Understanding Radio Advertising Rates: Minimizing the Marketing Budget

Effective advertising is a must to encourage sales growth. Traditional advertising mediums have been decreasing as Internet advertising increases. However, some traditional mediums have found new niches and actually reach more consumers than ever. While print media audiences shrink, radio is doing better than ever. Consumers that have cancelled their newspaper subscriptions in favor of online news still turn on the radio during the morning commute. Plus, many radio stations now broadcast online as well, bringing their broadcasts into the workplace. The increases in audience make radio a solid option for marketing. The price may be the only thing preventing a business from embarking on an aggressive radio advertising campaigns. Radio advertising rates vary tremendously depending on several factors.What Determines the Price of Advertising Slots?For radio, the three most basic factors that determine the slot price are: size of audience, time slot and number of spots. The basic laws of supply and demand apply to radio pricing. The more demand for the slot, the higher the price. The larger the quantity purchases, the lower the price.1. Size of Audience – The more people who listen to a given radio station, the more desirable the advertising. After all, when a business can reach hundreds of thousands of people through a single advertising medium it is much more effective. The specific demographic of listeners can also affect the price. Stations that broadcast to higher income listeners are more sought after than those that focus on a younger audience earners.2. Time Slot – When an advertisement runs impacts radio advertising rates even more than the total audience size. The total size of the radio audience determines basic rates, but very popular shows are priced even higher. If a business wishes to advertise solely during the most prime time slots, they will pay premium prices. The two most listened to slots are during the morning commute from 7am to 9am and the evening commute from 4pm to 6pm.3. Number of Spots – As with any large purchase, the more spots are contracted, the less each spot costs. A business purchasing a single spot will pay much more on a per item basis than a business launching an entire campaign. To ensure broad exposure, a business must purchase many slots running over a period of time.Building an Affordable Radio Advertising CampaignFor some businesses, local radio seems to be the best bet. Not only are the prices lower, most consumers will not travel more than twenty miles to make a purchase. By limiting advertisements to local stations, business owners get the highest return on investment. Local consumers hear the advertisements, and businesses can afford more slots given the limited audience. Larger corporations often use national radio shows, but few small and medium size businesses can afford the expense. Another thing to keep in mind is total advertising budget. Certain times of year are most lucrative, but spaces also sell out quickly. For a business to purchase Christmas slots, it might be best to finalize contracts as early as August.The bottom line for getting the best radio advertising rates is to work with a professional radio advertising agency to help you. They can help develop your marketing strategy and make recommendations such as the best times to book, buying in quantity or perhaps being flexible on time slots. Buying a few prime time slots along with many off-prime spots may allow a business to maximize a marketing budget. After all, even during slower radio times there are still thousands of listeners. Radio advertising agencies can create great package deals within your budget.