(By Randy Lane) The bad news for radio: downsizing continues, revenues haven’t caught up to pre-Covid levels, commercial loads remain too high, listenership is declining especially with young people, music has become commoditized, and our old medium isn’t considered cool anymore. Yikes!
The good news: Radio has survived a series of technological disruptions including television, MTV, the iPod, social media, podcasts, and music streaming services. In the last few years, a trend has been emerging that plays to radio’s strength – humanity.
In last week’s Entrepreneur, Jonathan Law wrote about how brands that are considered more human benefit from multiple advantages including more consumer involvement and long-term loyalty. The Jacobs Media Tech Survey reveals that personalities are now the main reason people listen to radio. Personalities are radios’ direct connection to listeners.
Additionally, several studies have shown that one of radio’s greatest strengths is companionship. It’s often been said that radio is the original social medium. Now is the time to take advantage of that and challenge many of radio’s conventions and humanize your brand.
Five simple ways to humanize radio:
- Personalities 24/7: High-profile morning and afternoon shows are thriving across North America. It stands to reason that personalities will also work in all dayparts. Content segments would be shorter with more music than the drives.
Now Radio Edmonton is killing it in the ratings with this 24/7model. Now Radio hosts provide companionship by continuously interacting with listeners via callers, texts, and posts on story topics in all dayparts.
- Host and listener stories instantly generate interest, empathy, and intrigue…what will happen next? Stories build trust with the audience because you’re sharing experiences.
Topics like, “the worst boss stories” or “has this ever happened to you?” generate listener responses and experiences. For several more ways to get callers on your show check out Jeff McHugh’s blog “Getting Listener Calls In 2022.”
- Companionship: Stay present with listeners. Rather than running all produced imaging in music sweeps, replace much of it with live or voice-tracked personalities delivering teases, song intros, and imaging copy.
- Utilize your trusted voices to deliver imaging messages over out-of-market generic voiceovers.
- Connect to your community: The appeal of relevant local content has been rising prior to the pandemic. Interacting with listeners is one excellent way that instantly connects you to your community. Be the voice of your market and watch listener loyalty grow.
Contact Randy Lane by e-mail at [email protected].