When I listen to radio stations, I routinely hear production elements promoting only one of the station's digital assets: social media. This is an unforced error on two counts: First, radio stations are missing an opportunity to send listeners to their websites. Second, they are sending listeners to social media instead. I'm sure Facebook is grateful for the traffic, because the company makes money every time you send people there.
Your radio station, on the other hand, does not.
Social media postings play the same role in your radio station's digital strategy as billboard advertisements do in your station's conventional marketing strategy. The goal of the billboard ads is to get people to tune in to the station. Why do you put the billboards by the highway? Because lots of people drive on the highway and will see them.
By the same token, the purpose of your radio station's tweets and Facebook posts is to drive people back to the station's website. Why do you share your website content on social networks? Because lots of people visit these networks and will see your content.
But your radio station only cares about the traffic going in one direction. You use the billboard to promote your radio station, you don't use the radio station to promote your billboard. By the same token, it makes little sense to use the airwaves to promote your radio station's social media presence instead of driving people back to the station's website. Skip the middleman — sorry, Zuckerberg! — and just promote your website on your airwaves.
With that in mind, here are thirteen production elements that your radio station should be airing:
- Stream: Let people know that they can listen anytime. Create a vanity URL that redirects directly to the radio station's stream, such as wkrp.com/listen.
- Email Registration: One of the most important goals of your radio station's website is to build an email list. Promote this directly on your airwaves with production elements. For example, run sweepers that say, “Want us to email you a list of upcoming concerts each week? Sign up at wkrp.com.”
- Core Artists: Create sweepers to be played into core artists that promote artist-specific pages on your website. Example: “Are you a die-hard Beyoncé fan? Get the latest at wkrp.com/beyonce.”
- Concert Calendar: If you've got a concert calendar, the outro should include “For more concert info, go to wkrp.com/concerts.”
- Contests: Let the prize pigs know that they can enter online at wkrp.com/win.
- Specialty Shows: If you air special programming, such as a local music show, set up a dedicated page on your station's website and promote it during the show with production elements.
- On-Air Personalities: Direct fans of your radio station's DJs to specific pages on the website. For example, “This is the Johnny Fever Show. For more, visit wkrp.com/johnnyfever.”
- Mobile App: Use sweepers to encourage your listeners to download your radio station's mobile app so they can listen anywhere.
- Connected Car App: If your radio station has an app for in-dashboard operating systems like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, let your listeners know.
- Alexa Skills: If you've built custom skills to make it easy for people to listen to your radio station on smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, promote these with production elements.
- Podcasts: Whether you're creating original podcasts, repurposing the morning show for on-demand listening, or holding back full artist interviews for the podcast, let people know that they can find more at wkrp.com/podcasts.
- Street Team Appearances: It's a lot of work lugging that prize wheel around! (Though you really ought to upgrade your promo kit.) Show the street team some love by letting listeners know where to find them at wkrp.com/streetcrew.
- Solicit Advertisers: Arguably, the most important page on your radio station's website is the one that translates into ad revenue. Promote that page with a short production element that directs people there: “Should your business be advertising here? Learn more at wkrp.com/advertise.”
Never miss an opportunity to direct your listeners to your website, where you can capture their email addresses, sell them concert tickets, or monetize them with ads. These production elements will help you do that.
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