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Marketing: What Makes a Great Radio Advertising Spot?


In 2018, with so many marketing channels to choose from and limited marketing budgets, you might be thinking, should I cut my radio advertising? You might even wonder, does radio work anymore? With so many options like Spotify, Pandora, and SiriusXM, is the listening audience spread too thin?

The answer is no. Most of your local stations will tell you they still capture a large segment of the listening audience who turn on the radio in their cars, at home or use the iHeartRadio app.

Radio is an effective tool for marketing in the fitness industry because you can advertise at times of the year when the collective listening audience is open to fitness messaging. Those times include:

  • During the New Year, when people are making resolutions.
  • During Thanksgiving and Christmas, when many people are indulging.
  • Before spring break and summer, when people are getting ready for vacations, the beach and pools.

These are great times of the year to run radio spots. This is when people may be in the “information seeking stage” of choosing a health club.

Today, radio advertising works when you can use it as a multi-channeled approach, working in concert with your lead generating tools. For example, if your call to action is giving out a 7-Day Pass, your radio spot would provide a solution for the consumer and direct them to receive a free pass either on your website or on personal landing pages such as YourFitnessClubPass.com, 7DayPass.com or FitnessClubNamePass.com.

If your club web address isn’t that memorable, it’s important to come up with a landing page URL that is memorable. You can also use a redirect if you have a landing page off of your website, like YourHealthClub.com/GuestPass, then a redirect to it would be 7DayPass.com.

After the consumer hears the spot, they will remember to type it into any browser or use Siri, Google or Alexa to find it. The landing page should have a simple form for people to fill out so you can capture their information. In fact, you may have people who aren’t ready to join or even try a 7-day pass, so you can direct them to that landing page to receive a downloadable white paper on “The Top 10 Ways to Stick to your Fitness Resolutions.”

Another way to use radio is for an Open House. You can direct them to receive the pass on the landing page and give out the date and time of the Open House. If you have a great offer, you can also put that on your landing page with the pass.

When writing your script you want to visually paint a picture of what your club experience is like and what benefits your customer will receive. For example, “Greenwood is a place where you can have coffee with friends after a workout, where you can swim outdoors year-round or play basketball at lunchtime.” You can picture those experiences.

The other things to consider are writing a script that speaks to the experience at your club. Do people work out with their family or are they experiencing a group workout and having fun? Does your gym foster community? You can also speak to the benefits people receive — just be careful not to make any health claims. For example, “At Greenwood, the team workouts will motivate and inspire you to achieve your goals.”

When it comes to choosing a male or female voice, some studies show using a female voice is more effective in the health and fitness space, because female voices may be more nurturing and soothing.

It’s important, whether male or female, that the voiceover makes branding sense for your club. For example, if you are promoting a deal or special, you want the voice to be high energy and read at a faster pace. If you are making a radio ad for a high-end club, the message should be slowed down, as in a BMW or Land Rover spot, where they speak slowly to explain the benefits. We have used both male and female voices and have chosen to have the script read at a slower pace. You can request alternating voices or try your script with a male and a female voice to see which sounds best for your club.

When choosing the music, think of your brand persona. If your brand persona had a favorite song, what would it be? I asked the instructor of one of our top fitness classes, what were some of the bands he tended to play? We realized our members like The Black Keys. Once you have a band, you then can advise your station what your brand persona’s favorite band is, and if you can drill down to a song that is even better.

The more information you can provide the radio station when they build your radio spot the better, and knowing what options are available to you like hearing the male or female voice or trying different song options will help you produce a better ad.


Tiffany Slitkin Levine is the director of marketing and public relations for Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club. For more information email tiffanyl@greenwoodatc.com.


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