Yes, You Should Use Your Airwaves To Direct Listeners To Your Website
November 18, 2014
I routinely run into broadcasters who argue that radio stations should not use their airwaves to direct people to their websites. Their reasoning is this: The terrestrial signal is the station's primary source of revenue, so you shouldn't send people elsewhere.
I whole-heartedly disagree.
You should definitely use your airwaves to encourage people to head over to your website. There are a number of reasons to do this:
Your station should be monetizing its website in addition to its terrestrial signal.
You can capture listeners' contact information (especially their email addresses) through an online form, while you can't do this with your terrestrial broadcast.
Your website should allow listeners to access additional content that may not be appropriate for on-air broadcast, such as recordings of longer artist interviews or older morning show bits.
Not only do I believe that you should use your airwaves to send listeners to your website, I think the ability to do so is actually one of the radio industry's biggest advantages. Most companies, including online media outlets, have only two free tools to drive traffic to their websites: search engine optimization (SEO) and word of mouth through social media. Radio can take advantage of both of these, but they also have a third way to promote their websites: their own airwaves.
This video illustrates how it works:
How can you direct people back to your website? Here are some ideas:
- Include an online entry component to every contest.
- Post extended versions of artist interviews on your website. Play excerpts on the air and direct people to the website for the entire thing (The Daily Show does this frequently).
- Post older morning show bits on your website.
- Post a daily podcast version of your morning show online.
- Post online-only contests on your website. Promote them on the air.
Of course, you should also be using your website to direct people back to your on-air broadcast. It's a virtuous cycle, and you should engage and monetize listeners at every point along the way.