How to Write a Script for a 30-Second Radio Spot

The structure for a successful 30 second radio ad project divides the time into four parts, which allows for a maximum of 2 to 3 short sentences in each section. In addition to being efficient in the delivery of relevant information, the ad must grab the attention of the listener within the first few seconds and motivate immediate action.

Target the Right Audience

Make sure that your advertising reaches your target audience by matching the demographics of the radio station with your product or service. For example, if your product is an energy drink, the audience of potential buyers will be much larger on a station that largely reaches listeners aged 18 to 34 than one with a majority of retirement-age listeners. Ask each radio station to provide the listener demographics applicable to your products — including age, income and gender — to find the best match for your advertising campaign.

Then, make sure you write your script to that same audience. Study lots of 30-second radio ad script examples and notice how they write to their audiences. Ask yourself who your audience is and what their interests are, how they talk and what will get their attention.

Showcase Your Product

Ask yourself why people buy your product instead of others; what makes it unique or better? Start the ad by positioning the product in a context where it solves that problem. Posing a problem and offering an immediate solution can get the attention of listeners who are trying to find an answer for a pain, inconvenience or aggravation that occurs in their life. For example, juxtaposing the inconvenience of a dead mobile phone battery with a portable charger as the solution will resonate with listeners that experience that problem.

The best of all radio ad strategies is to hook listeners with a good story that reaches out and grabs their attention, empathizes with them, elicits emotions and ends with a solution. For example, juxtaposing the inconvenience of a dead mobile phone battery with a portable charger as the solution will resonate with listeners that experience that problem. But don't just describe the situation — make listeners feel like it's happening to them and they must take action.

Highlight Benefits in Radio Ad Strategies

Clearly define how the product will improve the lives of the listeners. Using the portable charger as an example, the benefit for the listeners can be described as never missing an important call again, or being caught without a usable phone when you need it most. Writing that brings out the listeners' emotional response is highly effective. For example, never missing an important call could be modified to never missing a call from a loved one, a child or a grandchild.

Add an Incentive

Offering an incentive gives listeners a reason to call immediately, rather than waiting. This is an essential element of the advertisement because of the temporal nature of radio spots. An example of an incentive that calls for immediate action would be an offer of 50% off of the purchase price for the first 20 callers. Incentives that have a limited time also can be effective: "Hurry — this offer is only good until midnight Wednesday."

Make It Easy to Act

Finish the ad by telling listeners what you want them to do next, whether the desired action is a phone call, ordering online or visiting a store. Having a vanity phone number created around the name of the product, or one that repeats the same number can help listeners remember where to call. A simple website address that contains only the product name will be easier to remember as well. For example, if the product in the ad is called Red Widget, having redwidget.com as the address of the website will make it easy to recall if listeners cannot visit the site immediately.

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About the Author

After working for 21 years as a licensed adviser specializing in corporate and private finance, Scott Krohn began his writing career in 2008 covering a variety of topics including business, personal finance, health, and IT. He graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach with Bachelor of Arts degree.