How to Reach Your Listeners When the Radio Is Off

Brian Curee

Radio managers and radio hosts are constantly thinking about their audience and how to bring joy into their lives. For many listeners, the radio is like a reliable companion. Christian radio is a great source for encouragement, hope, and music that connects on a level that can change lives. 

How can radio stations stay in touch with listeners when they’re not tuning in live? Let’s talk about your P1 listeners for a second. P1s are your station’s superfans, and we all want more P1 listeners. What leads to a listener becoming a P1? Relationship & community. Your listeners aren’t just your listeners when they turn on the radio. They are your listeners every minute of every day. Keep that in mind when you’re laying out your radio station’s digital strategy. Digital marketing is a great way to strengthen these connections when your listeners are not tuning in. Here’s what you need to know.

Create an Online Hub that Complements Your Station

Many on-air hosts know how powerful it can be to point listeners to the station’s website. They might pose a question and ask listeners to visit the website to uncover the answer. If a station is running a contest, it could be wise to send listeners to the official website to submit their entries.

Most importantly, you need to reach people where they’re already hanging out. This is the secret of all great digital marketers — they go to where their audience already exists. So where do your listeners spend time online? Are they active on Instagram? Do they shop online? Are they secretly big fans of The Masked Singer?

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Build your radio digital marketing strategy around your people, and the rest will follow. Your website and social media presence should be an online hub that complements your on-air content. Show behind-the-scenes photos about how a radio show gets produced or snap photos with local pastors,  listeners, and artists who come into the studio and share those on social media. Don’t forget to tag or mention them on social media.  If they share an amazing story with you, maybe it could be a blog post or a podcast interview.  Invite people to learn more about the history of their community. Create fun (and different) offerings for listeners to enjoy on your website. Don’t just duplicate what you’re saying on-air. We are HUGE supporters of creating more blog content that helps solve listeners’ problems they’re facing in life. Blogs are a great way for Christian radio to approach deeper discipleship with listeners. You could end each blog with a challenge and invite them to comment on the blog or on your station’s Facebook group.

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Partner with Real-Life Businesses to Throw Events 

Your radio station can also grow its presence by sponsoring local events, like VBS tours; or you could partner with a local sports team to put on a charity game and install your station’s logo over the bleachers. Set up a seasonal booth at the local farmer’s market and do a series of interviews with local farmers or show up at a blood-drive to show support. 

Most people don’t expect a radio station to show up in real life. It’s extra impactful to invest some of your marketing budgets in events and sponsorships. This type of visibility is highly memorable and can help your station stand out from the rest.

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Good Old Paid Advertising

Both digital and out-of-home (OOH) advertising are great ways to stay connected with your listeners in their daily lives. Take out an ad in the local paper or cover a bus stop in your station’s branding. Create a geo-targeted advertising campaign on Google Ads or social media with recognizable local landmarks. It’s smart to pay for highly targeted advertising in the regions that matter most to your radio station.

Focus on the moments in your listeners’ lives that are adjacent to turning on the radio. For instance, many people log into Facebook before they start their work for the day. An early morning Facebook ad could be a great way to connect with listeners and encourage them to open a streaming tab to listen to your station. A bus wrap or bus stop shelter promoting your station is a great way to remind listeners to tune in when they get to work.

When it comes down to it, radio digital marketing is the best way to grow your audience.  If your listeners like your on-air content, then they’ll probably be interested in seeing online content. Just make sure you’re creating content that aligns with your brand, or else you’ll end up building an audience that won’t stick with you for the long run. Killer Bee Marketing can help you strategize about the best ways to connect with your listeners, online and offline.

Brian Curee

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