If you want to promote your online radio station, this is the post for you. In this first post of a series, we are going to expose 10 effective ways to promote your radio station, and in the next posts we are going to show you other professional and inexpensive ways to build a solid base of listeners and followers for your web radio (or normal radio station as well!!).
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The 10 tips to effectively and rapidly promote your radio station.
1. Focus: Choose Your Target
First think about the media: web radios are often used everyday from billions of people in their normal lifestyle: at work, from the phone, from the school, and now even from cars. When people find a good web radio, usually they stick to it until they are happy. For this reason, the best thing is to offer a listening experience compatible with your audience.
If is a music station, consider which style of music you want to offer, choose the djs in order to keep a reasonable schedule, placing the different music styles in the right moments of the day and of the week. In this way the listeners will have fun and find always the perfect soundtrack for the moment.
Keep a solid style and avoid trying to catch everybody: if you run a classical music radio, don’t mis it with trance music and rock. Choose your style, and define the target of your listeners.
Every style of music defines a specific type of person, and focusing on a specific target allows you to enrich your channel with posts, shows and content that are in focus for your audience.
All your promotion will be more effective and the viral effect of a good channel will engage more and more people with the word of mouth.
2. Choose the right name
This is maybe the most important choice. The name can make the difference between success and failure.
Not only it needs to be unique and nice, but should have a positive impact on your target audience, letting people clearly understand which kind of contents they should find in it. A good approach is to find a connection with the music style or topic of the channel, in this way when your radio will appear among a list of other radios, will be easily searchable for the people who have a specific taste.
Think about every future use of the name: merchandise, t-shirt, hats, business cards, contracts with the sponsors, pins, stickers and much more. Try the 5 golden questions to test your name:
- Do you feel comfortable introducing yourself with the name you choose?
- Is it serious enough for the business relationship you will entertain?
- Is it engaging enough for the listeners? Does it have the right appeal?
- Does it still have a connection with your content?
- Is it unique?
3. Dispose a budget
If you don’t want to be another of the thousand of web radios with 10 to no listeners, you need to think about making things good. To achieve some popularity without waiting years, the best way is to invest a minimum budget in promotion. Plus you’ll need some services and campaign to work on the audience and expose your station!
Which are the basic expenses to start a web radio and how much should I spend?
- The first cost is a good radio streaming service. We suggest Wavestream which is also the provider of many big radios and perfectly integrates with many platforms. The plans are scalable and you can start small.The basic plan is less than 40 a month.
- Some design services (see next paragraph)
- Web hosting and domain (Wavestream offers it integrated, otherwise go for a good WordPress hosting). Start as cheap as 70/year. Avoid cheapest hosting: you’ll regret it forever.
- Facebook campaign: some ads to promote the shows (minimum 100€)
- Copywriter: hire some freelance copy to write down engaging posts and presentation (about 50€/page)
- Merchandise: print some stickers, everybody loves them!! (around 50€)
- Advertise on some local magazine/music magazine. Very effective! (min. 300€)
- Google AdWords: target specific keys for your music style! (200€)
In total, let’s say that to kickstart a web radio in the best way, with a budget of nearly 600 or 700€ you can achieve good results within a couple of months, starting to have an interesting crowd of listeners.
4. Be Professional
Thousands of web radios out there, even thou are offering good music, doesn’t have such a professional image. It’s a matter of design, pictures, website layout, logo, lot of details that makes the difference.
When first a new listener notice your radio, he doesn’t know if is a big one with thousands of listeners or not, and judge the quality of what he listens even through the quality of your radio’s image. For this reason, a minimum investment in hiring a designer for a good logo and cool banners, will make the difference from looking cool and looking poor.
The cost for a quality corporate image for your radio can go from 200€ to few thousands in case you want to do the things in big, but for a basic corporate image the cost is not so high and it will turn your channels into professional looking radio stations.
5. Be consistent
Some web radios only transmits in certain time of the day and of the week, like from 5 till 10 of the evening or so on, and there is silence in the rest of the time. Always avoid this thing: people are going to be so much pissed off for the interruption that each day will be like restarting your radio station from the ground.
Happy listeners can stay connected 24/7 from winamp, iTunes, website player and so on, but if you interrupt your music, they’ll be forced to change radio station, and the next day will forget about you.
Instead, gather a reasonable number of recordings, live set, pre-recorded transmissions, interviews or whatever you want, and stream theme using the schedule software of your streaming provider. You have to guarantee your music 24 hours a day, and try to listen at it as most as you can, to be sure that there are no interruptions and check in first person the quality of your music.
Publish good contents, check the podcasts in advance, and refresh often your contents. Provide a consistent and positive listening experience. Always.
6. Get in touch with the listeners
When the listeners like a radio, they want to know who is behind it. They want to interact, and not only click like. Provide different interaction channels from your website, like contact form (for example the ON AIR WordPress Theme already provides it) or directly expose an email address, place polls to understand the taste of the listeners and try to meet their taste.
7. Check the statistics
If your web radio provider, like Wavestream does, provides statistics about your listeners, check it out on a daily basis. Try to understand the peak of listeners, and to understand if are related with user habits or with the shows itself. Place the most followed shows more often, and in the peak times, and de-promote the worst shows in the less crowded timings.
Always check if some show causes drops in the listeners, and fix it.
Your objective is to constantly increase the quality of the sound that comes from your station.
8. Attract good djs and speakers
Looking professional from the beginning is not only a matter of aesthetics: you need good names. Podcasts, interviews or any other material from people with a high number of followers.
To attract good names, get in touch with them and obtain the podcast of their shows to stream in your channel, is an easy trick if you have the right tools. For this reason, think about appearing professional and solid, so when the PR and agents of the big names will check your channel, they will know that you have a positive reputation and transmits a positive image on the artists.
Big names wants to look good, and if your logo design and look is not good, they will not allow you to stream their music.
Once you obtain a show from a big name, immediately exploit the occasion to make a good promotion: posts, facebook ads and any other way to increase the visibility of the name is fine.
If other artists will see your promotion, they will spontaneously ask to have their show in your radio!
9. Real life exposition
Local fairs, parties, club flyers: check for all the possible promotion channels that lives out of the screen. Real life interaction is much more powerful than Facebook, and if real people recommend your radio to their friends, you automatically gain a listener. For this reason gadgets and real life promotions are very important.
Bring your business cards, stickers and pins always with you, and give them away to the most interesting people that you meet, looking for real life influencers that will spread your word.
Nothing works better than your own creativity to promote your radio! Think about any possible connection between the topics of your channel and any other existing thing: create connections with forums, artists, environment causes, cultural movements, cinema, video, viral contents, make your own memes: everything is valid! Sponsor some party in local venues, organize promotions, establish affiliations with other products: the opportunities are endless!
Spend a day in thinking, and pick the most awesome idea you can get: the result will be awesome!
EXTRA RULE: DON’T BE GREEDY
Even if this topic will be discussed in a new post, the economic aspect of running a radio is of course important. So here it is the extra rule: don’t be greedy! Incomes will come if you work good, and will probably need a year or more to get good sponsors, but starting with the idea of an income is not the right way.
Focus on what you can give to your listeners instead of the opposite, and avoid killing the vibe with too much commercials.
We saw 10 tips to promote a new web radio in the right way, and we saw that is not easy. What’s important is to have a good plan, focus on your target audience, and think creatively.
Save some budget for the promotion, and do your best to look good and professional in all your media: website, socials and printed gear.
Create connections with influent artists and speakers in your niche, and earn the trust of the listeners with your consistency and with the quality of the contents.
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