In my many years as a practitioner of dental marketing, I have learned to appreciate what radio can do for a dental practice. In fact, few mediums offer the ease of use, accessibility, and ability to connect with your target market as our old friend, the radio.
A good radio spot offers several distinct advantages, including:
The challenge with radio, however, is making sure you get the appropriate bang for your buck. Radio sales reps often don’t understand dentistry or they lack good copywriting skills — sometimes both. As a result, you often end up with generic spots that fail to give a distinctive and professional voice to your marketing message.
How to Succeed in Radio Dental Marketing
To get the most from your radio advertising dollars:
Get the listener’s attention fast.
If your spot doesn’t grab the listener within the first eight seconds, you’ve lost them for good. A good opener serves as an “auditory headline” for the rest of the story and allows you to focus the audience’s attention on what they need to know about your practice.
For example, I once created an ad campaign for a general practitioner who decided that focusing on periodontal condition prevention and treatment would be an effective tactic to attract procrastinators. The first part of the message went something like this:
“Today I want to talk to you about something personal and confidential, about something that we shy away from discussing even with our closest friends and loved ones…”
We then proceeded to describe the specific symptoms of gum disease and urged listeners to call and schedule a treatment today. It worked beautifully! Not only did the number of phone calls from our radio ads skyrocket, but so did the number of new walk-in patients who mentioned the message.
Target your audience.
Radio makes it easy to connect with a specific audience. For example, if you want to reach out to mothers (a good idea since they make the majority of dental decisions in American families!) you can advertise on radio stations that have strong appeal for female listeners in the 18- to-49 age group.
Usually this format is called “adult contemporary” or “soft hits.” Due to the strong demand for this type of audience, you will typically find two or three stations competing for this segment in any given market. Remember — female buyers control the purse and the checkbook in the U.S. and all over the world.
Spend your dollars wisely.
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