Why Recycling Is The Key To Engaging Your Radio Station's Listeners
November 11, 2014
When I worked at WBCN in Boston, we had a closet full of recordings: decades of live performances and interviews with everybody from Aerosmith to U2 to Pearl Jam to Linkin Park. Occasionally, we would play these recordings on the air, but for the most part, they just sat there, gathering dust.
The Internet gives radio stations with a deep archive a fantastic opportunity to showcase audio recordings like these.
Radio Should Recycle
If you only read one thing this year, read the leaked New York Times' "Innovation Report." It's an excellent analysis of what media companies need to do to stay competitive in the digital age.
One of the key suggestions concerns recycling content:
"Our rich archive offers one of our clearest advantages over our new competitors. But we rarely think to mine our archive, largely because we are so focused on news and new features."
Like the New York Times, radio can make its old content available online for listeners to find. Here's what you need to do it:
1. Tag Your Content
To make your past content accessible, you need to properly organize it. This is where tagging comes in. Here are some tagging recommendations:
- Artist (or Celebrity): First and foremost, tag each recording with the artist performing or being interviewed.
- On-Air Talent: Tag the content with the DJ that is hosting it.
- Content Type: Indicate whether this is a Concert Performance, In-Studio Performance, Interview, Morning Show Bit, etc.
- Series: Is this part of your Holiday Bash or Summer Concert Series?
- Date: Include the day, month and year that this event happened on.
- Acoustic: You may want to indicate whether a performance is acoustic or not.
2. Make Your Website Searchable
Next, you will want to make it easy for listeners to search your website for the content that they want. Place a search bar in the upper-right corner of your site. This is where most people expect to find it.
3. Create an Email Campaign to Automatically "Drip Out" Content
Create an email autoresponder campaign to periodically send out emails with links to your older content. An autoresponder campaign sends an email after a "trigger" is fired. For example, you could set your campaign up so that one month after a person signs up for your email list (the trigger), they are sent your Tim McGraw interview.
Alternatively, you can use a specific date as the trigger. For example, on Beyonce's birthday, you could send her interview out to your email list. Or send an interview with John Lennon out on the anniversary of his death.
Autoresponder campaigns are a great way to keep your listeners engaged. Set up campaigns that will automatically drip out content over the course of the next year or two.
4. Create a Social Media Campaign to Automatically "Drip Out" Content.
Software like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule social media posts. Simply upload a series of posts with links to your older content to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
If you have a Wordpress site, Evergreen Post Tweeter is a great plugin for recycling content on Twitter.
Too often, radio airs great interviews, live performances, and morning show bits once and then forgets about them. Instead, use the web to get more life out of this content.