The most successful advertising campaigns for advertisers and local media sellers have a few things in common. Based on industry data and our own, we know that linear plus digital is the pathway to performance. When ads deliver results for advertisers, you win renewals and more ad dollars. A new study confirms that AM/FM radio lifts website traffic, proving this point once again.

Let’s look at the research and how you can use it to build linear and digital campaigns for customers that provide success for everyone.

Measuring the Impact of AM/FM Radio Ads on Digital Activities

Connecting a radio ad to some type of digital response has been challenging for some time. If radio ads indicate specific URLs to visit, that’s a way to track them. Companies could also infer influence if they saw traffic peaks or conversions around the time of the spot ad. However, listeners aren’t always going to respond immediately.

For example, if they are driving in the car, you hope they don’t decide to do a Google search! Also, a small segment of listeners is usually in the market to buy that product today. Instead, audio advertising plants a seed, which can grow over time with more exposure to the spot. When the day comes that they need a plumber or are craving a rich dessert, they’ll recall what they heard on the radio.

The research focuses back on the immediate lift. The attribution study looked at the lift in website traffic from AM/FM radio ads for multiple verticals, including tax services, retail, finance and health care.

Researchers examined ad occurrence data and Nielsen impressions to discern if there was an incremental lift in website traffic.

The findings were very positive for the argument that linear and digital are complementary. On average, the AM/FM radio campaigns resulted in a 14% lift in site traffic. Here’s the breakdown of each industry:

  • Tax preparation services: +41%
  • Hair care supplements: +14.6%
  • Retail: +11.3%
  • Job websites: +8.6%
  • Vitamin supplement subscriptions: +8.2%
  • Identity theft protection: +6.6%
  • Subscription manager: +6.5%
  • Financial institutions: +4.8%
  • Online therapy app: +3.4%
  • B2B technology and services: +2.6%

When talking to any of these industries about advertising options, you’ll make a strong case for radio and digital with these numbers. The consumer’s action may have been to search rather than directly type in the website URL. For that reason, it also makes sense to recommend SEM (search engine marketing) as a tactic.

What Elements of the Ad Influenced Users Visiting the Websites?

The lift from AM/FM radio to digital was also subject to conditions. The study confirmed that the day of the week, daypart and programming format impacted the lift. Weekend and Monday spots had the best performance. Sports, news/talk, adult contemporary, urban and top 40 were the leading programming types.

The creative in the ad matters as well. It should include the company name early and often. The dayparts and days of the week you suggest for radio ads will also differ depending on the type of business. What are people thinking about on their weekends versus Monday mornings, for example? Professional services may be more relevant on a Monday, whereas ads for retail or consumer products may be better during the weekend.

Key Takeaways to Use When Selling a Radio and Digital Campaign

When pitching an integrated ad campaign, you can use this data to:

  • Show the connection between what someone hears and what they then do online.
  • Remind advertisers that audio ads perform better for recall and attention.
  • Discuss the other links between radio and digital advertising and the tactics that have synergies.
  • Demonstrate the value of certain dayparts having a greater impact on buyer intent.

Ideally, you should always propose digital and radio for every advertiser. It depends on their goals, budget and digital footprint. These insights go a long way to enforce the story of how radio and digital work so perfectly together.

It’s easy to propose multiple tactics with Marketron NXT. It’s the only digital advertising platform designed for radio. You can propose, order, report and invoice campaigns in one system. Learn more about NXT and why it won Radio World’s Best of Show at NAB 2024.

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