As a radio broadcaster, it may seem like you just have to upload some music and you're good to go. However, a vital part of your station is continuous improvement and it should be a constant goal to improve your listener's experience. There are many ways you can improve the experience, whether that be by investing in your station or working on seemingly simple aspects that cost nothing to improve on. You can actually significantly improve your listener experience without spending a dime and the improvements will be invaluable to your station's growth and development. For 5 simple and inexpensive ways to improve your listener's experience, keep on reading!
Perfect your playlists.
For many broadcasters, playlists are a hefty portion of their station, meaning it is extremely important to make great playlists in order to have an engaging station. Playlist theme and purpose, structure, and song choice are all vital parts of creating awesome playlists. So, while you might have some fantastic music picked out, you have to strategically organize that music into playlists. This strategic organization is where you can really make or break your playlists, so it's critical to take the time to work on song placement. To read about playlist theme and purpose, structure, and song choice, and how to make great playlists using these elements, see our article here.
Remember that your listener only has audio.
If you do live events, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and talk about things that truly need a visual aid, especially when you are seeing the things that you are talking about. Some examples of this may be a host discussing something funny that they just experienced, a host and guest or co-host discussing each other's body language, or a host doing commentary on something they saw online. Remember that these things may be incredibly entertaining to you as the host because you are seeing them, but your audience isn't seeing them, so the discourse might not land the way you'd like because of the lack of the visual. If you are going to discuss something based on a visual aid, give lots of detail and be extremely precise to allow your audience to visualize what you are referencing.
Go on the journey with your audience.
As a broadcaster, you should go on the journey with your listeners. Whether you are doing a live event or simply broadcasting a playlist, this is important. If you are doing a live event, you want to go on the journey of learning or storytelling with your audience. Even though you likely know the information or the story already, you want to make it feel like you are experiencing it right along with your audience. Since listeners don’t know the information that you know as the host, it's important to tease possibilities. This is a more engaging and conversational delivery of information and stories than simply conveying the information. This delivery will also help you build the bond with your audience as you experience the journey together. Keep in mind that you don't want to ever undermine your expertise though.
If you are simply broadcasting a playlist, it is less about going on the journey with your audience in the moment and it's more about ensuring that you experience your playlist and put yourself in the listener's shoes. You should also consider interacting with listeners on social media during your broadcast to go on the journey with them in the moment. In general, engaging with your audience is a fantastic way to improve the listener experience because you are creating a bond with them and thus fostering loyalty. Even if you don't interact with your audience on social media while you are broadcasting, you should make a habit of interacting with them on social media, via email, and through any other means of communication possible.
Be more accessible.
Accessibility is important for the listener experience. This means being accessible on directories, on social media, and through your website. You want it to be as easy as possible for your listeners to find you and engage with you and your station. So, ensure that you have a radio station website, are active on social media, and you submit to as many directories as possible.
If you do a lot of live events, it's important to note that your listeners won't all hear or process audio in the same way. You may have listeners that are deaf or hard of hearing, English-language learners, and individuals with auditory processing issues or sensory filtering issues. With all of these audiences, they can be given the listener experience they deserve by providing them with repurposed content, such as transcripts, videos, show notes, blog posts, images, and so on. Transcripts, videos, blog posts, show notes, etc. are an important part of ensuring you are accessible to all audiences equally, and they are not very expensive or difficult to create. These written pieces are also particularly helpful for you because your station's content will then be searchable, you can repurpose your content into blog posts, articles, or even a book in the future, and posting written pieces will help with your SEO.
Make it effortless to keep listening.
Radio imaging, including voiceovers, intros, promos, and jingles, and improving your equipment and software are some great ways to improve your station and make it an effortless and enjoyable experience for your listeners. You'd be surprised at how much more engaging your station will be with some radio imaging. And, even one piece of equipment or software can really improve the sound of your station overall.
Creating an effortless listening experience for live events includes ensuring you are hydrated to avoid distracting mouth noise and keeping your discussion on topic and not excessively long. If you are broadcasting a recorded event, learning basic editing skills to cut unnecessary moments is a good way to create an effortless experience. Whatever you can do to make the listening experience easy and enjoyable through and through should always be done.
Once you start your station, it is really easy to get comfortable and lose sight of improvement as a goal, especially when you are seeing positive statistics. However, there is always room for improvement, which is why you should prioritize improving your listener's experience. Without improvement as a goal, you will remain stagnant, which might not be reflected in your listener statistics at first, but eventually that will catch up with you. So, do yourself a favor and remember that constant improvement is key.
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Article Image: Alex Blăjan via Unsplash.