Comprehensive Web Strategy
There are two fundamental disconnects between radio and the web:
1. Nobody is searching for the content on radio websites.
2. Today’s online advertiser only pays for results.
1. By now its thoroughly apparent that very few people care about the
content on radio station websites. DJ pages, station event photos and
even program schedules have little or no value. And even if they did no
one who searches for them online would find them because few pages
are coded to be found by the major search engines including Google,
Yahoo and MSN.
2. Anyone who’s sold radio locally knows that the quickest way to lose an
account is to execute a point of purchase promotion where consumers
get a discount by mentioning the station name or that “the DJ sent
(them)”. The client is looking to measure the success of the campaign
by the number of people through the door who mention the station.
They rarely see a return that justifies their investment. But that’s
exactly how advertisers buy online advertising with CPM, CPC and CPA
campaigns. They pay for the number of page views, clicks or signups;
i.e., the number of “people through the door.” No clicks, no pay.
Reconnecting with an audience online requires us to understand
what consumers are searching for and how the major search engines
they use work.
Google, Yahoo and MSN are constantly looking for geographically
targeted content and have teams of people filtering results to ensure
that a listing for “Santa Barbara, CA” returns listings for businesses in
Santa Barbara, CA.
Products and services with titles and pages coded to be found by the
major search engines are the ones that turn up as “organic”, (unpaid
or unsponsored), results. The more sites and pages that list the
content they seek; i.e., “Santa Barbara used cars, Santa Barbara
apartment rentals, Santa Barbara restaurants” etc., the higher the
organic listing for your Santa Barbara website.
By aggregating all of the existing top searched sites in the DMA for
each category onto ONE WEBSITE the listing for your site will appear
higher on the page. The higher the listing the more traffic and the
more traffic the more value. Broadcast groups need to create
websites with enough valuable content to sell these accepted
standards for online advertising with CPM, CPC and CPA campaigns.
Top organic search result for
Santa Barbara, CA
Unfortunately a geo-specific web strategy flies in the face of
the demo-specific world of traditional radio advertising.
Online advertisers “pay for performance”. They can
measure the success of the campaign based on “clicks”.
“Reach and frequency” measures the entire audience not
the number of consumers that show interest or actually
purchase a specific product or service.
Also your new website must aggregate traffic to increase
value. Just as the cluster offers better reach for the client
than one station so too does one website that aggregates
all of the media, businesses, services, schools, churches,
charities and government agencies for the market offer
more value than an individual website targeted to 25-54
year old women who like Celine Dion and want to know
what the DJ looks like.
1. Build one website targeted to the DMA.
2. Code all the pages relative to the most searched words and phrases for the DMA.
3. Establish revenue sharing relationships with content providers including other
media, realtors, car dealers, banks, schools, hospitals and major employers.
4. Offer free listings for schools, charities, houses of worship and local government
5. Supplement lack of content through third parties like Triton Media until the
content can be locally or regionally generated and sold.
6. Market the site on-air, at P-O-P and online as the local online meeting place .
7. Insist that in exchange for the service we provide all partners also market the site.
8. Implement a Database Management System, DMS, that offers the visitor access
to coupons, discounts and freebies if they register with our “opt out anytime” VIP
membership program and request coupons and discounts from your partners.
9. Connect with an email marketing program like www.constantcontact.com and a
texting program like www.hipcricket.com to provide sponsored monthly
newsletters and occasional promotional and emergency information text
10. Put all stations on one player to aggregate the value of ad insertions, video pre-
rolls, banners and links and feature the player prominently on the site.
Priorities and responsibilities have to be realigned to meet these new
challenges. But effectively the job of the local radio station to serve by
entertaining and informing the market remains. It’s just that now that
station is ONE WEBSITE supported by all the staff from ALL THE
STATIONS in the cluster.
Job descriptions and qualifications must also be re-configured to manage
this new online priority. But essentially we are redefining existing
positions in programming, production, sales and traffic departments . By
adding video and audio the site will offer engaging and dynamic content
including live chats, webinars and cyber remotes hosted by station talent.
And with many of these features available on demand the station can
produce as much content as the sales department can sell without any of
the traditional inventory restrictions.
For most of our professional lives we’ve been driving listeners to remotes
and events. We’ll continue to do that by driving them to an online
meeting place. One company owned website for the DMA hosted by
station staff directing all listeners from all stations to ONE WEBSITE. And
we need to move quickly because newspapers, TV stations and locally
targeted stand-alone websites are already there.
Locally targeted website with
Some existing staff and interns can be retrained as
shooting, editing and uploading video and text
becomes more a part of daily responsibilities.
Eventually we can train future employees onsite as
part of an in house “web TV” school that once
accredited can offer financial aid programs to
students and ultimately a skilled entry level work
force for other like-minded companies. Most
broadcast schools are already training students for
both TV and Radio. Why can’t we?
A working model operating with positive cash
flow will go a long way towards convincing the
rest of the industry that you have the right
model. If they can plug it in without any
development costs you can charge a franchise
fee plus revenue share and even maintain some
of the inventory. Sound familiar?
broadcast radio event /on premise
database marketing podcasts/
websites mobile (sms)
music e-commerce streaming
Today’s broadcast groups are either:
1. Preparing an exit strategy or
2. Taking a “wait-and-see” approach or
3. Plugging in third party content or
4. Implementing their own strategy or
5. Selling their model to other groups or
6. Some combination of the above.
If we’re going to continue to be operators we have to realize
that serving the local market has always been our core
strength. That “Live and Local” is still relevant but must be
adapted to meet the changing landscape. Local radio has
always competed for advertising dollars with other mediums.
But today we compete against them for the same dollars in the
same medium. We have to win the battle online.
Local newspapers are developing some video content but like
local TV and radio are still focused on their core business. Local
websites are focused mostly on high organic search results that
increase the value of their ads with little commitment to
delivering compelling local content. That leaves local radio in
an ideal position to fill the void by providing a central portal of
local content delivered in a compelling and dynamic way.
To be successful and reach the goal of becoming the most visited URL by
those that live in and plan to visit the DMA we must:
1. Follow proven examples wherever possible
2. Integrate an SEO plan targeted at the major search engines
3. Provide the information the consumer seeks
4. Present the data in a dynamic multi-media way
5. Build and market to the database of visitors
6. Provide value for all parties
7. Host partner websites
8. Outsource most content to local partners
9. Mandate that partners market the site
10. Utilize all possible resources to this single initiative
By offering compelling content for the DMA we’ll be creating a new
geographically targeted social network. An online meeting place where
the consumer benefits, the clients profit, the “stations” become vital again
and the market thrives. It’s time to use our existing assets to capitalize
these new revenue streams.
For more information and a comprehensive
Taft Moore began his radio career at WBZ Boston where he produced the 1986 World Series
broadcast and became the youngest News Producer in the station’s history. As the PD/AM
Drive host for the market leading station on Cape Cod he set the high water mark for ratings
with a 33.3 share 18-plus and 18.8 share for M25-54. WPXC became the first of two stations
he programmed to be nominated for the Marconi Award for “Best Rock Station in America”
along with fellow nominees WBCN, WLUP and KROQ. In 1994 Moore led WYBB-
Charleston, SC from the middle of the pack to #1 M25-54 in less than twelve months
eclipsing market leader WAVF for the first time. In 1995 he was the first person hired by
Black Crow Media where he built the group from a single satellite station in a double-wide
trailer to 26 “live-and-local” properties across the Southeast. In addition to building trade
relationships that he later converted to cash accounts Moore implemented and executed
research projects that together with talent coaching delivered winning ratings in AC, Hot
AC, Alternative, CHR, Rock, Active Rock, Classic Rock, Classic Hits, Country, Urban and
Urban AC. In 1999 R&R published a story confirming that WFKX in Jackson, TN was the #1
12-plus Urban radio station in America by AQH according to Arbitron. In 2002 Moore was
hired to manage the promotions department for National Music Marketing, the third
largest independent promotion firm in America, where he managed 100 radio station
accounts including Radio One, Regent, Sinclair, LBJ, Mapleton and Wilks. Moore went on to
produce and sell sponsorship to national tours including a Sony/BMG direct response
campaign that broke an artist for RCA records, billed $90,000 in one month and helped set a
seven figure record for billing in his department in 2007. In July of 2008 Moore was hired as
the Business Development Manager for Aritaur Communications, an original investor in
Ando Media, where he was developing flash media players for brands including Volvo, Sea
Ray and Row 44, the broadband provider for Alaska, Continental and Southwest Airlines. In
that capacity he became intimately familiar with many of the players in this space including
Triton Digital, Accuradio, Liquid Compass, Emmis Interactive, Hip Cricket and E.W. Scripps.
Moore’s radio-internet model is based on his career in radio and his understanding of
existing and emerging trends.