Creating effective ads for Internet radio

There’s been a lot of talk lately about declining results of display banners for advertisers (see wsj.com here). Technically speaking, advertisers and agencies are concerned about their ctr’s – click through rates – or the number of times someone clicks on their banner as a percentage of the number of impressions that banner showed. Returns on banners are dropping. Advertisers and agencies are looking for ways to boost the effectiveness of their campaigns with new media.

What about Internet radio?

This is a great opportunity for Internet radio. But in order to perform under scrutiny, the creative message must suit the medium. Internet radio ads should not utilize the same creative as broadcast radio campaigns. The audience is entirely different. Internet radio’s audience is online, and 80% of them are at work. Ads should exploit the online aspect of the audience, emphasizing an online call to action, driving traffic to a website, or asking the listener to click on a banner on the player. Ads that encourage the listener to call an 800 number, or drive to a certain store location, are targeting a broadcast listener and are not going to satisfy the advertiser’s expectations for ROI. Advertisers must be encouraged to create impactful audio messages for Internet radio.

An excellent real life example of this strategy was summarized in a case study by AdWeek on a USPS Priority Mail campaign. USPS had decided to dedicate 3% of its ad budget to emerging media, and tested Internet radio as part of that budget. They used spots that specifically referred to the banner on the media player that accompanied the audio spot. The return on the campaign in the number of banner clicks was much more than they expected. You can read the AdWeek article here.

Internet radio measures up

Internet radio is a lot more than banners, and there’s a lot more to consider when evaluating the success of an Internet radio campaign than a number of clicks generated. However, it’s also important to note that when forced to measure up to strict ROI standards and meet certain expectations in terms of clicks, Internet radio can perform. 

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