The Radio Show is always a ton of fun and full of great insights. Even if you were lucky enough to attend, it’s impossible to see everything. We had five members of the SoCast team at the conference this year, so we were able to divide and conquer to collect the most meaningful insights for you.
In this blog post, we outline practical ideas to grow digital revenue and engagement for at your radio stations that we learned at the 2017 Radio Show.
Improve Content Publishing to Increase Audience Engagement
The relationship between your DJs and your listeners is built on trust and familiarity. The audience wants to feel like they are connecting with a real person and to receive content that is relevant to them.
As such, you should be empowering your DJs to post content to your website and social media feeds. They have the relationship with your listeners and they give power to your brands. Provide them with publishing tools and a checklist to make sure that everything stays on brand. Trust them to do the social publishing for your radio station.
“If you trust the person to speak into a multi-million dollar FCC license radio station for five hours a day, you should trust them to make a Facebook post.”
- Vince Benedetto, Founder & CEO, Bold Gold Media Group
You also need to post superior content consistently. If a user comes to your site three times and there is nothing new, they generally do not come back. Social and website posts should be about local affairs and other content that people care about. Additionally, timing is important. Strike while the iron is hot on an issue.
Another tactic is to post content related to on-air segment just before it airs. This encourages people to interact and will lead to an increase in digital engagement.
Take Advantage of New Opportunities to Grow Your Digital Revenue
Traditional on-air revenues for radio have flatlined, while digital revenues are growing rapidly. As such, your stations need to be doing everything that they can to grow digital dollars.
Today, we are focusing on a few key actions that you can take to grow your digital revenue…
Start doing programmatic:
According to our 2017 Digital Trends in Radio Survey, only 16% of radio broadcasters are doing programmatic ads.
That’s major digital dollars left on the table.
There is a fear amongst broadcasters that programmatic is driving the price of ads down. This is not true. Instead, advertisers are looking to buy ads using more targeted ads using data.
Programmatic benefits your sales teams because it brings another tool to their arsenal. If you have strong website data, you can easily bring national programmatic ads to your sites. This can then act as a proof of concept to show to local advertisers to help increase local programmatic sales.
Programmatic allows you to sell your excess digital inventory to ensure that you are not missing out on potential revenues. Explore using a programmatic ad network to ensure that you are not forgoing revenues from your extra inventory.
For more information on programmatic advertising for radio, check out this article.
Sell digital services to your local ad partners:
In the survey that we referenced in the previous section, only 24% of radio broadcasters are selling digital services to their local advertising partners. This is a missed opportunity, as digital services allow broadcasters to grow digital revenue significantly.
The first step is to establish yourself as a digital expert. Vince Benedetto of Bold Gold Media Group does this through social. If you have high social engagement, it gives you a lot of credibility when selling digital services, particularly social media management.
Once your expertise is established, you can approach your local ad partners as a provider of digital services. Since you have an existing relationship with the station, you have an opportunity to assist them further by having your radio station act as an agency for digital services.
Digital services you can offer to your advertising partners include:
- Website building
- SEO optimization
- Social media management
- Paid ads management
Check out this chart below, which outlines how much on average local businesses spend on social media outsourcing. For instance, real estate agents on average spend over $30,000/year on social media outsourcing. Why not take a part of this pie for your stations?
Source: Borrell & Associates
Provide your sales teams with the resources that they need to sell digital:
Radio’s digital landscape is changing all of the time. There are always going to be new types of ad units. For instance, interactive audio ads on voice-activated devices.
Your salespeople need to be prepared to sell digital inventory. Provide them with regular training for digital ads and sponsorships.
They also need specific tools to sell digital inventory to ad partners. Provide your salespeople with a digital rate card, a one pager with digital metrics and examples of digital ads that other partners purchased previously. This will ensure that your salespeople can show ad partners exactly what and ad will look like and exactly how many people will see it. This will increase your credibility and make it easier to sell digital.
Year after year, the Radio Show proves to be a fantastic conference. 2017 was no exception. It was great to see all of our friends, meet some new faces, and of course, to bring you new insights on how to grow digital revenue and engagement.
We understand that the world of digital can be intimidating at times. There are always new ways to drive digital revenue and engagement emerging. It is very difficult to stay on top of it all. At SoCast, it is our mission to make it easy for you to take advantage of these opportunities. If you have any questions on how to improve content publishing, sell programmatic ads or start providing digital services to your ad partners, contact a Specialist, and we’ll be more than happy to help you.