10 Radio Advertising Tips for the Automotive Industry

radio advertising tips for the automotive industryIf your automotive advertising only screams: “Sale! Sale! Sale!” then your techniques may need a tune-up. This post will discuss 10 radio advertising tips for the automotive industry that will move your business into the fast lane and turn your listeners into loyal customers.

1. Know Who Your Listeners Are

Understanding who your target audience is and what you're listening audience is doing when they hear your radio ads should be a critical part of your advertising plan.

If you are using multiple radio stations, pay attention to the different audiences you are reaching and appeal to each one creatively and consistently according to their needs, desires, and listening behaviors. In the end consistency with the right message is what is going to work. Make it a memorable listening experience.advertising-in-uncertain-times

2. Create a Strong Call to Action

You can spend an ample amount of time creating the best radio ads to get your brand and message across, but if your Call-To-Action is inconsistent and unclear, your message will get lost in the noise and confusion. To best encourage your listening customers to take action your call to action needs to have:

  1. A consistent message
  2. A clear message with one focused goal
  3. Repetition

Your customers want to hear what they should do next. So focus on one promotion, event, special, or product, and generate a clear, consistent message that gets repeated in all of your radio spots. Increased clarity of your message will lead to increased action!

3. Make Sure Your Creative Matches Your Branding

Your creative needs to match your branding message each and every time. Creative consistency breeds dependability and increases the trust your customers have for your brand. It also increases brand recall and customer action. Think about your unique automotive business. Is it lighthearted? Serious? Modern? Your radio ads should match the tone of your business.

Developing a style guide can help immensely with ensuring your creative matches your brand. Sharing this guide with your team will also ensure cohesiveness in your ad campaign. Using repetitive creative elements such as the same jingles, voices, and taglines can help create a consistent, memorable listening experience for all of your audiences. The key is to use the same creative that matches your brand on every station you advertise on.

4. Integrate Your Radio Advertising with Other Marketing Efforts

When advertising your automotive business, consider integrating your radio advertising with your other marketing efforts. Increase the size and reach of your brand message by using radio ads to drive traffic to your social media platforms and/or website to increase engagement or conversions. If your automotive advertising campaign doesn't include social media then you may miss out on the 93% of online shoppers that are dependent on social media for their buying decisions.

5. Utilize Frequency and Consistency

People are more likely to relate to your brand and take action if it remains consistent and is frequently placed in front of them. Just as your creative needs to match your brand, your message needs to be consistent and heard multiple times a day to keep your automotive business top-of-mind for your listeners.

6. Choose the Right Times to Reach Your Audience  

In addition to creative consistency, message frequency, and integration of marketing efforts, the times you choose to reach your audience are key to the success of your campaign. To ensure you are advertising consistently and with adequate frequency, spread out your advertising all month. Consider the following times to advertise:

  • Drive times: This seems obvious. High traffic — literally — involves large amounts of people sitting in their cars or using other forms of transportation while listening to the radio. But keep in mind, this is usually the most expensive time to advertise on the radio.
  • 6AM-7PM: This prime-time window for automotive advertising is the most used by dealerships. Though the competition may be high, don’t miss out on the opportunity to reach the total audience base of a radio station as well as different audiences at different times.
  • 12AM-12PM:  To really leverage your advertising dollars and move into a lead position against your completion, consider advertising during this time slot when most other advertisers have put their ads to bed. Catering to night shift workers, hospital staff, 24-hour businesses, students, and other night owls is less expensive and ripe with opportunities to attract new customers.

In addition to choosing the right times to reach your audience, it is also important to consider how you are reaching your listeners. Utilizing a soft-sell marketing approach where you focus on running ads with a core brand message versus only running immediate action sales will help you build credibility with your audience so that when you do advertise your big sale event customers will be more likely to attend.

7. Use Live Broadcasts to Help Promote an Event/Sale

Using live broadcasts can also encourage new customers and put your business on the map. The key, however, is to ensure you offer something of value to your listeners during the live broadcast that will make them stop what they are doing to come check things out. Your expectations of people showing up should be based on what your offer is to get those people to your dealership. If it’s the same sale of the week, there’s nothing that sounds exciting and new to the average listener. Think outside the box, plan your live broadcasts wisely so you get the true benefit from everything they have to offer.   

8. Utilize Live Endorsements

On-air endorsements by local talent can have a powerful impact on your sales and increase brand awareness. Choosing an on-air personality that aligns well with your brand is very important. They can drive one of your automobiles, give a review afterward, speak about the highlights of your dealership and talk about the great customer service you offer. All of these tactics can make a tremendous impact on your business.

9. Zimmer’s Digital Promotions

With our digital promotions, automotive businesses have seen an increase in ROI, an average of 100-200 leads/week, and have the ability to collect data to ensure goals are met and/or exceeded. By creating fun and engaging promotions, we are able to ask our listeners lead generating questions to ensure your campaign sees results. For example, as an automotive dealer, you have the opportunity to create a promotion that uses a list of 3-5 survey questions for your listeners. The dealer is expected to provide a prize for the winner — a good prize! If you entice your listeners with the chance to win some amount of cash, say $500, interest among your listeners will increase. Offering a free oil change, or something of that nature, doesn’t quite capture audiences as effectively anymore.  

10. Utilize Your Media Partner’s Expertise

Don’t forget, at the end of the day your media partner is your absolute best resource! They offer a vast amount of information about audience targeting, best creative development practices, and radio advertising tips for the automotive industry that ensure you have the most effective campaign possible.

These 10 radio advertising tips for the automotive industry will guide and direct you through your efforts and help you build a brand that people can trust for decades.

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