What do radio infomercials and a possible talk radio show of your own have in common? Probably more than you think.
You already know that talk radio is a staple of American life. We’ve all listened in at some point. We tune in because our favorite talk show is out there. Whether we’re on the political right or left, a health nut, gardener, travel fan or raging entrepreneur, there’s a show on the airways for each of us.
What you probably don’t know is this: Not everyone you hear on talk radio is on because he or she has a fascinating show. Or a great radio voice. Or a wonderful way with callers.
Some are just on because they’ve paid for the privilege.
It’s true. Some savvy marketers actually get to host their own talk radio programs. And they’re using them to subtly (and, sometimes, not so subtly) sell their goods and services in a way traditional marketing never could.
Even so, and perhaps entirely understandable, those who know this little secret don’t seem too eager to share it.
Radio Infomercials that Sound Like the Real Thing
Eight years ago, the nutritional company, TriVita, thought up a novel way of advertising their sublingual B-12: They decided to make a radio show out of it. More specifically, a radio infomercial.
We know all about infomercials…the TV version, at least. Who hasn’t sat through one of those half-hour presentations and given at least half a thought to picking up the phone at the end of it? But radio infomercials?
Today, eight years later, TriVita is still running their pre-recorded radio infomercials, and there are no signs of stopping. That’s because their infomercials, hosted by Evangelist James Robison and his wife Betty-with the assistance of Alfred Libby, M.D.-are still doing the job.
Like TriVita, Focus Factor has obviously seen the infomercial light. From a humble start, the company’s nutritional infomercial is now on hundreds of stations. Not long ago, it was even listed in the top twenty infomercials (yes, there’s actually an infomercial top twenty just like in music).
Done properly, and with just the right mix of the editorial and the promotional, infomercials can keep listeners from changing stations. That’s because the good ones sound so much like regular radio shows, with facts, stories and testimonials, that it’s tough to tell the difference.
It often isn’t until the “close” when a radio infomercial gives itself away. But, strangely enough, that doesn’t necessarily sour the credibility it’s built over that half-hour of persuasive content. By then, people have already bought into the “format,” accepted the product (at least, intellectually), and decided whether or not it’s for them.
The key here is in how the infomercial is constructed. The smartest hosts have figured out how to orchestrate the most powerful “fake radio” shows possible.
There’s Gold in Live Radio Infomercials
Take Joe Battaglia, for example.
Joe’s the voice of The American Advisor, a daily, fifteen-minute radio show that promotes the virtues of gold investing…and, specifically, gold investing with Joe’s company, Goldline International. For years now, Battaglia’s show has broadcast three times each weekday in a rare live version of the usually pre-recorded infomercial.
It’s a clever formula. The brief program starts out with a daily update on gold. After that-and several plugs for Goldline’s latest offer-Joe takes a live call or two. Then he winds things up with a final Goldline pitch. And that’s that.
But there’s some real meat in here. It’s obvious Battaglia does his homework in presenting a compelling case for the precious metal. And it must be working: The American Advisor has been the pillar of the company’s marketing plans for a number of years now.
The Quick and Easy Way to Create Your Own Talk Radio Show
But shows like that don’t just come out of the woodwork. And even if they did, not everyone would be comfortable hosting or running them.
There are the often-daunting matters of scripting, timing and production-matters your average expert or authority is absolutely clueless about. And then there is, of course, the prospective host’s crucial on-air performance. So how do would-be radio infomercial stars negotiate this steep learning curve?
Believe it or not, just as there is a top twenty list of infomercials, there are companies out there that package the whole talk radio infomercial experience. One such company is Event Management Services, a veteran of the talk radio business. Included in their interesting infomercial package is the coaching help of a nationally syndicated talk show host. This radio professional scripts, produces and hosts each show, sparing the amateur host all those taxing details. That’s whether the infomercial is the recurring recorded version, like TriVita’s, or something live, like Joe Battaglia’s.
Even so, whether you hire yourself a coach or go it alone, you can probably see the potential here. You don’t have to be a golden-tongued Glenn Beck, syndicated over a billion radio stations, to reap profits from radio infomercials and what certainly appears to be your very own talk radio show.
Peter Giordano has been writing, ghostwriting and marketing for nearly twenty years now. Retained for long stretches and the recipient of many awards — and one of the few accomplished writers with design and direct response marketing experience — Giordano has an impressive track record of helping clients set new sales records. Visit [http://www.theghostwriter.com] for more details.
Author: Peter Giordano