By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH – President Barack Obama has been appearing on radio morning shows lately … not on talk stations, but on stations that play music. On September 17, TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo covered how one of these appearances came together for Cox’s hip hop station in Orlando. The President has shown up on alternative and Spanish language stations, too. Politics aside, this is a success story for radio! Obama’s campaign has been targeting certain messages to appeal to certain voter blocks. They have microsites on the web, different social media groups, and targeted, focused e-mail lists. However, what did they use to present the President in both a targeted and a personal way? They used RADIO!
Radio is the original targeted medium. It’s potentially even more targeted in this new media world. Having digital inventory to sell on our streams and websites only makes us a stronger business partner for clients who want to hyper-focus their message. That’s the power of broadcast plus digital! To maximize that power, you can follow three steps.
1. Build for It
There’s a to-do list here for both programming and sales. The programming and promotion side needs to learn best practices for streaming, web content, social media, database emails and so forth. On the sales side, avoid having different teams of digital-only sellers and broadcast-only sellers.
Furthermore, if you talk to any digital sales manager, they’ll say the ol’ 80/20 rule is in full force when it comes to digital revenue. 20% of most sales forces are responsible for 80% of the digital revenue. You may not get all your established sellers to embrace the digital side, but you can make sure all your new hires do.
2. Commit to It
Top management has to lead the charge. If there’s no one constantly stressing the importance and potential of digital dollars, you won’t get the best return from your digital tools. This means that making the digital budget has to be one of the important criteria on which you judge sales managers.
Focus needs to be directed toward the program director, too, to make sure that he or she is creating a web component for every important programming tactic.
3. Train for It
Good sellers don’t need instruction on how to sell digital. They do need instruction in the language of digital. Would you hire a salesperson away from the daily newspaper and not get them up to speed on how buyers talk about radio? It’s the same thing with digital and your radio sellers. Savvy clients measure and talk about digital in a way that’s very different from broadcast radio. Get your sales staff up to date on this new language, and more of them will embrace digital sales. If you’re not sure where to start, I find that your streaming provider is often a great place to ask about sales training, since they have a vested interest in you doing well.
There’s a to-do list for programming and promotion, here, too. Your website and social media shouldn’t be a dumping ground for anything anyone wants to post on the web. What do you do that drives the most listening occasions and listener loyalty? That’s the content you want to make ridiculously easy to find at your website.
The power in broadcast-plus-digital helps your clients reach two important audiences. Spots on your broadcast reach lots of people, and you can achieve some great results with enough frequency. With advertising that’s on your stream or website, you can isolate and talk to your biggest fans! They’re the ones who go online to enjoy more of you. In addition, with stream advertising, you have lots of different targeting capabilities that you don’t have on your broadcast.
Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media. He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.