I don’t have any clever references to stories about buying radio, so we’re going to dive right into it! Radio is probably the only media that will truly give you added value. Radio reps are willing to negotiate and give you free bonus time, tickets to events, advertising on their station’s website, etc. Use this to your advantage!
Radio buying is similar to TV in that you’re buying air time for certain period of time,:30 or :60 second spots, during day parts and on stations that hit your target audience. (You can apply the TV buying tips to radio from my Advertising 101 – Pt 2 blog) But, where you can get even more out of your radio buy is through what is referred to as added value.
Typically you can ask for bonus spots. They’re usually run of station, meaning that most likely they’re empty spots in less desirable time periods on weekends or 12a- 6a time slots, but hey, something is better than nothing! On air traffic/news sponsorships are also another added plug in stations are willing to throw in.
On a larger scale, there are two great ways to generate buzz for both you and the radio station:
One, live remotes. You’ll have to check with the radio station on extra costs. If you want a very popular DJ to be at your venue, it will most likely cost you extra money, but to have Joe Schmo radio DJ come on a weekend and promote an event or sale that you may be having, typically won’t cost you extra dollars.
Two, depending on your ad spend, you may be able to negotiate some on air promotion. For example, you’re a retail store having a big giveaway for the listeners. Both of these options are a win-win for you and the radio station.
So to conclude my radio buying words of wisdom, ask about added value! More often than not reps are more than willing to give you something extra beyond your buy.