How to Create a Killer 30-Second Radio Ad (What To Include)

Radio ads are still a powerful way for brands and companies to connect with their audience.

Despite the digital content channels available today, 92 percent of Americans still tune into their radio regularly.

That’s higher than the number of people who use PCs or watch television.

In fact, by 2024, some experts say companies will spend around $30.6 billion on radio advertising.

However, just because radio gives you the power to reach a broad audience doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard to ensure your message hits home.

In 20 years of radio broadcasting, I’ve heard good ads and terrible ads. Writing good copy, or script, is an art form few master.

One of the biggest issues I’ve encountered is making an ad stand out. The average commercial break is 3-5 minutes long. If your commercial is the fourth one to play, how to you avoid having your message get lost.

Today, we will cover everything you need to know to create a compelling 30-second radio ad that sticks with your customer.

What to Include in a 30-Second Radio Ad

Up close of smiling radio host wearing a yellow button-down shirt in front of a microphone recording a 30-second radio ad
Your 30-second radio ad needs a core message, a hook, and a call to action.

First, it’s worth noting there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for building the perfect radio ad. The right commercial will vary depending on your target audience and product.

However, while ads might change in the exact types of content they cover, they generally include a few core elements.

The most important parts of a 30-second radio ad are as follows.

The Core Message

In most cases, the first and most important part of your radio ad is the message you want to send.

In other words, what do you want your customers to learn from your 30-second slot?

Are you announcing the arrival of a new product in your store? Are you trying to showcase the benefits and features of your service? Or are you requesting something, like submissions for a competition?

Thinking about your target audience is the best way to ensure your core message hits home.

Consider the language they’ll appreciate, what pain points they want to address, or what goals they want to accomplish.

The best radio ads in history use emotive, engaging language to connect with customers. Just make sure you don’t make your ad overly complex.

The Hook

The hook is another of the most essential elements in any radio advertisement. It convinces your customers to keep listening to you rather than switching to another station.

One of the most memorable radio campaigns was Budweiser’s Real Men of Genius. Each commercial had a jingle and featured a “man of genius,” such as Mr. Gasoline Barbecue Starter and Mr. All You Can Eat Buffet Inventor.

With a little creativity, you can come up with a hook for your ad.

Think about the ads you’ve heard on the radio in the past. How do they grab customer attention?

The Call to Action

Finally, you must consider what you’ll ask customers to do in your radio ad.

Regardless of length or structure, every amazing radio ad must tell customers what to do next.

For instance, if your radio ad aims to get people to call your company for a quote on electrical services, you might finish off with a line like, “Don’t be left in the dark – call [number].”

Your call to action should be quick, clear, and concise. Remember to include your phone number or another way for customers to contact you.

How to Make Your Radio Ad a Success: Step by Step

Now you know the core components of a radio ad. However, you still need to work out how to combine everything into a successful commercial.

To reach your target audience, you’ll need to strategize. Great radio ads, just like many other types of advertising, typically take practice and patience.

Make sure you have a strategy to monitor the results of each campaign you promote so you can learn and evolve.

Consider working with a specialist to produce a radio ad for you. Many marketing and copy experts have experience writing ads for attorneys, plumbers, and other specialists ready to air on the radio.

Here are some other ways you can make your radio ad a success.

Step 1: Know Your Audience

Smiling woman wearing white sleeveless blouse and headphones smiling while listening to 30-second radio ad on her phone on a train
Who’s listening to your radio show or station? Without this information, it’s impossible to create effective radio ads.

First and foremost, great ads always speak the language of their target audience.

Before you try promoting anything, it’s essential to dedicate plenty of time to researching your customer.

Find out what channels they listen to and when they’re most likely to use their radios so you know which platform and time slot to choose for your campaign.

Consider your target audience’s demographics and the segments they’re most interested in, so you can slot your ad into their day at just the right moment.

It’s also worth researching your customers’ pain points, goals, and expectations so you can write a script that resonates with them emotionally.

Step 2: Make the Benefits Clear

Most of the time, radio ads are intended to sell something, such as a service or a product. Even if you’re asking your customers to call you for a quote, you still need to sell them on the benefits of doing so.

With this in mind, consider how to engage your audience by highlighting what makes your business or solution special.

Draw attention to your unique selling proposition and what your users will get from connecting with you.

For instance, don’t just say, “We can file your taxes.” Instead, tell your audience you can save them time, worry, and stress.

The best radio ads speak to customers by paying attention to what matters most to them.

Step 3: Make It Memorable

Man recording a jingle for a 30-second radio ad in a plain living room with a computer, microphone, and lamp
Jingles in your 30-second radio ad are especially impactful, as they stick in your listener’s heads.

Some radio ads stick in our minds more than others.

They’re memorable, because they have a unique message attached to them, a specific tone of voice, or something else that jolts us out of our daily routine.

There are various ways you can make your ads more memorable. One option could be to hire a professional with a voice that your customers simply can’t ignore.

Another strategy is to create your own musical jingle. Jingles might not be as familiar in advertising today as they were a few decades ago. Keep in mind, this is costly option.

However, they’re still excellent at grabbing attention.

People are likelier to remember a message if it’s set to a catchy rhythm. Think about working with some audio experts to help transform your call-to-action or ad statement into a musical experience.

Step 4: Entice Customers to Act

Your call-to-action statement is integral to encouraging customers to act on your radio ad.

However, there are other ways to improve their chances of doing something, such as calling your business.

For instance, offering an incentive gives customers a reason to stop dithering over decisions and get in touch immediately.

For instance, you could offer a 50 percent discount to the first 20 callers who contact your team.

You could also provide users access to a limited-time offer, inspiring urgency.

Another way to ensure your customers are more likely to act is to make it easy for them to do so. Provide simple and clear instructions on how they can take advantage of whatever you’re offering.

Step 5: Keep It Simple and Original

Finally, one of the best ways to ensure your 30-second radio ad is impactful is to combine originality with simplicity.

Since you only have a few seconds to get your message across, don’t cram too much information into that space.

Think about the most important statement you want to make, and convey it as clearly as possible.

At the same time, allow the personality of your brand and business to shine through. Make sure you choose a voice actor with a clear, friendly, and authentic voice to draw your customers in.

Play with language and use the right tone to connect with listeners emotionally. You can even use music to drive up the impact of your commercial.

Writing the Best 30-Second Radio Ad

A 30-second radio ad gives you little time to connect with your audience. However, on a platform as powerful as the radio, sometimes you only need a short snippet of time to make an impact.

Using the tips above, you should be able to start writing scripts for your radio ads that resonate with your target audience.

Remember, it’s worth keeping a close eye on how your customers respond to your ads, collecting as much data as possible from each campaign.

You could even ask customers to quote a unique code when contacting you after listening to your ad, so you can quantify precisely how many leads you get.

The more information you can collect from each campaign, the more likely you’ll create compelling commercials.

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