Category Archives: Digital/Social/Web

Read These 3 Books to Improve Your Radio Station’s Website

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

From time to time, people ask me to recommend books that they can read which will help them improve their radio station’s websites. Inevitably, I came back to three of my favorites — two of which are by the same author! If you’re looking to do some professional self-development during your summer vacation, pick up one of these:

1. Don’t Make Me Think (Revisited) by Steve Krug
This book was first given to me by a graphic designer who had been assigned it in one of her college courses, and it changed the way I view websites. Krug tackles the topic of website design and explains why most websites look and perform terribly: they’re built by committee! It’s an insight that will ring true for many radio professionals. Krug shows you how to avoid common pitfalls in website design. The latest version of the book is updated to cover mobile usability in addition to websites viewed from desktop computers. It’s an easy read with breezy language and lots of illustrations, but it’s packed with useful insights.

2. Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug
Krug’s experience with website design comes from years of testing websites. In this short book, he explains how he does it using a step-by-step process that anybody can follow. I know, because I taught myself how to conduct website usability tests by reading this book. I’ve conducted them on many websites that I have built myself (including the site you’re looking at right now), and found them to be incredibly valuable. Ever since, I’ve been a staunch advocate of running these tests. Of course, you can hire me to do it for you, but the book is less expensive.

3. Forms That Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability by Caroline Jarrett and Gerry Gaffney
I know what you’re thinking: “An entire book about how to design website forms? How useful can that be?!” That’s what I thought, too…until I read it. Some of the most important goals of your website require people to fill out forms — to sign up for the email database, to enter a contest, to purchase concert tickets, to request information about advertising, etc. This means that digital forms have a direct impact on your radio station’s bottom line. So better forms equal more revenue.

In this book, Jarrett and Gaffney will explain details that you’ve probably glossed over your entire life, like why it’s effective to use a dropdown menu when asking people what state they live in but not when asking them what industry they work in. (Spoiler: They know the answer to the first question without seeing the choices; that’s not true for the second question.) Trust me, this book is worth the money.

What books have you read that have helped you improve your radio station’s digital strategy?

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

Radio DJs, What’s Your Pre- and Post-Interview Digital Routine?

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Radio stations have always asked guests who come in to the studio to do things before or after an interview. If a singer dropped by, you might ask them to autograph a few albums for giveaways, take photos with the staff, record an artist ID, or sign the station’s wall of celebrities.

In the digital age, the things we ask an interviewee to do have changed. Nowadays, we’re looking for opportunities to gather content that can be shared online. Here are some things to consider as part of your radio station’s regular pre- and post-interview routine:

Before the Interview:

1. Take Photos.
Photos are incredibly useful for a number of purposes, including blogposts, social media updates, video thumbnails, and podcast artwork. Plus, if your station takes the photo, you don’t have to worry about rights issues when using it.

In addition to action shots taken during the interview, also take photos of the artist standing in front a station logo or backdrop. Take photos of both the artist alone and with DJs or other staff members. Be sure to take photos that can be used vertically, horizontally, or as a square. It’s easy to crop a photo to the proper dimensions after the fact, but if you zoom in too much when taking the initial shot, there’s not much you can do later. You may want to set up a spot at the station specifically for photo and video shoots by equipping it with a backdrop of a station logo and the appropriate lighting and recording gear.

2. Record a Short Video.
Short videos are great things to share on social media. Record the interviewee in front of a station backdrop doing a video artist ID, or inviting people to listen to their interview in the station’s mobile app, or asking people to win tickets to the upcoming concert. If you keep the video generic, you may be able to reuse it for months or years to come. Don’t be afraid to get multiple improvised takes. Remember, videos must be less than 60 seconds in length if you’re going to share them on Instagram.

3. Record an (Audio) Artist ID.
In addition to a video artist ID, also get an audio artist ID, as your station has no doubt been doing for years.

After the Interview:

1. Publish a Blogpost.
Write a short recap of the guest’s visit to the station, complete with a photo as well as embedded audio or video from the interview. Share this link on social media, including when you share the smaller bits of content listed below.

2. Create an Audiogram.
An audiogram is basically a video form of an audio snippet: a static photo with a sound waveform imposed over it as audio plays:

You’ll want to turn highlights from the interview into audiograms because video is more likely to get played and shared on social media than the original audio form. Use a tool like Headliner to create these audiograms. Share this audiogram on social media, and include the link to the blogpost mentioned above in the post (except on Instagram, where links in posts aren’t clickable).

3. Share Photos and Videos on Social Media.
RiplIn addition to the audiograms, share the photos and videos you took on social media as appropriate as part of a micro-content strategy. I like to use the mobile app Ripl to stylize static photos into short animated videos. Be sure to tag the interviewee in these posts.

4. Repurpose the Interview as a Podcast Episode or YouTube Video.
Make a recording of the interview available as a podcast episode or a video on your station’s YouTube channel so your listeners can see or hear it on demand. You may want to embed one of these recordings in the blogpost mentioned above.

5. Email Assets to the Interviewee.
Email some of the above assets to the interviewee and ask them to share them on social media. Include your station’s social media handles so the interviewee doesn’t need to look them up.

Once you get into the routine of collecting and sharing these assets, you should see online engagement increase. What do you include in your radio station’s pre- and post-interview routines?

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

Jumpstart Your Radio Station’s Blog With This Simple Formula

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

To keep listeners coming back to your radio station’s website over and over again, you’ve got to continually pump out content. There’s no shortcut. If you stopped playing music on the air, listeners would stop tuning in. Your website works the same way. Unfortunately, so many radio broadcasters are stretched so thin these days, that when you ask them to write blogposts on top of all their other duties, they groan with exasperation.

Often, the biggest challenge is not the writing itself, but coming up with a topic to write about. There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank computer screen trying to think of an idea. If you can eliminate that issue, blogging becomes much easier.

The way to overcome writer’s block is to develop blog topic formulas — repeatable topics that produce different content every time they’re used. When radio stations are looking to start blogging for the first time, there’s a simple blog topic formula that I like to suggest:

“5 Things To Do Around Town This Weekend”

I love this formula because any radio personality can use it, regardless of their station’s format or their market size. All it takes is a couple of introductory sentences followed by a list of five linked subtitles, each supported by two or three sentences of description. Remember, blogposts don’t need to be long to generate traffic — 300 to 700 words will do the trick. This formula a great way for a radio station to support what’s happening in the community, whether it’s the college football game, the arts and wine festival, or the new restaurant opening.

Not only is this blogpost easy to write every week, it can also be paired with an automated email campaign. On your website, invite your listeners to sign up for the email database to get weekend activity suggestions. Set up an RSS-to-email campaign to automatically send these suggestions out on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. Ta-da! Now you’ve got content that can be shared on social media, indexed by search engines, and will also drive traffic via email.

Once you’re pumping out a weekly list of activities, you’ll see how this content marketing strategy can build website traffic, and you’ll be ready to experiment with other blog topic formulas. Here’s a list of ideas. Happy blogging!

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

4 Digital Data Points That Radio Program Directors Should Know

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Chances are that most radio program directors in America can rattle off their latest ratings numbers without having to look them up. Whether it’s 12+ numbers or a specific demo, we usually know exactly how the station is performing at any given time.

But do you know how your station is doing digitally?

Here are four numbers that every radio program director should know off the top of their head:

1. Number of Unique Website Visitors
You know the size of your on-air audience, but do you know the size of your online audience? You should. While it’s good to check your Google Analytics stats on a weekly basis, comparing this number of monthly visitors over a year or more will give you a better sense of the larger trend. Hint: The number should be going up.

Also Good to Know: Where that traffic is coming from, and what your most visited web pages are.

2. Number of Email Addresses in the Database
Everybody always wants to talk about social media because it’s sexier, but the email database is the tried-and-true stalwart of online marketing. If you have 20,000 active users in your email database, you know that you can reach those people. If you have 20,000 fans of your Facebook page, your reach is still subject to the whims of Mark Zuckerberg’s algorithm. Know the database, grow the database.

Also Good to Know: The Open Rate, Bounce Rate and Unsubscribe Rate.

3. Total Streaming Hours
One of the most important actions a visitor to your website can take is to click the “Listen Now” button and stream your radio station. Of course, they can stream other ways as well — through your mobile app, on a smart speaker, via TuneIn, etc. Just as you want to track how much people are listening to your station over the air, you also want to know how much they’re listening online.

Also Good to Know: The number of Unique Listeners.

4. Number of Mobile App Installs
It’s a mobile world, baby. People carry their phones at their sides 24/7, so you want to make sure your station is on them. Know how many people have downloaded your app because it can have a significant impact on your listenership.

Also Good to Know: The number of Sessions (i.e., not just how many people have your app, but how often they’re using it).

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

When It Comes to Podcasting, Question These 3 Assumptions

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Though it’s been around for over a decade, podcasting is still a very young medium. If this were television, Serial would be “I Love Lucy.” Every time a new medium comes along, we tend to carry over assumptions about it from a previous medium. It’s no surprise that so many early television shows were radio shows retooled for the screen. Yet as time goes on, we inevitably learn that each medium is unique, and while we can look to the past for clues, we should also question the assumptions that we carry over. With that in mind, here are three assumption to avoid when it comes to podcasting:

1. Don’t assume that the revenue models that worked in the past will work in the future.
For the most part, radio is monetized through advertising. Advertising is what Seth Godin calls “interruption marketing.” You give an audience content that they want, then interrupt with ads. In his classic book Permission Marketing, Godin points out that the problem with interruption marketing is that people have a finite amount of attention, and they are bombarded with more marketing messages than ever before.

In an oversaturated media landscape, it’s harder to reach a splintered audience and harder to develop a marketing message that people remember. Interruption Marketing works really well in a media landscape with only three television networks, two local newspapers, and a handful of radio stations. But in a world of over 600,000 podcasts — not to mention websites, cable channels, video game titles, etc. — it’s harder than ever for advertisers to succeed with Interruption Marketing. Increasingly, companies are embracing permission-based strategies like Content Marketing or Search Engine Marketing.

Yet many podcast production companies are building a business on the old advertising model. Will this work? Maybe, maybe not. Interruption Marketing certainly isn’t dead, but companies will want to question how heavily their revenue streams rely upon it. There may be better ways to generate a profit.

2. Don’t assume that a bigger audience is better.
Traditional broadcasting relies on a simple principle: Get the biggest audience you can, then deliver that audience to advertisers. Of course, this principle was developed before we entered the Information Age. Now that we have digital tools to collect data about our audience members, we understand that size doesn’t always matter.

If I run a company that manufactures golf balls, I’d rather reach one hundred thousand golfers than a million people who may or may not golf. It’s not just about reaching lots of people — it’s also about reaching the right people. The most successful companies in the podcasting space may not be the ones with the largest audiences; they may be the ones with the most accurate information about their listeners. This is likely to translate into the most effective marketing for their clients.

3. Don’t assume that the right answer for large companies will also be the right answer for small companies.
When I talk to radio broadcasters about digital strategy, I inevitably hear them ask, “What are other radio companies doing?” I hate this question. It assumes that somebody out there already has the correct answer and all you need to do it copy it. Podcasting is such a new space that it’s not clear that anybody has all the right answers yet; and even if they did, those answers may not work for you.

What works for a large broadcasting company like iHeart Media, NPR, or EMF may not work for smaller broadcasting companies. If you have a national footprint with hundreds of radio stations, it may make sense to hire a top-tier Hollywood star to host a podcast; but if your company consists of a dozen stations in small markets, a similar course of action isn’t likely to produce profitable results. When it comes to podcasting, don’t assume that the same things are going to work for any two companies that happen to own radio transmitters. Find a solution that works for your company, and don’t worry about what the larger (or smaller) broadcasters are doing.

Podcasting is a thrilling space to be in at the moment because it’s uncharted territory. There are plenty of opportunities to try new things that have never been done before. But it’s precisely because it’s virgin terrain that we need to question the assumptions that we bring to the space. While some of the past principles will still apply, others will not. The key to success will lie in our ability to figure out which are which.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

Creating a New Radio Station Logo? Think About Digital

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

From time to time, radio stations decide that it’s time to freshen up the logo. But when reviewing ideas with your graphic designer, you’ll keep in mind how the logo will be used online:

1. Make sure your logo works as a square.
Your radio station will need a square version of its logo in many places across the web. Social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, use squares images for their icons. Podcast artwork is square. So are mobile app icons. You don’t want to create a horizontal logo that can only be turned into a square by shrinking it with whitespace above and below.

In some cases, you may be able to use a piece of your logo as the square image. For example, here is our Jacobs Media Strategies logo:
When we need a square image, we use just the “O” from our logo:

2. Figure out how your logo will work horizontally.
There will also be times when you want to use your logo horizontally. For example, when you create a header image for your email newsletter or YouTube channel, you may not want to use a large square image. In an instance like this, can you take a square logo and add it to something else, such as a cityscape, to create a horizontal image? Or do you need a horizontal version of your logo?

3. Think small.
Frequently, you’ll need an image that is recognizable even when it is shrunk to a small size. For example, an icon for a mobile app or a favicon in the tab of a web browser will use tiny images.

If your logo is too complex, it may not be recognizable at a small size. A simple logo may prove to be more functional.

4. Make a list of places your station’s logo might appear.
Before committing to a design, brainstorm a list of all the different places where your logo might appear, and consider how it will look in each of those contexts. This list will include:

  • Banners
  • Business cards
  • Car dashboards
  • Email newsletter header
  • Facebook icon
  • Facebook page header
  • Instagram icon
  • Invoice header
  • Laptop stickers
  • Mic flags
  • Mobile app icon
  • Mobile app header
  • Mobile website header
  • Podcast artwork
  • Streaming artwork
  • T-shirts
  • TuneIn
  • Twitter profile header
  • Twitter icon
  • Vehicle wrap
  • Webpage header
  • YouTube channel header
  • YouTube icon

Adopting a new logo is a big commitment. You don’t just want an image that looks cool; you also want one that can be easily adapted to a variety of different circumstances. Think it through carefully.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

How Micro-Content Can Boost Your Radio Station’s Digital Engagement

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

For years now, we’ve been talking about how radio stations can use a Content Marketing strategy to drive listeners back to their websites. The overall strategy is fairly simple: Create compelling content (blogposts, videos, podcasts, etc.) for your website, then share that content on social networks so people click through and come back to your station’s site.

If the strategy sounds familiar to radio programmers, it should: it’s the same basic principle that’s involved in running a radio station. First, put compelling content (music, DJs, a morning show) on your airwaves, then promote that content on billboards by the highway so people tune in to your radio station.

The challenge, however, is that in the digital version of this strategy, radio stations are at the mercy of the social networks they are sharing their content on. When Facebook tweaks its algorithm, it can have a big impact on the amount of traffic that a station can drive back to its website. Moreover, the social networks are working at cross-purposes to the radio stations: Facebook wants to keep people on Facebook, while stations want to steer people somewhere else.

One way to combat these issues is to use “micro-content.” Micro-Content is smaller bits of content used to engage people and encourage them to check out larger content. A familiar example of micro-content is the tried-and-true radio morning show promo. The morning show promo might sound like this:

Station Voiceover: If you missed Johnny Fever this morning, here’s what you missed…

Johnny Fever: …and then the priest says, “That’s not a duck!”

Les Nessman, Venus Flytrap: AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Station Voiceover: Johnny Fever. Mornings on WKRP!

The promo takes a short, entertaining clip of the morning show and repurposes it as a short piece of content that the station airs throughout the day. This same tactic can be deployed as part of your radio station’s digital strategy. The only difference is that you’re sharing the micro-content on social media, not just on your airwaves.

For example, here’s an audiogram — a soundbite turned into a video with a static image and a soundwave — from a recent episode of my podcast:

This is, of course, just a morning show promo in video form, which makes it ideal for sharing on social media. (Note that the video is a square to make it ideal for mobile devices.) If you’re looking, it’s easy to find lots of opportunities to carve radio shows up into micro-content: benchmark features, interview clips, concert calendars, contest winners, etc. As you prep your next radio show, look for ways that you can repurpose small pieces of the show as micro-content that can be shared on social media.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

Here’s What I Look for When I First Look at a Radio Station’s Website

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

From time to time, Fred Jacobs pops into my office and asks me to take a quick look at a radio station’s website to see what I think. When I’m doing a five-minute diagnosis of a website, here’s what I look for:

1. Is it built in WordPress?
I always start by pulling up the station’s website and taking a look under the hood. In my Google Chrome browser, I go to View > Developer > View Source. This allows me to see the HTML code for the website. I search the page for “wp-.” If the site is built in WordPress, there will be multiple instances of “wp-.”

A radio station website doesn’t need to be built in the WordPress platform to succeed, but it does need to be built in a Content Management System (CMS) platform. A CMS makes it easy for radio stations to consistently publish new content. WordPress just happens to be the most popular CMS platform.

2. Does it have Google Analytics installed?
While I’m poking around the HTML, I also search the page for “ua-.” If I come across some code that looks like this…

<!– Global site tag (gtag.js) – Google Analytics –>
<script async src=”https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-XXXXXXX-X”></script>
<script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
gtag(‘js’, new Date());

gtag(‘config’, ‘UA-XXXXXXX-X’);
</script>

… then I know that the site has Google Analytics installed on it. This is a good sign — it means that the station has the ability to collect data about how visitors are using the website. Of course, whether anybody is actually looking at that data or not is a separate question.

3. Do they publish original content on a regular basis?
Next, is the radio station creating original content on a regular basis? Sometimes, the homepage will have a blog or news section on it; sometimes, I’ll have to search through the main menu to find it. If I find a blog or news section, I check to see whether they are creating original content on a local level or simply importing it from a national service. I also check to see how often new posts are published. And I take a quick look to see how good the content is: Are the headlines well written? Is there just an embedded video or audio file with no text description?

4. Is it obvious where this radio station is and what they play?
One of the best ways to see how good your station’s website performs is to run a usability test on it. At this point, I’ve run usability tests on enough radio station websites that I know some common issues to look out for.

One common issue is that the website does not make it clear where the radio station is, what type of programming the station airs, or even that it’s a radio station at all. When somebody tunes in to your station on the radio, of course they know what city it’s in — they’re in the same city!

But website visitors can come to your website from anywhere in the world. Often, they come by clicking on a link found on social media or in search engine results. So don’t assume that people who come to your website know what the radio station is all about. The homepage — especially the header — needs to make it very clear.

5. Is the language in the menu clear?
Another common issue that shows up in website usability tests is vague or confusing language in the main menu. For example, some stations will use the term “On Air” when they should use “DJs” (after all, aren’t the commercials and the music also “on air”?). Others will have a link for “Concerts” and another link for “Events” (aren’t concerts also events?).

Here are some common menu mistakes that I look for.

6. Are there clear calls to action?
The most important question you can ask when it comes to your radio station’s digital strategy is this: “When people come to our website, what do we want them to do?” I can usually tell if a station has asked this question just by looking at the site. Sometimes, they will be driving me to clear call to action, such as a big red “Listen Now” button or an email newsletter registration form.

Unfortunately, most radio station websites don’t steer me towards a few clear actions. Instead, they are cluttered with too much content, too many links, and too many choices. This is a sign that even if a radio station’s website is good at attracting visitors, it’s not very good at converting them. The station needs to set clear website goals.

By asking these questions, I can usually get a good sense of how a radio station’s website is performing. Yes, I always want to spend more time diving deeper into analytics before making a complete diagnosis, but this will do in a pinch.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

How to Create Square Videos for Social Media

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

When your radio station posts short videos to social media, it’s often a good idea to make those videos square, not the typical widescreen resolution of 1280×720. Not only does Instagram use square videos, but they’re also better for Facebook because the ratio allows the video to appear larger on the screen of a mobile phone.

Some apps, especially those designed for smartphones, allow you to easily produce videos as a square. However, sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where your app doesn’t allow this. For example, I created this short Jacobs Media video in iMovie on an iMac:

I created this video by automating a slideshow in Keynote with a couple of fancy transitions, exporting it as a video file, then importing it into iMovie and adding sound effects. Unfortunately, my version of iMovie only allows to change the dimensions of a video to widescreen (16:9) or standard (4:3), not square (1:1). I could search for a piece of software specifically designed to crop videos, but it turns out that I already have some on my computer. You can use either Apple’s Keynote or Microsoft’s Powerpoint to resize the video.

Both of these programs allow you to set a custom size for your slides. Set up a square slide, then drag and drop your video into the presentation. Center it, and export the file as a new video. Ta-da! Now you have a cropped square video!

Of course, when you create your original video, you’ll want to keep in mind that everything on the sides is going to get cropped out, so don’t put anything important there. In this case, I had to resize my original video to make it work:

Sometimes, the export from Keynote or Powerpoint doesn’t start or end exactly where I want. Fortunately, I can use Quicktime to trim off the ends.

Now I have a square video perfect for social sharing!

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

Four Questions to Ask Before Your Radio Station’s Next Digital Campaign

Seth Resler

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

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Your radio station will probably execute a digital campaign of some sort in the coming months. Perhaps you’ll run Facebook ads to promote a station event, create an email campaign to drive membership donations, or launch a new podcast. No matter what the particular campaign is, ask your staff these questions before it begins:

1. What is our goal?
What are you trying to accomplish with this particular campaign? Are you looking to increase website traffic, drive online listening, or build your email database? Whenever possible, the goal should be directly linked to the station’s ultimate goal — the bottom line. Avoid vague goals like “engagement,” “branding,” or “increasing awareness.” Choose something that you can quantify.

2. How are we going to measure that goal?
It’s tempting to think that just because we can measure something, it’s important. That isn’t always the case. Decide in advance which data points you are going to use to measure the accomplishment of your goal and, just as crucial, which ones you’re not going to use. For example, if your goal is to grow your station’s email database, then you will want to measure the number of new subscribers. If your campaign also results in a lot of retweets, that’s a bonus, but this has no bearing on the success of your campaign. Stay focused on the numbers that really matter.

3. How are we defining success and failure?
Once you’ve decided what to measure, set some parameters for that datapoint. How many new email subscribers will it take for you to declare your digital campaign a success? One hundred? One thousand? Ten thousand? Make sure that everybody on your staff agrees on what qualifies as success. By the same token, make sure there is a consensus on what constitutes failure.

If you don’t know these numbers because you have nothing to benchmark them against, that’s okay — as long as everybody understands this. It is perfectly acceptable to say, “We’ve never run a campaign to build our email database before, let’s see what happens.” In this case, your aim is to find a number that you can use as a benchmark for future campaigns.

4. How will we review our campaign when it’s over?
Before your digital campaign begins, make plans to review it when it’s complete. Decide on an end date and set aside some time to gather together everybody who is involved with the campaign to review the metrics. With digital campaigns, it is important not only that everybody involved see the performance data, but also that they reach a consensus on what that data means. The last thing you want is a Digital Director thinking, “We got 100 new email subscribers, that’s terrific!,” while the General Manager is thinking, “We only got 100 new email subscribers, that’s terrible!” Make sure that everybody in your station is on the same page.

Every radio station staff is overworked these days, but don’t skip these questions when launching your next digital campaign. A little preparation can go a long way.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.