So your radio station is up and running. It was so easy to start. But without a following already you find yourself sitting there looking at your listener statistics to only find one or two listeners pop up at a time. This can be very frustrating and depressing for the enthusiast who has just set himself up with a great radio station and does not know what to do next.
We are far from marketing professionals however we have had some great radio stations and still do. Big ones!! Really big ones in fact… In this guide we will talk to you about what needs to be done to get listeners to listen to your radio station and take your popularity to the next level.
1. Have a website:
Having a website is very important. Its a landing and advertising page for your radio station. By having a brand and a fantastic clear image of your radio and a description of your radio station this will ensure people add you to their internet bookmarks and keep returning to listen. A website helps people find you via search engines like google. It also helps people remember you and come back to you. A bit of search engine optimisation and marketing will go a long way too in helping your website reach the top of google which will also help people find your radio station.
2. Have a specific music genre:
Nobody wants to listen to an internet radio station of “Todays best hits” or “all of todays music”. That is what FM radio is for. The most successful radio stations are those who have selected a very specific music genre. So for example instead of playing music 24/7 of all kinds of dance music you need to find your very favourite type of dance music. You will always have people who will come to your station and find you playing that really cool jazzy deep house track only to find the next dance track to be hard banging heavy techno. This will only cause that previous listener to leave as he only likes deep house. Same with rock. If your radio is playing everything from indie rock to death metal this will only drive listeners away on a constant basis. SOOO. Keep your playlist and music style the same. Choose a specific niche. One that you like best and that you have the most mp3s. This is why internet radio became so big. Because of the choice of radio stations to suit every genre. You can simply search for an internet radio station with your favourite music and listen to it all day long.
3. Make it very clear how to listen:
You need to create as many different options to listen. We provide “tune in” links for all media players which can be copied and pasted into your website. It will make it very obvious how to listen to your visitor. All the visitor needs to do is click their desired media player and it will open with your radio station already playing. Make sure you place your tune in links near the top of the page. They need to be visible when your web page loads. Your visitor should not have to scroll down the page to find the links to be able to listen. Also add a flash player. A flash player can be embedded on your website so the listener can press play and listen directly from the website. The other magical thing with flash players is you can set them to auto play. This is if you want someone to land on your website and the music to start playing instantly. If your website has a lot of traffic in the first place your radio will too.
4. Promote your radio station:
You can promote your radio station completely free. Social media is the answer. With twitter and Facebook being some of the most powerful tools to do so. Ask your friends to share your “tune in” links or links to your website across the network. Create a hash tag on twitter promoting your radio station. Make a comment about your favourite artist on twitter and hash tag him with the link to your radio station so people who search for the artist will find a link to listen to him or the genre pop up.
Now with all the free social media tools used you could consider advertising. If you have the budget you can invest in google adwords services and other pay per click campaigns. You can also create a marketing plan on Facebook and push an advert to 1000s by targeting a certain age group. Maybe there is a forum for your favourite style of music and they offer a banner to be added to the top for a small monthly fee. All these services will help you reach out to people and gain listeners. This is how the big radio stations got big. They advertised themselves daily until they didn’t have to any more.
5. Internet radio directories:
Put that in your google search. 100s of directories will come up where you can find a specific genre and see all radio stations available and even tune in via the directory. If your not there already you should be! Most of these directories will have an option for a broadcaster to register or sign up for a listing. It should only take a few minutes. The top directories you should consider are radio tuna, tune.in, radio tower, and shoutcast.com (which should be automatic if you use our services).
6. Be patient
Gaining your listeners can take time. Don’t sit there for 3 days looking at your listener stats constantly only to find you had one or two listeners. Get grafting and do the marketing work we just told you to do. You should be working on marketing your radio station as soon as you finish reading this guide, and do not stop until your site has a decent following. As your listeners increase it only gets better and more fun.. So what are you waiting for. You know what to do now.