There’s no shortage of advertising. The average person may encounter hundreds or thousands of ads per day in various mediums — radio, TV, online, in person, etc. With such fierce competition to capture the attention of consumers, your advertisers need to be in many places. When they pair radio ads with digital ones, the two can work together and lift performance.

Cross-Channel Ads Drive Recognition and Recall

When customers experience ads from the same business in various mediums, it can enrich recognition and recall. Some people are now “ad-blind,” meaning they ignore areas on a webpage with ads, often unconsciously. That can present challenges to digital advertising strategies. However, if combining display ads with radio and other digital tactics like social media ads, your advertisers may be able to avoid falling into the blind zone. 

Another concept that supports this theory is the “mere exposure effect.” It’s a phenomenon that suggests that the more someone hears or sees something they are neutral to, the more likely they are to think more positively of it. 

The point is to offer your customers a diverse collection of ad tactics, so they work together to drive key messages they want their customers to see. If they currently only buy spot ads or digital ads from you, you can deliver an integrated campaign. 

But how do radio ads lift and complement digital ads?

Radio Ads Demonstrate Lift on Digital Tactics

Radio typically owns the area of reach. The AM/FM market has a market share of 76% across all ad-supported audio. It also reaches 63% of Americans age 18+ daily. That’s why so many companies continue to use it as an ad channel. But how does it impact online activity?

Radio Ads Increase Search

Because of radio’s reach potential, its influence is palpable. To understand this in terms of whether it prompts people to take action after hearing an ad, the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) studied the concept, specifically radio’s impact on search. The report found that radio generates an average of 29% lift in Google search activity. They also concluded that the quality of the creative mattered. Day and time contributed as well; searches were greater on weekdays during midday hours. 

Understanding this connection is a starting point of building a multimedia promotion that can include SEM (search engine marketing) and other digital ad initiatives. You can determine if radio ads did lift digital with analytics. If the spot played Tuesday at 11:00 a.m., what did traffic from ads look like directly after? 

More Data Shows Radio’s Lift for Google and Facebook

Another study examined 100 radio advertisers across 2019 and 2020 to determine if those ads lifted Google and Facebook advertising. It revealed that radio created a lift of 15.2% in the first half of 2019. The number rose to 15.5% in the second half, and it jumped significantly in the first half of 2020 to an 18.3% lift. 

Why Digital and Radio Perform Better Together

Radio and digital complement each other nicely. First, there’s the expansive reach of radio, which enables high-level messaging. So, that’s tier 1 of the audience, being everyone. Digital then allows a more targeted approach, so advertisers can define the customer types it most wants to engage. 

Second, most people aren’t consuming both types of media at the same time. Someone could be listening to the morning show on their commute. At their lunch break, they may be interacting online. So, with both, your customers can be top of mind.

Third, radio and digital ads engage different senses. Radio is purely auditory. People also find it less disruptive and more engaging, according to audio trends research. Digital ads are always visual, so the brain processes them differently. In the bucket of digital is also video, which is both auditory and visual. When advertisers offer both kinds of ad experiences, listeners and viewers may retain information better.

Best Practices for Radio + Digital

In pursuing more advertising dollars from customers, you may not have to convince them of the power of radio. You should come to the table with proposals that align with their goals and budget. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Deliver one proposal for everything for visibility (you can do this more efficiently with a cross-channel advertising platform).
  • Ensure the messaging across all ads is consistent; this matters because you don’t want to confuse people. This is a campaign, not individual ads.
  • Define target audiences for digital to supplement the broad reach of radio.
  • Consider the right CTAs for each ad type. For radio, the ad may direct the person to a physical location or online. Digital ads can provide in-store offers, but the click will always be to the company’s website. 
  • Look at past data if this is a current customer to make better decisions about on-air or online placement. 

Radio Ads and Digital Are the Perfect Pair

Delivering ad ideas and tactics that meet your customers’ objectives is your priority. You can do that better with digital + radio.

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