The most effective method of promotion is to entice those tuned in right now to take action. That’s the premise behind a teasing strategy, but applying the concept has far greater potential to cross-promote other stations in your local cluster, including a plug for similar content that is happening at this moment. You know, when listeners are available to tune in.
Programmers are reluctant to do this because they fear losing a single quarter-hour. I’ve suggested this to a half-dozen broadcasters. Each is intrigued, but none want to be the first to try it. Some are even afraid to suggest it to their morning show because “they would freak out.”
But here’s the thing. listeners are constantly tuning in and tuning out. You may be able to reduce tune-out, but you can’t stop it. When your audience leaves, wouldn’t you rather influence where they go?
The Case To Cross-Promote Other Stations
Have you seen promos on sporting events that promote programming on other channels? Most networks run ads for programming on their company-owned streaming channels, but many are now accepting ads for shows on other networks. If you listen to Sirius XM for 20 minutes, you’ll hear them cross-promote another channel. Many times, the host promotes tuning in to hear an interview, game, or special event happening right now.
Programmers have told me those are different cases. Really? Why? Why would you not want to leverage your most valuable asset (cume tuned in now) to take additional action (tune in a company-owned property) instead of punching buttons to a competitor’s signal?
Four Tips To Do It Right
Here are four guidelines to implement this strategy:
Be Specific: Promote one specific thing that is happening right now on another station or show. This goes beyond promoting “When you’re in the mood to relax, listen to (AC station).” At the end of a relationship feature like Second Date Update, follow it with a promo for a similar feature like Love Trap happening now on a sister station. Or after a contest, promote a similar contest happening now on the other station. Of course, you’ll want to synch the features so they’re scheduled close together to make it more promotable.
Match The Content: Promote stations with the greatest audience sharing. For example, promoting from an AC station to classic hits or from Urban AC to Classic Hip Hop makes more sense than from Country to Alternative. It also helps to only promote to a station that is launching a segment that keeps the audience for at least two quarter-hours.
Time The Promotion: The best time to cross-promote is at the most likely times a listener would tune out, so do this at natural times when content transitions. For example, when going into a long commercial set or transitioning from music to an information segment.
Tease Your Own Content: The best reason to tease is to get the audience to remember to return to your station or show, so be sure to pair the promo with a great reason to remember to come back. Of course, your sister station will remind their audience to tune in your key tune-in times, too!
This strategy is logical. A smart programmer could ping-pong listeners back-and forth between stations regularly to increase each station’s cume and time spent listening.
Listeners are going to tune out. Why not influence their decision and stack the deck in your favor?