What Would You Do with a Crystal Ball?

Speed Marriott and GLBC are here to help you be as prepared as possible for the future of our industry in a two-part series on Tuesday, May 3.

“We cannot predict the future, but we can invent it.” – Anonymous

Speed Marriott, P1 Learning, will present: 2020 Vision

Crystal ballSession Description: We’re going to do a little time travel. We’re going to fast forward to the year 2020. Sounds like a long way away, but let’s face it, it’s only four years from today. We will challenge your sales team to think about the future needs of their customer and your management team to think about the future of the sales team that they will be managing.

We will begin our journey to the future with a brief trip to the past. The year is 2012, and our world is changing. We’ll use this trip to our recent past as a baseline for what to expect as we travel to the future.

Now that we’ve examined the past, it’s time to head into the future. Our destination is to fast-forward to the year 2020. Home of a U.S. Presidential election year and the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Four years from today.

As an industry we devote a substantial amount of time and effort attempting to project future sales, but little time thinking about the factors that impact that future. In 2020 Vision we invite you to take a forward look at the broadcast industry…

Our Markets

Our Customers

Our Products

Our Teams

Our Leaders

In addition, we will take an in-depth look at the various dynamics that will affect that future. Including:

Our Competitive Environment

Our Customer Evolution

Our Changing Workforce. Baby Boomers, Gen X, The Millennial, Gen Z & Introducing Generation Alpha

Our Great Unknown

It’s time to fire up the flux capacitor and get on the road for 2020 Vision. Remember, objects in the mirror are much closer then they may seem.

Click here for information and to register for GLBC. Members can register for the full day for only $159!*

*early, member rate

7 Places Forms Should Appear on Your Radio Station’s Website

Seth ReslerBy: Seth Resler, Jacobs Media

In my time at Jacobs Media, I’ve talked about how to use a Content Marketing Strategy to bring all of your digital tools together into a single coherent strategy. The first step in that strategy is to create content (translation: a blog) to attract people to your website from social media, search engines, and your airwaves.

But getting them to your website is just half the battle. Once they’re there, you want them to do something. Maybe multiple somethings. The somethings are called Goals.

Your website can have multiple goals. For example, you may want people to stream the station or click on an ad or request information about advertising. On your list of website goals, encouraging listeners to give you their email address should rank near the top.

Visitors give you their email address by filling out a form on your website. A form can be long — asking for information like name, gender, and zip code — or short, asking for as little as just a person’s email address. The length of the form and the information requested will depend upon the context in which it appears.

For example, on smartphones, people are unlikely to fill out long forms, so the mobile version of your site should only ask for an email address. On the other hand, people are more likely to give more information to gain access to engaging content, like an archive of morning show interviews.

Where should these forms appear? Here are seven suggestions:

1. When Listeners Want to Stream the Station

According to our Techsurvey11 results, two-thirds of those who regularly stream your station are willing to register in order to continue doing so. So feel free to require (or simply request) contact information before allowing people to listen online. But don’t make the registration process cumbersome. After all, you don’t want to deter people from listening.

Consider allowing people to register without having to double opt-in (in other words, don’t require them to click on a registration link in an email). Require just an email address. Once you have that, you can always encourage them to give you more information later — and allow people to opt-in with a single click using their social media accounts. Be sure to run a usability test on your website to make sure that the streaming process isn’t frustrating listeners.

2. On Contest Pages

When doing a web giveaway, you’re offering a bigger incentive, so you can ask people to give you more information. Be sure to explain why you are asking for each piece of information. For example, many people are reluctant to give their phone numbers because they don’t want to receive unexpected calls. The form should reassure people by explaining, “We will call you if you win; we will not share your information with anyone else.”

People don’t read websites; they skim them. So make sure the call to action is clear. Instead of small text that says “Log in to enter” with a button that says, “Log in,” create a button that reads, “Enter to Win” or “Log in to Enter.” Again, run a website usability test to make sure people have an easy time entering your station’s contests.

3. Accompanying Each Blog Post

Gathering contact information is one of the most important functions of your website. As your station blogs regularly, increasingly people will enter the site through blog posts instead of the homepage. So you’ll want to encourage them to fill out a form on every blog post, either by inviting them to receive the blog by email in the sidebar or at the end of the post (or both).

4. In Pop-Up Windows

Pop-up windows can be very effective if used properly, and horrendously annoying if used incorrectly. Never ever ever let your sales staff sell pop-up ads on your station’s website. People did not come to your site to see pop-ups hocking mattresses or Horny Goat Weed.

However, if the pop-up is related to the content it is hovering over, it can be very effective. The simplest pop-up window will simply say, “Like what you’re reading? Sign up to get our blog by email!” and include a form that asks only for an email address. I have seen pop-up windows like this boost email signups by over 500%.

A more sophisticated strategy will draw a tighter correlation between the pop-up window and the content beneath it. For example, on blog posts about the Foo Fighters, the pop-up window would invite people to enter to win Foo Fighters tickets or their new album. Start simply, and slowly refine your pop-up strategy over time.

5. Before Freemium Content

While the content on your blog is free and open for everybody to see, be sure to create some premium content that, while still free, people must fill out a form to access. For example, take some of your best artist interviews and put them behind a form.

6. On the ‘Advertise With Us’ Page

The ‘Advertise With Us’ page could be the most valuable page on the entire website because it holds the power and potential to generate more revenue than all of the other pages combined. Too often, radio stations simply list an email address or phone number on this page. This is a huge missed opportunity. You want to capture the contact information of as many potential leads as possible and put them into a lead nurturing email campaign. So put a form on this page.

Even better: Give potential advertisers an incentive to fill out that form by putting some freemium content behind it. For example, offer a “Guide to Creating a Winning Radio Campaign,” or a “Guide to Understanding Radio Ratings.”

7. On the 404 Error Page

The 404 Error Page is the “Oops! We can’t find what you’re looking for!” page that people see when they go to a broken link on your site. Add some extra text to this page – “But don’t leave empty-handed! Sign up for our email list!” – followed by a signup form.

By no means is this an exhaustive list of all the places you could put a form to capture contact information on your website. Gathering data from your listeners is so important that I encourage you to look for as many places as possible for these forms. If you’d like help, feel free to reach out to me.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Q100’s JJ Will Participate in Black Bear Gran Fondo and Ice Man Cometh

According to Blarney Stone Broadcasting, the date and format of Grayling’s Black Bear cycling race has changed, but WQON-FM (Grayling) Q100’s JJ (of JJ’s Morning Jams) will still be participating again this year.

The annual the Black Bear cycling event, organized by the Grayling Rotary Club, becomes the Black Bear Gran Fondo in 2016, with a new route, new weekend and new format that will challenge riders of all skill levels.

The Black Bear Gran Fondo starts and finishes at Hanson Hills Recreation Area, 7601 Old Lake Road, Grayling, the hub of all Black Bear Gran Fondo activities on race day, Saturday, July 9.  Riders will choose the option of one of two chip-timed, looped routes: 101-plus miles (starting at 8 a.m.) and 53-plus miles (starting at 8:30 a.m.) traversing the scenic landscape of Northern Michigan around beautiful Higgins Lake and back north through the Au Sable River Valley.

For updates on JJ’s progress, listen to Q100.3 weekday mornings from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. or visit JJ’s Blog at q100-fm.com.

WBFH’s Bowers Featured on WXYZ-TV

WBFH-FM’s (Bloomfield Hills High School) General Manager, Pete Bowers, was recently featured on WXYZ-TV in Detroit for a piece called “Ann Marie’s All-Stars.”

Bowers is serving his second term on the MAB Foundation Board of Directors and was the Chair for the 2014 Broadcasting Career Builder Conference (BCBC) Committee. Watch the video at WXYZ-TV here.

WBFH has won the MABF High School Station of the Year nine times.

Remembering TV5’s Sam Merrill

SamMerrill_200Sam Merrill, a mainstay at WNEM-TV5 (Saginaw), passed away on February 25, 2016.

He left behind his beloved wife Katy, and son James. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to James Alexander Merrill, c/o Franklin Templeton, Financial Investment Services, 17628 Oakwood Drive, Spring Lake, Michigan, 49456, to support his son’s college education.

WKQI-FM, WWJ-AM Among 50 NAB Crystal Award Finalists

WKQI-FM (Detroit) and WWJ-AM (Detroit) are among fifty NAB Crystal Award finalists.

The award winners will be announced and the finalists honored during the NAB Radio Luncheon at the upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 19, 2016.

MAB on Capitol Hill

Call on Congress

L to R: Chris Warren, Midwestern Broadcasting Company; Congressman John Moolenaar (R-4th); Pete Iacobelli, Heritage Broadcasting; and Kevin Dunaway, Heritage Broadcasting.

MAB’s Executive Committee and some Board members traveled to Washington D.C. February 22-24 for the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters State Leadership Conference (NAB SLC).

Call on Congress

L to R: Ed Fernandez, E.W. Scripps Television and MAB Board Chairman; Congressman Bishop (R-8th), Peter Tanz, Midwest Communications.

The conference agenda included presentations by NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith on what Washington policies have in store for broadcasters and digital media companies in 2016, the importance of using social media as an advocacy tool, and policy updates presentation from the NAB government relations team.

L to R: Ed Fernandez, Rep. Dave Trott (R-11)

L to R: Ed Fernandez, Congressman Trott (R-11th)

The MAB Executive Committee met with members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation and their telecommunication staff to discuss the need to oversee the FCC as the agency implements incentive spectrum auction procedures set up by Congress. In addition, discussions took place about broadcasters’ opposition to the performance tax and advertising restrictions, preserving the integrity of the free market process in the retransmission negotiations, and reforming media ownership rules to reflect the competitive marketplace.

Security Upgrades Coming for the Capitol Building

The Michigan State Capitol building could see more, and better, cameras and traffic barricades under plans discussed by the Capitol Commission last week. While metal detectors were not part of the discussion, the Commission also considered replacing the building’s back-up generator, including air monitoring, as part of an ongoing review of the physical plant. To support these and other projects, the commission is expected to back budget legislation currently being drafted to fund the improvements.

Google Won’t Participate in the Spectrum Auction

According to a report in FierceWireless, Google said it will not bid for 600 MHz spectrum licenses in the FCC’s upcoming spectrum incentive auction scheduled for March 2016. Google will join Sprint, Charter Communications and other tech heavyweights in sitting out the event.

“Like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we’ll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate,” a Google representative told Reuters. Google also did not participate in the FCC’s AWS-3 auction a year ago that brought almost $45 billion in total winning bids.