Radio commercials still carry a lot of cachet. But they're not the only way you can use this timeless medium to your advantage. What about getting actual live radio endorsements? Here's what we mean.
Often times you'll hear talk radio hosts pitching a product, rather than a fancy commercial with sound effects being used. Why is that? That's because the listeners have a trusted relationship with the talk show host. If he or she says a product is good, they'll believe it.
These talk-show-host-based advertisements are pretty effective. But listeners still often know it's just an ad. Imagine if the talk show host was genuinely passionate about the product or service he/she was pitching?
That's your goal, and it's very much possible.
Get to know the local radio hosts in your region
Your first goal is to get to know your local radio talk show hosts. By local we don't just mean hosts in your specific town or city. Remember, radio waves are expansive and far-reaching. Spin the dial across both FM/AM and take note of all the stations you can hear. If you can hear them, so too can your potential customers. Also remember, each radio station may have several influential talk shows throughout the day you might want to target.
Before deciding on which radio stations to use, make note of the radio station each car is tuned to when they come into your shop. You can also look to see what the presets are set to but always make sure that the radio is on the same station when it leaves the shop as it was when it came into the shop. This will allow you to determine which stations your clients are listening to, and where you should spend your advertising dollars.
Once you have nailed down your potential radio talk show hosts, reach out to them. Invite them into your shop. We're sure this doesn't come as a surprise to you, but radio hosts have cars too. And those cars need maintenance. Offer a hefty discount so that it's all but impossible for the host to turn down the offer. Heck, you may even want to offer a free service. This way the hosts see your customer service, expertise, and shop for themselves.
When it's time to endorse your auto shop, the radio host won't have to rely on just pre-written ad-speak. He or she can (and will) be able to add their own personal touch, such as, "I brought my car there just last week and let me tell you, I can't talk highly enough about the kind of work they do there. I personally recommend you visit So and So Auto Shop for all of your car repairs and maintenance."
You seriously can't buy that type of endorsement.
Radio show hosts have reputations to keep ...
Whenever you hear a radio talk show host talk about how they've been a customer of "So and So" and personally recommend them, chances are they're not lying. They can't afford to lie. They have a reputation to maintain and a relationship to keep with their audience.
If you want them to personally endorse your auto shop, you have to make it worth their while to come down and see your work in person. Once they see the type of work you do, your radio ads will turn into endorsements, and nothing is as powerful to a radio listener than a recommendation from the familiar voice of the talk show host they know and love.