How to Advertise Your Radio Station for Free

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Radio is one of the marketing industry’s most time-honored advertising outlets, but even advertising outlets themselves must advertise their services to the public. Since radio stations generally reach a limited geographic area, they can take advantage of free, community-based advertising techniques that can have a significant impact if deployed successfully.

Pass out fliers for your radio station at local music events. Find a printer who is willing to barter with you for on-air advertising time to get your fliers printed. Hang around outside the event and give fliers to people on their way into and out of the club. Place fliers under cars’ windshield wipers in the club’s parking lot, and leave them on bars and tables around the venue.
Place advertisements in online community-listings websites such as Craigslist. Classified ad websites are free for anyone to use, and they are becoming increasingly popular in a wide range of cities throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Create an eye-catching, informative website and pay special attention to search engine optimization (SEO). Consult with a Web developer to ensure that your website is designed in such a way as to boost your ranking on popular search engines. Make sure your website comes up on the first page of search results for “radio station Denver” or wherever you are located. Find a developer who is willing to barter for free advertising time.
Market your website online. Form banner-swapping and traffic-sharing partnerships with music promoters, local record labels, music stores and other radio stations in the area to increase traffic to your website and theirs.
Get local bands and musicians on board with your advertising campaigns. Do something helpful for local bands, like putting their music on the air or promoting their concerts on your radio shows, and ask them to help you distribute your marketing materials at their concerts and among their friends and peers in the local music industry.
Extend your free sponsorships beyond bands and musicians. Contact local businesses involved in the music or entertainment industry and offer to trade free on-air advertisement time in return for including your name as a sponsor on their advertisements or events.
Send press releases to local newspapers and magazines, especially those that cover the local music scene. A new radio station, especially if it has a novel appeal that sets it apart from existing stations, is likely to be newsworthy in your area.
Take advantage of on-air promotions that are free to you, to stir up word-of-mouth advertising. Find local businesses and musicians who would like to give out free tickets or merchandise on your radio station in return for the publicity it brings. Hosting these contests can help you get people excited and spreading the word about your station.

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