You hear people talk about digital and social media, but many radio companies are having a difficult time moving the needle or getting a "movement" going to really capture real value. Why is that? It?s easier to understand that you might think.
Radio is still about the easiest money on the table. How can I move the most revenue with the least number of people? If you are cynical, you'll say that is because of what has happened to radio over the last several decades, but it's really just business. Less people have to produce stronger results to keep up in the world we live in now. It's just reality. So, to move the needle in digital or social media with any consistency, you have to push the value proposition from the top down.
You hear the chatter that content is king (it isn't true; revenue is king, but content is the queen for sure). To gear up and create a consistent digital content strategy represents investment. To get there, local market managers have to lead teams into understanding a vision for where they can build value for local customers and businesses and grow significant revenue from those efforts.
If you want to be a forward-leaning market manager or high-end team player, you are already looking for revenue opportunities and digital should more and more be in your wheelhouse. How do you get managers to encourage and stroke actual social media and digital content strategy?
1. They have to see a revenue plan. We can say ratings ? fine. The truth is: Revenue. They must see a path for revenue. Work on your strategy to incorporate how money will flow to the local cluster from the content work you are doing.
2. You must develop a plan that has a variety of content that is interesting to your local targets and ties you to actions on the ground. Content is not enough. Your visuals and video have to be engaging and splashy?and short. Content rolls; it does not sit and hang out.
3. Constantly incorporate "leads" back to the products you own from social media. Facebook and Twitter don't need your help. They've got their own problems. To be a true player locally, you must be building the things you own. This means your content must always "twist" back to your own products from social media.
4. You should always be thinking synergy. This is more than tilting content teases back to your products; it's making connections that flow directly into promoting or encouraging use of your own products. Natural fit. I know people like to say it, but you should think about the way the products you own over the air, in the market (events), and online can work together to capture more eyes and ears. Without this you are leaving some eyes and ears on the table?locally. And that's a sin.
5. Radio should think about DIY-style content that can become cash or other ways they can help local listeners do something that is important to them and find ways to turn that into revenue. This is an area that I think radio personalities would be exceptional explaining.
We love the romance of how important our content is. At this point, we have to make sure that the things we are doing on-air and online match the needs and desires of our target audiences on the listener and advertiser side of our business. That will help you grow the future of more digital as you support your existing brands.
If we focus starting at the top and let all players inside stations know what we are after -- more connection, more benefit for our audience, more revenue from digital and social media, along with providing great synergy with our existing products -- we win. Radio has more opportunity to do this now?and we must seize it now. Go get 'em!
Loyd Ford is the digital revenue, direct marketing, ratings, and social media strategist for Rainmaker Pathway and Americalist Direct Marketing. Loyd has programmed very successful radio brands in markets of all sizes, including KRMD AM & FM in Shreveport, and WSSL and WMYI in Greenville, WKKT in Charlotte, and WBEE in Rochester, NY. Learn more about Loyd here: http://about.me/loydford. Get his radio-social media content sent directly to your smart phone or email for free here: www.rainmakerpathway.wordpress.com. Reach out to Loyd via e-mail HERE. Visit his Facebook radio social media page.
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