The annual Radio Show in Nashville was an amazing experience, and for one big reason: for the first time years, the tone around digital growth was overwhelmingly positive.There is a new sense of optimism and increased momentum in the industry as it embraces digital. Conference sessions focusing on digital strategy, content and technology, all sparsely attended just a few years ago, are now standing room only, must-see events.
Radio is definitely entering an exciting new era. But what does this mean for your digital growth?
You likely either have a list of ideas from the Radio Show that need implementation or, if you were unable to attend the conference, you’re probably in search of great insights on how to leverage digital to grow your audience and revenue. Either way, if you want to know the best way to start, let SoCast help.
Here are five ideas to help you jumpstart your station’s digital growth plan:
1. Form a “digital steering committee” to identify digital opportunities
To build an effective digital strategy we recommend forming a steering committee with representatives from sales, programming and digital departments. The role of the committee will be to evaluate your station’s current digital landscape, update (potentially) your company’s mission statement, formulate a plan and finally, sell that plan into senior management. To make it easier for your team to get started, we have put together a digital checklist to help you shape your plan based on the “4P” framework – People, Platform, Process and Policy.
2. Start generating original digital content TODAY
To engage existing and attract new listeners, start creating original content today. A simple way to begin is by leveraging on-air personalities: have them write and post about their insights on breaking news, local events, funny things that happened in-studio, entertainment stories and more. To be more effective, invest in research around your target audience to better understand what content will resonate and which channels are best for distribution.
3. Offer advertising packages that include digital
According to Borrell’s “2017 Local Advertising Forecast”, local digital advertising spend will increase 37.1% between 2015 and 2016 and is forecasted to grow an additional 22.4% in 2017. Unfortunately, radio stations are not using digital effectively; many fail to add incremental revenue or offer new solutions to their ad partners, and simply give away the box, banners and throw ins for free. Radio must recognize how valuable native, promotions and more modern media ad units can be, and must start to package them as critical add-ons to traditional on-air campaigns.
4. Establish digital key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success
It is important to know how your investment in digital is measuring up to your growth and revenue goals. At the outset of very campaign, it’s critical to establish goals (or KPIs) for audience numbers and revenue so you can measure success. Below are a few core metrics used to monitor and measure digital performance (and some general benchmarks for radio):
- Number of content posts per day (1 per hour for social, 1+ per day for blogs)
- Percentage of web traffic delivered via social media referrals (30% or more)
- Bounce rates (50% or less)
- Growth of listener database per month or year (20% or more)
- Percentage of digital ad sales versus total advertising revenue (5% or more)
It's important to have targets and to be able to assess how you’re doing. This isn’t to say you should be hitting these numbers today but they are excellent metrics to strive for.
5. Evaluate your digital eco-system and tools to identify gaps
In our blog “Digital Leads the Way – My Top 3 Takeaways from the Radio Show 2016” we discuss radio’s need for user-friendly, integrated and innovative digital platforms. These platforms are necessary to help manage content development and distribution, grow advertising sales and increase audience engagement.
To evaluate if you have the best digital solution ask yourself three questions:
- Does your digital platform include a Content Management System (CMS) that makes it easy to publish and syndicate content on your website and other digital properties?
- Does your digital solution provider continually offer updates and innovative, new functionality such as mobile applications, to ensure you reach your entire audience no matter where they consume media, on an on-going basis?
- Does your digital solution partner provide on-going support and coaching for your internal team, to help you succeed from the start?
SoCast is a leading technology platform that helps make digital growth easy for radio. Our solution uniquely allows radio stations to manage all of their digital channels through a single integrated dashboard. Additionally, we can provide the resources and knowledge to drive digital results. If you are interested in learning more, contact a SoCast Digital Specialist for more information. Radio is definitely entering an exciting new era, and it’s time for your station to jumpstart their digital growth plan.
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