The biggest impact of regional radio by far is the connection a regional radio is able to make with its listeners. It addresses its audience in their own milieu where they identify with things happening around them – such as local news, weather conditions, traffic situations, a community fundraiser or highlights of their favourite sports teams. The news is up-to-the-minute, in and about their own region, it’s local and it’s personal. Radio is known as a close friend in whose company you feel comfortable, which means brands can maximise campaigns in a trusted environment.
Regional radio enhances the relationship with its audience further through social media and the Internet, where more and more personal interaction is taking place. Listeners are encouraged to share their opinions through voting polls, by tweeting or by liking something on the station’s Facebook page. In turn, the station gets real-time feedback from its digitally connected consumers who indicate whether they would buy an item or how they feel about a brand.
The combination of radio and digital elements such as the station’s own interactive website or Twitter/Facebook pages has become a driving force for increasing radio revenue. Stats have also proved that radio experienced a gain in market share in 2012 and the first half of 2013. A multichannel approach with an interactive regional radio audience offers the advertiser more value for their money.
The sense of “we are a community” allows regional radio stations to reach and penetrate audiences in a friendly and non-intrusive manner, allowing advertisers to benefit from the audiences’ higher ‘time spent listening’.
Content is rich and developed exclusively to suit each region. Programmes are geared towards its consumers’ lifestyles and interests. Demographic and psychographic information about a particular target audience, enhances an advertiser’s ability to reach receptive audiences effortlessly.
Regional radio stations deliver hot-off-the-press news and pulls communities together very quickly in times of hardship or natural disasters. During such times, advertisers can play a role to help the communities through their social responsibility budgets or to act as drop-off points for food or blankets.
Regional radio has the ability to make people laugh and cry but mostly to be part of something, a sense of belonging which makes it an ideal advertising platform.
Lizette Anderson is coastal radio sales director, Mediamark.