The Secret Guide To Digital Radio Advertising

  • By Rodney Laws
  • 02-03-2020
  • Digital Marketing
digital radio advertising

Radio has one of the best ROIs of any form of advertising, and going digital has only given it a bigger reach. For that and more, read on to discover the secret guide to digital radio advertising.
Radio is just one content format available to brands. Check out these other four innovative content marketing tactics (and tools) to embrace in 2020.

Going digital has helped radio to evolve and grow
Radio has been a staple of advertising for over 100 years. Europe got there first, with Telefon Hírmondó selling 12 second slots back in 1901. The US wasn’t far behind, as Charles Herrold began advertising his technical school in 1912.

Radio has been threatened by TV, film, internet, and social media advertising. The rise of digital media was meant to be the death of radio. The reality has been different. Digital radio has grown and grown because of the digital revolution. Ad revenue for digital radio is rising year on year and is predicted to reach $2.2 billion in 2022.

Going digital has also made it easier for people to start a radio station. The video underneath shows you how you can start your own:

Few marketing mediums can compete with radio for ROI

Return On Investment (ROI) is one of the most important business metrics. It determines how much profit you’ve made from your investment – how successful it’s been. In marketing and advertising, the average ROI is 9%. Radio advertising smashes this out of the park.

A study found that every $1 spent on radio advertising gives a return of $12. That’s an ROI of 1200%. Marketing today is about having a broad reach and measurable success rate. Advertising with a digital radio station gives you both of these. To put the power of radio into context, here’s the ROI of some of the most popular types of marketing and advertising:

- Direct marketing gets between 18 and 20%
- Social media marketing depends on your given metric – i.e. likes or engagement
- PPC is approximately 100% for campaigns run on Google AdWords

All of these pale in comparison to email. Though it’s been around for decades you can still have fun with email marketing, and it has an ROI of 3700%.

Indeed, one of the advantages of incorporating digital and radio is that it’s easy to use existing online tactics with these new, blended technologies. For instance, many ecommerce content marketing strategies can be easily replicated across digital radio advertising — using existing influencer content and cascading it across digital radio channels is cost-effective and still delivers strong engagement while targeting a whole new audience.

But the secret to great advertising is to have a varied approach. Using a variety of mediums lets you spread the risk of failure and increase your chances of success. It also lets you tap into a range of metrics. For example, creating a downloadable digital asset to advertise your business drives traffic, while running a radio campaign lets you create a bond with listeners.

Online radio has an enormous audience to advertise to
Radio has a huge audience. It reaches 90% of Americans – that’s over 290 million people. But the biggest online radio company is Spotify, with Pandora not far behind. These two companies have a combined global audience of over 200 million. They’ve also both made advertising a key part of their success.

Spotify and Pandora both operate a subscription model. People who pay for an account get an advert-free service, those with free accounts get ads between plays and shows. In April 2018, Wired reported that 55% of Spotify and 93% of Pandora users have a free account. That’s more than 150 million people to advertise to.

But streaming services haven’t gobbled up the market. There are many popular internet radio stations and some of the best include:

●    Dublab – Los Angeles
●    WWOZ – New Orleans
●    Reprezent – London

KEXP in Seattle is a particularly noteworthy radio station. Founded in 1971, it’s a traditional radio station that’s incorporated digital expertly. Not only does it reach over 200,000 people every week, KEXP has a YouTube channel with over 1.6 million subscribers.

It’s a badge of honor for artists to have a live performance on KEXP, but what comes before every video? A YouTube advert – KEXP made $306,029 from online ads/royalties in 2017.

Radio has been helping brands advertise for over a century. Going digital has only increased the reach available to radio and more attractive to businesses. So now you know the secret to radio advertising, make it part of your strategy today!

Last Updated in September 2020

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Rodney Laws

Rodney Laws is an ecommerce platform specialist and online business consultant. He’s worked in the ecommerce industry for nearly two decades, helping brands big and small achieve their business goals. You can get his advice for free by visiting and reading his detailed reviews. For more tips and advice, reach out to Rodney on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.