How to build an online audience of radio station proportions

As a commercial radio station program director would tell you, good things are worth repeating – in their case, ad infinitum!

That is why this here blog regularly revisits topics that smaller businesses – for whatever reason – might be proving sluggish to adopt.

One topic that really deserves revisiting is that of using the web to drastically build your email and/or prospect list: Because very few businesses are tapping into this rich vein of free promotion and communication, unlike larger businesses who invest heavily in this valuable capability.

Promote like your biggest competitors

Larger businesses have been across direct marketing for decades. In essence, this form of marketing allows you to deliver messages to individuals, unlike mass marketing, which broadcasts to large and usually anonymous audiences.

In the past, direct marketing was conducted via the two key channels of mail and phone. But since the start of the digital revolution, these channels have been joined by a raft of online messengers including email, text and social networks.

The brilliant news for smaller businesses is that these new digital kids in town have drastically slashed the cost of acquiring and building your email and/or prospect list.

Now with only a few low or no cost tools, you can build a respectable list of prospects who want to receive your messages.

But, as I’m about to demonstrate, the advent of social networks has allowed smaller businesses to reach prospects of unprecedented proportions.

It does this by creating and maintaining the “content funnel” illustrated here.


Tooling up

Before you start, you need to tool up on some important but affordable communication tools.

First is a website with a content management system that allows you to add new content easily.  Ideally it will be designed in such a way to enable new content to be brought to the front page of your site easily. It should also enable visitors to sign up to your list.

Next is a means of broadcasting emails. At its most basic, you can do this with either software or an online email client, but better results are achieved with an email broadcast system that can be integrated with your website platform.

Don’t be scared off by these tools. Professional, integrated systems now cost what amount to petty cash.

Finally you need accounts with pertinent social networks and, in turn, membership of as many groups you can gain entry to. Social networks like LinkedIn allow you to join more than 50 groups for free.  Given that many groups exceed 1,000 members, in no time at all you will be able to communicate your message to more than 50,000 members of various groups.


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