Many focus on increasing the audience number for their station, but it is even more important to increase your stations listened hours. This is the metric for how many hours your listeners are tuned in.
What does it mean to increase your stations listened hours
Lets break it down mathematically. Station A: has 100 listeners that tune in on average of 1 hour a day, they receive a total of 100 listened hours a day. Station B: has 75 listeners which is 25% less than Station A, but each listeners tunes in on average of 2 hours a day. This provides them a total listened hours of 150 hours a day.
Lets looks into a simple radio advertising campaign as an example. A station typically gets paid for each “mention” or number of times the ad was heard. If Station A & B play an ad every 5 minutes Station A: (100h x 60m) 6000 listened minutes / 5 minute ad frequency = 1200 mentions. Station B: (150h x 60m) 9000 listened minutes / 5 minute ad frequency = 1800 mentions.
As shown above, ever though Station B has 25% smaller audience size, they still provide a 50% higher frequency in ad mentions therefore more attractive to marketers.
With all that being said, lets go through a few things that can help keep your audience listening.
There are a few ways to achieve this. Taking listener calls live on air is a strong way to go but does have its draw downs. The main one being, you are not have full control of the mood the listener will portray on your show.
In our opinion, social networks are a much stronger tool to interact with your audience. They may choose to tune into your show because of a topic you are discussing which they would only know by your posts coming up on their social feeds. Not only are you communicating with your audience live from wherever they are, you may come up on their friends feeds when they like or reply to your posts which gives you more exposure. Make sure to reply to any questions of comments your listeners introduce as this makes them feel part of the show and will grow their loyalty to your station.
2. Jingles: Minimal & None Intrusive
Jingles are important to brand awareness but avoid abusing this. Listeners want to hear your content whether it is music, talk radio, sports, etc… They are best used as a transition without marking a break in the tone of your show. Try to stay away from anything to repetitive or lengthy that may annoy a listener and cause them to sign off.
3. Provide “Sneak Peaks”
As previously mentioned with the social networks, letting your audience know intriguing tidbits about what is coming up on your show to touch their curiosity to either come back or continue listening allowing to increase your stations listened hours. Self-promoting your shows is good but make sure not to overwhelm them.
4. Create Routines
Shows should be consistent in time of day as listeners may be tuning in at specific times of the day such as driving into work. They may be looking for a reliable show they can follow every day. This will increase your stations listened hours as humans are creatures of routine after all.
5. Provide Value to Your Listeners
If you have value to provide your show that helps your listeners, they will tend to remain tuned in. If you have advice to improve their day to day life or practical information about festivals, movies, etc… your audience will be more likely to tune in more often.
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