What do we mean when referring to Radio Imaging?
Radio imaging is the term used to describe the sound effects and music, like music beds, voiceovers, jingles, and sweepers, designed to brand the image of your station. Sometimes also referred to as “sonic branding,” radio imaging not only helps your station get the advantage on your competitors, but it can draw in listeners as well as build excitement about your station. Similar to visual branding elements, such as a logo's etc., radio imaging is just the auditory elements that you can use to identify and individualize your station.
Note that there are two different categories of radio imaging: station-wide radio imaging and show-specific imaging. Station-wide radio imaging aims to identify the station as a whole. This kind of imaging should encompass what your station is about and is often in the form of sweepers, which identify the station to the listeners in between songs or segments. And then, show-specific imaging is often used to distinguish each DJ's show. This imaging tends to be in the form of an intro, outro, and/or promos.
Why is Radio Imaging Important?
Radio imaging is important because radio is an audio-based medium, so auditory branding is especially crucial. While visual branding is also helpful, your station will never be as identifiable as it could be if it had some strong radio imaging.
- It gives your station a professional feel.
- It helps people instantly identify your station.
- It gives listeners an idea of what to expect and informs them of your format.
- It can assist you with attracting new listeners.
- It distinguishes your station from other stations, making the listening experience unique, especially in relation to stations with similar programming to yours.
- It allows you to self-advertise at a low cost.
- It encourages return listeners.
- It helps you to create the tone, mood, and feel of your station in order to appeal to a particular demographic.
- It maintains the flow as imaging creates a transition in between songs, segments, etc.
Steps to RADIO IMAGING for Your Station!
We source a Voice Artist/s
We strategize your Imaging needs
We begin Production
Full access to a SAVOA engineer
Final Mix & Voice Recording
Monthly retainer to maintain & update station audio includes i.e. daily promos
Types of Radio Imaging:
Jingles: Short music items that include sung slogans, catchphrases, and your station's name.
Sweepers: Spoken announcements, less than 20 seconds long generally, that play just before the next song starts as an overlay. Your station’s name is usually included.
Ex: “You’re listening to the best [Insert kind of programming on your station] on [Insert station name].”
Note that these are also often referred to as liners, bumpers, radio imaging, sweeps, station imaging, stingers, IDs, idents, promos, shotguns, and intros.
Acapellas: Jingles that are sung without instrumentals.
Music Beds: The melody part of a song without any spoken words or vocals.
Liners: A quick announcement of the station’s name.
Ex: "You're listening to [Insert station name]."
Bumpers/Stingers: Short audio pieces, about 60 seconds long, that include a sweeper followed by short clips of upcoming songs or talk pieces.
Promos: Short talk pieces that let listeners know about upcoming programs and urge them to tune in. They should convey emotion, give just enough info to tease, and mention the date and time.
Drop-ins: Short audio clips from TV, songs, or movies.
Drones: Prolonged sound effects used to create anticipation and tension.
Intros & Outros: Audio clips that contain music, your station name, slogan, announcements, etc. to indicate the beginning and end of your show. These create a smooth transition, help keep listeners interested, and provide clear identification.
Presenter Ids - The presenters name on ….station name.
Note that you cannot approach radio imaging with a one size fits all mindset. To get the best radio imaging, it is vital that it corresponds with your content. For example, a News/Podcast station should have radio imaging that sets a more serious tone than the radio imaging on a Hip-Hop station.
Where Do I Get Radio Imaging?
We do radio imaging right here at SAVOA, and we have over a decade of experience in Radio, giving us the edge on professionally tailoring your radio imaging to suit your brand. Take a listen to the examples we have listed on this page, and get a feel for how you would like to proceed with your very own radio imaging package!