If personal branding is part of your marketing plan -- and I can't think of a reason why it shouldn't be -- audio advertising is an appealing option. It is affordable for even the smallest of shoe-string budgets. Depending on your goals and the options you choose, audio can provide just the right balance of reach, repetition, and consistency essential to the most successful branding efforts. Top-of-mind awareness can be achieved through the flexibility of audio advertising, which allows for targeted customized ads, and it has a proven track record for providing a healthy return on investment.
As a small business owner online, there are several approaches you can take in audio. You can start public relations efforts like sending out press releases and seeking out speaking opportunities. If you've got the drive and determination to build a powerful branding tool of your own, you may be drawn towards starting your own podcast. However, if you'd like to see results quickly and with as little effort as possible, buying radio or podcast air time is your best bet.
Once you establish your goals, you can allow professional production and placement specialists to do most of the work for you. All traditional radio stations and some internet radio sites can provide solid and specific information about your available options. In podcast advertising, you may be dealing directly with the host or with a marketing specialist who will help you choose the best package for your needs. With traditional radio you will most likely deal a station sales representative.
You should allow at least three weeks to develop a campaign in either format. Give yourself time to fully explore your options and to allow for approvals and changes in the writing and production phase of the process. You'll also want to take the pre-campaign time to ensure you have a reliable way to measure your results. Your sales representative should be able to provide you with suggestions and recommendations for each step of the process.
The response rate will vary depending on the clarity and repetition of your message and on the buying cycle of your product or service. You many get a response after the first airing of your commercial, but it's much more likely that the commercial will have to play several times before you see appreciable results.
Whether you choose do-it-yourself methods or avail yourself to the services of skilled professionals, it's not difficult to launch an audio campaign. It's an increasingly popular and versatile way to establish and build your brand. With it's historically high return on investment, it's worth exploring the possibility of adding audio to your marketing mix.