It sounds so simple – your radio ad should speak to people the same way they communicate every day in real life. Yet we frequently encounter instances where people get caught up in the writing techniques for an ad and they forget they’ll be speaking it. Therefore, it’s super important that your advertisements are conversational, first and foremost.
Here are 5 examples of how you can improve your radio commercials today:
One of the best ways to come across to listeners as being conversational, is through the use of contractions. For example, read the following sentence, but only in your head:
Sounds right, doesn’t it? Now read it again, but this time speak it out loud.
It sounds a bit clunky, doesn’t it? That’s because that’s rarely how we talk! People talk in a more casual tone, using contractions. Now speak the following line out loud:
Most would agree this version sounds more natural than the first. We’ve all done it with school papers to increase the word count, but when writing for a radio ad, it generally sounds better if you use contractions vs full sentences.
- Addresses and Directions
How often does someone rattle off a street and building number to you, and you instantly know right where it is? Not often if you’re like most people. So if you’re listening to an ad that says 154 Main Street in Waterville, it may be difficult to visualize where that is, even for folks who live in the city.
But if I told you “on Main Street in Waterville, the first left after Wendy’s” most people can picture where the Wendy’s location is, then equate that with where your location is. That’s how people talk when giving directions, so speak to them in the same manner and you’ll see better results when customers are trying to find your business location.
Have you been taken aback because I’ve used the word “ad” a few times in this article? My guess is, you haven’t even noticed. I shortened the word “advertisement” because you’re an intelligent individual and you’ve seen it enough times to know exactly what I’m talking about without hesitation. People use abbreviations super frequently when they speak to each other, so be sure to include them in your radio spots, where appropriate.
Don’t be afraid to use common slang if you’re creating a radio advertisement for a local market. People often use slang when they talk, as it feels more conversational and sometimes allows them to better connect with the listener.
For example, in the Northeast, “wicked” is used as a synonym for “very.” In some areas in the South, they use the term “fixin’” when they’re about to do something. If you’re speaking to a southern audience and you’re a local business, this might fit perfectly within your ad. If your community is used to hearing a certain phrase, don’t be afraid to use it within your commercial.
- Technical Topics
It can be really tricky trying to advertise something technical, while also trying to tell your story to everyday people. A great solution for this situation? Simply tell listeners how your product or service benefits them.
Radio listeners might tune out if you dive into the details of a highly technical cosmetic surgery – but they’ll probably be interested in looking better and feeling more confident. Tell them that instead!! Another way to look at this: as a business owner, you might not be too concerned with hearing all the bells and whistles on a new computer model, however, if you learn how it makes your life easier and allows your business to be more profitable, then you may be interested in learning more.
If you are in a highly technical business, remember to focus on the benefits of your products in your radio spots, because ultimately that’s what people are interested in!
Remember, in radio, we’re not writing English papers, we’re talking to thousands of everyday people, like you and I! Write your radio advertisements thinking of how the people in your area speak every day and you’ll find it’ll sound more natural, and best of all, be more effective.