Takeaways From The 2016 Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference

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By Gabriel Barnes

Last week I had the privilege of joining a panel of speakers at the Hispanic Radio Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Our discussion topic was “Smarter Digital Strategies,” and we were to provide actionable takeaways that Hispanic radio groups could leave with and implement immediately – in the areas of digital engagement, sales, and operations – to quickly increase digital revenues.

Although the message was directed to the Latino audience, much of what was discussed applies to radio groups across every format. But to those who couldn’t be in attendance, here were my key takeaways from the panel of speakers:

Watch out for “Fool’s Gold”

Be wary of investing in the shiny new object, or digital solution, that is trendy at this time. Not all audiences are created equal, so just because another group is using the newest digital product/service, doesn’t mean that it is right for you and your listeners or audience.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Listeners What They Want

Once you have sat down with your team, decided that digital is the route you should go after weighing the opportunity costs, what should be your next step? Well, the overwhelming majority of answers from the panelists are that you should invite your listeners to participate in some sort of questionnaire to find out exactly what content they would like to receive from you.

Too often we, as radio stations, feel that we have to have all of the answers. But this is not the case. Your listeners appreciate you making the effort to keep up with the times and, more importantly, they appreciate you working to provide them with what they enjoy most from you – unique and compelling content. So don’t be afraid to ask… and maybe incentivize them to do so!

Advertisers are looking for packaged solutions that customarily target online traffic wherever they are at in the “Purchase Funnel”

This might have you scratching your head a little and asking yourself, “Customarily target online traffic wherever they are at in the ‘purchase funnel?’ What does that mean and what is a ‘purchase funnel?’”

Well, for starters, custom targeting means the ability to define the exact audience you would like to reach on your station site, or somewhere on the Web. The purchase funnel represents a stage that each of us might be at, at a given point in time, when making a purchase; ranging from Awareness of a product/service, to Interest or Consideration of similar/competing products, to finally the Intent to make a purchase. I won’t dive too much into it, but targeted digital advertising, in my opinion, will ultimately be radio’s major revenue generator on the digital side.

Take some time to research different tools that will allow your group to offer targeted advertising services to your clients, as this is where the majority of digital ad spend is going in 2016 and beyond.

So there you have it. You don’t have to feel completely left out from this year’s conference, as those three takeaways are where you should begin in your digital endeavors if you wish to shorten the learning curve and increase your chances of success and to generate revenue.

Gabriel Barnes is the founder and Managing Director of RevKick, a digital marketing agency that provides industry-leading ad-targeting capabilities to radio stations and local businesses. Gabriel can be reached at [email protected]

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