Before Your Radio Station's Next Big Revenue Generating Event, Test Your Website
August 30, 2016
Events have been a crucial component of radio stations' revenue streams for a long time. These days, many program directors and promotions directors are tasked with booking concerts, car shows, comedy festivals, or other marquee events to generate non-traditional revenue through ticket and sponsorship sales. But while a lot of thought often goes into even the smallest on-site details, we often neglect the digital details of these events.
Yet an event's digital presence can have an enormous impact on its success. The web is often where both listeners and potential sponsors will turn to first when trying to find out more information about an event. I've worked with radio stations that saw huge spikes in their website traffic on the day they announced the lineup for their signature concerts. Not surprisingly, this traffic comes from Google, and we can see that the keywords people are typing into the search engine relate to the concert.
So if your station has a lot of money riding on a big event, you'll want to give some thought to its online presentation. I recommend running a Website Usability Test on your site before you publish the event's webpage on your station's site.
A Website Usability Test is a simple test to see what happens when real people come to your station's website. You'll want to enlist three people to individually sit down in front of a computer and perform some tasks on the site, thinking out loud as they do. (I recruit people from Craigslist, and I prefer people who are not familiar with the radio station because I don't want them to bring any outside information they may have gained from the radio into the test.) You're watching for the tasks that they have trouble completing -- this tells you that you need to make some changes to your website.
Here are some questions I would ask in a Usability Test before launching the event page:
- You've heard this station has a big concert / festival / etc. coming up. What can you tell me about it? (Watch to see if they are able to navigate to the event page from the homepage, or if they get lost.)
- What happens at this event? Who is performing?
- When is the event?
- Where is the event?
- How much do tickets to this event cost?
- How do you purchase tickets for this event?
- Are there any age restrictions?
- If you were a business looking to sponsor this event, what would you do?
That last question is a big one: We often forget that it's not just listeners who will look at the event page; potential sponsors will, too. If you don't have a clear call to action on the webpage for sponsorship partners, you could miss out on tens of thousands of dollars.
A Website Usability Test is an important part of the marketing plan for your next radio station event. Be sure to set aside some time for it before your station's next big event.
NEXT STEP: Last week, I hosted a webinar on Digital Strategies for Radio Station Events. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here.