What would happen if a radio station, show, or individual personality stepped out of the radio “box” to design a new user online experience? Consider what it would look like if a marketer were to reimagine a radio station website.
This article explains the 5-step process to reimagine your website to build a more effective, powerful user experience. Including:
- How to clean up the site and remove all the junk that accumulates.
- What needs to be there, and what should go.
- Methods to keep online content fresh.
- How to build a team of collaborators to actively manage the site.
- The process of developing a focus so the site “makes sense” to visitors.
- Using the website as a digital hub to drive social media.
How to Reimagine Your Website
This is actually hard for many broadcasters because many have become conditioned to assume their site should look like other radio station sites. Or they mistakenly believe simply having more content will attract more traffic.
Both assumptions are severely flawed.
Cramming more material on a site simply confuses visitors. It makes the good stuff hard to find. More content does not lead to more traffic. It usually produces less! Offering higher quality, unique content always yields better results.
Every radio station should conduct a website audit. Each stakeholder (department head) should be involved in this objective, intense analysis.
Here’s how to reimagine your website.
Step 1. Take Out The Junk
Good programmers regularly reimagine programming through zero-based programming. The same should apply to promotional platforms, starting with the website.
First, get rid of anything and everything that doesn’t need to be there. There will be far more than you expect.
- Hollywood news (except those delivered by your talent).
- Music information (again, except those curated by personalities).
- YouTube and viral videos that deflect attention to other sources.
Many think these stories are of interest. And many are. But that’s not what a radio station website is for!
Why on earth would any listener come to a radio station website for updates on music or watch a viral video? They don’t. There are thousands of other places to get those updates. On your site, it’s junk that gets in the way of what is truly important: promoting your brand and brand values.
Any and all material on the site should feature unique content showcasing brand assets. That Taylor Swift story is relevant only if there’s a video featuring your personality’s with their own take on it.
Take out everything that isn’t new, interesting, and current.
Reimagine the site through the user experience. There will be a long list of things that have to go, including long, static bios of air personalities that (almost literally) nobody visits or reads.
Step 2. Keep it Fresh
The next step is to ensure the content is consistently updated to reflect what has been on the station or show recently.
Here’s an interesting experiment:
Pick a station or personality and visit their website. Try to find timely, current content from their show. Good luck. Most of the time, the content is static, outdated, or non-existent.
Mark “Hawkeye” Louis, host of Hawkeye In the Morning on Country station KSCS/Dallas conducted a case study of a radio show in a top market. The show is #1 in every demographic. He told me:
I found the website and the show’s page. It literally was one picture of him with the time he’s on the air. There was nothing about the show or the personalities. It didn’t even give me links to social media accounts. There was no audio clips from the show. It was just a picture. How is that going to promote the personality brand?
That’s why it’s important to reimagine your website. If the content is not attractive, remove the page(s) until it is.
Here’s another typical flaw on many station sites: Many stations ask personalities to maintain a blog. Or they did at some time in the past. But each entry should be about the show. And it should be updated at least every day or two (a week at most). If not, it’s probably better to take the blog down.
I found a personality blog with the most recent entry from three years ago. I’ve also discovered audio from previous morning shows that have been off the air for months or even years. What kind of message does that send to the audience? Or potential audience?
Step 3. Collaborate
Another problem is finding the resources to manage the website. The digital department (if there is one) is scrambling to manage multiple station sites, plus social media. They can’t do it all!
That results in individual show pages rarely being updated. Many personalities don’t even know what is on their show’s page.
On a team that oversees multiple websites, a personality page with current information and updated content isn’t a high priority.
But it should be someone’s priority-like yours.
Organize the team to re-assign responsibility for keeping the site fresh. Start by training key people to manage certain aspects of the station site.
Step 4: Focus Content
After getting rid of the junk, most of the content may be gone. That’s sad, but true.
So fix it.
When Hawkeye went through the reimagine your website process, he found many ways to fix his sites:
The first thing was to get rid of the blog that included a bunch of stories that had nothing to do with our show. The ‘silly cat video’ can go away. Or if the station insists on having it as content, they can put it on the station Newsfeed Blog instead of my page. I then added focused posts that celebrate the cool things that happened on the show recently, but were nowhere on web site.
Suddenly, the show’s page included:
- A video of Blake Shelton on the air playing the show’s game ‘Speak Out’
- Brad Paisley calling to continue a ridiculous longtime feud with the morning show.
- A story about the show’s April Fools Day Prank, Jurassic Texas, with a hilarious prank call to 911 (faked).
- The most controversial Second Date Update ever aired, including bonus content of a portion of the call they couldn’t air.
Each of these items is not only more interesting, it’s highly promotable.
Step 5: The Hub
Most stations and shows are active on several social media platforms. That’s great, but it’s confusing (to listeners) to try and find that content.
The website should be a hub for social activity. This helps centralize content and makes it easier to promote.
For example, instead of saying “Check out our YouTube channel”, simply promote the website, with videos from the channel embedded.
Hawkeye’s site overhaul included:
We creat a lot a great videos, so we first revamped our YouTube Channel. But then we created a Featured Video section on the site, rotating our most popular videos from the channel. For listeners who want more videos, we provide external links to the YouTube Channel. But now we can promote going to our site!
This approach works for virtually all social platforms. Instead of linking to a podcast, embed it on the site. Audio on demand? Why send a user to a Sound Cloud page? Host it on the site. Don’t provide a link to individual personality Twitter accounts-embed the feed.
In other words, make the website a central location to discover and interact with personalities in multiple ways.
This may be the biggest reason to reimagine your website: When a listener Googles a personality or station, what comes up first? That’s right. It’s the web page.
Listeners and potential fans are looking for information about your show. That’s an incredible opportunity to deliver a positive impression to interested visitors.
By the way, Hawkeye’s page on the KSCS website is here: