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How to put the “Strategy” into Radio’s Digital Strategy

It's always refreshing to get a perspective on digital strategy from outside the radio industry and from experts who know it like the back of their proverbial hands.

BJ Cook is one such expert.  

He's the CEO and co-founder of Digital Operative, one of San Diego's leading digital agencies. 

How should radio approach digital strategy? What should stations focus on? What is the process which can lead us to success?  

I think you'll gain something from this video not only because BJ is an expert in his field, but also because it's the "process" – the strategy – that's most important.  Only when the strategy is clear can you make the right decisions on tools and tactics.

Too often, we are deciding on tools (i.e., Should we be on Twitter?  How?) before we decide on why the tools matter, if at all.

Postscript: Here are some notes BJ prepared regarding areas where digital marketing can help radio:

Portability – the listener relationship is no longer siloed to the car or home. From streaming web to podcasts to mobile applications; the touchpoints are only expanding. Think of the opportunities.  

– Give listeners the opportunity to listen to wherever they may be connected online … laptop, train, classroom, dorm room, Starbucks, etc.

– Leverage the power of widgets and viral marketing

– Flexibility – Gives radio stations the chance to build relevancy and currency online

– Music has always enabled people to gather around similar tastes or tribes. This is not only good for radio stations, but also bands.

– Just because the current popular model online is free doesn't mean you can't setup some type of premium webstreaming service where I could personalize my own station and get recommendations from people who listened to the same station. We already share a similar taste in the station, why not provide me with tools to connect to others and receive music recommendations?

Social Media – Whether it's a morning, mid-day or late night show; the listener experience doesn't have to end. By integrating social tools into your station website, people can get access to hosts who are on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

– Consider placing behind the scenes content into short 30-45 second clips in a video gallery with integrated sharing features

– Crowdsource ideas from listeners on show content

– Shoot post-show content and post to your blog … leverage the pull of marketing

– Allow website visitors to share content and invite new fans

– Enable listeners to share what they're listening to into their profiles on Twitter and Facebook.

Mobile – Phones are becoming life tools, like Apple says, "There's an app for that."

– Use an online survey service and see if your audience are adopting mobile apps

– Think about an iPhone App, Android app, etc.

– These apps are becoming advertising opportunities … give your advertising relationships more legs.

Paving the way – the following companies get digital + marketing

Pandora – they started online and now already have a deal with Ford Motors for in-dashboard controls for mobile handsets. Within a few years, new cars will have Pandora built in. (BJ: "People like personalization and won't mind paying for instant access in their cars.")

Slacker – They're online, on phones, on portable players and in-homes. (Again, people would pay for personalization) – Great services, social media tie-ins and a true community of fans that care.

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