If you had said in 2019 that local radio was a digital platform that would drive new revenues and build market share you probably would have been laughed at. Radio was seen as one dimensional, traditional and somehow set in its ways. Two years later, frankly anyone who still thinks that, needs to take a look (or a listen) around.
The past 24 pandemic months have been especially transformative as local radio has shown itself to be agile, creative, authentic and trusted. With more than one million social media followers, its digital footprint is growing stronger every day.
The simple question for brands this year is not whether you have local radio on your schedule but why not?
In the past year listenership and engagement has increased. All the listenership key metrics are going only one way (upwards) and detached national marketing messages which barely resonated with audiences became empathetic when translated into language authentic to local communities throughout Ireland.
We know about the €60 billion spend represented by local communities but what about the digital / online spend potential available to brands and, with it, the possibility for boosting online revenue via creative local radio activity?
First the figures
Research commissioned by IRS+ prior to the pandemic, explored the connection between radio and online. It confirmed the positive impact of local radio when it comes to the bottom line and generating new revenue. Taking three different brand scenarios – an online fashion destination, a premium skin care brand driving its digital sales and a local, well established business, the research indicated the following:
- Radio significantly increased web performance across all metrics including sessions, new users, transactions and revenue.
- It delivered a site traffic boost of between 10% and 150% achieving positive impacts on revenue of almost 20% (and that’s before adding in any Covid impact multiplier as more of us were home listening to radio).
A more recent report from Wolfgang. “The Irish Ecommerce Report” shows a massive boost in the ecommerce sector with 2020 growth of 159% vs 32% in the previous two years. The report recognises that while growth in online shopping was always going to increase overtime, the pandemic not only accelerated that growth but brought new customers to the channel; namely the over 65’s demographic.
- In 2020, the ecommerce sector grew 159% while the average transaction value actually fell slightly. This tells us that growth is driven by increase in both volume of purchases and purchasers.
- 67% of ecommerce enabled businesses are making more than €1m in online revenue vs 59% in 2019
- Meantime, the top cohort making more than €20million more than doubled in 2020
To ride the wave of this ecommerce revolution, you must first have a strong brand that people want to engage with online. There is a school of thought that believes the strength of a brand is even more important in e-commerce, as this is what stops a brand from becoming a commodity. A healthy balance between brand and performance marketing is vital for long-term growth.
As the IRS+ commissioned research shows, radio offers brands a creative and cost-effective opportunity to drive consumers online, maximising their e-commerce sales whist maintaining positive balance between performance and brand marketing.
To conclude, we help brands build authentic creative connections with communities through the power of local radio. With our IGNITE range of Ready to Go options we can offer promotions simultaneously across multiple communities. These act as a considerable digital boost to an overall radio campaign via highly effective, targeted activity. In addition to Sponsorships our 15 local stations offer a platform for contextual work across four content platforms – educational, community, CSR and expertise.
As brands have discovered, local radio has never been more versatile.