Why Some of Radio’s Best Advertisers Are the Most Difficult to Find for Consumers – and How to Fix It.
By Chris Pendl
SEATTLE – One of the things that make radio an effective advertising tool is that it’s often the last message a consumer hears before making a purchase. This point-of-sale proximity drives results for advertisers and keeps radio as part of their marketing mix. With smartphone ownership now 56 percent among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase. A recent local search study, revealed there’s an 87 percent increase in local searches via mobile apps. It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.
Local search is a bit different than searching on your computer. Without going into the super-technical details (you can read more at the MOZ blog), know that even when a local business shows up on a desktop search – there’s no guarantee the same will happen on a mobile phone.
Let’s dive into some real-world examples.
Real World Example 1
The screenshot below illustrates what happened when I searched for a radio advertiser here in Seattle. While the advertiser’s name is blurred, I can tell you this is an advertiser that invests significantly in radio and has been in business for over a decade. While this advertiser is the first result on a desktop search, they don’t exist in local search on mobile.
Real World Example 2
We’ve done the work of putting together a great schedule and effective creative that’s brought a would-be customer to this moment: the moment where a listener wants to call one of our advertisers. Since the advertiser in this example wasn’t listed in local search, combined with the search engine’s desire to always return results, it offered a up a similar, but completely different business.
Think about this for a moment. Consider all the effort to get a potential customer to take action and call one of our advertisers – only to be given competitor’s information that they can call with a tap on the screen.
Real World Example 3
These are screenshots from Yelp showing another top local radio advertiser. In the first screenshot, the two pins on the map show that someone created this business’s profile twice with two different locations. When a business owner doesn’t create their profile on Yelp, the community will do it for them. The community can be a competitor, loyal customer, or as you’ll see in the remaining screenshots, a dissatisfied customer.
Why Does This Matter?
Ultimately, our advertisers will decide how much to spend in radio based how many customers we drive through their door, how often we make their phone ring, and how many page views we deliver to their website. An advertiser not having a presence in local search or having negative, unanswered reviews on a site like Yelp, can only negatively impact our efforts to drive customers to their business. Whatever we can do to ensure a potential customer can find one of our clients on their mobile phone will only drive results for our advertisers. And since the cost to fix this is free, why wouldn’t we do this?
How To Fix It
Local search works the complete opposite of desktop search where you create a website and the search engines find you. Local search requires you to tell the search engines you exist. This means creating a business listing in the dozens of local search engines. While this sounds like a daunting task, it’s not. (I’ve done this for my parent’s business and it took about an hour.) There are free sites, like getlisted.org that make this process much easier by allowing you to enter a business name while it searches most of the local search engines for you.
Below is a getlisted.org report for another big radio advertiser here in Seattle. The report gives you an overall listing score along with links to create the missing listings in local search engines.
I encourage you to audit your top advertisers to see how they do in local search. Have a conversation and even show them how they can improve their visibility when a potential customer searches for them on a mobile phone–it’s in our best interest.
Chris Pendl is the creative director at Bonneville Seattle and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his blog at www.oldradionewtricks.com. Meet Chris Pendl at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on Thursday, October 10.