By Peter Yiamarelos
In part one we took a look at some of the important aspects of the radio- listener relationship needed to build a successful station. In this edition we’ll look at the further aspects involved.
The “established” phase is a when a listener will be happy to tell their friends they are a listener of your station or breakfast show, but they are still not loyal fans yet
Yes they are an established listener and are habitually listening to you daily but they are still listening to other stations as well.
Some content directors are happy with that achievement. BUT these listeners don’t stay in this phase for long, they either become loyal fans to your station or they become loyal fans of your competitor.
This is the last phase where you have to fight to win this listener over. Because once you do win them over it becomes very hard to lose them. Even when you make inevitable major content adjustments like launching a new breakfast show, changing the music or format for example.
How? with over an above-promotions, with money can’t buy prizes, music tactics an entertaining content that your competitors can’t copy.
This is the phase you’ve been waiting for.
The loyalty phase that you and the team have worked so hard to achieve.
When this stage is achieved you can use and communicate to this community of listeners that have been out of reach in previous stages of the listener journey.
Here is where you can capitalise the wealth of information available to you from this group. Through focus groups, call to action events and tactics you can drive this audience.
Loyalty is the foundation you can build on audience growth incrementally.
At this point your overall share is growing and gaining momentum.
Remember once your station gets to no.1 to implement a defence strategy to maintain that no.1 position.
A tool to help retain loyalty, while also making noise to generate awareness and all previous phases, is podcast catchups.
This tool is essentially a small effort to allow your listeners to catchup on what they missed out on from their favourite show.
While podcast catchups are used for the breakfast shows, it’s not uncommon to have podcast catchups for drive shows or other specialist shows within your overall line up.
One of the other benefits of having a loyal listener base is that these listeners will drive most of your Time Spent Listening (TSL). While your casual listeners will drive your overall cumulative listenership numbers, your strong TSL numbers is what will drive your overall SHARE.
Evangelists are those fans who talk about your station, music, or breakfast show…a lot. It’s the strongest form of word of mouth there is. Those who tell their friends, “did you hear this on station x?”
These evangelists will also regularly share your digital content.
That’s why your content distribution structure for social media must be set up to “spread the word” about your station by your evangelists / social reactors
Cross check to ensure your social accounts are active and updated often.
Finally, while your loyal fans will stick by you in the tough times, do not take them for granted. Look after them, spoil them.