Radio Ratings Are Around The Corner: Tips On How To Boost Your Station

By Robbin Denham May 19, 2022 | 1:13 PM

There is no doubt that there is still a high-demand for local AM/FM radio. Local radio is an incredibly important medium for people looking for music, entertainment, news, traffic, weather, and even engagement and companionship. Not shockingly, AM/FM radio was the most-listened to ad-supported audio in 2021 in the car (where almost 90% of people are listening from) but also in their homes (over 70%) and in the workplace (over 65%). It’s true that Spotify can carefully curate a playlist you will love based on digital algorithms of your listening habits, but it can’t provide genuine human connection with your local radio hosts, up-to-the-minute breaking newscasts, or live traffic updates in the community you live in. Only 11% of ad-supported audio was captured on Podcasts in 2021, and let’s not forget one of the greatest things about AM/FM radio; it is entirely free.

On-Air Talent: A radio host is so much more than someone who introduces songs and babbles about the happenings in Hollywood. In 2022, a radio host is a true content creator; expected to pump out quality content not only live-to-air, but through social media channels, website blogs, all while keeping up with trends and being able to edit audio, video, and graphics on the fly. Your on-air talent should always feel inspired to continue to create fresh content daily to keep the eyes and ears on your station’s social feeds, blogs, and website. If you have a budget, try boosting contesting posts or viral videos that your hosts have created to reach an even larger audience of people who may be interested in your station and could convert to a loyal listener.

Community is Key: What can your radio station’s on-air content provide that a podcast or streaming audio platform cannot? Local happenings. Is there a big event currently happening in the city? Provide in-depth details and updates for your listeners heading to the event. Bad accident on the highway causing major traffic jams? Keep your listeners informed in real-time. Helping raise funds for a community fundraiser that is close to the hearts of your listeners? Promote it by telling others how they can get involved to make an impact in their community.

Contests and Giveaways: Just like traditional marketing campaigns with any business model, giving away free products (contesting) will attract new listeners all while keeping your existing listeners excited and engaged. Especially in uncertain times like a pandemic, people will gravitate towards giveaways, freebies and contesting.

Digital Advertising: Take advantage of the fact that almost 85% of the world’s population is living life with a smart-phone in their hand; that’s a huge opportunity in the digital ad space! Get your brand’s advertisements in front of the right people, at the right time. Here are a few of the digital products SoCast offers that you may want to consider during your station’s ratings period:

  • Display Advertising: Advertising a product or service through visuals like images and videos on publisher networks like the Google Display Network. SoCast uses both Acuity & DV360 as demand-side platforms.
  • Social Media Advertising: Have your ad seen on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. (TikTok coming soon!)
  • Programmatic Video: Advertisements that run before, during and after video content playing on premium streaming platforms and websites. This includes YouTube and other Programmatic Video websites.
  • Programmatic Audio: Automated selling and insertion of ads in audio content such as podcasts, audio articles, digital radio, and streaming music services. This includes Programmatic Audio, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, the iHeart Network etc.
  • Connected TV: Connected TV refers to premium content streaming through apps, either on a Smart TV or through an over-the-top device (OTT). Ads can be served before content or during traditional commercial breaks. SoCast offers Advertising on connected TV platforms such as: Pluto TV, Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, and Chromecast. (Disney+ and Netflix coming soon!)
  • Search: Display your ads on a search engine platform, such as Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.
  • Digital Out-Of-Home: Digitized display advertising that appears in a public environment. This could be a digital billboard in a mall, on a bus shelter, or even a digital ad shown on the big screens in Times Square New York.

Additional Tips:

  • Try to avoid broadcasting your stop-sets. Shy away from your hosts promoting things “coming up after the break”. That’s an immediate trigger to change the dial and start channel surfing amongst your competitors, which causes a decline in TSL.
  • Spots that sound most like the music on the station should air first in the stop-set: Most of the time, a listener won’t mind hearing commercials as much (or notice they are in a stop-set) when the ads blend in nicely with the format of the radio station. This will keep the listener engaged for longer during a spot-set.
  • Tease to upcoming content: Hosts should be actively teasing content coming up in the next 15-30-or 60 minute sets. A contest opportunity? Tease it. The #1 song in the world right now? Tease it. A breaking news story? Tease that you’ll have the details coming up next. This will help hook people into the content on your station and keep them listening longer.
  • Appointment Tuning: Let your audience know when they should be tuning in for a certain pay-off; Can they get entered to win tickets to their favourite artist at 8AM and 1PM? Do you have a feature your listeners love and don’t want to miss every day at 4PM? Broadcasting this will create appointment tuning for your audience to come back for more, at several points in the day.
  • Content-Rich Radio: We have all sat in the car just a few minutes longer to hear the end of a very captivating story arch created by the on-air talent. Story-telling keeps the listener engaged and can result in your audience sticking around for an extra-quarter hour. In the ratings world, every quarter-hour counts!

Wishing all of our broadcasters luck in the upcoming ratings!

Robbin Reay Denham

Robbin Reay Denham

Digital Marketing Strategist
SoCast Digital


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