Public Radio Is the Ideal Advertising Medium for Insurance Brands

Public Radio Is the Ideal Advertising Medium for Insurance Brands

Recent research shows that radio's heaviest listeners are more likely to be in the market for insurance. Insurance companies have taken notice in an effort to meet their target customers. Over the last year, they have increased their radio ad spend by 26%, spurring expanded reach and increased search and site traffic. Let's look further into why public radio is the ideal marketing platform for insurance companies.  

Public Radio Listener Demographics Make Them Likely To Be in the Market for Insurance  

Ninety-two percent of the US population listens to the radio, including 90% of potential insurance company switchers. Radio audiences are 67% more likely to be in the market for insurance during the next six months. Not only does radio have a broad reach, but the type of station can make a significant difference, as well. 

Public radio provides a vast opportunity for insurance brands. The demographics show that they are more apt to need or want insurance, that they have more to insure and that they can afford to pay for the best coverage. According to NPR Audience Insights Profile 2021:  

  • NPR listeners tend to be more affluent than the average American, with an average income of $106,400, compared to the national average of about $74,200. 
  • The higher income could be attributed to how many are college-educated. NPR audiences are almost 200% more likely to be college-educated compared to the national average and three times as likely to have earned a graduate degree.  
  • Though 60% of the public radio listening audience is married, 41% have no children or adult children who don't live at home. 35% have three to four people in their homes.  
  • Over 50% of NPR listeners are between the ages of 35 and 64.  
  • NPR listeners are more likely than the average American to own their own homes. They are also between 97% and 132% more likely to own a home valued at $500,000 or more. 
  • NPR listeners also spend more on their vehicles than the national average. They are 27% more likely to buy a luxury vehicle and 17% more likely to purchase ones that have advanced technical features with app or internet connectivity.  

Listeners Are More Likely To Engage With an Insurance Company That Sponsors Public Radio  

Public radio is known for providing trusted news and entertainment, and supporting communities and causes that are important to their listeners. That shared interest creates a feeling of community and trust that is unrivaled in commercial radio. When businesses sponsor public radio, that trust is extended via the Halo Effect, an unconscious, positive bias attributable to public media outlets' shared values and support. The Halo Effect is particularly valuable for marketers when aligning their brand with outlets that support causes important to their target customer.  

Because the public radio audience is statistically more educated, affluent, and influential, they tend to value fact-based programming. They value the recommendations from public media as they would personal recommendations from friends or family. That provides a unique advantage for insurance companies. Approximately 75% of public radio listeners are spurred to take action after listening to a sponsor message.  

Public radio listeners are more engaged than commercial radio listeners. Eighty percent of commercial radio listeners change stations when they hear an advertisement. Depending on only 20% of listeners to hear and identify with your commercial radio ad is not the best strategy for a healthy ROI, nor does it materially expand your reach or brand recognition. On the other hand, public radio sponsor messages are less likely to cause listeners to turn the dial as they are unobtrusive and perceived as more informational. 

The Best Radio for Insurance Brands Is Public Radio 

Public radio audiences are a unique segment of radio listeners. They are curious, educated, well-traveled, cultured, and affluent. They value education and seek out fact-based, objective sources for their information. Public radio audiences don't like to be "sold" but instead seek to be informed so they can make their own decisions 

Insurance companies recognize that radio is a valuable platform for an effective marketing strategy. It significantly increases web traffic, foot traffic, and a materially higher percentage of listeners interested in purchasing insurance in the near term. More importantly, public radio sponsorship can elevate your brand by raising the audience's perception of your business. By aligning your brand with the causes that are important to your target audience, you can benefit from the Halo Effect that sponsorship provides.  

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