The next time you find yourself in a conversation at the radio station with your boss or general manager about social media and digital and if there is any real value for radio in these things, nudge the conversation toward something important to him or her: Money and their employment.
Ask them if they are aware of the digital revolution that is happening with money. You could mention how BIA/Kelsey suggests that the dominant amount of advertising and marketing will be placed digitally in the U.S. within just a few years and this could mean steep declines in local radio revenue. You can invite them to go to their office (or yours) and Google “digital advertising revenue” and consider the potential impact on traditional advertising (like radio). If they do this, trust me, it is attention-getting and shifts the focus to something important to them: Their job performance and how they make a living. Just make sure you tell them that they can do something to impact both audience connectivity and local revenue by developing a strategic plan for social media and digital now.
You can then ask them if they have considered the potential impact that mobilizing their sales promotion efforts in social media could have on revenue. In other words, you can point out that having a person on the sales team be the “point person” and create a blog that focuses on helping local advertisers and potential advertisers with a variety of topics important to the local, small- and medium-size business owners (not just blogs about buying advertising on your stations). This blog should have relevant and helpful information for local business owners and resources to help them improve their outreach and their profit. You can say they should consider including several opportunities to also create full local business marketing seminars to draw new advertisers each year as a part of your social media and sales blogging efforts. These can be cluster events that turn into showcases for your brands with potential new advertisers and revenue opportunities to sign new clients twice a year. This is where you can really also showcase the power of local radio. At this point in the conversation, you can introduce statistics on what is actually happening OUTSIDE of the radio business with respect to digital and social media and businesses:
According to Salesforce Blog (from the Center for Media Research and Mediapost.com):
• $118.4 billion will be spent on content marketing, video marketing, and social media in 2013
• Marketers spend over 25% of their marketing budget on content marketing
• Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links
• 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing
• 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing
• B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month
• Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media
• Social media and blogs reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users
• Organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate
• 79% of B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve brand awareness goals
• Articles with images get 94% more views
• 78% of consumers feel that organizations behind the content are interested in building relationships
• 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing
• 58% of consumers trust editorial content
• 68% of consumers spend time reading content from a brand in which they are interested
• Social media and blogs account for 23% of all time spent online
• 87% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute content
• 90% of consumers find custom content useful
Your boss may be wondering a lot of things at this point, but he or she won’t be thinking like they were before. Maybe they will think of you as a person they should pay more attention to in the building. Who knows? You might get a raise. You will be seen immediately as someone who is interested and tuned in on ways to protect and grow the value of the local radio cluster the company owns.
When you reach this point, remind them that you think much more impact can be made by developing and putting a top-down endorsement on social media and digital efforts to engage listeners, and that you think if this is done correctly it could mean higher ratings and higher revenue.
The conversation about digital and social media strategy needs to change for radio. We have to seriously invest and get active in having a real strategic plan for social media and digital for both programming and revenue to impact local listeners and local advertisers. If we don’t, we risk more than not being efficient. We risk radio in the 21st century.
*Content originally appeared @ RadioInk.com. For more content on radio, go to RadioInk.com. Look for my column on social media and radio on the left-hand side of the homepage behind my picture and the word “Engagement.”
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Loyd Ford is the Direct Marketing, Ratings & Social Media Strategist for Americalist Direct Marketing. He works with media brands all across the country to improve ratings and participation with custom contest strategy, telemarketing, strategic direct mail and social media for radio clients. His interests include social media, digital local-direct revenue and non-traditional revenue for radio. And, yes, he believes you should be receiving more share of digital revenue in your local radio market along with higher ratings. Contact him directly @ 877.475.6864 or Americalist1@aol.com.