How to Advertise on Radio

We’ve been in the radio business for years, and here’s a compilation of our best advice on how to advertise on radio.

Q: Why should I advertise on radio?

Radio is both an extremely wide-ranging as well as very up-close means for advertising your product or service. You can get exposure while people are at home, at work, and on the road. And over 90% of Americans listen to radio at some point during their weeks — so it’s usually the most cost-effective form of mass media that you can buy!

You can use radio ads to:

  • Make people aware of your business
  • Drive traffic to your location
  • Promote an event like a sale or open house
  • Generate calls or new sales leads
  • Or anything else that helps your business!

Q: Where should I place my radio advertising?

Different programming appeals to different audiences. So before you buy, ask yourself, who is my product or service designed for? Or, who are my best customers? Or is there a new group that I’m trying to reach? Just find the shows that appeal specifically to those potential customers, and place ads on them.

1490 WWPR, for example, has shows targeted to women, men, liberals, conservatives, mature people, African Americans, Latinos — a little of everything! Just take a look at our schedule!

Q: I found a good show! How do I put an ad on there?

Just call the host at the station when he or she is doing the show. The host will be happy to take your information down, and give you a call back later. Or take a look at our schedule, and see if the host has his or her own website. The website will tell you how best to contact them.

Q: How long should I advertise on the show?

A good rule of thumb is that it takes about two or three months to evaluate whether something is working. (Read about measuring results, below.)

Q: What’s the secret to radio advertising?

The same thing with all mass media advertising: repetition. And when you’re done with that, try adding a little repetition. There’s a reason why you see those TV ads over and over again. And why you know where the Bahi Hut is located. And why you know what your baloney’s first name is.

In other words, don’t plan to buy just one expensive Super Bowl-style ad. Buy lots of little ones, and scatter them over time. That way, you’ll get lots of (you guessed it): Repetition.

Q: There must some limit to repetition, right?

Of course there are limits. You shouldn’t run the same ad every 30 minutes: people will get bored with it. But you can have a few different ads for the same product running at the same time. To reinforce each other, however, they should sound somewhat alike: same lead-in, same tagline. And they still shouldn’t run all together in one hour. Spread them out, give them air.

Q: How can I measure the results of my radio advertising?

Easy: give listeners a unique offer available only to them. It could be as simple as “And WWPR listeners can get 25% off by calling us at (941) 555-5555 in the next 15 minutes! Just tell them you heard about in on WWPR, and you get 25% off!” It doesn’t have to be a discount — it could be a freebie, a frisbee, or a tchotchke. Just make sure you track the referrals and sales you get from the ads, in order to judge whether it’s working. (In fact, wise marketers know you should track the source of ALL your new business.)

Q: Is it better to advertise on talk radio?

We like to think so. When you listen to music, it’s on in the background, while people are working, cooking, cleaning. On a music station, ads are an unwelcome interruption. When you listen to talk radio, however, you are engaged with the content, and likewise, you aren’t as likely to tune out ads, which are also mostly words. If you have chosen a talk show with a theme related to your product, all the better!

Q: What other ways can I market myself using radio?

Donate your product or service to a show host for giving away on air. It gives the host something to talk about, gives you free publicity, and gets listeners excited. Plus you make the lucky recipient of the prize happy, and you may get a new, satisfied customer who will recommend your product or service to his friends.

You can also join the International Barter Exchange (IBE), based in Sarasota, Florida. You can trade your products or services for radio ads on 1490 WWPR and several other stations! You can learn more about IBE at

Q: Why should I advertise on 1490 WWPR?

Part of 1490 WWPR’s unique advantage is that we have a little something for everyone: shows targeted to mature people, liberals, conservatives, African Americans, and Latinos! We also shows on food, sports, safety, real estate, stocks… in other words, whatever the product, we may have a home for it. See our schedule to get a sense of the diversity of programming we offer.

Q: So how can I get started?

Contact us! We’ll see what you need, explain pricing, and see what we can do to help.

Comments are closed.