Radio Steps Up in the Digital Age

By Kevin Ketels 
President
Kyrris Marketing

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

domMedia fragmentation and digital distribution have dramatically changed the way consumers listen to music and talk radio.  In my interview with radio executive Dom Theodore, he addresses why these changes took place and how broadcasters are leveraging digital technology to help compete.

How has the radio media landscape evolved since you and I were kids in the 1970’s?

Radio is a much more sophisticated business than it was in the 70’s. Back then, FM was just finding its footing, and most of the revenue was made on the AM dial. As the audience migrated to FM, and the FCC changed signal-spacing requirements, more FM stations popped up creating more of a splintered audience. Then, in the mid-1990’s, the FCC changed ownership rules and essentially lifted the cap on the number of stations that can be owned by one company in the same market. This brought in tons of new Wall street investors to radio, and as traditional broadcasters sold stations to mega-companies, these new owners focused on cost efficiency and finding ways to operate with fewer people and more syndicated programming. Then came the ‘digital disruption’ that made so many new audio entertainment technologies available to consumers, and you now have a much more splintered audience than ever before.

How does radio compete in an era of consumer media fragmentation?

It starts with recognizing that radio is no longer just radio – we are in the ‘audio entertainment’ business. There are more content delivery systems than ever before, but the secret to effectively competing in this new world is to focus on the actual ‘delivery’ – the content – and take an agnostic approach to ‘delivery system.’ This means that radio personalities need to be multi-platform, and available in both real-time during their live shows, and on-demand anytime through other platforms. They also need a social media presence and content that extends far beyond their radio show. But it all starts with a great talent.


MORE: Hear more about podcasting and radio at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


Can you give us some examples of digital tools that are now being used in the industry to better connect talent, programming and/or advertisers with your audience? 

Terrestrial radio stations absolutely must have a presence across digital platforms – and most savvy personalities are using social media – particularly Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat – to better engage with audiences. Also, the audience expects content to be available on-demand, so you’ll find podcasts from your favorite radio personalities on iTunes, Soundcloud, etc. Radio stations also typically employ online research methods to determine what songs to play – often soliciting their listener’s opinions online and using that data to determine programming decisions. And of course, we use digital advertising campaigns to drive audience back to the radio station for contesting, special programming, etc.

And there are plenty of radio station audio streams available online, in addition to internet-only channels… like my own ‘The Blaze Radio network’ – which is Glenn Beck’s single biggest affiliate – producing a bigger audience than any one of our terrestrial radio affiliates. As the ‘connected car’ becomes a reality, consumers will soon have access to every streaming radio station in their vehicle. This will be a game-changer, and will allow real-time audience analysis and audience reaction measurement… what is now the broadcast business will really become a narrowcast business with very individualized media experiences.

Kevin Ketels is President of Kyrris Marketing, a Detroit marketing and communications agency, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University. 

Read more from Kevin Ketels:

Don’t be a Social Media Bore

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp

Don’t be a Social Media Bore

By Kevin Ketels
President
Kyrris Marketing

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

We all know that you don’t give somebody the hard sell moments after meeting them. “Hi, my name is Joe. Would you like to buy my premium lead generation software?” No. First, you get to know them, then build a relationship and trust.

Social media is the same way. Most people don’t use Facebook or Twitter to look for new products or services. Instead, most people use social media to connect with others, laugh, learn something new or be inspired. Social media is like a giant cocktail party. People gravitate towards the funny, light and interesting banter; they avoid the dry, stuffy or boring person just talking about themselves.

Your goal is to create a social media presence for your company that interacts with people in an entertaining and informative, but not “salesy” way. If all you do is give them the hard sell, they will tune you out. They will never see your content and you certainly won’t engage them in a way that best takes advantage of the interactive social media format.

Find your company’s online personality that reflects your brand, audience and the values/beliefs of the people who work there, and then create content that reflects those attributes.


MORE: Hear more about social media marketing strategies and tools at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


Six ways to build your company’s social media personality

  • Post smart, thoughtful or funny content not directly related to your products.
  • Highlight the people at your company. Tell their story and share your humanity. People love to see others who have worked hard and succeeded. They also like to see those who care passionately about their work.
  • Share your insight. Help your audience learn something new. It can be related to your area of expertise or simply unique to the needs of your customers.
  • Demonstrate you are part of the community. Show how you care about more than just the bottom line.
  • Interact with your customers and prospects. Show they are more than just a transaction by acknowledging their comments, responding and engaging.
  • Sell your stuff in a way that respects your online relationship. More than ever, customers don’t want to be sold. They want authenticity and meaning in their commercial relationships and purchases. You can do this by sharing benefits, demonstrating use and incorporating mentions of your product in ways that are smart, thoughtful or funny.

Here are some examples of my favorite corporate social media accounts that have developed their own online personalities: Taco Bell, Dove, Denny’s, Charmin, Old Spice, Staples and Curiosity Rover.

If you create compelling social media content, it not only creates a viral social media effect, but programs like Facebook will show content with high engagement to a larger audience. Conversely, if the engagement is low, the potential audience will be restricted.

Your social media personality should be like your smart, funny and handsome neighbor. You like and trust him. He sells insurance but doesn’t constantly ask you to buy it. He makes you laugh and he can laugh at himself. He lets you borrow his tools. He gives you gardening, and sometimes, insurance advice. You like and trust him. When it eventually comes time to make a decision about which insurance to purchase, you buy his product, because it feels comfortable and right.

Kevin Ketels is President of Kyrris Marketing, a Detroit marketing and communications agency, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University. 

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp

More from Kevin Ketels: 

Navigating the Social Media Maze