Discussing Digital Strategy for Radio: Three Minutes With Halley Phillips

Posted by Symon Edmonds

Oct 18, 2017 11:03:00 AM

At SoCast, we figured that the best way to learn about new trends in digital for radio is to talk to the people who are impacted by these trends every day. That’s why we’re launching this new video series - 3 Minutes With, where we interview influencers across the radio broadcast industry to learn about their strategies in digital and how the medium will impact radio. We’ll also include our two cents on what they have to say.

For our first installment, we met with Halley Phillips, Director of Digital Marketing at Big River Broadcasting, to talk about digital strategy at her radio stations. 


See the video of our interview with Halley here and our takeaways from the conversation below.


What’s been your biggest digital revenue driver this year?

Big River Broadcasting breaks out their online streaming from their traditional inventory to sell companion banners and other and units to increase digital revenue. Contesting and in-program video have also been big revenue drivers at the company.

At SoCast, we believe that there are many opportunities for radio to take advantage of to increase digital revenue. We believe it is important for your stations to first build a strong digital presence. You can then select from the plethora of digital revenue opportunities available to offer digital inventory to your advertising partners. See this infographic to learn more about how you can increase digital revenue at your radio stations.

What digital products are your advertisers most excited about?

Big River Broadcasting has found that advertisers always get excited when they get lead generation information on listeners. To support this, the company does a lot of call-to-action text campaigns that collect data and tell advertisers exactly what the audience is interested in (i.e. - car dealership offers).

This makes sense. Better data makes for better, more targeted advertising campaigns, leading to a higher ROI. If you can support your advertising partners in this endeavor, you will be able to drive greater digital revenue for your radio stations.

What’s the biggest opportunity today for radio to expand its audience?

Halley believes that the industry’s biggest opportunity is to simply take advantage of all the tools that are available to them such as social media, texting and video. Radio can use these channels to leverage their brand and increase engagement.

At SoCast, this is a big part of what we support - extending the power of your radio brands into different channels to forge stronger connections with your audiences. The SoCast platform is specifically designed to help radio broadcasters do this. If you’d like to use the SoCast platform to help extend your radio brands in digital, click here to talk to one of our Specialists.

What’s the biggest challenge that you face today in digital?

Halley’s biggest challenge is gaining buy-in from her sales teams on selling digital inventory and figuring out how to best sell digital - whether the company is going to create a separate department or continue to sell it with the reps that have the existing relationships.

To overcome this challenge, Halley overcomes this by going out with her salespeople until they feel comfortable selling digital.

At SoCast, we cannot stress enough the importance of creating the right environment and empowering your people to sell digital. Growth in digital requires a concerted effort across your company and you, as a leader in your organization, need to advocate this and put the right pieces in place.


We suggest doing the following things to promote digital revenue growth at your stations:

Build a digital rate card to show advertisers how much each piece of digital inventory costs.

Measure key digital performance metrics so that you can show advertising partners exactly how many impressions each piece of digital inventory will receive.

Provide regular digital training to your salespeople so that they are knowledgeable of the latest digital trends and sales tactics.

Make digital a part of performance assessments and compensation to encourage your salespeople to sell more digital inventory and send a message that digital is a key component of your company’s strategy

Curious as to how other stations are growing digital revenue? See this customer success story, to learn how Vandalia Radio grew their digital revenue 8x by using the SoCast platform.

If you could invest in only one digital strategy, what would it be?

Unequivocally, Halley stated that video would be the one digital strategy she would invest in, if nothing else, as it generates a lot of digital revenue for her stations.

We’re not surprised by her answer.

Video is a fantastically rich and engaging content format for your radio station’s website. Notably, 60% of visitors will watch a video before reading text.  

We also suggest using video pre-roll ads to ensure that you are maximizing the revenue opportunities presented by this medium.


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So there you have it, our biggest insights from our conversation with Halley Phillips of Big River Broadcasting. Definitely some great conversation and we’re looking forward to more. Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Three Minutes With.

Need some help to improve the digital strategy at your radio stations? SoCast provides you with the platform that you need to extend your brands in digital, forge stronger connections with your audience and increase digital revenue. To get started, talk to one of our Digital Specialists.

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