If Content is King, Who’s the Queen?
by Tracy Johnson
You’ve heard it over and over. It’s all about content. Content is king. But is it? You may have the most compelling material on the air, but if nobody knows about it, does it matter?
On the air and off, broadcasters emphasize doing more. Get that blog post out there. Send that email blast. Post four times per show on Facebook. Make sure you’re tweeting. Get more content on the air. Run more promos.
We place a premium on content quantity. nd some of that content is truly outstanding. The problem is that even the great content tends to get lost in the sea of others who are also creating a ton of content.
I have no quarrel with those who prioritize content creators. It’s a pre-requisite for engagement, both on and off the air. But if content is king, promotion is most definitely queen.
Long Live the Queen
Today, Queen Promotion has more power than the king. Seriously.
Promotion is the act of spreading the word about your offering.
Whether it’s a station event, contest, a show show feature or a specific piece of content, promotion should be part of the content creation. Getting attention for your content is just as challenging as creating the content itself. Perhaps more!
Promote Your Episodes
Television networks don’t promote a series as much as they promote the next episode in the series. They promote the story, and demonstrate the humor or drama in the next episode. They understand that if they get a viewer to sample one show, there’s a much better chance to earn a return engagement. By treating each element as a promotional opportunity to draw attention, awareness follows.
Think of your radio show as a TV series, and each break (features, bits, ideas, etc) is an episode.
Craft each episode as an opportunity to attract tune in. Then promote that episode aggressively. Sell the personality and what is in the episode. In other words, learn the art of teasing!
When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense to run promotion about your series, does it? Your fans already get it. They know who you are and what you’re for. The non-fans who happen to be tuned in won’t be convinced with a promo. They’ll make a a decision on whether you’re for them. So doesn’t it make sense to persuade them to sample a little more of your greatness?
Ask For A Little, Get A Lot
Some stations fail at promotion because they ask for too much from the listener. No promo campaign will change a listener’s favorite station. That’s not the goal of promotion, but an outcome of excellence over time.
Instead, focus on what you can influence. You can cause positive response to a specific stimulus, like getting one more tune in occasion. Get the audience to another episode and you’ll have a chance to lead them to deeper relationships.
Affect their behavior often enough, and over time, you’ll get more fans.
Killer content and great promotion go hand in hand. It’s a relationship that extends to virtually all media platforms.
Promote a compelling, provocative blog post, and fans will come back for more. Make it great and they may tweet it, share it or bookmark it. Ignite a conversation on Facebook with colorful and relevant promotion, and the audience will respond.
Content Is King: Long Live the King
So how does Queen Promotion support King Content? Here are four ways:
- Support on-air content by repurposing your best material online. This requires a different treatment than on-air content because you want to lead your audience back listen more. Dropping bread crumbs creatively can leverage the power of promotion to build anticipation and expectation for your next episodes.
- Develop clever teases and promos that inspire curiosity for your best material. This isn’t something you can put together in the last 30 seconds of the song fading out. It takes thought, creativity and focus. Many content marketers advise spending 80% of preparation time promoting the content. Try that approach with your best episodes.
- Don’t be shy about asking the audience to listen. If they’re loving what you’re doing on the air or on social media, you’re doing them a favor! Some personalities are afraid their followers or fans will think they’re hyping themselves. That’s only true if you don’t invest prep time in promotion.
- Get rid of dead wood that clutters your show without providing meaningful, promotable opportunities. Do you have bad episodes on your schedule? Get rid of them. It’s better to recycle or repeat a break than put on weak content.
Your goal is to create raving fans and a community of devoted listeners. That takes great content, of course. That’s why content is King. Without great content, there’s nothing to promote. And even the best promotion in the world fails if your content doesn’t justify the promotion.
But Promotion is Queen, and it shouldn’t surprise you that the Queen works harder. Yes, Content is King, but you’ll have more success by spending more time with the Queen.
Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.