The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Radio Endorsements

Record-producer-000048377180_Small-614706-editedWe all have one... That radio personality you look forward to hearing every day on the way to work, or during your lunch break, or on Saturday’s around the house. The one that makes you laugh, think differently, or provides comfort and familiarity around music you know and love. Some radio personalities can make you feel like family, they’ve earned your trust, and you’re willing to try something they recommend. In a recent 2015 study, 55% of respondents reported that they listened to the radio to specifically hear their favorite DJs/Hosts or particular show. In a 2014 study, there was a 55% increase in trust among respondents who are influenced by radio advertisements. This increase in trust was based on local personalities’ testimonials.

Therefore, incorporating radio endorsements into your marketing media mix can be powerful and effective for your brand, not only for increased exposure but for building a brand that people trust. To get the most out of this unique marketing opportunity, it’s important to understand the do’s and don’ts of radio endorsements to make sure your campaign is effective. The following tips for using radio endorsements can better enhance your marketing message and build a trusted brand.

1. DO: Pick a Personality That Aligns Well With Your Brand

If he or she doesn’t show interest, believe in the products or services you sell, or fit the target audience for your brand, then they won’t be able to really get behind your brand to market it authentically.

2. DO: Pick a Station With an Audience That Aligns With Your Brand

When researching the right personality for your endorsements, determine whether the listening audience of a specific station and/or radio personality is aligned with your target audience. Just because you listen to the station, doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you to reach your target market.

3. DON'T: Work With a Personality That Won't Actually Use Your Product/Service

Should you find that your radio personality isn’t interested in trying your products or services then they probably aren’t for you. Remember that endorsements are most effective when they are authentic and based on real relationships.

4. DO: Make Sure Your Personality Has a Good Understanding of the Business and Your Brand

When your chosen radio personality has decided to be your trusted endorser, encourage them to, not only try your product or service, but to also become acquainted with your entire business. Ask if he or she will tour the facility, meet your employees, see behind the scenes, and learn about your company history and mission. Make them a part of the team! The familiarity and personal experience with your company will help your personality to bring a real and authentic feel to the endorsements being made, which will build trust with the listening audience.

Also, we encourage our clients to invite personalities to come and try as many products and services as possible — not just try and endorse ONE thing, but to get a robust feel for what you provide. This will ensure the on-air messaging doesn’t get stale, and they’ll really get to know your business. This makes a huge impact on success!

5. DON'T: Waste Your Money on a Short Campaign

Endorsements are great if frequency and an established relationship with your chosen personality are created. A couple weeks on-air won’t be nearly as effective as an ongoing or longer-term relationship. Utilizing, at minimum, a 12-month campaign contract with on air personalities ensures consistency and authenticity. This also contributes to establishing trust with your audience as they will hear the same personality over a long period of time endorsing your brand, instead of sounding like the “endorsement of the week.” A 2014 national study reported that “more than half of the study participants agreed that they trust brands, products, and services their favorite on air personality recommend[s].”

6. DO: Work Together on the Creative

You need to have control over the copy, but the personality should be very involved so that everything is written in their own words. This will ensure the endorsements are believable coming straight from the on-air personality, even though you are the one steering the content.

7. DO: Allow Them to Improv Some

In addition to working together on the creative, allow some room for the endorser to improv and throw in his or her unique spin. Again, this allows for authenticity. After all, the listening audience is already pulled in by their distinct personality, which includes built-in trust that can increase brand awareness.

8. DON'T: Assume an Endorsement Means They're Going to Talk About Your Business or Product All the Time on Their Show

This is a business transaction and you can’t assume you'll get more than what is paid for — sometimes this happens, but is more likely with longer term relationships, which allows for more natural on-air time for your endorsements. If you’re unsure what the partnership includes, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure it’s very clear what you can and cannot expect as part of this deal.

9. DON'T: Only Use Live Endorsements

Your marketing mix should include a long-term approach that uses live reads and recorded commercials. These recorded commercials can include a mixture of ads that do and don’t include the endorsement, with a variety of lengths and calls to action.

10. DO: Use This Personality in Other Ads You're Running

The personality you spend time developing a relationship with can also be the voice of your business, not just on this one radio station. If you have other ads running (TV, print, etc.) that are aimed at a similar target audience, ask yourself how you can incorporate them into other pieces of advertising or even in-store marketing to capitalize on this partnership. If “7 out of 10 participants said they consider these personalities to be regular people like themselves, who are ‘relatable’ and ‘authentic,’ and many have remained loyal, listening to the same personality for years” then utilizing the same personality across your various media choices could surely anchor your brand in the minds and lives of loyal listeners, viewers, and readers.

Following these do’s and don’ts of utilizing radio endorsements can boost your next radio advertising campaign, as local personalities are those that people know and trust, therefore helping to build your brand into a trusted one.


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