Content Ideas for No-Staff Radio Stations

We’ve always said that the best radio station websites out there killing it with revenue are the ones killing it with content.  We’re talking about fresh new content added daily which is shared with newsletter subscribers and social media channels so that listeners are coming back to the website on a consistent basis.  However, what if you simply have nobody to create this content?

If you’re a small operation, then you may have a staff of fewer than 10 people and only two of those are capable of functioning online.  If you’re an internet-only broadcaster, then you may be the only employee.

No matter what size radio station you have, it’s important that your website not be a brochure.  Think of any brochure you’ve seen in the past.  Once you’ve read it, there’s no reason to pick it up again.  Brochure websites are the same way.  If they never change, visitors have no reason to return.  This is especially important now they can possibly stream the station via other means.

So, what content can you provide if you simply do not have the staff to update local news and events daily?  Focus on what you can update daily, like things directly involving the radio station.  We’re always active in our communities, right?  So, let’s focus on what we’re doing.

Here are some content ideas for you to focus on.

1) Contests

It amazes me to see a radio station website without one active contest on it. Back in the day, the stations I worked for always had at least one contest running and we sometimes had several that overlapped.

If you don’t have online contests, but do have an on-air-only contest, be sure to list those and display the names of the latest winners.  This will give them something to share with their followers.  Just be sure you’re keeping this updated daily or weekly each time a winner is drawn.

Try to make it a point to always have at least one contest running at all times.  The contest might benefit a client more than it does the station, but at least your contest page will always be populated.

If your contest page is not populated, then it should be removed from your main menu.  Active pages should never be blank or “under construction”.

2) On-Location Schedule

If you can’t update the site with local events around your community, then you can at least let listeners know where the station will be out and about and why they should come to join you. This would include everything that the station is involved with: station remotes, concerts, business openings, school visits, town hall meetings, etc.

3) Local Sports Schedules and Broadcasts

Smaller towns love their local sports teams. If you carry any games live, make your station website become the location people count on for every bit of information regarding the team and their current schedule. If you can, update their pages with the current season’s scores.  These pages provide great sponsorship opportunities as well.

4) Swap Shop

Most swap shop programming happens in smaller markets. The perfect show complement is online listings that are presented in the show. You can either have the host post new listings as they come in or have your listeners submit a form that updates the list.  Either way, the online component allows people who missed the program to know what’s available.

5) Song Additions/Music Voting

If you play newer songs, post a snippet or embed a Youtube video and get local listener feedback on each one as you add it. Position it as giving them the power over what gets played on your radio station.

6) Polls

These can be anything like the new song we just mentioned to something happening locally. Ensure that you’re making the polls engaging to the listener. Listeners are more likely to vote in a poll when they care about the results.  So, always pick a topic your listeners will be passionate about.

7) Best of (Your Town)

If you have the ability to include multiple polls on your website or forms with multiple options, you should consider doing a “best of” campaign. We’ve had guests on this podcast talk about how they’ve implemented “best of” campaigns to give you some guidance on that.

8) Business of the Day

Of course, don’t call it that. Come up with something more engaging like for restaurants, “Local Taste of the Day”. Include a menu and link to their online ordering page.  I can just hear the on-air promo, “It’s inevitable that you and your spouse are going to argue over what to eat for dinner tonight.  So, we’re here to help.  Try today’s ‘local taste of the day’ at wxyz.com”.  Make an area on your homepage for a lunch location and have it switch out for a dinner location.

9) This Day in History

Back when I was on-air at Clear Channel, we were forced to blog daily. One jock found a “this day in history page” and copied the information from there. While it was the shortcut to doing daily content, his blog did surprisingly well.

You can find this day in history archives all over the internet.  These can be format-oriented like what happened in country music history on this day to anything else.  The good thing is that most of the copied from other sources but please ensure that you are giving proper credit, or better yet rewrite the copy in your own words.

If you’re worried about having to do this every day, pick a portion of one weekday to devote to the website and schedule these posts in advance.

10) Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that doesn’t go out of date. For example, “5 top things to do in (insert your town)”, “How to Best Navigate the State Fair”, “Top 5 Lawn Maintenance Tips”, etc. These pages may need to be updated at some point, but not anytime soon.  And they can be created as you need them.  There’s no real rush.

As these pages are promoted and shared by your visitors, you’ll be able to sustain a good SEO score.

While evergreen content is great content to produce for your website, be careful that it’s not presented as “news”, especially on your homepages.  Remember that homepages should always be fresh so they do not become brochures to our visitors.

11) Audio interviews

Each time you interview someone in the studio, repurpose this content for the website and/or a podcast. This allows the person you interviewed to share that page with people that didn’t get a chance to hear it live.

12) Client-Created Content

Your clients are (hopefully) experts in their fields. So, have them create content for your website. The AC client you’re running during the summer months might be happy to provide a few sentences on AC maintenance as long as his business is mentioned several times throughout the article.

The tax professional might write a few sentences on what common deductions most people miss.

The local baker could write about a secret tool they use in the kitchen.

An auto dealer might write about the best way to maintain your vehicle warranty.

What others can you think of?

Publishing content like this is much better for the client than them writing it on their own websites because it helps to set them apart as thought leaders and “go-to” people in your market.  It’s likely more valuable long-term than any banner ad you could sell them.

* NEWLY ADDED *

13) __________ of the Day/Week

Have a local pet shelter that can provide a photo, name, and short story of one of their animals?  This is great publicity for them and great for your station because it provides website content, something to talk about on-air, and a public file entry opportunity.  Create a section of your website that has multiple “____ of the Day” entries.  Sell entries on these pages to clients that come up with their own.  “Bob’s Cars Deal of the Week”, “Flowers First Bouquet of the Day”, “Hank’s Meat Cut of the Day”, etc.

Wrapping Up

If you can’t be hyper-local providing everything that’s happening in your community, then be super-station.  Stations have always been active in their communities, so let the homepage be an open door so that visitors can find how active we are.  Continue to have an online component to everything the radio station is doing.

Once your website has this content, then it’s important to have a content marketing strategy in place.  How will you share it with your listeners and followers?  Make a plan to promote the website part of this content on-air, within your station newsletter, and share your posts and pages out to social media channels, Facebook groups, etc.

Can you think of any other content that a station with minimal staff could use on their websites?  Please let us know, so we can update this list on our show notes page.

Need help moving the needle on your station website, reach out to us.

Jim Sherwood serves as the chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects. Jim is a 30-year radio veteran with a resume spanning several small, medium, and large markets including roles as Digital Content Director, Program Director, Production Manager, and Morning Show Host.