Instore Radio: What is it and How is it Effective?

15 October 2021

It is common practice for companies to create a custom music playlist to help create a pleasant atmosphere within their business, but what many don’t realise is that this is a form of instore radio that they should be using to better promote their brand. It’s likely that you’ll hear in-store radio in large retail companies like Nationwide, Subway or JD Sports who have multiple stores across the UK and some brands also in the wider world plus a big budget to spend on advertising. For these businesses, in-store radio helps them to create brand consistency throughout each of their stores and tailor their messaging to each location.

In this blog post, we will discuss what exactly in-store radio is, why it’s an important tool for businesses, and how our team support companies to produce in-store radio stations that embody our clients’ brand, keeps content fresh and forward, and drive sales through persuasive messaging.

What is in-store radio?

The term “in-store radio” is used to describe the use of closed-circuit radio advertising in-store. These closed circuits are managed by in-store radio companies who help to produce brand-specific audio content.

It is also often referred to as “retail radio” as it is a form of advertising most commonly played through the sound system of retail businesses, shopping centres, supermarkets and clothing stores. But this is not strictly applied, you might hear in-store radio while you’re working out at the gym, or in various other businesses that you visit.

The aim of this type of advertising is to engage potential customers as they browse in-store. Businesses can use it to advertise deals, persuade customers, share their brand message, and create a pleasant atmosphere for listeners that enhances their shopping experience and ultimately encourages them to become repeat customers. This is an incredibly effective way for companies to deliver tailored messaging to customers at the point of sale.

Most large companies who use this form of advertising will be working in collaboration with an in-store radio company to create content that reflects the correct tone and message of their brand.

Digital production companies, like ourselves, take the brief from our client and transform it into a selection of music and voices which represent the brand accurately and engage the customers. The format usually follows a bespoke music playlist that is interspersed with adverts that are professionally produced using the latest equipment in audio engineering and feature high-quality content about the business and their offerings as well as special deals and discounts.

Why is instore radio effective?

Using in-store radio gives companies full control of the narrative within their store and prevents competitor ads from being heard. It also provides businesses with a great opportunity to establish an atmosphere that their customers will enjoy by broadcasting a music playlist that speaks to the preferences of their target audience. Sharing information about products, services, and deals with customers becomes much more effective when you tailor the content to reflect the interests and demographics of your customer base.

This form of marketing has become very popular over recent years as it gives businesses a chance to share information about their company with new listeners while also building brand loyalty among their existing customer base. Retailers can direct shoppers to specific deals and inform them of important information, news, and updates at the point of sale to influence purchasing behaviour and meet company goals, making it a marketing opportunity you won’t want to miss out on.

How to create the perfect playlist

Background music is about more than just filling an uncomfortable silence. It’s a tool that businesses can use to create a pleasant atmosphere for their customers, drive sales in their retail stores, boost customer engagement and mood and enhance the shopping experience of everyone who enters.

It is therefore important to select music that is both appropriate and supports their audio advertising aims. Instore radio companies like ours specialise in crafting music playlists that are reflective of the brand, marketing goals and customer demographics of our clients. Several factors go into determining how the appropriate songs are chosen.

Our tips for selecting the right music

Tip 1: Follow the law

You should only play songs that are licensed for use by your company. Broadcasting unlicensed music from a radio, CDs, or streaming services like Spotify is against the law and can be a very expensive mistake to make.

Tip 2: Set the mood

Your in-store radio music should be of high quality, befitting of your brand, suitable for the atmospheric intent of your store, and should ideally meet the demographic preferences of your customer base.

Studies have shown that music can alter the emotions of a listener and therefore impact their behaviour so think carefully about the kind of environment you want to create within your store and how this may affect the mood and behaviour of your customers.

Tip 3: Prioritise quality

Always opt for high-quality audio tracks for your instore radio playlists. Poor sound quality can be off-putting and might even drive customers away. Investing in good sound equipment and choosing high-definition tracks can make a significant difference in the overall customer experience. Avoid live versions of songs, as they tend to be of lower quality.

Tip 4: Be mindful of volume

The volume at which you play your background music is crucial. It should be loud enough to be heard but not so loud that it drowns out conversations or becomes a nuisance. Regularly check and adjust the volume, especially during peak hours, to ensure it remains at a comfortable level for everyone.

Tip 5: Know your audience

Make sure you’ve done your research and understand the kind of music that appeals most strongly to the audience you are trying to reach to ensure maximum engagement with listeners. This will also help you to create playlists that are truly reflective of your brand and will really appeal to those who are currently shopping in-store.

How to influence customer behaviour with in-store radio?

While carefully selecting the right kind of music for your playlist is a key component of any retail radio campaign, in-store radio also offers companies a unique opportunity to influence the behaviour of shoppers using strategic audio advertising.

Through repetitive, interspersed audio announcements, companies are able to influence the purchasing behaviour of customers as they shop, by promoting specific products, sales, and deals that help increase sales. Superdrug, for example, saw up to 24% increase in sales of products advertised on their in-store radio.

Campaigns may be run seasonally to encourage shoppers to purchase the latest products, such as Halloween costumes or Christmas decorations, or they may be used to promote a special deal on products that are currently in stock.

In-store radio ads can also help companies encourage customer loyalty towards brands by providing information about membership programs and sign-up opportunities to reward customers for their continued custom. In this way, in-store radio can play a very important role in creating a positive customer experience that will keep customers returning time and time again.

Control the narrative using instore radio

Imagine the advantage of having a platform where your brand’s story is the only one being told. No interruptions from competitors, no jarring ads that clash with your brand’s identity. Just a seamless blend of music and messaging that’s tailored to your audience.

You might be tempted to simply tune into a local radio station or stream a Spotify playlist, but there are inherent risks in doing this. Local stations might inadvertently advertise competitors or broadcast content that’s not in sync with the brand’s image. On the other hand, platforms like Spotify might not always have edited versions of songs suitable for a diverse audience. Moreover, licensing issues can arise when using platforms meant for personal use in a commercial setting.

Having a carefully crafted instore radio playlist allows you to control the narrative. This offers more than just promoting products or services. It fosters a deeper connection with customers, immersing them in the brand’s world. Whether it’s sharing the brand’s sustainability efforts, announcing an exclusive instore promotion, or simply setting the mood for a seasonal sale, in-store radio ensures the message is clear, compelling, and free from external distractions.

But here’s the real game-changer: with instore radio, businesses can effectively eliminate the noise of competitor ads. By controlling the airwaves within their premises, they ensure that their brand’s voice remains the dominant narrative, guiding and influencing the customer’s journey from entry to checkout.

How is in-store radio produced?

Defining your goals

Just like other forms of audio advertising, creating effective in-store ads requires careful planning and preparation. Formulating the right kind of messaging will be essential to the success of your audio ad so it is important to have a goal in mind before you begin this process.

Outsourcing instore radio production

Outsourcing these services is often the most effective method of delivering on your marketing goals, particularly for companies that don’t have an in-house creative team.

Even marketing departments within larger companies are unlikely to have the necessary know-how and equipment to create these types of ads as they require a niche set of skills.

You’re more likely to achieve better results using an in-store radio advertising agency that has the expertise and experience to create effective audio ads using top-of-the-range audio equipment to ensure that all in-store radio content is produced to the highest standard without dropping out, glitching, or varying in volume. To ensure consistent quality in all our retail radio ads our services are run primarily on a cloud computing system which enables us to deliver audio that is fun, forward, and highly detailed.

Working with AVC Immedia

Understanding the aims, messaging, and brand of the client is how we deliver compelling audio ads that drive our clients’ customers to act. To do this, the very first thing we do is meet with the client to establish what their audio branding stands for, who they want to talk to, and how they want their message to be conveyed.

We then turn that information into a selection of music and voices that represent the brand accurately and engage customers. Our services are built and tailored to ensure our clients’ customers get the feeling of the brand every time they enter a store.

Keeping content fresh

To prevent repetition and improve the effectiveness of the audio ad our team produces a range of captivating content and an in-store music playlist that is ever-evolving. Changing things up helps to motivate and improve the mood and efficiency of staff as well as keeping customers engaged and interested. Depending on the brand and style we may choose to refresh the music daily or this may be a more gradual process, but it is always evolving.

Our team set regular creative meetings, both internally and externally with our clients and radio presenters, to discover fresh and innovative ways to approach subjects and deliver the right message.

Our presenters match the mood of the day and the mood of the customers, positioning our clients’ brand as an authority on current events, news, and topics that are important to their customer base whatever the industry.

Many of our clients also prefer to use a mix of presenters to add variety and energy to the in-store radio station and to target different moods and audiences which may vary depending on the time of day or year.

Why use live radio presenters

In the world of instore radio, the charm of live radio presenters cannot be understated. With their vibrant energy and real-time interactions, they bring an authentic touch to the in-store experience.

Why Go Live?

Quality radio isn’t just about selecting the right content and the best sound system, at its core, it is about engaging people. The best in-store radio services, like those offered by AVC Immedia, are brought to you by our team of carefully selected live presenters who bring the right tone of voice to your instore radio brand.

Building a Connection

Live radio presenters have the unique ability to connect with listeners in real-time. They can respond to current events, interact with customers, and even take song requests and make shoutouts. The dynamic nature of live radio ensures that the content is always fresh, relevant, and engaging.

Incorporating live radio presenters into the in-store radio mix offers a dynamic and authentic touch to the auditory experience. It’s not just about playing music; it’s about creating a narrative, fostering connections, and enhancing the brand’s identity in real-time. With the right expertise and equipment, live in-store radio can truly elevate the shopping experience to new heights.

Our final thoughts on instore radio

In-store radio is a highly effective marketing tool that allows companies, particularly retailers, to deliver tailored messaging to customers as they shop in-store and browse for products. This is an opportunity to convey the branding of a store in a fun and engaging way that can elevate the customers’ mood and influence consumer behaviour.

Producing instore radio is both complicated and technical, so hiring a team who can meet the individual requirements of your brand with the right expertise will ultimately be essential to the success of the project.

While a lot of what we do is delivered by computers and digitally produced, every service is managed and curated by people who pay attention to the details and use their knowledge and experience to ensure the audio makes the right impact on the customer.

Our in-store radio service has all the benefits of a branded live music service produced right here in the UK from our audio studios near London, using the latest in audio production.

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