Industry Insider - How to Promote a Radio Station
Posted on May 15, 2013 by Jamie Ashbrook
I get asked a question a lot: ‘How do I promote my station?‘. It’s a tricky question to answer, and there’s no one definitive solution. Instead I have broken down the fundamentals on how to get started, talking you through what you need to do to reach your audience and become successful in the long run.
Firstly, connections are a great way to get to know your community, the ins and outs of the radio business, and after a while they become more than connections, they become friends – friends that will help you out and share valuable info about the industry or insights on what’s going on.
Finding the correct connections can be tricky – target fellow stations to see the pros/cons and what the pitfalls are, presenters and DJs that could become regulars on your station, people from PR sites that can review or promote your station, and get involved in radio communities online as there are a tone of people out there ready to engage.
Essentially your major goal is to build public relations with the right type of people, making promotion of your station that much easier in the future.
2) Target Audience
Going for the shotgun approach of targeting a wide variety of people can be beneficial (as the saying goes “There’s no such thing as bad publicity), but it usually doesn’t pay off as you’ll most likely annoy and try to capture people’s interest that have no clue who you are and really don’t want to know. Why waste time and resources on people that won’t transfer to your station?
Instead focus on your target audience, your niche – be it indie electro Jpop or a talkshow about movies, focus on them and create content specifically for them. Subject content can be tailored to your audience, increasing engagement and people talking about your station. The end game is to have your audience promote your station for you either by word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels.
Producing and outputting content should be an essential part of promoting your station, it keeps people coming back and wanting more. Content should be aimed at your target audience, to the point, and contain referrals to your other material.
Much like this blog post, I am targeting a specific subject (promoting radio), writing content that’s meaningful and beneficial within a page or two can be that stepping stone to connecting with your audience and getting them to return and share the material.
4) Station Size
Being ready for potential listeners is a must. You need to make sure you have a station with enough space for listeners, data transfer, and music storage to be ready incase your station goes global and skyrockets. Obviously stations don’t get a max flux of listeners overnight, but being prepared for an uptake of potential listeners will give your station credibility for being reliable. Imagine having a station with 100 listener slots and your average is 50, you might have a spike of an extra 50 listeners whilst away from your station, any listeners trying to connect will get rejected, which means you’re loosing potential listeners.
5) Radio Directories
A directory is a location where listeners can find stations in a list. It’s easy promotion as you signup and walk away, allowing listeners from around the globe to stumble upon your station. Top directories to be listed on are –
Wavestreaming offers the option to showcase radios on it’s blog, signup your station to be listed.
Sites that are popular, like Reddit, are a great place to go to promote your station as they’re usually active with users that are ready to interact. People can discuss your broadcast and you can talk to a large group of people to relay a message or ask questions.
A good incentive for users would be to offer promotions or competitions, but list them their first so listeners might return.
Selling merchandise or services online is a major boost and helps fund your station, but potential buyers may not be that enthusiastic, in which case offer discounts on selective sites like Hot UK Deals or Voucher Codes.
Finding that hidden gem is always worth while. Discounts reward the ones that go out of the way, plus who can’t resist a good deal?
8) Social Media
This is an obvious one, but social media is a great tool to engage with your audience and provide up-to-date info in real-time, like what music you’re playing. Wavestreaming provide a Twitter add-on for a feature to post to Twitter how every frequent you want with whatever info you want with your music tracks.
Facebook pages are also a good way to showcase your station and tap into a large market as there are over 1 billion active users, that is a large amount of potential users to market to.