How to Make a Stand out Radio Imaging?

When you switch through radio stations, there are two things that make you stop – the music or that quirky segue you hear between the songs or segments. These little segues are part of the station’s radio imaging. They are created in such a way that it will appeal to the target demographic or audience of the radio station.

Like any other marketing strategy, you would need a radio imaging that does not only represent your brand of music or style, it should also stand out amongst similar genre or radio format.

When you are the leader in the market, you do not respond to what the competition is doing but instead dictate the trend.  But true leaders do not rest on their laurels but consistently find ways to keep the ears of their listeners tuned in.  If your station is lagging behind, follow the trend that has been set to get the listeners’ attention but be innovative in creating a better alternative.  Your current position will help you determine the imaging direction you will need to take when you create your whole sonic brand.

Here are 5 simple guides to help you create a stand out radio imaging:

From Colours to Sound

From your visual imaging to your sonic brand. Use the colours of your visuals (ie. logo) to set the mood and tone of your radio imaging. If the colour of your visuals is a vibrant CH as the colours orange or yellow, your sound bites should be as vibrant. Or be the calm blue that normally suits News Talk stations.  Be the hot and daring red that is suitable for Hot AC or Adult Alternative. From the script of your voiceover to the sound and FX you use, it should reflect the colours that match your genre and visuals for consistency and easy recall.

Customisation is Key

How unique are the production elements of your sound imaging – from your jingles, sound beds, stingers, or sweeps? If you are using pre-produced sounds, make sure you can use them exclusively. If they are not for exclusive use, only use them as a foundation to a more unique sound. To stand out, you need to create or customise sound that won’t be heard in any other station. If you share an FX library and can’t be bought exclusively, make it your own by adding other elements like voiceover, music, or combining it with other FX. The little changes can make the same sound come across differently and distinctly yours.

One Clear Idea

We all love a good story, but when you create your radio imaging script, keep your story simple with one clear idea, that no matter how short the copy is, it can create a clear mental picture to your listeners. Which of these is more effective and can easily be recalled by your audience:

Latest hits available on request 01 456 2134, every day from 7AM till 12MN. Heat 97.5 FM, for the hits of today.

OR

The latest hits at 97.5 Heat FM

Instead of flooding the listeners with information that they may not even remember, zero in with a memorable punch that listeners can retain.

Current and Consistent

Stay current by consistently adjusting your radio imaging to suit the times. Nothing more forgettable than a copy that has gone stale. Stay fresh and relevant by inserting what is latest and popular in the elements of your sonic brand. You don’t use sound bites on your drops from a music that took the charts 6 months ago. However, even when you regularly update your radio imaging, you still have to be consistent with your tone and colour, and in your writing. You don’t call your station 97.5 Heat FM and then change it up to Heat 97.5 FM the next month. The goal is to stay imprinted in the minds of your listeners and not turn them off and make them confused.

Your Voice

It is not just the choice of words, but also the tone and style of the radio station’s voice that matters.  Choose a voiceover style that suits best with your genre or format. Be it a guy/girl next door, or the expected radio announcer voice – your voice should be relatable to your audience. Hiring a professional voiceover talent can help you stay authentic to your style. They can be coached and directed to showcase your station’s true brand values and put the right light and shade (and punch) to your well thought script.

Listen to some of the great radio imaging samples from The Voice Realm’s professional voiceover talent pool and take note of their distinct style and sound.

Satauna Howery

 

Rob Marley

 

Sara Smith

 

Take a Leap!

Take a leap in creating your radio station’s personality. Don’t just follow trends blindly without putting your own spin. Be not afraid to think out of the box and go on a totally different direction. Being different will set you apart. The real challenge in creating your radio imaging is more than harnessing your creativity, it is making sure that all the elements are tied up in a perfect bundle for a consistent sonic brand. A great and effective radio imaging is not “one- size fits all”, it is a unique concept that would leave your listeners wanting for more.

Emma Jaimeson

Emma is a voice over and marketing fanatic. When she's not talking to the top voice talent and agents, she's putting her thoughts down digitally and disseminating the information globally.

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