Not everybody who comes to your radio station's website is a listener. Some of them are potential advertisers. They are thinking about placing a buy on your airwaves. They want to give you money. Unfortunately, your site is making it hard for them to do so.
Too often, I see radio station websites that give little thought to how their website can generate leads for their sales departments. Is your site discouraging advertisers? Here are six of the most common mistakes on radio staton websites…
1. The link to the “Advertise” page is hard to find.
I've conducted dozens of usability tests on radio station websites. In these tests, we sit a person down in front of the computer and ask them to perform basic tasks. We want to see which tasks they can complete easily and which ones they struggle with.
Inevitably, one of the things we ask on usability tests is this: “You're thinking about advertising on this radio station. How would you find more information about this?”
This is one of the most important things people can do when they come to your station's site. Nothing else directly translates into revenue like this task. Yet I frequently see websites where the link to the “Advertise” page is hard to find. Sometimes it's buried in a submenu or the website's footer. Even worse, sometimes it's labeled with confusing terminology, like “Sales Inquiries.” In some cases, there is no “Advertise” page; just a phone number for a sales manager buried on the “Contact Us” page.
Create a page on your website for potential advertisers. Add a link to this page to the main navigation menu on the site. Label this link, “Advertise.”If people want to give you money, make it easy for them.
2. The “Advertise” page is a big, intimidating block of text.
Once people find the “Advertise” page, it often contains a long, uninspired chunk of text. Here's a dirty little secret about the internet: people don't read webpages.
They scan them.
And nothing stops them dead in their tracks like a big, scary paragraph full of statistics and S.A.T. vocabulary words.
Keep the page light on text. Instead, use images and other visual clues. If you need to include text, keep the sentences short and the paragraphs shorter. Use bulleted lists. And empasize key phrases with bold type to make it easier for the reader to pull out the key points.
3. The “Advertise” page is about you, not them.
Have you ever met somebody at a party and quickly tired of the conversation because all they did was talk about themselves? Too many radio stations have “Advertise” pages that are guilty of the same sin.
Potential clients come to your “Advertise” page because they have a problem that you might be able to solve. Use the page as a tool for finding out more about your clients' problems. Instead of launching into a shpeel about how awesome your station is, talk about what the station can do for them. Often, this is simply a matter of rephrasing the existing language. For example, “We reach over a million listeners every day” becomes “We can help you reach over a million people each day.”
4. The “Advertise” page doesn't have a clear call to action.
“Advertise” pages frequently have a name, a phone number, and maybe an email address buried at the end. If people are quickly scanning the website, it's not immediately clear what they're supposed to do. Sure, they could take the time to figure it out, but don't assume that they will.
When you design the “Advertise” page of your website, remember this scene from the 50th anniversary special of Dr. Who:
Like the Doctor, potential advertisers are looking at your website and asking themselves, “Now, how do you work? Why is there never a big red button?” If you don't make it obvious what they are supposed to do, they will head for the door.
If you want them to send an email, include an email link in a big red button that says “Email Us.” If you want people to call the station, put the number in big, bold text. If you want them to fill out a form, make it obvious. People should be able to figure out the call to action with a single glance.
5. The “Advertise” page doesn't use content to encourage people to give you their contact info.
Potential clients may avoid calling or emailing the station because they aren't ready to deal with the pressure of a salesperson. But they were interested enough to come to the “Advertise” page in the first place, so if you play your cards right, you still might be able to capture their contact information. This way, you can build relationship with the lead over time until they are ready to advertise.
How do you get their email information? Create content that answers any questions they may have. For example:
- A Guide to Understanding Radio Ratings
- Ten Tips for Writing a Great Radio Commercial
- How to Decide Which Radio Station Your Company Should Advertise On
Put this content behind a simple form to gather contact info from your leads.
6. Inquiries through the “Advertise” page are not answered immediately.
If somebody fills out a form, sends an email, or makes a phone call, make sure your station has a plan in place to ensure that they get a response immediately. As in, within five minutes. Yes, five minutes. That's how long it will take them to set up an ad campaign on Facebook. Don't lose a sale because you didn't get back to a lead until the next day. Set up whatever auto-forwarding system you need to strike while the opportunity is hot.
Take another look at your radio station's website and make sure that you are not making any of these mistakes. If you are, you could be losing revenue.
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