Here's Why Your Radio Station's Sales Team Has Lost Juice (And How to Get It Back)
August 25, 2015
I've talked about using a Content Marketing strategy to grow your station's audience in this column before, but the same strategy can be used by the sales team. In this case, the goal is not to attract more listeners, but to attract more clients. Here's how it works…
When companies buy radio spots, it's a complex process. Advertising is a significant expense, so there may be several people involved in the decision-making process (marketers, general managers, agencies, etc.). It will take time and research for all of these people to come to a consensus on where to spend their advertising budget.
Imagine Mary, the Marketing Director for the local discount mattress store. She's thinking about advertising on her local radio station, but she needs to convince her boss, Steve. Steve doesn't make knee-jerk decisions. He's a skeptic who won't spend money unless he's absolutely convinced it's the right thing to do. Mary knows she's going to have to build an airtight case to get Steve to sign off on a radio spot buy. So she goes to work.
Decades ago, before the rise of the Internet, Mary would have started her research by calling radio salespeople for information. But not today. Today, she starts her research by turning to Google. With a few hours of online searching, she can get answers to most of her questions. In fact, she prefers to do it this way because she wants to avoid the hard sell. By the time Mary calls the radio station to speak to a salesperson, she's pretty much made her mind up about what she wants to buy. All that's left is for the account executive to take her order.
The rise of the Internet means that salespeople are not called into the buying process until much later than they used to be. As a result, they have less influence over the advertiser's decision. If radio stations want to regain influence over the buying process, they need to engage potential clients earlier in the buying process. To do this, they're going to need to go where those clients are — on the Internet.
Marketers like Mary are turning to the Internet to answer their questions about advertising. Radio stations need to create online content to answer those questions. For example, radio stations could create:
- A white paper on "How to Create the Optimal Media Mix"
- A webinar titled "How to Understand the Nielsen Ratings"
- A list of "10 Question to Ask Your Radio Salesperson"
This content should be optimized for search engines, easily shared on social media, and promoted on the radio station's airwaves. This way, Mary will find this content as she begins her online research. Creating online content enables the radio station to engage with Mary and earn her trust much earlier in the buying process. This increases the chances that Mary will call your station's salespeople when she's ready to buy. It also means that they will arrive at Mary's door with the groundwork already laid. Because your station has created online content, your salesperson is more likely to close the deal. Content Marketing allows you to engage clients earlier, giving your salespeople more influence.
I've put together a four-minute video that illustrates how Content Marketing can help radio station generate sales leads. Please take a moment to watch it:
NEXT STEP: Brainstorm a list of questions about advertising that potential clients are researching on the Internet. Create online content to answer those questions.