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The B2B Marketing Mix: Radio and Podcast Advertising

You’re a digital marketing pro. You’re all about email, social media, SEM, PPC—the list goes on. But have you considered expanding your marketing mix to include different, even (gasp!) traditional mediums? There are so many marketing channels available, from guerrilla marketing to billboard ads, that it can be a little overwhelming to expand your strategy. You want to try a different approach, but you don’t want to just throw your money at a medium and hope for the best.

So how do you know if radio and podcast advertising are right for your company? Let’s take a look at these two channels and how B2B companies are using them.

Radio Advertising

Radio ad campaigns increase brand awareness by 128% and brand consideration by 37%. (RAB)

Radio ads are nothing new—they’ve been around for 95 years—but in the digital age, radio is often ignored in favor of flashier channels. As you can see from the RAB’s stats above, that can be a mistake. Radio advertisements can be a huge boon to B2Bs, and especially to local businesses.

In 2007, UPS saw massive success with a three-month integrated campaign to promote their services to SME decision-makers. By broadcasting localized messages to over 15 million people on 42 radio stations, UPS increased awareness among decision-makers by 25%.

You may be thinking, okay, but UPS is an international corporation. How much does a campaign like this cost? It’s true that radio ads can be fairly expensive. In addition to the roughly $500-3500 production cost, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $500+ for a 60-second spot, depending on the station and the time you want it to air.

Podcast Advertising

46 million Americans listen to podcasts every month. (Edison Research)

Podcasts allow you to get even more creative at a relatively low price. While you can produce your own ad, you don’t have to. In fact, it can be even more effective to provide the podcast hosts a script or some basic talking points about your business and allow them to talk you up on their own terms.

You can even work with podcast hosts to get really creative with your advertising. PJ and Alex, the hosts of the podcast Reply All, recently did this to help take website building platform SquareSpace’s campaign to a new, unique level. When PJ kept avoiding meeting Alex’s new baby, Alex set up a SquareSpace page called “Has PJ Met Alex’s Son Yet?” For nearly two months, the website simply said “no” and featured a clock counting how long it had been since the baby was born. Finally, PJ met the baby, and Alex froze the clock, changed the no to yes, and added an image of PJ holding the baby. This clever marketing tactic was personalized to the podcast, and it encouraged listeners to look at the website to see how easy it is to build—and subsequently edit—your own site using SquareSpace.

Podcast ads will run you from $1 to $20 per listener if you pay cash, but you could potentially offer your business’ products or services in exchange for ad space. Some podcasts handle their own advertising, while others are part of larger networks that work with agencies that match them with advertisers. Because lots of podcasts tend to have extremely specialized audiences, it’s not difficult to find one (or a dozen) whose audience aligns with yours.

How They Fit Into Your Marketing Mix

Once you decide whether radio or podcast advertising is right for your B2B company, it’s important to make sure your ads fit into your overall marketing strategy. Is your goal simply to raise awareness? Or will they be part of a larger campaign that extends across social media, display ads, email marketing, and other channels?

If this is the case, you’ll need to decide how to track your success and bring your new leads into your database. You can do this by providing a special offer—like a discount code or an exclusive download—that will tie leads to the campaign. For example, have them visit a specific landing page or indicate via a form that they heard your ad, and automatically add them to a personalized nurturing track based on this information.

Have you had success with radio or podcast advertising for your B2B? We’d love to hear your stories and tips in the comments.