We're all hoping that when the cold weather recedes, it will take COVID-19 with it. This summer, we may once again return to hosting the marquee events that generate revenue for radio stations from both tickets sales and sponsorships.
An event's digital presence can make or break it. When a radio station announces an event on the air, listeners and potential sponsors frequently turn to the web to get more details. If they can't find what they're looking for, it could mean the station loses out on ticket sales or even sponsorship dollars.
Pay special attention to the webpage that you create for your radio station's event. Here's a list of features to consider:
1. Easy To Navigate
It should be easy for your listeners to get to the page about your event from the radio station's homepage. Let's say, for example, that WKRP is hosting its annual Big Field Day festival. Many people will hear about the concert on the air and type “wkrp.com” directly into their browser to get more info. They will then try to navigate to the festival page.
If you put the event in a rotating slider, but not the main navigation, they may not be able to find it. Most people look at a site's navigation first (particularly on radio station websites, which tend to be very crowded below the menu). If you have an heading like “Concerts” or “Events” in the menu, with a “Big Field Day Festival” link as a submenu item, people are more likely to find it.
Don't be afraid to put the event as a sub-menu item under two different headings in your main navigation. Different people may expect to find it in different places. For example, on our website, we have “Webinars” listed under the heading “Events,” but “Webinar Recordings” under the heading “Resources.” Both links take you to the same Webinars page (it contains both upcoming webinar listing and past recordings), because we've discovered in our usability tests that people look under both headings for our webinars.
Also, it's better to use the phrase “Big Field Day Concert” or “Big Field Day Festival” than just “Big Field Day.” Believe it or not, not everybody knows what Coachella and Lollapalooza are, and adding that extra descriptive word can make it much easier for people to find what they're looking for.
2. The Basic Info
Of course, you'll need to include all of the basic info about the event on its webpage:
It's better to use bullet points for these than a big block of text. For the most part, people don't read the internet — they scan it for the information they are looking for. Make it easy for them.
3. Vanity URL
You'll want a unique URL for the event's webpage so that it can be shared on social media and indexed by search engines as an independent page. Give that page a vanity URL — that is, an URL that's easy to say and easy to remember, like “wkrp.com/bigfieldday.” This way, you can encourage listeners to go directly to the event page on the air in live jock reads, sweepers, and recorded promos.
4. Clear Call to Action
What do you want people to do when they come to the event's webpage? Whether you want them to buy tickets, register, or simply add the event to their calendar, make it obvious. I'm a big fan of Big Red Buttons — links that stand apart from the rest of the page by using color, whitespace, and direct language.
Keep in mind, you may have two calls to action on the page: one for listeners (“Buy Tickets”) and one for potential sponsors (“Learn About Sponsorships”). Make sure that both groups of people know exactly what to do when they come to your site or you could lose out on revenue.
5. Squeeze Page Format
To further encourage visitors to take the action you want, remove all of the other options. In other words, if you want people to click the Buy Tickets button, create a “squeeze page” removing all of the other links. Remove the main navigation, the sidebar, and the footer. (For an example, look at one of our webinar recording pages and notice that you only have two options — fill out the form or hit your browser's Back button.)
6. Social Sharing Buttons
Making it easy for people to spread the word about your event on social media. Include buttons that allow people to instantly share the link on their favorite social networks. You don't need to include every social network under the sun, but it's a good idea to include buttons that share the link on Facebook, on Twitter, by email, and by printing the page. If it's a business-oriented event, you may want to include LinkedIn as well. These buttons will increase the chances that your listeners will share your radio station's event on social media.
7. Search Engine Optimization
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a very important step that radio stations often overlook because, well, it just sounds intimidating. SEO is just the art of making sure that when people look for things in search engines like Google and Yahoo!, your things are the things that they find.
SEO is very important for big radio station events because when people hear about the event on the radio, many will immediately search for it on Google. I've seen radio stations have massive website traffic spikes on the day that they announced their concert lineup. Sure enough, this traffic came from people who searched for the name of the concert (not the name of the radio station) on Google. For example, they would hear about “Big Field Day” on WKRP, and then search for “Big Field Day” on Google to get more details.
Make sure that you know what people will see in their Google results when they conduct that search — optimize your webpage for search engines. If you use a tool like the Yoast SEO plugin (for WordPress websites), you can easily tailor the Google search results snippet.
By making sure you've done these things, you can help ensure the success of your radio station's next big event. If you want more ideas, check out my webinar, “Digital Strategies for Radio Station Events.” You'll find more tips like this in it:
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