Fantastic Frequency: The hero that can save your radio campaign.
January 6, 2023
Frequency is one of the most important aspects of a radio campaign. It regularly saves the day, doesn't have any parents and might well be sitting on a fortune. Let's unmask this hero...
Nestled in the flat lands of Hungary you’ll find a small abbey. Traditional, modest and deathly silent. The Cistercian monks who live and work in these walls obey a strict code of silence, choosing to communicate only through intricate hand signs.
If this sounds like a super hero origin story then you'd be right! It's the birth of Frequency...
Bet you didn’t know about these silent Cistercian monks? Maybe it’s because no one, not even themselves, talks about them. All I know for sure is that I’d hate to be their PR manager.
Thankfully, we are nowhere near like these monks. We want people to hear what we have to say, but in such a saturated market its hard to stand out.
That's where radio comes in.
Radio advertising is all about consistent and meaningful communications. Giving people the chance to hear you, engage with you and do business with you - the right way.
Frequency is here to champion our communications. The hero we need AND deserve.
Simply put, frequency is the number of times your advert plays from a single source over a given time.
This is often referred to in the industry as OTH (opportunities to hear). Frequency is the difference between a bad campaign and an amazing campaign. Read below to find out more:
We encourage people to think of frequency as:
Reaching the right customers, consistently.
We encourage people to think of frequency as: Why? Because consistency is the key to building great brands. Look at McDonalds, Coca Cola, any great brand. They have hardly changed their core messages and values meaning they're well established across the globe.
Then take a look at your favourite ad campaigns of the past and present. What do they all have in common? You were exposed to them just the right amount. Not enough to grow boring, but just enough to stay on top of mind. Their frequency was spot on.
Frequency is vitally important to ensuring that your message sticks. Effective frequency is what we call it. Research tells us that a human being will not hold on to a message until they've heard it 3 times.
If you want your ad to be the next 'Wassup' or 'Bellies' gonna get ya.' you need to think about frequency.
Next, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
What’s my budget?
If you want to heard in the morning and drive time every weekday then you’ll be looking at quite a costly lay down.
If you can afford to go for prime times then you should. This was one of the main factors in radio's average brand return on investment of £7.70.
What you choose to spend and how you choose to do it is totally up to you. All we can say is that, with a combination of reach and frequency...
Radio gives you the best possible platform to get great return on any investment.
When will my customers be listening?
Are you customers listening at specific times? If they are, that’s great. You can use this to inform your frequency.
Say you know your customers are only active and willing to respond to your messages when the football is playing on the weekend then you’ll probably be best playing twice a week, Saturday and Sunday football drive time.
Your message will be the most effective at those specific times.
How heavy is your creative?
The creative of your advert is the form you’ve chosen to carry your message. A song, a celebrity voice, a dramatized dialogue, whatever you choose consider it’s weight.
For example, if you’ve included a joke in your ad you may want to consider how many times it can be heard before getting old. No one likes to hear the same joke repeatedly. Unless you're my Dad.
This insight will impact the frequency you want to go for.
If you’re running a very high frequency schedule, then you may start to notice dips in your metrics as the campaign runs.
How GOOD is your creative?
That said, truly brilliant and original bits of creative deserve opportunities to heard. If you think what you've had a hand in creating is sure to a be a timeless classic, then by all means give it the proper platform to reach it's potential.
Your account manager will be able to give you a good idea of how many opportunities to be heard your particular bit of creative will need.
Our advice on frequency
We strongly advise aiming for 4 OTH per week. This is the optimum frequency. You’ll be heard plenty of times and won’t run into issues where people get bored of your ad.
We'd also be more than happy to have a chat about frequency and your advertising efforts. Use the comments below or click here.