From time to time, Bill Jacobs, Mike Stern, and I huddle together and brainstorm ideas to help our clients create engaging promotions. “The new Star Wars movie is coming out,” Mike will say. “Let's put together a list of ideas for our clients.”
Inevitably, Bill and Mike look to me for advice on how to tie these promotional ideas into their radio stations' digital strategies. When this happens, I always feel a little sheepish, because I find myself saying the same thing every time.
When crafting promotions and looking for the digital angle, I always ask the same two questions:
1) How can we use this promotion to create online content?
I encourage radio stations to tie all of their digital tools together with a Content Marketing strategy every chance I get. At the heart of Content Marketing is, of course, content. When launching the strategy, it can be a challenge to produce enough content. If your on-air promotions also produce online content, you've just made your job a lot easier.
For example, let's say you have backstage passes to the upcoming Shinedown concert to give away. In the old days, we'd just give it away as a meet-and-greet. But now, you can give somebody the opportunity to be a “backstage blogger” or a “backstage photographer.” Give the winner an opportunity to create content that you can put on your station's website.
If you want even more online content, look for ways to encourage all contest entrants, not just winners, to create for you. Encourage contestants to enter by taking photos, creating videos, recording song parodies, or writing something.
2) How can we use this promotion to capture our listeners contact info?
We now live in the era of Big Data. For radio to stay competitive against digital mediums, it needs to deliver advertisers more than just access to consumers; it also needs to give them information about consumers. That means your radio station needs to focus on building up its database.
Promotions are great way to do this. Encourage people to enter through an online form or by text message so that you can add them to your database. (Be sure to review the rules with your legal team before you do; spamming can result in fines.)
Avoid “caller #9” at all costs — you don't capture any contact information with these types of contests. If getting audio from listeners to use on-air is crucial, use something like SpeakPipe to allow your listeners to submit audio messages through your website. Better yet, if you have a v4 mobile app for your radio station built by jacapps, incorporate the Open Mic capability into your promotion.
Remember, it's far more valuable if you design your promotions to capture contact info from every entrant, not just every winner.
The next time you and your programming team is brainstorming promotional ideas, remember to ask yourself these two key questions: How do we use this promotion to (1) create online content and (2) capture contact info?
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