Over the years, contests have become an integral part of radio stations' modus operandi. When I was the Program Director of WBRU in Providence, we had a major giveaway every week, usually revolving around concert tickets. Yet no other medium — with the possible exception of bloggers — embraces contesting the way radio does. Television broadcasters, newspaper and magazine publishers, and even streaming music services rarely, if ever, use contests as a way to engage their audiences.
So when radio broadcasters look for an incentive to get people to fill out forms on their website and provide data to the stations, they naturally turn to contests. Getting listeners to enter a contest is often one of the main goals of a radio station's website.
In my experience, social media posts about contests rarely perform as well as posts that feature more compelling content. When radio stations post a status update to Facebook that says, “Want to win tickets to this weekend's concert? Enter here!,” they usually underperform social media posts that simply share an interesting blogpost or video.
Content That Converts
Yet, despite their inferior performance, many radio stations use contests to entice listeners to fill out online forms when they could be using content more effectively. There's nothing wrong with using giveaways to gather data from listeners, but most stations would benefit from also looking for “freemium” content that can be put behind a form.
Radio stations might consider putting more content behind forms as a way to increase the size of their listener database. Careful thought should be given to determining which content pieces warrant a form. Key factors include:
- Format: Interviews go behind a form; blogposts don't.
- Age: Anything over 6 months old goes behind a form.
- Features: Recordings of the daily phone scam go behind a form.
Take a moment to review your website content pieces to decide which are enticing enough to persuade listeners to fill out a form to access them. It will help you grow your database.
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