In this time of tremendous competition and inherent consumer savvy [they know when they are being sold to], what is one of the most important challenges you face as a B2C or B2B brand? Standing out! And, I’d say, standing out in a genuine, believable way.
Savvy consumers know they are being courted, so why not take the extra measure to convey you mean business? One of the many ways you can achieve this on radio is with sponsorships. More so than any other medium, radio is perfectly suited for sponsorship. Why? Because radio contains all of the key variables necessary for a successful sponsorship: personal, localized connections to its audience, a plethora of things that can be sponsored and consistent all-day frequency to cultivate the relationship with your prospective customer.
Not convinced? Are you an HVAC provider or maybe sell clothing for all seasons? Wouldn’t sponsoring a weather report help you stand out? The content – the weather – never gets old or unimportant; and attention becomes piqued when that report, along with your weather-themed message, is delivered every day like clockwork. Stations will gladly work with you to change out your message as needed. They can even have certain “as-needed” versions ready to slot in for the occasional summer heat wave or winter ice blast.
Throughout a radio station’s calendar of activities, there are countless opportunities for your sponsorship message:
– Essential services like news, traffic and weather reports. Be important enough to bring these reports to the marketplace.
– Segments of the “programming clock” such as “top-of-the-hour” or “the ride home “ hour [great for wooing people to your place of business before heading home!].
– Seasonal events that follow the holidays, which in turn follow the consumer. These can include Easter Egg Hunts and Beach Reports. Radio also likes to have fun. So why not sponsor Turkey Bowling at Thanksgiving time, or the Hottest Mom/Coolest Dad contest at Mothers and Father’s Day time, or be the company that sponsors the official “light switch“ event when stations let Christmas music take over the airwaves?
– Community-based events including fundraising walks, charity galas and health/fitness expos. These allow you to also be out-and-about so that people can put a face to the brand they hear on-air.
– Digital tie-ins. Stations work tirelessly to cross-promote themselves on their own social media outlets. Why not sponsor their Twitter feeds, Facebook pages or listener text lines. It provides you with a direct digital connection and another personal channel to generate more business.
– “Brick and Mortar/Infrastructure” ownerships. Be the sponsor of the studio that brings listeners the morning show they love every morning! Or, be the sponsor of a sports station’s promotion van as it makes stops throughout your market(s) during specific times of the year!
– “Happy Distractions “. These include contests, quizzes and fun features that give the audience a little breather from the daily grind. Sponsor “Joke of the Day” or present “The Impossible Trivia Question,” especially if you’re in a business that in some way brings people relief.
So, while running straightforward radio commercial campaign is a formidable way to bring you closer to your customer, sponsorships add a unique layer to the radio equation. It helps contextualize who you are as a brand. Depending upon what you do, it can help you bridge the gap between the medium’s commercial space and content space. A sponsorship can even take you off-air, into the social media realm and into face-to-face engagement with the marketplace. You stand the chance of becoming so tied into a well-known element that people may never remember the sponsorship without you being a part of it. Now that’s ROI!