(By Charlie Sislen) Sometimes we forget to tell a potential advertiser what makes radio great. Often it is an element that we take for granted that other potential advertising outlets are building their brands on. Your station’s personalities are influencers. Unlike those YouTube influencers, your on-air staff built their sway holistically. They may not have the global penetration that others have, but they have tremendous impact in your market.
Does your local advertiser care about influencing people outside the U.S. or even their market? The more important question is, are they willing to pay to influence people outside of their geographic trading area?
Every market has numerous on-air personalities who have built a bond with their listeners. Many of these are outside of prime dayparts. This bond has resulted in a trust that goes beyond measurement. Therefore, when they endorse a product or a service to their fans (listeners), it is likely to have a measurable impact.
How do you use this tremendous advantage to convert potential advertisers into paying clients? The first element is to sell your personalities as influencers. Yes, this potentially means live reads and on-air endorsements. However, it can go beyond that. Most station personalities also have followers on social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook. Use these digital outlets alongside your broadcast to build the advertiser’s brand across platforms.
Don’t forget to arrange a face-to-face between the potential advertiser and their influencer. While these are just people whom we work with every day, outside the walls of the radio they are show business stars. This will not only allow the influencer to learn about the product or service that they are going to endorse, but they will also build a bond with the decision-maker. This is important to ensure honesty in the endorsements. While great personalities can fake it with the best of them, you do not want to run afoul of any ethics violations.
Other advertising outlets have made money using unknown people as influencers who have no connection to the local community. It is time to beat them at their own game by using known personalities, with local appeal, and the amazing power of radio.
Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at csislen@ResearchDirectorInc.com. This blog post is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.