Recently, we published a blogpost called “5 Things Broadcasters Should Know About Music Royalties” by David Oxenford, a well-respected broadcast attorney. The blogpost turned out to be a huge hit, resulting in a ton of online traffic and lots of discussion in various corners of the internet. But this big wasn't just luck; I was able to find a blogpost that I knew would resonate with our audience the same way a great Music Director can “hear a hit record” — I read the signs.
Here's how I did it:
Step 1: Listen to Your Audience
I spend time in a handful of discussion groups related to radio, podcasts, and other industry topics. One of them is a Facebook group called “Internet Radio Broadcasters,” where online streamers connect. A couple of months ago, the Copyright Royalty Board made a decision that adversely affected this group of broadcasters. I also heard rumblings about the issue in another group called “You Know You Work in Radio When.” I don't understand copyright law at all, but I could easily tell that this was a hot topic in this community, so I knew that people would be interested in a blogpost about the impact of this decision on broadcasters.
Step 2: Recruit an Expert To Write
Unfortunately, none of us at Jacobs Media are attorneys, but we knew exactly who to turn to: David Oxenford, the man behind the Broadcast Law Blog. A few months ago, we launched a feature on the Jacobs Media blog called “The Guest List,” in which we invite experts to contribute “Top 5” lists. I reached out to David and asked if he would be willing to write a list about the recent CRB decision. He obliged, and sent me a column that does a great job of breaking down the issues into a way that even I could understand.
Step 3: Proactively Share on Social Media
Fred, Paul, and I always share content from Fred's blog on social media, but I knew exactly where I wanted to share this content: in the two Facebook groups that originally put the issue on my radar screen. I try to be careful about posting our content in these groups; I don't want to spam them, so I'm very selective about what I will share there. In this case, I knew people would be interested in the article, so I felt comfortable passing the post along.
Sure enough, it got an instant reaction. (I haven't seen a reaction that quick since we got a flood of listener phone calls after premiering Evanescence's “Bring Me to Life” when I was at 107.7 The End in Seattle.) Between the Facebook chatter, the retweets, and the blog comments, we knew that we had given people the information they wanted.
Step 4: Measure
We measure our website traffic using Google Analytics. Over the course of the day, we could quantify the visitors pouring into the site, proving that the results were more than just anecdotal.
When it comes to the web, the ability to read your audience and find content that will resonate with them is not very different from what radio station music directors do every day. If you can read call-out research, keep an eye on music downloads, and monitor concert ticket sales, then you already have the skills you need to find the hot topics that will make your radio station's blog successful. Just find experts in your community, whether they’re food bloggers, sports writers, or local musicians, and invite them to contribute to your station’s blog.
Thanks to David Oxenford for his illuminating blogpost. You can read it here.
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