In the modern digital age, consumers are diversifying the number of channels they use to communicate, do research, and shop. Operating in this fast-paced, multi-screen world, brands can find improved results when they combine traditional marketing channels with online channels. Most notably, a 2015 survey of 21 brands over 18 months found that brands combining radio and online outreach produced a 23% increase in sales and inquiries when using a mix and match channel approach for marketing campaigns, while individually, the channels only produced a 17% or 14% increase, respectively.
As you're developing your marketing mix, it's important to realize that each channel you use can oftentimes strengthen the others. That means, for example, that you can use radio to boost social media ROI and improve customer relationships. In this post, we'll discuss some of the tactics your business can use to do just that.
When you have a social promotion, such as a deal only available through social media, develop a radio campaign to advertise it to prove both the value of your brand and your social networks. Remember the extensive reach radio can offer you — more than 91% of adults over the age of 18 — and be ready to tap into audiences you may not necessarily have reached with social alone. A business could utilize a radio campaign to promote a Facebook giveaway. If the call-to-action for the giveaway entry was to get people to the Facebook page to enter their entry information there, the messaging could include giveaway details and prizes being offered to entice the listener and follow up with the call-to-action, entry details, URL and any other specific giveaway information or regulations. Ensure it’s enticing to the listener and the CTA is clearly defined.
Drive Social Traffic
Even when you're not offering a social-specific promotion, every radio ad that shares how to connect with your brand via social media will lead more customers to your social media outlets. Make sure that the ad clearly states how to find your branded social handles, and do something to encourage your audience to transition from passive listening to action. Follow up on the increased social engagement to fully capture those potential leads by posting relevant, consistent and engaging content.
Something important to keep in mind here: Don’t use too many different ways to contact you in an ad or they will all get lost. If driving social media engagement and followers is a goal of yours, then it makes sense to tell people to find you on Facebook. But if you also want to send people to your website, and provide your location, and your phone number… then you really should determine which are the most important contact points for this particular campaign and use those.
To Drive Web Traffic
While a radio ad should certainly point to your website or location when applicable, pointing to your social media channels can have a domino effect. Listeners that might not have gone to your site because they aren’t ready to buy, might be interested in following you on social for content, education, or future needs. This alternative way to stay in touch is low-pressure and eliminates the possibility of you missing out on potential customers who are still early in the buyer’s journey. In fact, social is responsible for more than 31% of referral traffic based on a study of more than 300,000 websites. This is powerful since top performing social networks offer conversion rates near 2% (Facebook provides 1.85% conversion rate for ecommerce traffic according to data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders), which is higher than the average website conversion (average conversion rate in ecommerce is 1.33% according to Compass’ growing dataset of over $13B in ecommerce transactions).
This is the most basic benefit provided by advertising your social media via radio. The ad itself will increase brand awareness by reinforcing messaging to a large audience with frequency, targeting and enticing radio ad creative, but by increasing traffic to your social channels, you grow the number of followers that will receive your social media messaging. By having more followers, your brand has more opportunity to stay top of mind to a consumer in a less marketing-focused way which keeps them connected for future marketing and needs.
In radio, influencers are the radio personalities who connect with consumers through the station and form relationships when consumers listen and interact with the station and its messaging. Influencers are the most powerful motivators both on radio and in social media. You can utilize the power of influencers with radio and social in two corresponding ways. First, you could have popular radio personalities who relate and speak to your target audience advocate your brand and promote your social media handles. Second, have those personalities share pertinent content through their own social media outlets, or feature their content in your social media posts. This increases how much listeners will trust your brand and drive more traffic. A retail store offering specials on winter jackets could start a marketing campaign utilizing the power of influencers by partnering with the influencer to share store and promotion information on winter jackets at the same time they are running radio advertisements to promote the special. While running ads, the store offers the radio personality one of the jackets on promotion to use and test out, so they can share the experience about the warmth of the jacket when on-air, as well as share a photo on their social media pages of them in the cold weather wearing the jacket and tagging the store.
Sweepstakes and other contests are already a huge draw for consumers, and advertising a contest via radio that has a social media bent is no different. In general, the contest can promote increased engagement on your social media pages. By offering a second entry based on sharing about the contest, for example, you can increase reach and transform users into brand ambassadors; be sure it's mentioned in the ad. When setup correctly, you can increase your database by collecting entry information as well.
Thanks to mobile, consumers regularly use their smartphones while doing things like listening to the radio or watching TV. By taking consistent messaging to the next step and coordinating it in real time, you immediately strengthen your message through increased frequency. Be sure to reference hashtags and other pertinent information so that it's easy for listeners to search for exactly what you're discussing, whether their phone is in hand or not.
This should provide a clearer understanding of the power that radio and social media can have when combined. The key is utilizing social media with your radio advertising efforts--where your customers and prospects already are--to engage and strengthen your relationship.