Welcome to yet another edition of 3 Minutes With, our video blog series where we interview influencers from across radio.
This week, we are joined by Ashley MacDonald, Director of Sales at Maritime Broadcasting System to discuss her company’s strategies in digital and how the medium will impact the broadcast industry.
In case you missed our previous instalments of this series, you can catch our interviews with Todd Stapleton of Vandalia Radio and Halley Phillips of Big River Broadcasting at the following links: Todd Stapleton, Halley Phillips.
See the video of our conversation with Ashley here and check out our analysis below:
What’s been your biggest digital revenue driver this year?
For Maritime Broadcasting System, online streaming and audio pre-roll ads have been their biggest driver of digital revenue this year. In order to support this, the company focuses on building their traffic to increase online listenership. This involved a website redesign and the use of Facebook Video to drive more traffic to their online stream. They also use on-air mentions and social media to drive more people to their stream.
At SoCast, we definitely applaud these types of digital efforts. Maritime Broadcasting System seems to have a strong understanding of the interconnectedness of digital and on-air content, how you can use different components to drive traffic to your digital properties. Their use of on-air mentions and social media to drive traffic to their online stream exemplifies this. The company also understands how important it is to create a good user experience to drive digital engagement. This is demonstrated through their website redesign efforts. If you are looking to drive more traffic and engagement to your online stream, we suggest embracing similar strategies at your radio stations.
What’s the biggest opportunity today for radio to expand its audience?
Ashley notes that online awareness is the biggest issue that radio needs to tackle in the digital space. This involves driving more people to their digital properties such as their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages so that they see this content in addition to hearing the on-air broadcast.
We definitely understand where Ashley is coming from on this one and why this is so important to her company. We already know that radio produces great content. Radio has done that for decades. However, it is important to make sure that content is accessible to the right people at the right time and place. The advantage that radio has is in its on-air personalities and brand equity. Leveraging these to encourage people to interact with you on social media is the key to increasing audience engagement in digital.
What’s the biggest challenge you face today in digital?
One of the biggest questions that Ashley faces at her company is whether to invest in their own digital team or work with a third party to build out their digital presence.
This is an important business question that many radio companies face. On one hand, doing everything in house gives your company more control. However, many aspects of digital require expertise that is not at the core of what radio does, so working with an external partner can be beneficial.
At SoCast, we provide the platform that has everything you need to build and grow the digital presence for your radio stations. Check out our products to see everything that is included on the SoCast platform.
If you could only invest in one digital strategy, what would it be?
According to Ashley, the most important thing for her company to invest in is digital training for their programming and on-air teams. She points out that equipping her teams with knowledge regarding how to grow the most important key performance indicators and how to better leverage the power of social media will help her team grow in digital. This will in turn help support the sales side by making Maritime Broadcasting System’s digital assets more valuable.
At SoCast, we could not agree more. Firstly, establishing an organizational commitment and giving people the tools that they need to grow in digital are both critical aspects to increasing digital engagement. In the SoCast 2017 Digital Trends in Radio Survey, radio groups with who empower their people to drive digital growth and those that use software to manage social media are 2x more likely to have high digital revenue than those who do not.
Secondly, increased digital engagement will lead to increased digital revenue. By driving more traffic to your digital properties, you can deliver more ad impressions to your partners. This allows you to charge more for your digital inventory. Engagement ladders up to revenue. Once you build that engagement on your digital properties, you can go out and monetize it.
One of our clients, Vandalia Radio, does a particularly good job of driving traffic to their digital properties and turning this online engagement into digital revenue using the SoCast platform.
So, that’s all folks, an inside look into Maritime Broadcasting System and Ashley’s strategies to grow digital for her company. We think she had some great insights regarding how digital needs to be an integrated part of the company, and believe that you can take some ideas from the type of work that she is doing.
And that’s where SoCast comes in. We provide the platform that allows you to build your radio stations’ websites, mobile apps and manage social media. We make it easy for you to get your content into several different digital channels and build your digital presence. Once you have this digital presence established, you can go out and monetize it. Curious as to how you can get started? Talk to one of our Digital Specialists today.