Small Business Brief


A Short Guide to Commercial Radio Advertising

If you’re a business owner and under the impression that commercial radio ads are out-of-date and antiquated, you could be missing a massive advertising opportunity.

Understandably, you want to spend your advertising budget wisely. But radio ads are one of the most tried-and-true methods of business promotion you can get. Not-to-mention the fact that you could reach a huge audience that many other advertising channels could miss. 

Want to learn more about radio advertising — the pros, cons, when to advertise, and what it will cost? Just keep on reading. 

The Pros and Cons of Commercial Radio Advertising

Like any other advertising channel, there are always going to be benefits and drawbacks. The key is to weigh up what’s good and what’s bad, and determine whether a certain method of advertising is worth your while, and the cost. 

Here’s why radio commercials are beneficial: 

  • As mentioned, you’re able to reach a far wider and more varied audience
  • You can target your ads by geographical area, according to listener demographic 
  • You can also target your niche during particular radio time slots, shows, and genres 
  • Radio ads capture the right attention, at the right time when advertising during commuting/peak hours 

While all of this may sound great, there’s a reason why some businesses choose not to invest in radio advertising costs. Here are some of the drawbacks you may want to consider: 

  • There is little to no buying intent when listeners are not actively seeking your service/product
  • You are not always guaranteed the full attention of your audience, so they could miss the point of your ad 
  • Your target audience members tend to tune in and out at different hours 

Not only this, but there are limited performance tracking abilities when compared to other forms of marketing. You want to ensure that your advertising costs are going towards a good cause. If you can’t really track this data, it may seem like wasted money.

When is Radio Advertising a Good Idea?

In all honesty, radio commercials do not suit all types of businesses. So before you head down that road, you want to be sure that your business and audience would respond well to radio advertising. 

So, with this in mind, when is it a good idea to use commercial radio ads? For starters, your business needs to have a wide and varied target audience. So if your business or brand is nationally recognized, or aspires to be, radio ads could work well for you.

If you sell high-ticket consumer goods and services, radio advertising is also a good idea. And if your number one goal is to bolster the awareness of your brand and business, commercial advertising is worth the investment — especially if you’re just starting out. 


How Much Will It Cost? 

There are two major parts of radio advertising you need to think about: the production of your ad, as well as the distribution. 

On average, you’d pay about $200-$5,000 per week on distribution costs, but this depends on a few factors. They include your location, chosen radio station, and chosen time slot for advertising. 

There are also the following factors that impact your overall cost of radio advertising: 

  • The chosen hour you choose to advertise — the more people listening, the more expensive the timeslot 
  • The demographic of your chosen radio station’s audience 
  • The demand for a particular advertising spot 
  • Whether there are special events taking place on a particular day or at a certain time 

Production costs are generally quite affordable, ranging from $300-$1,000 for copywriting, voice-over, and editing. But it’s the distribution that can add up, so plan your distribution wisely!

Marketing Expertise Just a Click Away 

Commercial radio ads could do wonders for the overall marketing of your business. But it also depends on the type of business you operate, your target audience, and what kind of budget you have to work with. Make sure to do your research before investing in radio ads. 

Are you a business owner on the hunt for marketing advice? Don’t miss out on the rest of this site for more!