(By Georgia Beasley) Society tends to blame Millennials for just about everything going wrong nowadays. What I’ve found is that Millennials are creating the change needed in radio as a survival-of-the-fittest mechanism. It’s time we admit the obvious, there are certain habits and techniques that our industry has adopted that, quite frankly, need to be extinct. I believe Millennials are here just in time to shed light on areas that are no longer needed. First up, the 60-second commercial.
As broadcasters, it is our goal to deliver relevant and breaking news to our audience, right? Well that was what we were known for until a little thing called social media came along and flipped our traditional media world upside down. Now, not only must we bridge the gap between radio and delivering relevant content in real time, but we must also reevaluate the advertisements associated with this delivery.
While I do believe that both short- and long-form advertisements serve a purpose, I also think radio is best utilized with short-form ads instead of longer. The world of audio is extremely competitive and success is being seen with short-form advertisements. For a listener to sit through 30-45 seconds more of a commercial is unlikely when they can tune it to an outlet with :15s. Do we really need to hear the client’s phone number three times anymore? Short-form content is a great tool to capture and engage an audience and provide just enough length to get the point across. Millennials recognize this and will soon develop a strategy similar to Google’s seven-second adlets, where we build frequency with our #1 reach medium.
People are bombarded with so many long- and short-form commercials daily it is difficult to make your client’s advertisement stand out. Here’s how you can ensure that your commercial captures and engages your audience. Focus on your target audience. For example, if you’re trying to reach Millennials, think about sharing counterintuitive ideas. Get direct information out fast and easy. Also, humor resonates with this demographic. Memes appeal to Millennials because they are simple and straight forward. Our industry needs to focus on creating memes in audio and video form for advertisers.
Here are three rules to short-form advertising in radio:
Cross platform. Every campaign must be cross platform to provide the full effect of a short-form advertising campaign. We must integrate on all broadcast, digital, and social channels if we want to affect real change for a client and create a truly successful marketing campaign.
Simple. One of my first sales managers told me, “national makes you cry, local makes you buy.” Focus on one thing, and one thing only. Our jobs are to simplify the ads as much as possible and just get one focused point across. Each commercial, Facebook post, banner ad, etc. must be about one single idea in the campaign.
Visual. Obviously this could seem challenging in radio but think outside the box! Create graphics in your digital department or even source them out but make sure they are compelling and eye-catching. This is especially true on social media. You have a limited amount of words in short-form, so use these words wisely! Use them in your commercials and use the images to show your point whenever you can.
See ya later traditional-spot selling! Millennials are creating a very exciting world where the long-form advertisement and the saying, “that’s the way we’ve always done it” are going extinct.
Georgia Beasley is the director of TopicPulse strategic initiatives at Futuri Media and can be reached at [email protected]