Students are back in the classroom, allowing education enterprises and higher education institutions to focus on recruiting next year’s class. Instead of targeting incoming students with internet marketing campaigns, schools, colleges and other education-based businesses are returning to the “old-school” medium of radio advertising. Some education-focused companies have hiked up their spending by as much 77-percent in the third quarter of this year in order to spark increased student recruitment as college application season approaches.
Two significant factors drive the increase in radio advertising. First, the cost of internet advertising has been steadily rising and for some institutions is no longer cost effective. Second, as radio formats become more specialized, the medium offers the direct targeting of consumer segments that make the platform very cost effective.
Education enterprises traditionally found their targets through online/internet search. Radio advertising allows those enterprises to cast a much broader net of potential customers. While logic says forgoing accuracy is a bad idea, by inviting certain formats with stronger listener demographics to auctions, education-focused advertisers are able to target their campaigns by gender and age – and to do it cost-effectively.
What does this all mean? It means, unlike Internet or T.V. advertisements that are broadcasted to consumers who have a host of distractions, most radio listening occurs when consumers are a “captive audience” driving to work, dropping kids off at school or running errands. This factor alone makes radio advertising a more targeted approach than other media. Coupled with the multitude of radio formats catering to different audiences, radio is one of the most effective sales tools for schools, colleges, universities and education-focused companies.
To create a successful radio campaign, education enterprises should:
- Create a budget.
- Review the target audience for their organizations’ product and/or service.
- Work with a media buying firm, ad agency or an organization like Bid4Spots, which has access to unsold radio time, to create a campaign that can save businesses up to 90 percent off of radio ad rates, compared to rates related to other campaigns.
For a fraction of the cost of a television and Internet campaign, radio offers businesses from the education, legal and financial services, food and beverage, healthcare and medical, auto and construction industries a platform to communicate their marketing messages to potential customers.
Photo Credit: Radio West Fife by Ross Murray