How Advertising on Public Radio Works for Small Businesses

In the world of advertising, it can be hard for small businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition. For example, social media is a huge platform guaranteed to have a wide reach. However, the bigger a platform is, the harder you'll have to work to get your message across. Small businesses need a more specialized approach to garner leads and improve brand visibility. If you've never considered public radio advertising for small businesses, now is a great time to start! 

The Benefits of Advertising on Public Radio 

While you might not think public radio is as big as other advertising platforms, it's actually a very lucrative medium. NPR had an estimated revenue of over $309 million last year. It also attracted 138 million listeners per month across all of its programs and member stations (Nielsen Audio Nationwide, Spring 2021).  

With so many people listening to public radio, your message is guaranteed to reach a wide range of listeners. In most age groups, the split between men and women is around 50/50. The majority of public radio listeners are over 35 years old, and half of them are between the ages of 25-54. However, some public radio stations have been known to attract listeners as young as 18! 

In terms of income, public radio enthusiasts are typically from the upper-middle or upper class. The total household incomes range between $50,000-$75,0000, with some of them making over $103,000 per year. This makes public radio advertising more effective because these listeners have a lot of purchasing power.   

Public radio listeners aren't just affluent: they come to public radio with a certain need. Listeners are often looking for unbiased opinions on the current news, from small-town happenings to international affairs. They might also be looking to better themselves with educational programs. 

Commercial radio has a wide reach, but it tends to attracts more idle listeners. Once the music ends, listeners will often immediately reach for the dial and switch to another station. In contrast, public media listeners are often completely engaged for the whole time that they're listening to a program. That dedication even extends to the program's ads.  

That's because the listeners of any given public radio show trust the producers to provide them with factual, quality content. While trust in traditional media has been dropping in recent years, public media breaks that trend. When you align yourself with a public radio station, the audience will also perceive your brand as a trusted source of information. 

Additionally, it can prove that your company isn't just focused on selling a product or service. You've committed the advertising dollars to putting your content on a program that brings awareness to important causes and betters the community. Public radio listeners will have a higher respect for your brand, resulting in better lead generation. 

What Kind of Results Does Public Radio Create? 

Public media campaigns, including radio, have satisfying ROIs. Over 82% of listeners will take action after hearing a sponsored ad, either by visiting the company's website or making a purchase. 40% of listeners also said that they're more likely to recommend a product or service after hearing its public radio segment.  

How Can Small Businesses Measure Public Radio Advertising Results? 

You can use a few metrics to determine the success of your public radio sponsorship. One of the biggest success indicators is increased site traffic. After your public radio campaign ran, did you notice an increase in website visitors? If you ran digital ads on a public radio stations website, did traffic come from the site? How much time is the average visitor spending on your site during the campaign period compared to when you were off-air and which pages are they visiting?  

It's also important to find out the pages where customers linger for extended periods of time. This will help you develop the most relevant advertising in the future.  

Why Public Radio Advertising for Small Businesses Is So Effective 

Many small businesses have yet to grow a loyal audience, even if they offer stellar products. Public radio attracts a group of listeners that are attentive, trusting, and more likely to take action. With that exposure, your small business is on the right track for more sales and lifelong customers. 

Learn the Right Formula for Public Radio Sponsorship Success