01/06

When Radio has No Idea what to Put on its Websites

If you have any conversation with anyone deep in the digital media space you will hear many references to the folks who put content out there online, and those folks will invariably be referred to as “publishers.”

Even radio stations are thought of as publishers.  In fact, in the media space online, there is no such thing as radio per se, there are only publishers and content where that content can span any number of media types or channels.

The consequences of this for your radio station are profound.  See, the average radio station views its website as a promotional tool and they view their sign-up list as a contest tool.

To some broadcasters, the web, in other words, is nothing more than a low budget marketing tool and a convenient way to sign up folks for contests.

That’s fine in a world where nothing matters but the agency dollars that flow to traditional over-the-air buys.  It’s not so fine in a world where those dollars are shrinking and spreading to other – more accountable – alternatives.

That’s why it’s time for you to view yourself as a publisher, not a radio station.

And if you’re a publisher, then why don’t you have subscribers?

I have subscribers – people who have signed up for my content because of the value inherent in it, not because they have been bribed to do so, not because they stand a chance to win something, but because (God forbid) they actually like it (or at least like to dislike it).  Why don’t you have subscribers?

You don’t “register to win” a subscription, you register for value from that subscription.

When you think about the bigger, broader needs and interests your audience has – especially in no-brainer content formats like Sports and News/Talk – subscriptions should be easy.  Instead they’re few and far between.

You might think, for example, that the local Sports station would feature content by local sports nuts, mixing it up with each other – a community of controversy.  Right?  In most cases, wrong.  The U.S. Army has over 100 volunteer bloggers.  How many do you have?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.  Every station has a base of consumers marked by specific needs – generally the ones that unify them on that particular station.

We could publish content that attracts them and bonds them to our brands. But too often, we don’t.

Why not?

Rest assured, if you don’t someone else will.

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