How to Write Your Own Radio Ad Scripts
Brief Intro on Radio ad Scripts
As online platforms become more and more important, the need to craft better and more efficient radio ads increases. Having researched on the matter and read expert advice, we’ve found that there is a consensus on the steps you should remember when creating radio ad scripts.
We’ve summarized them into the Three Stages of Radio ad Scripts:
This stage is all about knowing who our audience is, making sure we target them specifically. Also, figuring out what type of ad it and how long it will be.
The formatting and conventions we must take into consideration to produce a top-notch ad.
Here we have to measure the ad’s impact and also provide and embrace feedback to improve next time.
Let’s take a closer look.
Stages in Production
The creation of Radio ads can be generally divided into three sections, with around two to three steps in each section.
The idea is to grab the attention of the listener from the get-go. A clever way to do this is to place the product in a context where it solves a problem. Posing the issue and offering the solution is always a good idea. Hooking the audience in, generating attention, empathy, emotions, and ending it all with a call to action is usually the way to go.
The point is this: don’t just describe the situation; you have to propose something to solve it too!
Stage 1: Prepare
This is the first and perhaps most essential stage. Research will make sure radio ads are appropriately targeted and will reach the correct audience. It’s of great importance to spend time here and avoid issues later.
It’s time to get your research-mode ON!
Ask yourself: Who, exactly, are we targeting? Who should be reading what we are going to say?
Targeting the right audience is going to be crucial for the success of our ads. Make sure you know what audience it is you want. That’s the great thing about radio ads: the online platforms are generally able to provide precise information about the listeners: age, income, gender, etc.
Once you choose your target, write a copy for them, pointedly and specifically.
The question to answer at this stage is quite simple: what will the radio ad do?
To be more specific, we have to talk about the benefit and reaction. We need to understand if what we are looking for is increasing sales, boosting the awareness of a brand and company, introducing a particular product, asking people to come to our show, etc.
The idea is to elicit a response from your target audience as you tell them that they stand to benefit from what is being advertised. What are the benefits that the listeners are going to get? What problem will it solve for them?
Very closely related to the previous point, what action do we want the listener to have? What exactly will they do once the ad is over?
In audio, simplicity is the base from which we can build. How so? Well, first of all, most radio ads are about 30 seconds long.
The average rate of speech is usually around 150 words per minute. That means that a 30-second ad would have about 75 words if produced at a conversational pace of speech. However, this is a sort of baseline, from which to begin experimenting.
For instance, a hard sell may require a sense of urgency and therefore, this would require around 90 words in those 30 seconds. Perhaps a slower speed is a good idea in an ad that demands a more reflective tone and therefore around 60 words per 30 seconds.
Obviously, more convoluted wording and phrases or more syllables, mean more time, and simpler texts can be read out very fast.
Stage 2: Deliver
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of things. These are the instructions we need to bear in mind to end up with a great product.
There are several things to bear in mind always: give it a title, the company’s name must feature prominently too and jot down the duration as well. The writer should put his name down too.
Time is of the essence. Write a strong opening hook, include just enough information to give some context to your listener and then roll on towards the finish line.
To start things stop, make sure the ad script is in the proper format.
Some people write it like they would a television script. Others may decide to divide it up into two columns; the left column will have speaking characters the right column will be dialogue, action, and sound effects. The left column would have all capitals, and the sound would be written in the right column.
Remember that you might want to use a double dash if you wish to use pauses.
Length and Wording
Now then, let’s talk a bit about length and wording.
We mentioned earlier that there is a sort of rule of thumb which should prove to be particularly useful. Usually, people speak at about 2.5 words per second. This is a typical conversational tone, which you may want to replicate in your radio ads. This means that a standard 30-second ad will have about 75 words, and usually no more than 90 words.
The typical rate is 2.5 words/second. Therefore 30 seconds x 2.5 = 75 words. This conversion means that shorter or longer versions will adhere to the same rule, such as:
15 seconds ad: 37 words
30 seconds ad: 75 words
60 seconds ad: 150 words
90 seconds ad: 225 words
But whichever you choose, remember to keep track of who is listening, and how long are they going to be listening for?
Regarding tone, this will be mostly dictated by the audience of your ad.
It will be one thing to make an ad that appeals to a young crowd for a hair salon, for instance. Also, this will have several advantages: you can target your ads specifically and not waste any money on a demographic which is not desired.
Knowing your audience will dictate how personal you may be able to get and how you are going to speak to your potential customer; this helps spark their attention so that they really listen to what you have to say.
Usually, a conversational tone is going to be the best suited for your radio ad.
This is the basic structure of an radio ad script:
A strong, immediate, attention-grabbing phrase that’s there solely to grab your listener’s interest. There’s often not a lot of time to do this, so remember to be bold and memorable.
The “meat” of your ad. What’s in it for your listener and what you’re offering them. We recommend using the AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action.) Format which you can check here, which has proven to relate and attract listeners immediately and effectively.
Call to Action
Call to actions are what you want your listener to do specifically. Surely things like awareness, branding, and the like are essential but most important is what you want your listener to do specifically.
Some recommendations: place the call to action with enough time to let them click the banner, give the website URL verbally too in case your listener is doing something else and can’t quite click at this time.
Before you know it, the ad will be over, so what will they remember from you? People have short attention spans and they will be off to their next song, podcast or ad – what do you want them to remember from you?
Remember we all have a “Recency Bias”, which means we tend to remember what we recently heard rather than something we heard before. So read up on it and use it in your favor!
Testing & Iteration
This is an essential part of the whole process that’s often forgotten.
There will be some trial and error in preparing radio ads. That is inevitable. In this step, make sure the word count is right and that you don’t go overtime. Practice makes perfect, and we only want to go to the public with our best possible ads.
Stage 3: Improve
Here we need to assess what we did, measure the impact, and see how improvements can be made. At this point, it is all about taking a long hard look at the ad and planning for the next time.
Tracking and looking at the impact that the ads are making is of the essence. Here we have a significant advantage because online platforms can provide us with very detailed information on the results of our ads.
Feedback for a better ad next time is invaluable. Listen to the customers and clients and be very self-critical. This is no time for discouragement. However, the next time you create radio ads incorporate these lessons and keep getting better.
Best script for an radio ad
Important Tips to Remember
Research the Competition (Stand Out from the Crowd!)
Be sure to find out accurately who your competition is, so that you may stand out from the crowd. Don’t go out with the same old type of ads as them.
Less is More ( Keep it Simple!)
Our natural inclination is usually to pack as much information as possible into an ad. However, remember that as with most things in life: less is more.
Be concise. Your listeners and audience will appreciate it. Every word counts, so edit profusely. Remember we are talking about 30-second ads. Brevity is of the essence and you only have a very limited time to pack a punch.
Also, remember that your last words are going to be key. That is when you might want to remind people of the URL and similar crucial information.
Also, try to write copy that is not like everything you listen to all the time. There are certain parameters, sure, but within them, your ads should not sound like everybody else’s. Try to boil down the information you want your listener to take away to the bare minimum.
There is no need to repeat an address and cram your ad with all sorts of location information. Giving out a URL will usually be enough.
Value Proposition Early On
Name the primary benefit of your product or service early on. Remember, there’s not a lot of time, so it’s best to show how you can solve the problems of your potential clients right away – or they will doze off sooner than you expect.
As we mentioned earlier, a conversational tone is usually best: not too fast, not too slow, plus it has the added value of making something seem relatable and close.
But, if you want to be emphatic, make sure you speak slowly and enunciate properly so people remember what you said.
Avoid Weasel Words
A weasel word, or anonymous authority, is an informal term for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. Avoid lousy words that everyone uses. Try to use synonyms. Weasel words are things like “quality”, “value”, “service” and “performance”. They are used to death in all sorts of copy. Try to find better synonyms or simply craft a better message and ad altogether.
Now, a Step by Step Example
Ok, we’ve covered the theory. Now comes a more tangible example of what we’ve been describing. Here we will see how to create an ad from start to finish as an example of what could be.
“Central Coast Radio ad Script”
Writer: Central Coast Radio.com
Step 1: Prepare
Audience: We will target people who wish to outsource their creative needs. Purpose (Divided into the following two specific areas):
Benefit: The listener and potential client will get peace of mind with top-notch creative products that fulfill their expectations and needs.
Reaction: We want the listener and potential client to get excited about being able to receive quality family portraits confidently.
Type: Radio ads
Time: 30 seconds.
Step 2: Deliver
Format: Two-column script.
Wording and Tone: Conversational, close and sincere in a “we’ve been there” kind of tone.
Hook: Tired of outsourcing to artists and getting less than expected?
CTA: Go to lottofrewards.com and see what we can do for you!
Ending: lottofrewards is your ideal partner for family portrait creative outsourcing.
Here is a sample script, in full:
SFX: BUSY STUDIO.
PERSON: I just can’t find the time to do this family portrait painting ! And the freelancers just don’t make the cut!
NARRATOR: Tired of outsourcing and getting less than expected?
NARRATOR: At Lottofrewards Studio we know the feeling: too much work, not enough time, nobody to help.
SFX: UPLIFTING MUSIC BEGINS.
PERSON: I want to know more.
SFX: UPLIFTING MUSIC AT FULL BLAST.
NARRATOR: Lottofrewards is your ideal partner for creative family portrait outsourcing. Visit lottofrewards.com for more!
Some Final Thoughts on Radio ad Scripts
We’ve taken a long, hard look at radio ad scripts. We’ve seen almost everything that’s necessary for the Preparation, finding the right audience, purpose, type of ad and length is the first big step in crafting that amazing unforgettable radio ad. Then, proper formatting, wording, tone, and structure will craft an ad you can begin testing and refining. Finally, after all has been said and done and the audio has been put out into the world, measure its impact and always look to improve.
ENJOY WRITING YOU OWN RADIO SCRIPT! HAVE FUN!