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How to Purchase Radio Ad Time

You can purchase radio advertising for your small business on the cheap if you just do a little horse-trading. To purchase radio ad time on the radio station you think will best reach your potential customers, follow these tips:

  • Negotiate by first asking the station for additional spots at no additional cost.

  • If that doesn’t fly, ask for better spot positions in more desirable dayparts (for example, you might prefer that your spots run during the morning drive, rather than from midnight to 6:00 a.m.).

  • If you're turned down on that request, you can ask for free billboards (10- or 15-second announcements that are like minicommercials).

Continually look for something extra from the stations. Getting extras from a radio station is often easier if you’re willing to sign a long-term advertising contract, such as an annual one.

The contract is delivered to you after both you and the station management have agreed on the terms (and free stuff). The contract describes the following information:

  • The number of spots you get

  • The time of day in which your spots run

  • Your total cost to run these spots

The contract is broken down to show the cost of each commercial message you’re buying. Some times of day are cheaper than others, so the spots may have different costs.

Buying radio time is always negotiable. And for that reason, when buying radio time, you shouldn’t accept the first proposal as presented to you; you should always shoot for something better, for something extra. Nine times out of ten, the station adds something in order to get your name on the dotted line.

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