While gaining new radio listeners is a great goal, it's also important to focus on your current listeners. You want to ensure that you are serving your loyal audience and a fantastic goal that helps you focus on your current listeners is to keep your listeners listening longer. Not only does this allow you to gain that focus on your loyal audience, it also assists you in growing and improving your station. So, for 12 ways to keep your listeners listening longer, keep on reading!
1. Keep your programming updated.
Of course, your music needs to be top notch to keep listeners listening. This means good variety with just enough repetition, an interesting sequence, etc. However, you can't stop there. You also have to keep your programming updated so that your station doesn't become repetitive and stale, and turn listeners away. For more info on keeping your station programming updated, see this article!
2. Let you listeners know what's going on.
Especially after updating your station programming, it is absolutely vital that you let your listeners know of the updates. Although, in general, you should be reminding your listeners of what is going on with your station, even if nothing has changed for awhile. If listeners know what to expect, it is more likely that they'll tune in and stay because they know what they're tuning into. Tuning in blindly can lead to a much shorter listening time, so let your listeners know what's up!
3. Ask for song requests.
Song requests are a great way to keep listeners tuned in and engaged! Let them know that they can send song requests via call-in, email, and social media, and you will get the songs programmed in. This way, those that requested will keep listening in order to hear their song on your station!
4. Carefully select your radio imaging.
Radio imaging can totally transform your station for the better and lead to longer listening times, but you want to be careful about the style and frequency of your imaging. Ensure that your imaging fits smoothly into your station and it's not jarring, intrusive, or repetitive. You want imaging to serve as a transition without ever breaking your musical tone. This also goes for intros, outros, and promos. These are awesome ways to advertise your station and deliver station info to your listeners, but they need to be genuine and brief. If any of your imaging is too aggressive at all, you could lose a listener in the blink of an eye. But, excellent imaging can keep listeners tuned in for hours. For more information on radio imaging, see our article entitled A Complete Guide to Radio Imaging.
5. Be mindful of your hosting style.
As a radio host, you want to make sure that you are delivering any talk content in the best way possible. Be careful that you don't ever get too off topic or too carried away that you are talking endlessly. Also, while you can offer your opinions and deliver sarcasm, note that you never want to become rude, overly negative, condescending, etc. You want your listeners to stay tuned in, so don't drive them away. You can read some tips on how to be a great live radio broadcaster here.
6. Utilize teasers.
Another good technique to keep your listeners tuned in is to tease them with what's coming on your station in the next 30 minutes, two hours, or later in the evening! Note what shows, playlists, or guests they don't want to miss and they will likely stay tuned in or come back soon.
7. Give time signals.
You can become part of the daily routine of your listeners by giving them time signals. Even though your audience may be spread across a bunch of different time zones, you can still deliver time signals to accompany your listeners hour by hour during their day. Check out your stats and note what time zone(s) most of your listeners are in. Adapt your time signals to them. You can also give multiple time signals so that you are serving the majority of your listeners.
8. Interact with your listeners.
Interacting with your audience builds loyalty and loyalty can lead to listening longer. Answer questions, comment, and post on social media. If you offer an email for listeners to send questions and requests in, send them a reply! Whatever you can do to stay connected with your listeners, do it!
9. Offer value to your listeners.
You can deliver value to your listeners just by playing the music you play, but in order to increase your value delivery, you might consider offering relevant information, advice, etc. so that your listeners get to take away information that is relevant to them. Depending on your niche, you can offer various life advice, event information, new movie or TV show release info, and so forth. Just note, you don't want to overdo it with the advice and info, you just want to give a few super valuable bits to keep your audience tuned in to hear what fantastic info you have to give them.
10. Organize giveaways and competitions.
Organizing giveaways and competitions is another awesome way to encourage more listening. Participants will prioritize tuning in to find out updates and if they've won. When announcing the winner(s), also don’t forget to let your listeners know about upcoming giveaways or competitions so they can be sure to tune in!
11. Give shoutouts.
Offer your listeners the chance to get a shoutout on your radio station if they call-in or leave a message on social media. You can choose whatever method you would like of collecting names to potentially shoutout, which can also tie in with any engagement goals you have. This is a great way of getting them to tune in longer because they'll stay tuned in with the hope of hearing their shoutout.
12. Focus on credibility.
All of the above help you achieve credibility, but it's also important to keep the goal of making your station credible in the front of your mind. Deliver in your niche, spread accurate information, and be truthful to your audience. If you focus on credibility, then you can be assured that listeners will rely on your station, likely meaning they'll be tuning in longer.
It can be easy to fall into solely focusing on gaining new listeners. However, it's crucial to focus on your loyal listeners as well. Most of these ways to help keep your listeners listening longer will also help you with your other goals anyway, whether that may be gaining new listeners, generally improving your station, becoming well-known in your niche, or really anything else! So, give your loyal listeners some thought and do what you can to keep them listening!
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