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Radio Commercial Schedules: Choosing Dayparts When Your Spots Play

Imagine this: you’ve created the perfect radio ad. It has a great hook that grabs listeners’ attention for a big event happening at your business and you’re proud of how it turned out. The hard part is over – now it’s time to put it on the air. 

There’s only one problem…you’re not sure what day part will work best for this awesome, new ad you’ve created. 

Dayparting is the act of dividing the broadcast day into sections. Dividing the day makes for easier advertising because you’re able to buy radio ad space in the part that makes the most sense for your audience. Let’s discuss how to decide what daypart will work best for your business’s ads. 

Consider Your Audience

As you’d do with any type of advertising, the first step of choosing which daypart to advertise in is about understanding the customer you’re targeting. 

For example, evenings are full of loyal radio listeners. If your targeted demographic lines up with those who religiously tune in to listen to their favorite DJ, that’s a great time to advertise. A few other examples include:

  • Being aware of shift-change times if you’re advertising to factory workers. 
  • Focusing your budget on Thursdays and Fridays if you’re promoting a weekend event, since people are starting to think about the weekend on those days. 
  • With the booming popularity of club sports, parents aren’t just in the car with their kids for after-school activities at 3 pm. Keep in mind that many are driving their children around at 7, 8, and even 9 pm, so adjust your messaging accordingly. 
  • Promoting a sale first thing in the morning while people are driving to work, so they’ll arrive and let their friends and colleagues know about it.

Time of Day

Understanding your audience means knowing when they’re most likely tuning into the radio. In general, mornings are the busiest time for radio listeners in general, but you might not be interested in targeting the general audience for your ad. If you look more closely at who is listening and when, your ad will reach ears that actually hear it. 

During the morning drive, cost is higher but you can expect a lower CPM with a higher ROI, so the price is often worth it. 

Daytime listeners (those who tune in between 10 am and 4:30 pm) are listening at work. Most workers don’t have their nose to the grindstone for their entire shift. Many shop online, do errands, and even plan trips. Your ad will reach them at just the right time as they use work hours to make purchases. 

Early fringe (4:30 pm to 7:30 pm) is a great time to advertise family-themed products. People are driving home from work, taking their kids home from school, and cooking dinner. Choosing this daypart to advertise in is like choosing primetime without the cost. 

Late night (11 pm to 1 am) is the least expensive daypart because it has the smallest audience. Alcohol and adult-themed products fit well here. 

Dominating a Day

Radio advertising can extend beyond choosing a single daypart. When you dominate a day, you choose one day of the week and completely saturate the radio ad space. Since people don’t really keep track of the days and times that they listen to the radio, they’ll think that they hear your ad on the radio all the time – even if it was really just over and over on a specific day over the course of a few weeks. 

If you have a small ad budget, this is a great way to get the most for what you’re paying. 

Run of Station

When you have run of station (ROS), your ad can run at any time of the day, no matter the daypart. You get better rates with this type of ad buy, as the station chooses during what dayparts and in what programs your ad runs. Depending on your budget, you might choose to run all day every day on a number of stations, or if you’re working with a smaller budget, you might tailor your ROS to stations you know your target audience listens to

Let’s Get Your Ad on the Air

Understanding radio dayparts and who listens at what time of day is key to making sure your ad reaches the right listeners – listeners who follow through and make a purchase. 

Federated Media, with its variety of radio stations, can help you figure out just what dayparts work for you. Reach out today to talk about running your ad with us! 

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Written by Federated Media