On the Radio

On the Radio

Radio Advertising for the Tanning Salon

If you sell supplements, discuss these possible warning signs with your clients.

By Karie Frost

You can do it on paper. On storefront windows. Over the Internet. You can even do it over the airwaves. Advertising helps to spread the word about your business, but without good marketing skills and a great delivery device, you could find your salon only pulling in a small percentage of potential customers.

Radio advertising helps your business reach clients in a way painting a storefront or printing a flier doesn't. Your clients can be anywhere—stuck in traffic, making dinner or in their cubicle at work—and your radio advertisement will have the scope and range to reach all of them. However, because the radio is a completely different marketing medium than print and even television, it requires a separate list of rules. Here's how to tame the airwaves and help broaden your client base:

Writing tips
Unless you have an amazing memory or a portable teleprompter, you might want to write down your commercial. We've compiled a list of tips from Bankrate.com, radio expert Dan O'Day ( marketing guru Markus Allen ( Radiovillage.com, Silent Partner Advertising ( Smallbusinesswizards.com and Streetwise Small Business Startup ( Keep these tips in mind when writing your delivery:

  • Feature one or two products or services per commercial--otherwise, you'll lose your audience's attention and memory.
  • State your most important message in the beginning of the ad--then repeat it at least three times.
  • When using comedy in an ad, your delivery must be funny the first, 10th and 50th time the advertisement is aired, and listeners should remember the product or service being offered--not just the comedy.
  • Steer clear of using catch phrases made popular by other companies--you'll only make people think of them instead of you.
  • Identify the problem that listeners need solved and then tell how you'll solve it. Don't just focus on how great you are.
  • Be aware of copyright laws when using music or sound bites. Steer clear of false advertising and make sure you, the sponsor, are identified during the commercial.
  • Don't use special effects unless they add to the overall message of your ad spot; they can distract from your core message.
  • The word count should remain below 90 words per 30-second spot. When storytelling, cut that count to allow for a slower delivery.
  • Is reading your script taking longer than your allotted time? Don't read faster--instead, cut out unnecessary words to make up the time.
  • Don't time your ad script by reading it silently to yourself--you must read it aloud to get the proper results.

Running the Ad
Now that your advertisement is written, produced and ready to air, you can't simply sit on your laurels and wait for the spoils to come your way. Radio advertising requires you to be persistent. A listener might hear your 30-second ad once and have every intention of visiting your salon, but she may never make it there because the information didn't stick. Repetition is key—not only in what you say, but in the number of times you air your ad. Here are a few tips from our sources to help your advertisement resonate in listeners' minds:

  • Streetwise Small Business Startup recommends running an ad a minimum of 15 times on one station during a week.
  • According to Silent Partner Advertising and Bankrate.com, a listener must hear a spot 2.5 times before he/she takes action. If your budget is small, it's better to run short spots more often.
  • Try to have your ads run during the same time slot, says Streetwise Small Business Startup; that way, you'll reach the same people several times.
  • Don't select formats or stations just because you like them. Radiovillage.com suggests selecting a station because it reaches the people you want to contact.
  • Listen to your radio spots to make sure they're run on schedule, and—moreover—that they're run correctly, warns Streetwise Small Business Startup.

Karie Frost is the associate editor for Today's Image