The world of online radio is vast, and thanks to the technology advancements of the 21st century, it has become much more accessible to the average person. Thanks to platforms like Spotify, Deezer, and others, the world of online radio is now within reach of anyone, anywhere. With the right tools and a little bit of know-how, anyone can set up a stream that can be found online and easily subscribed to by other users. This accessibility is a double-edged sword, as with any new technology that becomes so easy to use that almost anyone can do it, more people are going to try and do it, and in some cases, it can even be automated, resulting in fewer human jobs.
If you’re looking to venture into the world of online radio, perhaps to experiment or to find a new revenue stream, then this article is for you. We’re going to teach you the basics of how to market an online radio station, including tips on branding, social media campaigns, and more.
Know Your Audience
Before you get started, it is imperative that you understand your audience. You may assume that because you are producing web content that your target audience is people around the world, but that is not the case. Your audience will be much more specific and will vary depending on your niche. For example, if you’re an LGBT+ focused radio show, you’ll need to speak to an LGBT+ audience. Similarly, if you’re a sports-focused radio show, you’ll need to speak to and attract sports fans.
Knowing your audience is vital, both online and off, and it will dictate the type of content that you produce and the ways in which you engage with your audience. If you’re not sure who your audience is, you may find it helpful to listen to your radio show and identify any groups or segments that you can engage with. Doing this can help you determine the type of content that may be of most benefit to your target audience.
If you want to market an online radio station, you’re going to need a marketing plan, and we’re not talking about a pie-in-the-sky plan either. You’re going to have to actually sit down and map out a logical plan that takes into account your financials, the resources that you have available, and the time that you can commit to it. A good marketing plan incorporates three elements: the objectives or goals of the campaign, the key milestones or measures that you’ll track, and the assumptions or preconditions that you make about the campaign.
Your marketing objectives or goals will be both internal and external to your business. Internally, you’ll want to set goals for your existing employees, such as increasing web traffic or encouraging more people to subscribe to your podcast. Externally, you’ll be focused on attracting new customers and boosting your brand recognition.
Your marketing plan will include the key milestones or metrics that you’ll track as you progress. These will include things like monthly podcast downloads, channel page views, social media mentions, and more. Your plan should also include the assumptions or preconditions that you make about the campaign. For example, if you’re launching a new podcast focused on politics, you may want to assume that there will be a lot of competition in your niche. You may want to set a goal for yourself to try and make your podcast the best in its class, while still keeping within your niche. If you do reach this goal, then you’ll be able to claim some level of success.
Brand & Identity
When we talk about marketing an online radio station, we often think about advertising and pushing content, but that is only part of the equation. You’re also going to need to consider your brand and establishing an identity around it.
When someone hears your station’s name or logotype, what do they think? If you can express your brand’s identity in three words, it will greatly assist you in conveying your brand’s image and values to potential customers and collaborators. If your brand is authentic, unique, and memorable, people will be more likely to remember you and your offers when you shout them out. Consider brainstorming with your team to come up with an identity that reflects your business and what you stand for. You may also want to seek outside help from an expert agency if you don’t have the time to do this yourself.
So you’ve determined that you want to create and disseminate original content via an online radio station, and you’ve developed a brand and marketing plan. Great! You’ll also need content. This could include things like podcasts, webinars, or vodcasts. The type of content that you create will depend on many factors, but it will include news stories, tips, and how-to guides.
It is crucial to establish a standard for your content. What does that mean? It means that your team needs to be consistent in what they produce and that the quality should be good too. Consider what your existing customers are interested in and create content around that. If you’re struggling to think of ideas, you may want to consider approaching subject matter experts in your niche to see what they would like to see covered on your platform. Alternatively, you could conduct focus groups with interested parties and solicit their opinions.
Did you know that social media is one of the most effective ways of marketing and establishing a brand online? Even if you don’t have the funds to invest in ads, paid promotions, or any other traditional forms of marketing, you can use social media to reach your audience.
To get started, simply establish a social media account for your business and start using the platform. When you do this, make sure that you:
- Identify the type of social media platforms that your audience uses.
- Create content for your account.
- Interact with your followers.
This simple strategy will help you gain the trust of your audience and encourage them to connect with your brand. If you want to take this a step further, you can use social media to conduct promotions or contests where your audience can enter to win prizes.
If you want an easy-to-use, no-doubt tool to help you establish your presence on social media, then you can look into buying an organic social media management package at a discounted price. These packages usually include tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and others to help you build your audience, engage with users, and monitor and analyze the performance of your accounts. When you consider that many businesses can’t afford to hire someone just to manage their social media, these tools make a lot of sense for small businesses like yours. You can’t afford to ignore the importance of social media in the era of digital marketing.
Marketing a business or brand online involves a lot of trial and error, and as a result, you’re going to need to measure the success of your efforts. A/B testing, which is the practice of delivering different versions of a content or offering and measuring their performance to determine the best one, is an essential tool for any marketer.
In the world of marketing, A/B testing involves splitting your audience into two segments and presenting them with different versions of an ad or content piece. For example, you may want to compare a standard ad to a ‘slice-tease’ version that incorporates more imagery or video. The results of this test will then be used to determine which version is the most effective.
The key takeaway from all this is that you cannot simply put a ‘radio station’ label on an ad hoc basis and assume that you’ll automatically have instant success. Before you get started, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re aiming for and how you’re going to achieve it. With the right tools, information, and some patience, you will find success in the world of online radio.