Monetize Your Radio Station Website with Sponsorships

Using your radio station website as a revenue stream should be a no-brainer, however many radio station websites are still a simple link to a streaming page. Radio station owners with this mentality are missing out on a tremendous amount of sponsorship opportunities and additional revenue. Not only does a content-rich website increase your revenuer and boost your online presence, it also increases listener engagement and loyalty. The key to increased revenue is to think of the station website as an extension of your radio station that can be sold as a separate entity when needed. Many large market radio stations have separate sales teams devoted only to selling the website.

Here are some ideas on how you can monetize a radio station website beyond the traditional “run of site” rotation banner ads. Each of these should be sold at a premium price as well.

Featured Content Sponsorships

Your radio station has sponsored content like the newscast, traffic report, “Top 5 at 5”, etc. Thinking as the station website as an extension of your radio station, the website should have specific content areas that can be sponsored like specific news categories, sports pages, weather closings, contesting page, videos page, weather page, etc. Providing opportunity for clients to “own” certain pages or features gives the client a specific location to see their advertising at work.

Specific Location Sponsorships

This is a little bit different than the above in that you can offer a client a specific location on your website that spans across all pages. For example, the top-most banner ad location is often the most visible. During a major client promotion, a “take-over” of this position can be very effective in conveying their message.

Page or Site “Takeover”

This concept takes the above two ideas and combines them. If you have 3-4 banner ad locations on a single page, they client should have the opportunity to purchase a one-day “takeover” of all ads in all locations. Doing this prohibits other advertisers from appearing on the page. This is normally combined with an on-air component to direct traffic to the online location. For example, the state high-school basketball playoffs are being held in your town and the station will be covering the game and updating a webpage with scores and highlights throughout the game. This can be sold to a local sporting goods store. On the day of the game, the website location is mentioned throughout the day, sponsored by the client. Visitors to the page will only see the sponsor ads. Website page takeovers should only be sold as one-day events or for a limited time as not to overpower the website visitor.

Sponsored-Created News Content

To make any station website draw visitors back, fresh content is a must do. Websites without fresh content are quickly forgotten and that can be very bad for revenue. If you have a client that is hard to move on the traditional banner ad, then perhaps they can write a news story about their business or to help listeners out during a specific time of year. For example, the local tax preparer could offer “5 Tips to Getting More Back on Your Taxes this Year”. Although the article is geared to help the viewer, it will contact their business contact information. They will pay a smaller fee for the opportunity to put their information on a website that you promote daily.

Custom Content Sponsorships

By now you should know that station-created content is the key to monetizing a website. Like the above sponsored-created content, station personnel can create written or video reviews of local businesses, interviews with high school sports teams/coaches, chamber of commerce meetings, etc. Content that mentions a specific business can be sponsored by that business. Posting the content might be free, but the business might want to sponsor the page where it appears on your website so that a competitor isn’t rotating there.

On-Air Sponsorships

Take any feature that you are doing on-air right now and create an online component. One example is taking a list of “swap shop” items you air each day and posting them on a webpage. This type of online content begs for sponsorship.

These are just a few ideas of how to jump-start monetizing a radio station website. The first step is content. Each of these sponsorships require more work for the station staff, but with proper incentives in place the revenue will be worth it. Many Skyrocket Radio clients have a minimal staff, so this can be done effectively by one or two people. Also, it’s vitally important that there are adequate promotional mentions of the website on-air. Driving your listeners to the station website increases traffic there. Increased traffic (just like traditional ratings) mean increased advertising rates.

We hope these ideas are beneficial in monetizing your station website. If your current station website is incapable from providing these features, please contact us. We would be excited to help you begin your journey to online success.

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 Manager, Program Director, Production Manager, and Morning Show Host.