First, a reality check:
“We are creating content faster than we can measure the quality control of it.”
The idea of communicating with content (rather than pushing hard product benefits) to advance your brand has become a marketing tsunami, bowling over every conceivable prospect in range. It makes so much sense that it has become a favored sales tool and everybody has tried it.
Wave after wave of valuable content—guides, blogs, how-tos, e-books, infographics, videos, newsletters, webinars, listicles, interviews, and more—is released into an already vast sea of content.
Now there’s too much.
The quote above is from an Advertising Week 2016 presentation by Jennifer Zeszut, CEO of marketing analytics firm Beckon in San Mateo, CA. She cited company research based on some $16 billion in client spending that just 5 percent of all content generated 90 percent of consumer interactions. “In other words, 19 of 20 pieces of content get little to no engagement.”
Zeszut suggested that companies are churning out content just for the sake of it (she noted two clients that developed 29, 000 and 50,000 pieces of original content), which will only go so far and not necessarily far enough given the effort.
Lack of engagement, Beckon said, is the best-case scenario; the worst case is that low-quality content will actually hurt the perception of a brand and, ultimately, sales.
But not all content is created equal. And not all media are equally effective communicators of content.
That has seemed to stop no one. A quick search on Google for “content marketing” generates about 78 million entries. And those are just articles about content marketing – not even actual examples of content!
While much of today’s focus is about aligning content with online and social spaces, we believe radio, the original content medium, and its relatives in sound marketing, can be the secret weapon for marketers when used properly.
Custom content on radio engages customers better than ads, builds brand likability and relationships, induces sales, cuts media costs, creates meaningful multiplatform extensions and provides a measurable return on business objectives.
So why would anyone not want to create custom content on a medium that delivers 94 percent of America every week?
Considering that logic, here are 10 tips about creating effective content on the radio:
1. Choose topics that make sense. Marketers need to ask themselves what information will both engage consumers and advance the brand. The content should not be about the brand but be relevant to it. Stick to that belief as tempting as it might be to stray!
2. Take title sponsorship. Title sponsorships tell consumers the sponsor is providing the content, not simply buying it from someone else and lending its name to it. Title sponsorships are recalled far more often than an information block that is “presented by” or even “sponsored by” an advertiser.
3. Content is not a commercial. Content that is overly produced or includes too much brand sell tells listeners they are hearing an ad, and they will tune it out. Remember, content needs to be of real value if it’s going to be accepted.
4. Content should change daily. Keep it fresh. No one listens to the same newscast or sportscast over again. Repeating content will suggest to listeners they may be hearing advertising and generate the same negative result.
5. Tag content with station call letters. Stations have great cachet with their audiences. Each on-air content piece should conclude with the radio station ID, as in “…on KC102,” to add credibility and implied station endorsements.
6. Promote. Content should be promoted by the radio station with appropriate brand and call-to-action language. This will not only increase awareness, it will call attention to the product’s enterprise in providing relevant information to its consuming public.
7. Extend content to extend reach. Content should be made available on digital and social properties as well as the station’s digital assets.
8. Local is better. Radio listeners are highly attracted to local references. Products that position your brand as part of the community earn loyalty and are remembered.
9. Impress the listener and the station. If content is compelling, more people will lean forward to hear the message and brand language, requiring less frequency and, hence, less investment to break through. In addition, good content is good for the station, so stations would be more apt to provide “earned” exposure in the form of continuous promotion.
10. Balance product messaging and real content. Honest, solid information will set up the product message much better than a disguised effort to make a self-serving advertisement sound like editorial.
To learn more about how CRN can use content marketing to drive your brand objectives, contact:
Rob O’Mara at email@example.com or 203.407.3313
Jim Alkon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203.407.3341
For a look back at the insights and forecasts of Advertising Week 2016, check out our blog.