Radio Results Blog

Maine Small Business: 5 Steps To Holiday Advertising On Portland Radio

Posted by Larry Julius on Sun, Nov 16, 2014 @ 05:43 AM

There may be very little to dismay this holiday season for Maine small business. Early consumer research indicates that consumers will be in the mood to spend this Christmas. According to USA Today, in October, "discretionary spending improved significantly", sending a clear signal that Santa is on the way.

Also, the National Retail Federation is predicting a 4.1% growth in sales in November and December, compared to one year ago, catapulting total spending this year to $616.9 billion. That's more than 19% of retailers’ total earnings for the year. The average person is expected to spend about $804, up nearly 5% from $767 last year, NRF's survey of about 7,500 consumers finds. Consumers are spending more across the board on family, friends, co-workers, pets and even babysitters.

For a Maine small business to capture their unfair share of the expanding pool of holiday cash requires advertising.  And using Portland Radio offers the best return on investment.

Research giant Nielsen Catalina found, on average, radio commercials produce a $6.00 sales lift for every $1.00 invested. According to Ad Age magazine, these findings indicate that advertisers can expect higher returns-on investment from radio than TV, digital, or social media.

For a small business who has never used radio before, here is a quick start guide for getting started:

Step 1: Contact Portland Radio Stations. Although there are more than 20 radio stations that serve Southern Maine, there are only 4 companies that operate the key stations.  They are
  • Portland Radio Group. This is Maine's largest broadcasting company with 7 radio stations reaching 255,400 people each week. These stations are WPOR, WGAN, Coast 93.1, Rewind 100.9, Portland_Maine_Radio_Maine_Small_Busienss_Woman_Listening_To_Radio_With_HeadphonesWCLZ, WZAN, and The Bay.  To contact Portland Radio Group click here or call 207-774-4561
  • Townsquare Media. This company, formerly owned by both Cumulus Broadcasting and Citadel Broadcasting operates 4 radio stations that reach 217,400 radio people each week. These stations are WJBQ, WBLM, WCYY, and WHOM. Contact Townsquare Media at 207-774-6364
  • Binnie Broadcasting: Formerly Nassau broadcasting, this group operates 4 stations that reach 131,700 people each week. These stations are Frank, The Wolf, WHXR, and W-Bach. To contact Binnie Media call 207-797-0780
  • Atlantic Coast Broadcasting.  This group consists of 3 brands including The Big Jab; A simulcast of Boston's WEEI; and WLOB. These stations reach 55,100 listeners each week. Contact Atlantic Coast at 207-773-9695

Step 2: Consider the quality of a station's listeners not the quantity of listeners. To be successful, radio advertising needs to reach consumers who are most likely to buy a product or service. Any reputable radio station representative can provide research that demonstrates not only the size, gender, and age of their audience, but, more importantly, how much money the audience has to spend and where they are likely to spend it. The most respected research is from Nielsen Research's Scarborough Report. This report measures the socio-economic and consumer buying habits n hundreds of cities including Portland, Maine. To learn more click here.

Step 3: Make sure your commercials appear on a station's live internet stream for free. More and more, listeners are enjoying their favorite Portland radio stations via a live, online stream.  More than half of listeners say they listen to online radio each week. As a matter of fact, listeners to Portland Radio Group stations spend more than 300,000 hours a month listening to the company's stations online.  To be sure that a radio station's entire audience hears the advertiser's commercial, that commercial must run online as well. A small business owner shouldn't have to expect to pay extra to reach a station's entire audience.  Lean more.

Step 4: Consider Using Short Length Commercials. The standard length of a radio commercial is sixty seconds.  Sometimes, however, a Maine small business can extend its advertising budget by including commercials that are 15 or even 10 seconds in length.  Most radio stations provide a 50% discount for using these shorter length commercials which allows a business to buy twice as much exposure. To learn if shorter length commercials make sense for a small business we recommend the article: Maine Small Business Asks: How Long Should My Radio Commercial Be?

Step 5: Advertise All Day Not Just Prime Time. In last week articles, Nine Facts About Portland Radio, we shared research from Nielsen that indicated that 9-out-of-10 adults in Southern Maine listen to the radio every week.  Because of lifestyles, work schedules, and other demands of everyday life, these people listen at all different times of the day.  There's a popular misconception that no one listens to radio at night. According to Nielsen's research, 37.9% of adults listen to the radio between 7:00pm and midnight, almost as many that listen during daylight hours. The cost of radio advertising is driven, in part, by supply-and-demand.  Because of the persistent but misguided belief that nobody listens to the radio at night, the price of advertising during this time can be as little as 20% of a station's 6am-7pm rate. Additionally, according to Nielsen, a large percentage of adults in the Portland Maine area who listen to radio between 6am and 7pm also listen between 7pm and 12m.  That means that a budget-minded Maine small business owner can reach 56.1% of the "prime time" audience for 20% of the price.

It's Not Too Late For Any Maine small business

One of the most remarkable attributes of radio is that any small business can be on the right radio station, with an awesome commercial in just a matter of hours.  During the holiday shopping season where some retailers can generate 20% of their annual earnings, these couple of hours can make the difference between bah-humbug and a Ho-Ho-Ho lot of sales.

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