One interesting radio advertising trend we’ve noticed as of late is an increasing amount of radio ads that drive traffic to the web. With the proliferation of not only the internet, but mobile devices that allow consumers to literally be plugged in at all times, it makes sense that direct response marketers are finding success driving leads to their websites. As such, we’ve developed a few best practices for using direct response radio to drive traffic to the web.
In a direct response radio campaign, one of the first things to consider is how to track leads. When a radio advertisement drives phone calls, tracking is executed by the use of unique toll free numbers. When a radio ad drives leads to the web, there are a few options for tracking. A couple of effective options include using unique URLs that point to the same page, or driving traffic to the same URL, but having listeners use unique discount codes.
No matter how you choose to track, it is important to make sure a solid plan for capturing leads is in place. This is especially true when testing a drive-to-web campaign on direct response radio. If a direct response marketer were to drive all listeners to the same website with no tracking in place, there would be no way of knowing which leads came from which radio ads, radio stations or advertising markets. That would prevent the ability to learn what works and what doesn’t, as well as the ability to optimize the media and creative variables to maximize direct response radio success. Also, sending radio listeners to a generic page may encourage web searching, which can backfire when competitor websites appear in organic and paid search results.
Another best practice for using direct response radio to drive web traffic concerns the creation of radio ads. In a radio advertisement, spoken word is used to create a picture in listener’s minds. An effective radio ad will leave listeners with a clear understanding of the message the advertiser meant to communicate. One slight miscommunication can throw off an entire campaign. This is especially true of radio advertising campaigns that drive traffic to the web, because one misinterpreted letter or number in a URL can cause a major loss in leads. Therefore, it is crucial that web URLs and/or promotional codes are short, easy to understand, and relevant to the copy, brand, or offer in a direct response radio ad.
Radio advertising can be a powerful medium for driving leads to a website. When done correctly, radio advertising can be an excellent tool for driving and tracking leads for direct response marketers.