I started Skyrocket Radio in 2013 because I noticed too many radio stations simply had a website for their listen-live button. These “brochure websites” give people no real reason to come back day after day. Some have changed their mindset and some have not. Over the past 9 years of providing radio station websites, I’ve noticed how some websites rarely break 100 visitors over a week, others get around 2000-4000 visitors per day and some are getting over 20K visitors per day in a market of around 20K people.
Think how easy of a sell it would be to walk into a business and show them that their banner ad will be in front of 20K visitors tomorrow.
Here are FIVE things I’ve learned that set the 20K visitors/day radio station website apart from the 100 visitors/day radio station website.
#1 Owner/GM that Commits 100% to “Active Online Presence”
The 20K+ visitor website has an owner/GM that puts a very heavy emphasis on the website and social media. They will ultimately enforce that everything the station does has a website component from contests, promotions, morning show, local news, format news, events, etc.
Post everything on the station website and then share it to your social platforms. The question might be raised about how much of the other stuff should you post. It depends on your format and goals. Remember, you still want to increase followers on social, so engage them accordingly.
I hear some folks say that they have no content to put on a website every day. Was there any kind of local news on your station this morning? Did your jocks talk about any local events happening in town? Was there a local public affairs program with information? How about high school sports or local charity activities?
We should be able to make money from that online content just as we do on-air. There’s content out there. And speaking of content, displaying RSS feeds is NOT content. Unless you are displaying an RSS feed from another one of your properties (news site), remove them immediately. This could be ABC/CBS/CMT/Rolling Stone, etc. RSS feeds are nothing but multiple reasons why your audience should leave your website and advertisers and go elsewhere.
#2 Ensure Everyone Else is on the Same Page
The 20K+ visitor site will have a sales team and on-air staff that know how the website fits into the overall strategy of the radio station. Sellers should know every available sellable opportunity on the website just as they know the length of every available commercial that’s open on-air. If you don’t have a digital inventory list for each of your station websites, then start one right away.
Your Digital Inventory List should include every possible thing your stations can sell online, the number of avails, spots taken/available, pricing, and location. Once they have this in hand, salespeople should understand that the website should be a part of every pitch. You can decide if it’s going to be included in every buy or separate. Click if you need a template to get started.
Every on-air personality should know the importance of the station website and increasing visitors there just as they would with their on-air ratings. They should be aware of all fresh website content (not only theirs), so they can promote it at every opportunity.
Ensure that on-air and promotions personnel know that every contest/promotion/event will have an online component even if it’s just for information for something that’s on-air only. This is crucial for those who go to the website if they missed something on-air.
Speaking of content, an interesting article from Radio Insider read, “The Corporate Digital Content Director for Beasley Media Group’s Local Markets said, they are including a much bigger commitment to producing local digital content, aligning the interests and passions of our DJs with our audiences to deliver more engaging digital content that allows for deeper connections to our local market fans. This digital-centric approach is now in place in several markets and early returns show exceptional growth in traffic, page views, and DJ participation.”
Are there opportunities for personality-driven content in your market? Do any of your personalities have interests outside the radio station that can be turned into content? Are they the announcer for the high school sports, do they drive a race car on a dirt track, or particularly interested in gardening or hunting? Have them turn their passion into online content and share a portion of the sponsorships with them.
Have on-air folks pick something that they are super passionate about look for ways to develop digital content like podcasts, blogging, videos, etc. These can eventually grow into individual brands for your radio group with separate websites that give you more opportunities to sell.
– Local sports page to a local sports website.
– Home improvement event turns into website with monthly tips.
– Local events section turn into a local events portal.
– Hunting/fishing season page turn into a website providing year-round area information.
#3 Assign an Online Point Person or “Digital Content Director”
This person needs to be passionate about seeing the website(s) look professional and grow overall. Have them work with the programming team to create and implement new/evolving online features.
Ideally, this person will have some graphics ability to create promotional artwork. They will oversee ensuring that photos that are used have the proper copyright in place.
This person might also maintain the station e-mail list and send periodic station e-mails with news and current promotions.
They will work closely with the sales manager to maintain an inventory of website features that can be sponsored. They will work with the sales personnel to create client banner ads that “pop” and have good “calls to action” rather than simple logos.
Have them present weekly analytics information to managers and printouts for salespeople to take on sales calls.
#4 Offer Performance Incentives/Bonuses
As your website traffic grows, so should your revenue. Reward the people that are making that happen. If the morning show blog is a success and you have clients wanting to sponsor their page, bonus that team for reaching or exceeding page view or unique visitor goals. Incentives will invest and encourage your team into creating new/exciting content.
Bonuses don’t have to be cash. It could be dinner at a trade restaurant, concert tickets, VIP seating at a baseball game, etc.
If your sales team isn’t on board with selling the website, offer them incentives as well.
- Most package deals sold
- Most online revenue generated
- Most feature sponsorships sold
#5 Think Beyond Typical Banner Ads
Banner ads are still an effective means of advertising but as a website owner, be aware of the other possibilities that exist on your website. Here are some examples…
- Online-only Contests: The client pays for the contest to be online under our promotion. Perhaps there is an opt-in to the client’s e-mail database included. This vs Facebook contest.
- Create client videos that are like visual live spots.
- Have clients write/sponsor how-to articles for your site (tax tips, yard maintenance, etc). National sites like “Entrepreneur” do this.
- Upsell featured events on the events calendar where the client event appears above other events rather than inline or appears on the homepage slider for a certain period of time.
- Sponsor a local sports team schedule page.
- Include a free local directory on your site and charge clients for featured listings.
- Offer listen-to-win password-protected content like special coupons, links to online prizes, etc.
- Create a coupon page or site.
There are all kinds of website possibilities when you can think beyond the typical banner ad.
Do you have the right platform in place for success? We can help by providing you with all of the tools needed to create and display great website content. Reach out to us.