We always get asked what Imaging really is so we searched for definitions and came up with the following:
Radio is clearly a distinct form of entertainment, relying solely on sound, therefore a defined sonic branding is needed to distinguish one radio station with others.
One clear way of sonically branding your radio station is to use Radio Imaging Services.
Radio Imaging is a radio station’s signature sound composition that enables listeners to easily identify the station from the rest in a given market. It can showcase the station favorably against competitors and gives the listeners an idea of what to expect in terms of content or format. Radio imaging is the general term used for varied on-air sound effects that identify, brand and market a particular radio station like, radio sweepers, intros & outros, bumpers, stingers and drops.
Radio Sweeps – are segues between songs that give listeners a brief station identifier or promo, generally 20 seconds or less.
Intros/Outros – are the show’s signature. It introduces the start of a program or signals the coming end or wrap up. It can be pre-recorded or done live over music.
Bumpers – Usually consists of a voiceover and music that acts as a transition. For example, coming back from a commercial break, or move from one segment of the show to another. These are usually short, about 5-10 seconds in length.
Stingers – are short sound effects, pre-recorded words, fast piece of music (1-3 seconds) that are played to give emphasis to something said by the DJ.
Drops – These are sound bites lifted from movies, TV, or songs. The length of Drops varies and can either be used as an emphasis or a transition.
The combined sound elements produce an overall sound imaging that helps to position the radio station within their market. It is designed to appeal to a certain demographic of audience that the station wishes to attract. Overall it sets the mood, tone, and energy of the station, while also building a brand familiarity and loyalty with the listeners. The radio imaging defines the radio channel sound, with the exception of the actual music or talk content. It also creates fillers and transitions between the programs providing the listeners a more complete and seamless listening experience.
It is important to create a defined radio imaging to promote brand recall. You need to have a consistent radio image scripting by using targeted language and terms that listeners can relate to; and a use voiceover that can give the station a distinct style and tone. These fillers and transitions help remind the listeners which station they are listening to and with an effective Call-To-Action can keep them tuned in during breaks or commercials and also direct them to your website or social networks which helps you build your online presence.