use digital advertising alone? What is the best way to incorporate direct response advertising into your marketing campaign?

The truth is that a good marketing strategy will have answers to all of these questions. Your best bet is to include more than one type of marketing in your overall plan, and to make significant use of direct response marketing. And when it comes to direct response marketing, you shouldn’t just rely on digital marketing. In fact, there’s one place for advertisements that we haven’t mentioned yet – one that is much more valuable than many advertisers assume.

Radio Has Still Got It

Progress marches on, so it’s no surprise that many modern companies turn to marketers asking for digital advertising solutions. Perhaps the client watched a bit of Hulu last night. Is there a way to get an ad on there?

Sure, maybe – but while that half-hour of Hulu may be fresh on the client’s mind, there’s another form of media that may play a larger role in his or her day-to-day life. This type of media was playing in their car on their way too and from work. It was on in the dentist’s office during their last appointment, and on at the mom and pop shop they stopped in on their way home from work. It’s radio, of course, and it’s everywhere! Despite the fact that radio is one of our oldest types of media, it remains massively important to advertisers.

How important? Radio reaches over 271 million Americans each week, according to Nielsen. That’s more than 90% of people in the United States! For perspective, that means that radio reaches more people than television or even smartphones.

Speaking of smartphones, more and more people are using them in the way that our grandparents used radios. Audio usage of smartphones grew 30% in 2016. Many smartphone owners use them to listen to podcasts, which are essentially modern radio programs. And it’s not just older and more nostalgic folks who are putting the emphasis on audio. You might think of radio listeners as older folks in rural areas (though, as we’ve seen, in reality all types of people listen to the radio), but podcasts invert this stereotype entirely. Podcast listeners tend to be young and highly educated. In other words, people from all walks of life listen to audio programs in some form. Audio is far from dead.

Get Your Ads on the Radio

With audio still such a popular part of American culture, it’s vital that a modern marketing strategy make use of radio and podcast advertising. And, as luck would have it, radio ads are perfect for direct response marketing. You’ve probably heard radio ads that ask you to sign up for text messages, or podcast ads that offer special promotional codes. These prompts for direct response give advertisers a sense of how well their ad is working, making it easy to adjust strategies and target times and programs that are giving them the best return on their investment.

Digital marketing is all well and good – it’s important in this day and age to have a presence online. But modern companies ignore radio at their own peril. Radio’s reach is unrivaled by other forms of media, and it offers advertisers the chance to measure and improve their results through direct response marketing.

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