How to Cash in on Radio Advertising Buys (Part 1 of 4)

by | Farr Factor

Are you considering buying radio advertising for a tanning or sunless salon?  Be sure to zero in on the three best formats for your target demographic.  Research from the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has identified three formats that are best for indoor tanners.  What are they?  Contemporary country, hot adult contemporary, and contemporary hit radio.  A 30-60-second spot on any or all of these stations will inform listeners about your salon(s), why it’s different from the competition, and why they should spend their money for your UV and sunless tanning services.

Contemporary Country

Country has come a long way since the days of Johnny Cash and Charlie Daniels.  Today’s country bears less resemblance to those old pickers and singers and sounds just as slick and polished as most modern hit music today.  As far as the numbers go, these radio stations draw a large female audience aged 18-44.  The RAB states that about 30 percent of tanners listen to contemporary country, making these stations a good investment for your advertising dollars.

Hot Adult Contemporary

Stations with this format are a good place for you to advertise your tanning salon.  This format appeals to listeners aged 24-44 year, and includes soccer moms and their teenage daughters.  The RAB estimates about 30 percent of tanners who listen to the radio tune in to hot adult contemporary stations.

Contemporary Hit Radio

I saved the best for last.  Stations that play contemporary hit radio – what folks my age liked to call “top 40” – might be one of your best places to advertise.  The RAB states that these stations account for at least 40 percent of tanners who listen to the radio.  It’s no surprise, considering that contemporary hit radio is popular with the pre-teen to 24-year-old crowd.  It’s a great way to reach the 18-24 demographic.

Some Formats to Avoid

While some formats are great advertising vehicles for tanning salons, there are those that aren’t.  If you want to make the most of your radio advertising dollars, avoid these following formats and/or stations:

  1. Talk radio: Sorry Rush Limbaugh fans!  This mostly appeals to white males 35 and older, which is not a huge indoor tanning demographic.
  2. Classic rock: Even if these stations offer you excellent rates, try to avoid them.  Much like talk radio, these stations appeal to older white males, many of whom don’t tan.

Some Other Things to Avoid

Don’t buy any five to 15-second spots, aka “McSpots.”  In an attempt to expand their client base, radio stations in larger markets offer cheap prices on short-timed spots.  The old saying “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here.  Very few tanning or sunless salons have branding that’s so established that a small spot is all it takes to drive a sales decision.  These spots are better suited for large corporations with mass appeal.

Do not run the same commercial spot forever.  Today’s consumer audiences have the attention span of about seven seconds.  If your spot is boring or repetitive, they’ll lose interest rather quickly.  The best commercials utilize information about the value of your salon coupled with humor.  This creates a memorable spot that sticks with the listener.  Just remember to change things up on a regular basis.

Good Luck with Your Radio Advertising

If you’re thinking about buying radio spots, utilize the formats that reach the most amount of tanners and potential tanners.  Insist on quality commercials and change them often to keep things fresh.  If you take this approach – and avoid the formats and practices that discourage listeners – you can enjoy the results that help make your salon a successful and thriving one.  In the meantime, check out the next installment in this series!

How to Cash in on Radio Advertising Buys (Part 1 of 4)

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