Hitting the airwaves: Improving radio advertising results with branding strategies

July 29, 2016

By David Rodgers

radio-advertisingAfter weighing several advertising media options, jewellery stores often find radio seems advantageous, based on the relatively low cost per listener, good demographic targeting by station, and large local coverage. But just the mere fact of placing radio ads doesn’t guarantee stellar results.

Too often, very little attention is paid to the ad’s content. As such, implementing branding strategies can help enhance both short-term and long-term ad memorability.

Okay, ‘branding strategy’ may sound rather ivory tower-ish. So instead, consider this question: If you were to describe your jewellery store to someone at a dinner party, what would you say? If your first thought is simply to state your location (e.g. “We’re in downtown Toronto on Yonge Street”), you can be sure you need to work a lot harder on your branding strategy. Your goal should be to occupy a unique place in your customers’ and prospects’ minds.

The following strategies are not only designed to carve out a memory cue for your jewellery store, but help you attain positive results and enhance long-term customer retention.

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You may want to consider hiring a radio or audio production company that can provide a variety of announcers. Look for someone with a memorable voice and who, in your estimation, ‘sounds’ like your jewellery store.

Consistent voice-over announcer. Did you ever notice how some of the biggest companies pick one announcer and use them for years at a time? Well, they do, and it may be possible for you to do the same. Contact your radio spot producers to see if they offer unique voice-over announcers. If you simply have the station produce your spot for free, they often have a minimal selection of in-house announcers, each of whom represents many local companies. Using the same announcer as everyone else makes your ad seem run-of-the-mill. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a radio or audio production company who can provide a variety of announcers. After hearing demos, select someone who has a memorable voice and who, in your estimation, ‘sounds’ like your jewellery store. Sometimes you can get away with using a store owner or manager if they have a clear and unique voice, but other times this ends up sounding awkward. An honest third party should help you assess in this case. Once you find your unique voice-over announcer, continue using the person for at least a few years and weigh your results.

Unique slogan. Slogans are very important for branding, especially since they can go in all of your marketing material (e.g. radio, television, outdoor, online, magazine, newspaper, social media, in-store signage, or letterhead). Ideally, if you mention your store to someone at a dinner party, for instance, they should be able to tell you your slogan immediately. Consider the following to help create a slogan. Not all are crucial, but using at least a few of them is wise.

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Incorporating sound effects into your ads can help them stand out. When played enough times, they become your store’s memory cue.

Music and sound effects. It was noted previously that using the same voice-over announcer as other businesses may not help you stand out. Likewise, using the same stock library music as everyone else will certainly not help your ad results. Take a moment to recall the ads you know best. Now think about the music associated with those ads. It is likely the ads you thought of featured completely original music. Perhaps it was a custom music background, a full jingle, or an ending jingle tag. When people hear musical cues repeatedly, they immediately associate what they hear with the business. For example, “ba da ba ba ba” (the five notes before “I’m lovin’ it”) immediately makes you think of McDonald’s without having to hear the whole spot, even when you’re barely listening. This shows the power of music and why it makes sense to use this influence for your store.

Lastly, sound effects can help your ads stand out. Perhaps it is wedding bells ringing or the sound approximation of a diamond sparkling. When played enough times, these sound effects become your store’s memory cue. Just be sure no one describes the effect as annoying, as you want to illicit positive emotions whenever the ad plays.

After putting some of these ideas into practice, imagine going to another dinner party and describing your jewellery store. It will probably be much easier now that you have a unique announcer, a distinctive slogan, and especially memorable custom music and/or sound effects. Chances are, you won’t even need to say too much, because the person you’re speaking with will tell you all about your ‘branding strategy.’

David Rodgers helps jewellery stores maximize radio and television advertising results by providing memorable jingles, custom background music, full radio spot production, and on-hold music messages. He can be reached via contact@doctorjingles.com or at (248) 291-7735.

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