These days, it feels harder than ever to get people to pay attention to your content. The world of internet radio is no exception. Getting those ears to listen may feel like a bigger challenge than climbing Mount Everest, but we promise it's not as difficult as you think. All you need is a marketing strategy, and maybe even a routine.
With some knowledge of the internet, your local media outlets, and even some graphic design skills, you can build up your audience's numbers in no time. Before you go spending hundreds of dollars on fancy advertising and promotion for your station, here are four simple marketing strategies you can use to get some buzz.
It may seem obvious to use social media platforms to spread the word about your station, but trust us when we say there are so many stations that do not curate their own social media pages. Having a place online for fans to check updates, announcements, and fun tidbits relating to your station really helps out in the long run. Social media is like a fishing net: it's an open space for people to swim into before you reel them in with good content.
Depending on your station’s demographics, here is a list of the most popular social media platforms you should utilize:
Facebook - The most venerable yet still the overall most popular social media platform. You may not hit the youngest demographics by making a Facebook page, but it is always a good idea to start here.
Instagram - Yes, Facebook (or should we say "Meta") owns Instagram, but it’s quite different and more image and video-based. Make sure to post your studio photos, clips from remote broadcast events, and any other fun, colorful imagery or videos that show off your station's uniqueness. Pictures are worth a thousand words!
Twitter - Another oldie but goodie, Twitter is the best place to directly interact in real time with your listeners. Tweet your “now playing,” shows, polls, and questions for your listeners. Anything goes! Make sure to put together a hashtag for you to use for all of your station posts. That way, fans and new viewers can track your progress.
TikTok - The newest of the bunch, but definitely the most powerful. It’s all about the videos here. Bite size and sometimes outrageous, TikTok is the fastest growing platform on the internet...so stake your claim now! Like Instagram, this social media giant is all about the visuals. Post some studio clips, announcements, and maybe even some silly skits onto your page and watch the viewcount grow higher and higher.
Make a Website
If you don’t have a website yet, there’s no better time to make one than right now. Unlike social media, websites allow you more freedom in design and content you can showcase. They're like an open portfolio of your best work.
It all starts with a domain name. Find an available domain that will represent your station on the web, preferably something closely tied to your station name. You want something easily remembered, spelled, and understood in a spoken context. You can use places like Register.com and GoDaddy.com to find the perfect domain name to launch your website, but website builders like these are easy to use and can help you register a domain name as well.
For the time being, you can even just point your domain to your Live365 station page as you are building your site.
Use Local Media
This is an unconventional method to spread the word, but if you're looking to appeal to more people from your local area, these angles could work.
Most cities and communities have local newspapers, whether they are physically delivered, digitally delivered, or both. Websites like My Local Paper can help you find the papers available in your area. Write up a press release about your radio station to share with them. Reach out to the editors to ask them to run a piece on your station. You’ll be surprised how many will run full page articles on you and your station. Local media is always looking for new content!
Additionally, don't be afraid to collaborate with small businesses in your area in order to spread the word about your station. In our recent guide 5 More Games to Play with Your Radio Station Listeners, we talked about the importance of using fun activities and special events to highlight the hard work of a local business. By using games centered around a local business, not only are you promoting them, but collaboration can allow them to promote your station, too!
While the reach is smaller with this strategy, selling merch is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. There’s no better marketing than a listener spreading the word about your station to their community.
Wearing or owning merch, just like word of mouth, is a personal endorsement of your station. Your listener's friend may ask them where they got that cool-looking radio t-shirt, and that person will tell them all about your station. Then that friend will get curious, check out your station online, and may even become another merch-wearer someday. Advertising costs money, but word of mouth is free!
While starting up a merch store used to require a lot of work, now you can easily and quickly set up a shop on Spreadshop, upload your own graphic designs, and start selling. They then handle payments, production, and shipping so your store is totally hands off.
These four marketing tips are just a start and perhaps you have more ideas about how to grow your audience. If you'd like additional pointers, we recommend checking out the Live365 Broadcasters Facebook group and picking the brains of other broadcasters. You’ll also find a whole list of educational articles on running your own station, including marketing tips, on our very own Live365 blog.
That about wraps it up. We hope these strategies help you attract more listeners, and we wish you the best of luck in your promoting endeavors. Happy broadcasting!
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