Mid-Missouri Marketing Resource Blog

What Makes an On-Air Radio Giveaway Successful

Posted by Christine Overfelt on June 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM

what makes an on-air radio giveaway successfulIf you've listened to live radio, then you've heard the on-air giveaway. Whether it's concert tickets or exclusive events, the on-air radio giveaway is a relative staple of the industry. But there's a difference between a tactic that's done often and a tactic that's done well. In today's post we’ll discuss six major tips that illustrate .

Tip: Give Away Something that People Want

This might sound obvious, but it can take work to make sure this is done right. It's imperative for any giveaway, but it's especially important for the on-air radio giveaway because of how ephemeral the act of listening is. If you want the audience to remember your giveaway and take the next step to enter, they need to have a reason to be engaged with the contest at the most basic level — liking the prize. Perhaps it's a major discount, or perhaps it's a free item or service that's popular.

Remember, you're not in a radio advertising campaign alone. If you're interested in running this kind of contest but you're not sure what the prize should be, or what kind of prize would reflect the goal of your campaign overall, talk to your media partners. That's one of the benefits of working with professionals, after all, and they can connect you with the prizes and contests being run by the radio station of your choice. For example, you could sponsor the contest for free tickets to an exclusive or sold out concert. Similarly, you can partner with other local businesses to co-sponsor a larger prize that benefits all parties involved.

Tip: Give Away Something that Makes Sense for Your Business

There's two factors for this tip. First, depending on the style of contest, the prize needs to make sense to associate with your business. For instance, if you're not partnering with the radio station to sponsor tickets, it doesn't make sense to give away ultra-high end headphones if you're an automotive dealer. Yes, the prize is pretty cool and maybe it appeals to the audience on a particular station, but how do free headphones help your brand? Instead, consider free services or a discount.

Second, you need to be smart about the effect the prize will have on your business with a cost benefit analysis. An amazing prize might make listeners happy, but if there's the risk that it won't raise revenue in a certain amount of time, you need to be sure it's not going to mean your bottom line takes a big hit. The point of running an on-air radio giveaway is to promote your business, not put you out of business.
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Tip: Give Away Something to the Right Audience

This can be the hardest part of a promotion like an on-air giveaway. It could be easy to blanket the entire station's listenership all day with information about your contest, but remember that the key to a good radio campaign is targeting a qualified audience with consistency and frequency through an action campaign. Tap into the format that your audience is actually listening to.

It's also worth noting that in the 21st Century, radio stations have additional outlets for marketing, even for an on-air radio giveaway. If the station offers streaming radio, consider having a banner ad for the contest that listeners can click for more information. The station will probably have social media outlets you can take advantage of as well.

Again, this is a good time to tap your media partners. They can help you identify the times and formats that deserve the bulk of your marketing dollars, while helping to ensure that the station's audience on the whole is aware of the promotion.

Tip: Ensure a Sense of Urgency

Promoting your contest is, in many ways, exactly like any other action campaign — it needs a strong call-to-action that garners a sense of urgency that improves the odds of following through. There needs to be an expiration date; thankfully, for a giveaway that's somewhat built into the promotion itself. You'll need to determine and announce a winner, but that also means that the expiration date and time need to be clearly stated in the contest promotion. If a listener misses out, you don't want them to turn their frustration toward your brand!

Tip: Ensure It's Easy for Listeners to Enter to Win

We hope this is an obvious tip, but make sure to conduct A/B tests on your giveaway method, or talk to your media partners. The contest needs to feature enough difficulty to make it interesting, but remember that the more hoops listeners have to jump through, the more you risk them coming to the conclusion that the prize simply isn't worth the effort.

For example, if your on-air radio giveaway includes the option to enter from an online landing page, you could include asking for their name, email, or social media handle as a part of the entering process. This has the added benefit of giving you tools to market to them later. You can also add the step to share details about the contest through social media for a second entry into the contest. However, you don't want the exchange of some simple information to become a 25-point questionnaire or ask for information that listeners aren't going to want to share to begin with. Also, the attractiveness of your offer will also determine what information you can source from your audience. For example, by giving away tickets to a sold out show you may be able to ask for a phone number or an address but that same audience may not be willing to give up these personal details for something simple like a percentage off coupon.

Tip: Take Advantage of On-Air Personalities

Including the endorsement of radio personalities that are popular — such as DJs — is a great way to entice listeners to enter. Just consider a few statistics from the Radio Advertising Bureau:

  • 75% of listeners tune in because they know their favorite personality is on-air.
  • 52% of listeners have their opinion influenced by that personality.
  • 72% of listeners went on to discuss that personality or what they heard while listening with friends.
  • 51% of listeners purchased or considered products and services advertised while that personality was on-air.

Now consider the fact that radio personalities don't head home as soon as their show is done; they're likely to head back to their office and continue working on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, which extends their influence. The endorsement of these personalities could make a huge difference in how your contest — and your brand — are perceived by listeners.

With these six tips for what makes an on-air radio giveaway successful under your belt, it's time to work them into your marketing strategy for your giveaway. Your on-air radio giveaway is an all-action campaign that can boost brand perception at the same time. Make it count!
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Topics: Advertising

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