(By Randy Lane and Jeff McHugh) We have long recognized the power of endorsements by the talent we coach. One of the positives of the pandemic is that high trust radio and podcast personalities have risen to influencer status according to Marshall Williams CEO of Ad Results Media.
The most powerful form of advertising has always been word of mouth from people we know and trust. In focus groups that we moderate, panelist tell us they feel like their favorite radio personalities are “friends we trust.” They also say they are likely to try a store, product, or service that’s authentically endorsed by a trusted radio voice.
“What we’ve seen through this pandemic is that the audience truly leans on these local personalities for companionship, empathy, information and entertainment,” says Tim Clarke, VP of Content and Audience at Cox Media Group’s radio division. “They have an enormous ability to activate these followings that they’ve cultivated.”
When RLC talent coach Jeff McHugh was a program director with iHeart in St. Louis, he created an exercise similar to speed dating where each sales rep spent a few minutes with every personality in the cluster to discuss their interests, passions, and details about their life. The salespeople would use that information to match them with potential endorsers.
Radio personality endorsements are an exclusive advantage against other advertising mediums including Spotify, Pandora, local TV, cable, and newspapers. If you are a live, local show, you can do more customized endorsements than a syndicated show.
Hey talent, when your ratings are good but not great, you’re more likely to get your contract renewed by generating irreplaceable dollars through your endorsements. High performing talents are a path to profits. Our clients build long-lasting relationships with advertisers through personality endorsements on radio and many on podcasts.
Here’s a brief endorsement checklist for talent:
- Do prepare for every live read as you would for the rest of the show.
- Do tell stories to augment the information in the endorsements.
- Do make them personal by sharing your authentic point of view.
- Do express your emotions relating to the product.
- Do set-up quickly with an attention-getting headline in the first few seconds.
- Do send thank you notes to clients.
- Do send audio to your clients.
- Do interact personally with clients.
- Do follow client social media – and watch their competitors too.
- Do invite the client to the station for a tour…post-lockdown.
- Do invite clients to station fun, free virtual or live events.
- Do what you say you’ll do when you said you’d do it. It’s business. Money rides on it.
- Do be open to each endorsement opportunity. Even if you don’t use the product yourself, it’s OK to authentically endorse a good product or service that you believe in.
- Don’t pretend you love a product when you don’t.
- Don’t say anything that is not true.