Small businesses must market themselves to grow and attract new customers. Of course, there are countless ways to reach your target audience in today's media landscape. One of the most impactful (and surprisingly accessible) channels is public radio.
Radio is a strong marketing medium, with a weekly reach of about 82.5% among American adults alone. Within the radio industry, public radio generates strong results for advertisers and small business owners trying to connect with their local audience. According to the NPR State of Sponsorship Survey, 87% of listeners have taken action in response to an NPR sponsorship announcement.
If you've ever wondered if advertising on public radio is right for your small business, consider the following information:
How to Advertise on Public Radio
Public radio does not accept traditional radio advertising spots, but it does accept corporate sponsorship messages. Far from being difficult to manage or incorporate into your overall marketing strategy, public radio sponsorship offers a simple yet effective way to get your message out to listeners.
Public radio is a significantly less crowded channel than commercial radio. Just think about it: in a typical hour, commercial radio may include up to 18 minutes of commercial ads (or even more). In contrast, public radio typically features less than 5 minutes of sponsorship messages per hour, meaning their relative impact is far more significant.
Moreover, public radio attracts a more loyal audience of listeners than commercial radio. For instance, when the music ends on a commercial radio station and ads begin, many listeners immediately reach for the dial and tune out. However, public radio listeners are more engaged when listening to sponsorship messages program hosts present in short, expected blocks for just a few minutes during every hour of programming. Sponsorship messages are expected, appreciated and retained more easily than their commercial counterparts.
While radio advertising can be a large investment for small businesses, it can be made accessible on local public radio stations. Many public radio stations have a Community Accounts team devoted to small businesses and local nonprofits with limited sponsorship budgets, helping them navigate public radio sponsorship and benefit from the positive association of sponsorship on an uncrowded medium.
Understanding how the public radio audience can benefit your business puts you in a great position to make an informed decision about how to invest your marketing budget.
Reach a Dedicated Listenership
Public radio reaches an audience that is diverse and highly dedicated in terms of its listenership. People are willing to give their time and attention to programs broadcast on public radio, whether it's the news, local events, music, or special interest programs. They want to learn more about what's happening in their community, what's happening in the world at large, and how they can improve themselves personally.
Public radio enthusiasts are financially fit, with almost 30% of NPR News listeners making over $75,000 per year in household income. For small business marketers, this means connecting with an audience with significant spending power. Put another way, you can expect profit margins to grow as you increase your investment in public radio advertising.
Increase Your Corporate Social Responsibility
Public radio listeners are interested in social responsibility, both on the part of individuals and corporations. Nearly 40% of NPR News listeners expect the brands they buy to support social causes. By partnering with public radio stations that highlight issues of local, national, and even international concern, you're sending a message that your company takes its duties as a "global citizen" very seriously.
As a result of your sponsorship, you can expect to deepen your relationship with local audiences, especially those aligned with your company values and mission. Investing in public radio sponsorship can help to establish you as a community leader, having supported an essential public service.
Tap into Public Radio to Continue Growing Your Brand
Public radio can be an excellent addition to your company's marketing mix. It can help you reach a highly engaged audience with significant spending power while enhancing the local reputation of your small business. Our sponsors are our listeners, and that principle applies just as much to individuals as it does to small business owners and marketers.
If you'd like to invest in public radio but are unsure where to start, let us know. Market Enginuity can connect you with local public radio stations nationwide.