In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, radio and technology provided comfort to American consumers over the last two years. With social distancing and masking protocols in place to keep us safe, consumers have turned to these media channels to feel connected and inspired.Despite the pandemic, the number of people listening to the radio increased in the spring of 2021 compared to the previous year and has ever since. Radio provided comfort to those in isolation throughout the periods of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, creating a pool of listeners who remained loyally tuned in over a year later.
Similarly, technology use has seen its share of growth in 2021; Americans spent over $480 billion on tech this year, a 7.5% increase from 2020. The president of the Consumer Technology Association attributed this growth to COVID-19, "The pandemic strengthened consumers' relationship with technology forever."
This article will investigate the benefits of both radio and digital advertising, and demonstrate the potential in combining the two media for maximum effectiveness.
What is Radio Advertising?
While radio advertising may conjure up images of a bygone era, it remains a surefire way for businesses to share detailed messages with a broad audience. Online or text-based ads can only include short bursts of information for fear of overloading their audience, but radio advertisements can say quite a bit in full 30 to 60-second audio clips. This makes radio advertising an effective way to share information with curious consumers.
There are four types of radio advertising:
- Traditional radio advertising
- Terrestrial radio broadcast advertising
- Satellite radio advertising
- Terrestrial radio online advertising
Even in today’s modern market, radio advertising is alive and well. From 2019 to 2023, it’s anticipated that radio ad spending in the United States will increase by nearly half a billion dollars, growing from $17.9 billion in 2019 to an expected total of $18.4 billion in 2023, demonstrating the continued popularity and real-life benefits of this medium.
What are the Benefits of Radio Advertising?
Businesses can benefit from the inherent advantages of radio advertising:
- Companies can target niche audiences by aligning genre-specific music stations with tailored branding messages.
- Production lead times are shorter; a time-sensitive ad can be ready for on-air distribution in a few hours.
- Products or services that require verbal explanation (as opposed to a visual demonstration) benefit more from radio advertising.
- Radio is much more cost-effective than television or print advertising, especially if the ad can air at any time.
- Drivers, especially commuters, tune in daily and are less likely to switch channels, resulting in a highly engaged audience.
What is Digital Advertising?
Digital advertising is a vast marketing category that encompasses a business's online marketing endeavors. These efforts include online websites (and corresponding Google search hits), social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, email campaigns, mobile apps, or other online programmatic advertisements.
There are three types of digital advertising: owned, earned, and paid. Owned digital advertising refers to "owned assets" like a company's website, email communications, social media profiles, and updates. Earned digital advertising consists of online reports from third parties, like media reviews, online ratings, or organic social media shares. Net, a business has essentially earned its reputation for free. Paid digital advertising is marketing in which a company invests money, like pay-per-click campaigns or digital banners or displays.
Regardless of the type of digital advertising, the benefits are the same.
What are the Benefits of Digital Advertising?
In addition to "reach(ing) the right people, in the right place, at the right time," digital advertising often offers built-in analytics software. This gives brands and organizations real-time, data-driven feedback about the success of digital advertising efforts. Metrics like these are vital tools businesses use to inform and improve their future campaign approaches.
Digital advertising also comes with these bonus benefits:
- Digital marketing enables businesses to efficiently communicate with current and prospective customers thanks to social media posts, email communications, and website content updates. Fast accessibility makes all the difference.
- Customer testimonials and feedback can be automated in the digital realm, making business pivots less tedious and prolonged.
- Google Ads, Facebook's Meta for Business, and YouTube Ads are major digital advertising players; however, the "marketing technology landscape" is vast and varied, with over 8,000 marketing resources available to businesses last year.
Radio and Digital Advertising Combined
Considering the benefits of both radio advertising and digital advertising, it is no wonder that a new digital-radio advertising trend has surfaced, which accounted for $1.32 billion in local digital-radio advertising revenue in 2021.
While both media are strong on their own, businesses should consider an "integrated campaign" that blends the targeting capabilities of radio with the broad reach of digital. Targeted consumers receive on-air radio advertising messages, ultimately leading consumers to the radio station or brand's website. Digital advertising on these websites can then "target likely buyers based on their past behavior (such as shopping history, web browsing history, location, and other factors.)." Radio stations fiscally benefit from both the on-air and online business plugs, and businesses benefit from a combination of both a radio and digital presence.
Partnerships, like the one between radio and digital, can significantly change a business's trajectory if the business partners with a renowned media buying agency to help plan that trajectory. It's a win-win.
MBI: A Win-Win
MBI's digital strategists and radio strategists are experts in the field of media planning and buying, knowing full-well the power of an integrated campaign. Currently, in its 30th year, MBI has the experience and expertise to take a business's current marketing strategy and elevate it to unprecedented success. Our revolutionary six-step process will make any partnership a win-win. Contact us today.