10 Steps for Tuning Up Your Digital Strategy in 2015

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to speak at the combined Conclave/Minnesota Association of Broadcasters Conference in Minneapolis. While my seminar was primarily focused on strategies to grow revenue using digital and mobile, I also encouraged the attendees to use the fleeting time in 2014 to fine-tune their strategies for 2015 and beyond. Here is a synopsis of ten action items every traditional radio broadcaster can use to tune-up their strategy for the coming year:

1. Be Aggressive in Building a "Smart" Database

Your audience is your most important asset; without it, there is nothing to monetize.  Go beyond the minimum zip code, age, and gender, and begin progressive profiling to include interests and behavioral history to get the most out of your database.


2. Give Your Listeners a Reason to Onboard

Employ the SAPS acronym:

Status: Recognize the listener’s tenure in the program or their ability to onboard new members.
Access: Provide them with access to exclusive content and contests not available to non-members.
Power: Give them power and control such as the ability to buy tickets before they are available to the public.
Stuff: Focus on wide-appeal, experiential prizing to drive the most engagement. Radio has an innate ability to create unique experiences such as artist meet-and-greets, backstage passes, being a guest deejay, or visiting the press box.


3. Be Onboarding at Every Touch Point

It is critical to collect registration information anywhere a listener engages with your brand, whether that’s a website, contest, survey, poll, or stream. That information must then be aggregated into a core database that is accessible at the market and ownership levels.

Remember: Be sure to preserve the brand relationship with each onboarded listener!


4. Require Registration for Every Contest

The time to retire the “call-in-to-win” contest style is long overdue.. Continue to promote contests on-air, but shift all registration online where you can build effective databases and smart profiles.


5. Start Streaming Player Registration

Requiring registration to listen to a stream is the first step in selling “smart impressions”, which will allow you to reach the right listener, with the right message, at the right time. With the new standardization created by DAAST and the flurry of innovation in programmatic, RTB, retargeting, DMPs, and so on, demand will only increase for targetable impressions.  Consumers are already accustomed to registering, so why not take advantage of this trend to easily increase your targetability?


6. Embrace UGC Contesting - Monthly

UGC (User Generated Content) contesting is one of the most powerful and relevant ways you can engage your audience, especially in the age of smart phones. Each executed UGC contest results in large increases in registration and is inherently viral as contestants self-promote their entries via social networks.


7. Include Lead-Gen Qualifiers in Sponsored Contests

If a listener is entering a “Dream Kitchen Giveaway”, they are most likely in need of a new kitchen. Simply add an opt-in question like, “Would you like a free, no obligation estimate on kitchen remodeling services from our sponsor?” This simple, yet frequently overlooked tactic will drive valuable qualified leads that will result in conversions for the sponsor.


8. Solve Clients' Needs with Your Digital Tools

Too many local reps apply an inventory mindset to digital tools. They try to “sell” them or find a sponsor for them instead of using them to solve clients’ marketing needs. After identifying the advertiser’s objective, the correct tool should be selected and combined with the broadcast to solve for that need.  Follow this strategy and renewals will follow.


9. Surrender Ownership, Provide White Label Contesting and Research Solutions to Clients

Broadcasters have a great opportunity to leverage their vendor-client relationships to provide digital services to local advertisers in their markets. Surrender ownership; each contest does not need to be sponsored by the radio station. Clients can embed white label contests and surveys on their own websites, then utilize a broadcast campaign to promote them.


10. Audit Your Online Presence to Ensure Every Component is Mobile Responsive

Consumers access the web on the best screen available. Increasingly, that screen is the one in their pocket. Ensure every aspect of your online presence is mobile responsive: your website, your database registration, your contests, and most importantly, your web streaming player. It is imperative that your mobile audience can click “Listen Live” and get the same rich, reliable, immersive experience that they would experience on a desktop.

Contact us to learn about more ways to fine-tune your digital strategies for 2015.