If you visit the websites and social media channels of major market radio stations and the bigger talent working there, you’ll notice a pattern of re-purposing what they do on-air. The most successful radio stations and talent do not limit their content to on-air only. Repurposing your on-air content for digital platforms is the best strategy to reach new audiences, engage with listeners on a deeper level, and extend the life of something that might only be heard once. So, how can you optimize your on-air content for online platforms, including your radio station website?
Understanding Your Online Platforms
The first step in repurposing your on-air content online is understanding each digital platform’s unique features. Social media channels, podcast platforms, and station websites offer different benefits. Knowing where your target audience spends most of their time and how they prefer to consume content is crucial for social media. One or more social channels may work better for your station. If you have multiple stations, one social media channel may work better for one and not another. Regardless, we advocate that your station website be the hub that binds everything because your website is the only place you can monetize the traffic you receive through banner advertising and sponsorships.
1. Social Media
Attention spans are shrinking, so bite-sized content often works best on social media platforms. Extract snippets from your longer on-air content and repurpose them as short videos, audiograms, or quote cards. Twitter, for instance, is great for sharing punchy one-liners from a show. At the same time, Instagram and TikTok are well-suited for short video snippets or intriguing images that tease longer content.
Let’s say your morning show hosts talk about the best pet songs. You could take a quote from that conversation, create a graphic with the quote, and post it on Instagram. Add a caption inviting your followers to chime in with their favorite pet songs.
If there are particularly hilarious or insightful one-liners, turn them into tweets. A well-curated, relatable, or funny tweet can quickly go viral, bringing more attention to the show and your station.
2. Video Content
I follow several radio shows and see their success by filming on-air segments and uploading them to YouTube or social media. Seeing the personalities behind the voices adds a new layer of engagement for your audience. I even feel myself becoming a fan of the shows.
Consider a case where your radio station has a popular midday segment with a local celebrity. This could be filmed and uploaded to YouTube. This can be embedded into the show’s website page or blog. Seeing the star engage with the host adds a new layer of entertainment and connection. Plus, it allows listeners to tune in later if they missed the live broadcast. Not every listener can catch a show or interview live, so providing an opportunity to watch later increases the accessibility of your content.
3. Podcasts and On-Demand Audio
On-demand audio content is rapidly growing in popularity. Consider turning popular radio segments into podcasts. Many morning shows turn just their talk breaks into podcasts. This allows listeners who may have missed the live broadcast to consume their show content at their leisure. One pro tip I’ve witnessed is including additional content exclusive to the podcast version to incentivize listeners to tune into both versions. For example, the podcast contains off-air moments as well as live talk breaks.
4. Blogs and Show Notes
Blogs are a great way to provide additional value to your listeners. When I was doing a regular on-air show, I couldn’t see the value of posting daily blog posts. Looking back, I see that as a painful missed opportunity. Repurposing something that I said on air into a relatable blog post could give me the opportunity to delve deeper into a topic, provide additional resources, or summarize key points. It can allow a personality to do more to connect to their show audience. Similarly, show notes for podcast episodes can include quotes, links, or further reading on the subjects discussed. This offers more to your audience and improves your SEO ranking, making it easier for new listeners to discover your content.
Unless you discuss the importance of the blog as a show-growing tool with your on-air talent, having them write posts regularly will be a hard sell. So, consider offering a bonus structure when their show page reaches certain visitor milestones.
5. Local News and Information
Radio is an information medium. You likely have morning news and show personalities giving local information throughout the day. There will always be someone who didn’t hear all the news reports or information. A website with this content will ensure you’re super-serving all your listeners.
There’s no rule that news posts must be super detailed and lengthy. Or, perhaps your news person has more information that can fit in their on-air segment. Either way, have your news person write their on-air stories in a format that can be easily pasted onto the website. Those online articles give your other air talent information they can tease to send more visitors to the website.
6. Listener Engagement
Inviting listeners to participate in discussions on your social media platforms or website can be viewed as repurposing the on-air content into ongoing online conversations. Polls and competitions can extend the life of an on-air segment and deepen your audience’s engagement.
Suppose you have a popular weekly on-air segment where you share interesting, inspiring, or amusing local stories. This could range from heroic deeds and peculiar incidents to heartfelt acts of kindness. The stories are typically sourced from news reports or, occasionally, from callers during the live show.
To engage more with your listeners online, you can turn this into an interactive, community-building feature across your digital platforms. Here’s how:
Social Media: Post a call-to-action with a particular tag inviting your followers to share their own stories. The stories could directly relate to a theme you’re planning for your on-air segment or be open-ended. For instance, if you’re planning a feature on ‘Random Acts of Kindness,’ ask your followers to share any acts of kindness they’ve experienced or witnessed. If their story is selected, you’ll share it in the upcoming on-air segment.
Website: You can also invite stories through a dedicated form on your station website. This might appeal to listeners who prefer more private submissions or that might receive negative social media comments.
Repurposing your content provides numerous opportunities for your on-air content to reach a larger audience. Air personalities should know the importance of this and that what they are doing is for multiple platforms. This can make things much easier the more they do. We know that time is valuable. Luckily many online tools make these tasks a breeze.
Whether you’re turning segments into podcasts, creating social media snippets, or sparking discussions online, you’re not just repurposing content – you’re extending its value and reach, ultimately boosting the overall listener experience and engagement. Even if you focus more on getting more listeners than website visitors, creating online content that points back to the radio station is always a great promotional tool.