(By Alec Drake) For decades in radio, we have struggled to tell our story and deliver our sales message to the marketplace. Today everyone is empowered to be a creator, producer, talent, and media entity; are we missing an opportunity in sales? How can we build a stronger prospect base using sales content that converts into revenue?
The Programming Content Model
Content marketing is a standard practice in the programming department of radio stations. The program director, now known as the brand manager, works with on-air talent and promotions to push out content on social platforms and station websites. Leading brand managers understand how vital this content extension is to their success in retaining and cultivating listeners. The pain of less relevance motivates attention to content quality, dollars invested in support of the process, and resulting rating growth. There is a concentrated effort in programming to get every air talent involved in content creation.
If Content is King, Who Rules the Sales Department?
In contrast to the programming department, there is a lack of consensus in sales on who should manage content marketing. All stations must tell their value story, stimulate sales potential, and support their sales teams. Larger companies push out content from the corporate level, although it can get lost in local sales efforts with limited benefit. Content marketing from third-party vendor programs can provide effective results if they are not too generic.
There are two paths to content creation; curate existing content or create original content.
- Curated content initiatives should be filtered to target your best prospects. Use industry knowledge from existing customers to curate content applicable to similar category prospects. Leverage business articles outside radio to share with your sales team and place them on individual LinkedIn profiles. Set up Google alerts for specific companies or categories to get ideas for content marketing.
- Original content should leverage existing sales collateral and research materials in a meaningful context for prospects to see their value. Always start with what it means to the customer and why the content you pick matters as a benefit. Client testimonials and your personality endorsements that are getting results can speak volumes. Promote your station events and community support to round out your narrative.
Do You Need a Sales Content Manager?
Years ago, there were no Digital Sales Managers, and now this leadership role is critical in driving revenue growth. The industry embraced digital sales to expand customer solutions, compete for dollars and sustain business potential in markets. Establishing digital leadership in sales departments showed we were serious about opportunities for ourselves and our clients.
We now need a leadership role in marketing and content strategies to help our clients and us in sales. Filling this void puts you on a proactive path for growth in the future. Displaying leadership in the market, adding another point of differentiation, and supporting your sales team will mean more dollars next year. Imagine a customer or prospect sharing your content with their business contacts and how that pass-along is marketing gold.
- Prospects and customers want to work with a well-informed organization, a team aware of current business trends, and their perceptions are the reality.
- A station’s effective and impactful sales marketing communicates to clients that you understand how to leverage different channels to tell the story.
- Define your content management strategy with your team’s input and start looking for your new “Sales Content Manager”.
Bonus: Once you establish your sales content management plan, think about how you can add a new service for your clients, helping them with content management strategies. Internal digital agencies are incubating in radio properties. A sales content manager is a natural extension of services that can represent a new revenue stream in 2023.