Most business owners recognize that advertising is essential to their business. However, in spite of knowing this, most business owners dislike advertising because it is dreadfully expensive. The trouble is that if you do not advertise, only your friends and neighbours will ever get to hear of you.
For instance, in our average sized town of 65,000 inhabitants, there are thirty-eight pages of builders in the Yellow Pages; each page has two columns and each column lists forty to fifty names on it.
These small businesses dream of TV and radio advertising like the big companies, but it is just too costly or at least they think that it is. Colossal companies such as Coca Cola and MacDonald’s expend hundreds of millions of dollars on radio and TV advertising, but small business have other, smaller opportunities to advertise locally.
One of these cheaper, sometimes even free, methods of advertising on the radio is ‘per inquiry’ or PI Advertising. This is a form of radio advertising that is very advantageous to the advertiser, because advertisers only pay for every inquiry about their advert. It is a little like Google’s ‘pay per click’ or ‘PPC’ advertising on web sites.
First of all, you will require a list of all the radio stations in the area that you are interested in. You can get hold of a list of licensed radio stations at your local library or they can get one in for you.
Then write out the names of all the stations in your target area. It is usually best to start with your own area and fan out from there, but if you have a specific target audience, you will have to some investigation first.
Next you should look through your list of radio stations and mark the ones that are of interest. For example, if you are selling skateboards, it is perhaps not worth advertising on a Classical FM music station.
The next step is to contact the manager of the station or maybe the Advertising Director. Explain your plan to that person in detail. it could go something along the lines of:
“I have a product that research has shown will sell well in your broadcast district if it is advertised on your radio. However, I want to do a test run before committing to any long term advertising strategy”.
“I will do all the writing of the commercial and I will do all the book-keeping. I will send the product out and I will deal with any complaints and returns quickly and efficiently”.
“You will receive xx% of every sale we make. You take the phone numbers of the inquiries, pass them on to me and I will regard every name you give me as a sale for you. The item I want to sell is a xxxxxxxx, which retails at $xx plus $1 postage and packing”.
This concludes ‘How To Get Free Radio Advertising – part 1’, in the second part, we will be looking at how to secure your free, on-air, radio advertising campaign. Please look for part two on this web site.