There’s something about regional radio that makes one feel you’re driving with a trusted companion. You meet the DJs, presenters and news readers at events, you connect with them on Twitter to play your favourite golden oldie and you have your say on Facebook on a topical matter spoken about during the morning drive show. Julio Rodrigues, convergence manager at Mediamark, did the research and explains how multichannel campaigns can get great returns for media owners, media buyers and brands.
A wealth of research confirms that digital and radio work well together. One survey by Commercial Radio Australia and TNS found that people who hear a radio ad with a digital call to action are six times more likely to visit a brand’s website than those that don’t. Seventy-eight percent of those who heard the ads took some form of digital activity within 24 hours.
That’s according to Julio Rodrigues, convergence manager at Mediamark. He says that the implication for advertisers is that the two channels are a perfect pairing for a wide range of campaigns and brands.
“Listeners are becoming an even more integral part of radio station programming, thanks to digital technology. They vote in polls, share opinions and news tips with presenters via email and social media, visit radio station websites, and more. Listeners are able to vote, tweet, like and comment on topics instantaneously,” he adds.
“This is a friendly relationship of dialogue. As a trusted companion, radio can give an emotional texture to a digital message. It’s worth remembering that radio reaches people in the workplace as they have their web browsers open. Radio and the Internet are often consumed simultaneously. They have converged in users’ lives.”
Rodrigues says that radio has always had an interactive element, thanks to call-in competitions, talk shows, song requests, and so on, all of which have enabled listeners to build relationships with radio personalities and stations. Now, digital technology is taking the interactivity of radio to the next level by making it even easier for DJs, presenters and stations to interact with their listeners.
“Radio, especially regional radio, is as much a part of everyday life as it ever was. In their cars and at the workplace, it is a constant companion for millions of South Africans,” says Rodrigues. “Interactive, live, local, human and omnipresent, radio is still one of the most personal media types available to advertisers. The rise of digital media is, if anything, amplifying radio’s characteristics. The immediacy of digital makes it an exciting tool for radio stations.”
Directing users to websites, microsites, Facebook pages or Twitter hashtags offers new ways for brands and stations to run competitions and have conversations with consumers. It’s even becoming commonplace to incorporate events and station personalities into campaigns alongside the on-air and digital executions.
“The benefits of converged multichannel campaigns lie in the execution,” says Rodrigues. “Media owners, media buyers and brands can all get great returns from campaigns that integrate digital and radio elements. Helping these parties bring it all together is where we play our most active role.”
Some benefits include the ability to track ROI of radio advertising via the digital channels; opportunities to use social media, their website and other digital properties to build direct relationships with the stations’ listeners; and the ability to build deeper brand engagement and create more touch-points in the customer’s decision-making process.
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