Community Radio Clickbait

Community Radio Clickbait

What does Community Radio have to do with clickbait?

Simple: A community station that serves a geographical area should be like its local newspaper’s website, but without the clickbait.  More and more news sites are flooding their pages with all kinds of images/text that encourage us to click on them and read – almost certainly because there’s some kind of affiliate scheme that sees them earn 0.01p per click.

The problem is, most of this clickbait is totally irrelevant and, worse still, gets in the way of what the punters are trying to consume: The very nice and useful content.  If our enjoyment of the main content is spoiled by over-bearing banners, surveys and unwanted “guff”, then it’s hardly going to keep us coming back for more, is it?

What we experience online also translates nicely onto radio – for example :

  • How many adverts do you hear on Heart for “blokey” products?
  • How many adverts do you hear on Radio X for “girly” stuff?

Not a great deal…and that’s perfectly fine!

It’s all about focus: Yes, those irrelevant adverts may earn you a few quid to help pay the bills, but you should be very picky about the sort of adverts you play: In production terms, less can be more. You want people to come away knowing about the offer/product being pushed rather than the advert with the loud bangs, thumping music and comedy voice… Sure, the advert may be memorable, but for the wrong reason.

The voices need to relate to the demographic they’re trying to sell to.  The voice should be clear, and the script needs to make sense (well, duh!)…

No matter how tempting, NEVER use the boss of the firm to read the ad: Although sounding fine on a sales promo in the form of a testimonial, the problem is that the impact of similarly-produced ads is lessened, eg: “Hi, I’m Joe from Joe’s builders, and we’ve got a winter deal for you…” no longer retains its merit when the next advert follows with: “Hey girls, it’s Tracey from the Cutting-Crew, want to get your hair did?”… Using VOX-Pops from clients is fine for the sales promos: Real voices that locals will know of rather than your station voice saying: “Advertise with us, because we’re great and local”.

More ideas/tips :

  • Never use the same voice with different adverts
  • Never use your station voice (or presenters) on adverts
  • If you have a rate-card, don’t give discounts on the quoted prices – Offer extra “free” plays if the potential advertiser is playing hard-to-get
  • Send your clients a log of when their advert will play
  • Get the client to record a testimonial (assuming that they’ve been happy with the campaign!)
  • Put client logos on your rate-card (and advertising webpage) – encourage local businesses to be a part of your community
  • Promote the immediate nature of radio (vs newspaper) – The client may wish to run certain adverts on particular days of the week or react to external events like sports results, weather temperature etc. That can’t be done in print
  • Clear separation between programming and advertising – Never have a song fade into ads, always have a presenter/jingle between content+commercials
  • How much does your streaming cost? Sponsor it!  Have a short (5-10sec max) intro play each time somebody starts listening
  • Remember, news and current-affairs programmes are not allowed to be sponsored (so says the Ofcom Broadcast Code)

Have a listen to other community stations and the sort of adverts they run: Listen to the production of each one, the voices, the duration of each advert (and entire break) – You’ll be able to spot some good (and bad) ideas to try for yourself…