Traditional advertising is having a renaissance. For many years, brands have decreased spending here while increasing digital advertising budgets. New data and shifting perspectives showcase that businesses are investing more in traditional local advertising.

Local media sellers have also seen declines, but radio still has great appeal and will see a boost in 2024, according to BIA Advisory Services predictions. So, what’s driving this rebound, and how can you win these dollars?

Trends in Traditional Local Advertising Spending Demonstrate Its Growth

Is traditional advertising on the rise? The BIA 2024 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast projects that traditional will still lead digital, at 52% of spending. Radio OTA (over the air) will pick up dollars here, ranking No. 3 on the traditional list. Some of this lift correlates to political ad spending, but other advertisers want to invest in more radio ads, too.

Here are the other trends creating this growth.

Traditional ads have strong engagement.

Several studies support this notion. One report found that traditional media outperforms digital in terms of reach, attention and engagement. Another we recently wrote about confirmed that audio ads do better in terms of attention and recall than video.

It doesn’t mean your advertisers are ditching digital. It still has much value in its ability to target. However, these studies make the case for the lasting impression of radio. Ideally, campaigns include traditional and digital tactics.

People trust traditional advertising more.

The top trusted ad formats, according to a survey, are print, TV, direct mail and radio. The trust factor is very prominent on local radio. People have an affinity for on-air talent, which impacts how they respond to an ad. Additionally, because stations are part of the community and have bonds in your city, your listeners often pay more attention to the ads you run.

Radio reaches everybody.

The Audio Today 2023 report listed radio as having the greatest reach of any media, with 91% of adults 18 and older listening to it at least monthly. Of all the audio formats, AM/FM radio is the leader across all demographics. It also wins for share of time. Additionally, streaming AM/FM is experiencing growth.

Big brands understand that value and are putting dollars in this category, with Proctor & Gamble Co. as an example. These are all things to consider when looking for opportunities. They also make excellent points for any brand that thinks radio is no longer relevant.

Turning Trends into Strategy

All these data points tell a compelling story. However, you can’t wait for brands to be ready to write a check. It’s a good idea to have a strategy session with sellers on how to capitalize on these facts, sentiment and expected growth.

Here are a few things to discuss:

  • Determine if national brands that want to localize ad campaigns are a good option: Have they bought from you before? Do their customers match your demographic? Do they have a unique footprint or desire to grow in your market? Ask these questions to determine viability.
  • Reach out to past radio advertisers: Churn is inevitable, but was it because they lost “hope” in radio? They might still be a customer on the digital side. Either way, connect with them on these data points, and propose a digital and linear local advertising campaign.
  • Look beyond your traditional radio advertisers: You may have business types you’ve previously excluded from prospecting. Maybe they seemed like such digital-first companies, so why waste the time? You could open the conversation with digital and then talk about radio. See if they’ll try it in a campaign just to see the response.
  • Develop a message for brands about radio’s impact across the sales funnel: Most companies think only digital can impact all stages of the sales funnel. Radio can, too, by aligning the ad content to the stage. This point is even effective for current radio advertisers who see it only as an awareness tactic. If they understand the opportunity, they may buy more spots.

Grow Traditional Local Advertising Revenue in 2024

You’ve got data and ideas to help you evolve your local advertising strategy for 2024. The good news is that the year ahead looks bright for local media companies. When you can deliver linear and digital ad options for customers, they get the engagement and targeting they desire.

Check out these posts for more insights:

Digital Advertising Makes Radio Stronger: Tips for Media Companies on How to Deliver Digital and Radio Advertising Recommendations
What’s Radio’s Competitive Edge in 2023? It’s the Local Appeal and Trust

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