Are you wondering if radio ads are the best way to spend your construction advertsing budget?
Perhaps advertising your services on a local radio station is something your construction business has been doing for the past 10 or 15 years – and your competitors are doing it, too.
So every month, you pay the radio station money out of your budget, just like you’ve always done – money that you’re likely never going to see again. Occasionally, you may wonder if anyone’s actually paying attention.
Having worked as a marketer for over 10 years now, I’ve got some good and bad news for you.
The good news is, you’re absolutely right to question this approach. The bad news is, there’s absolutely no way to prove you’re getting anything like a decent return on your money.
But the truth is, you probably aren’t.
In fact, none of the businesses I’ve ever spoken to in recent years have seen positive results from a radio ad they’ve placed.
Below, I’m going to tell you why you should be spending your money elsewhere, and what you should be doing instead of radio.
Why construction companies use radio ads
As mentioned above, a lot of construction companies who rely heavily on local business – ones just like Dave’s Construction, for example – use radio ads because it’s:
a) Easy to set up – just pay a set amount each month
b) A great way of reaching a lot of people at once
In fact, reach is the main figure Dave is quoted when he goes to advertise his construction company on his local radio station. Dave’s impressed that he can reach 50,000 people – surely that’s a good result?
(If you’re wondering the same thing, you’d better brace yourself for this next part…)
Do radio ads actually work?
Unfortunately, Dave’s wrong. Because although roughly we know how many people are listening to Dave’s radio ad on Bridgewater Tunes FM, there is no way to track the conversion rate, or test how well Dave’s ad is performing.
Another problem with radio ads is that Dave is paying for his ad to go out to EVERYONE – literally, anyone who just so happens to be listening.
What are the odds of Dave’s ad actually reaching someone who is specifically looking for the construction services Dave is offering? The answer is; very low.
Finally – and this is the big one – radio ads tend to be terrible at achieving the results you need.
This is because they only run for maybe 20, 30, 40 seconds, and in that time they don’t really tell you much about the product or service available. They usually tell a story or a metaphor rather than giving out helpful information.
In fact, many of them are trying to be as entertaining and attention-grabbing as possible, only to briefly mention the product or service at the end.
As a result, no-one really knows what Dave’s unique selling point is or what makes his services so special. It also probably doesn’t address any of his ideal customers’ challenges or pain points – or tell them what problems he solves.
In the end, it doesn’t really look like radio ads are going to win Dave much business, does it?
A better alternative
Remember, radio stations and televisions only exist today because of ads – that’s the reason they were invented in the first place.
Internet is the first medium that wasn’t created for the purpose of advertising, and it’s somewhere more and more people go to find information and reach their own decisions in this digital age.
The reason radio ads aren’t very successful these days is because buyer behaviour has changed dramatically – and many companies (like Dave’s) are still behind the times.
People no longer want to be sold to, and generally prefer to do their own research – in their own time – before making a purchase decision. More and more often, pushy sales messages are simply ignored and left with white noise.
Instead, you have to understand what your ideal customers want, as well as their challenges, questions and pain points. Address these by creating helpful, quality content (such as blogs, videos, infographics, and ebooks) that answers their questions.
This is known as inbound marketing, and it’s a marketing method that is surprisingly cost-effective. Not only are you left with more high quality leads, but it also helps to establish trust early on – as long as you’re unbiased and focus on being helpful.
There are also plenty of other cost-effective methods you could be using to attract more local business, such as creating a Google My Business listing, and ensuring your website can be indexed by Google.
If you’re unsure whether to continue spending your construction advertising budget on radio ads, we might have some bad news for you. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prove you’re getting much of a return on your investment, and it’s impossible to test or optimise this method of marketing.
Despite the fact that you’re getting someone else to do all the hard work, radio ads also don’t really deliver the key information about a product or service, and since they go out to absolutely everyone, you’re not really targeting your ideal buyer. Not to mention the fact that buyer behaviour has changed.
Instead, you should spend time understanding your ideal buyer, what they’re looking for, the challenges they face, and the questions they have. Use this data and more to create quality, helpful and valuable content they can trust.
Have you ever used radio ads? Let me know your experiences below – I’d love to hear from you!