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See how they run: Radio ads and Google

Now that Google has simplified local and national radio advertising for small business by integrating audio ads into its offerings, and its Audio Ads network includes hundreds of radio stations across the United States, what does it mean for marketers who need to create a radio ad?

For one thing, more accessible ad inventories.

"Over the last year, we've been partnering with both terrestrial and satellite radio stations across the U.S. so that our advertisers have many options for broadcasting their ads," according to a Google company statement. "Currently, there are hundreds of stations to choose from, and we hope to grow the list over the coming year.

“Our broadcast partners are looking forward to making their ad inventories available to thousands of new advertisers, especially since they aren't easily accessible today."

How Google Audio Ads work:
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• Choose your weekly budget for a 30-second spot. Google suggests a budget of at least $500 per week, though actual costs could be higher.

• Select specific metro areas (city, state, or ZIP) in which to run your ads.

• Target your message to gender and age of audience, and type of radio station.

• Choose start and end dates, days of the week, and time of day for your campaign.

• Set your bid.

• Upload your ad or find a specialist to create your ad.

• Choose how often you want to run your ad.

• Review your campaign details - including targeting, dates, and budget - and launch your campaign.

• Track your campaign. Google reports the number of times your ad played, average CPM (cost per thousand impressions), impressions, and cost broken down by location, station type, or ad.

AdWords platform

Google Audio Ads are sold on a CPM basis through the AdWords platform, and marketers can target their ad by location, station type, day of the week, and time of day. How the campaign actually runs depends on your bid.

Google sends bids to radio stations. At the beginning of each broadcast day, stations auction off their available ad spots to the Google advertisers that are willing to pay the most.

For marketers who need to create a radio ad, Google offers assistance through its “Ad Creation Marketplace,” which attempts to match marketers with scriptwriting, voiceover, and production resources that fit within their price range.

After entering you desired budget for producing a radio ad, you can view vendors that meet your requirements and request a bid for your job. Requesting bids is free and marketers are obligated to use any of the vendors who respond with a bid.

Google's entry into radio advertising may have a positive effect for many marketers who aren't using radio already. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, local, national, and network sales figures were flat for 2006 compared to 2005.

According to the Radio Advertising Bureau:

• Radio reaches about 70 percent of all consumers daily and 93 percent of households weekly. Its reach is highest among men and women age 25 to 64 (roughly 76 percent).

• About 45 percent of radio listening takes place in the car and 36 percent of radio listening is at home. Nineteen percent of radio listening occurs at work.

• Individuals listen to 20 or more hours of radio each week. The daily reach of radio is generally highest from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Radio reaches 87 percent of college graduates each week by car. College graduates average three hours of radio per day.

• By car, radio reaches almost 90 percent of consumers with incomes of $75,000 or more each week. Consumers earning $50,000 or more average 3.5 hours of radio per day.

Ad-friendly medium

According to a recent Arbitron/Coleman study, radio is one of the most advertising-friendly mediums. To many listeners, advertising is accepted as part of the general radio listening experience.

That may be why the study shows that radio stations typically retain 92 percent of their lead-in audience during commercial breaks. Morning commercial breaks during commute times hold more than 94 percent of their lead-in audience, according to the study.

Starting a Google radio campaign to reach some of these listeners is easy. In about 20 minutes, using existing radio ads, I was able to set up a four-week national radio campaign targeted at listeners age 25 to 65 listening to talk and news radio stations during their weekday morning or afternoon commute.

The cost of the proposed campaign? Around $2,000 per month.

The ease of creating it? Priceless.

Recent articles by Troy Janisch

Troy Janisch: Making the transition from Web 2.0 to Web 2.007

Troy Janisch: Viewing the Internet as a free-for-all can be costly

Troy Janisch: It takes more than money to reach the top

Troy Janisch: Getting the most from Google dayparts

Troy Janisch: Risks and returns: Building a search engine marketing portfolio

Troy Janisch is president and founder of the Icon Interactive Group (www.iconinteractive.com), an industry leader helping companies integrate Internet and other Interactive media into sales channels, marketing strategies, and overall branding. He can be contacted by e-mail at tjanisch@iconinteractive.com.

The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.

WTN accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.

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