Here’s what you should do while everyone is cleared out and on vacation after Christmas; write “1%” on a sheet of paper, run off a bunch of copies and post it around the station. Why? Because that’s your goal for 2020. To get just 1% more of your listeners engaged, activated and playing your contests.
Now, I never pretended to be a mathematician, but, if only 4% of people will participate in Radio promotions, then having 5 freaking % of your listeners doing it would make you #1. Or, it certainly wouldn’t hurt you.
4%. How pathetic is that? If I took out an ad in the Forest Lake Times and said that I would be standing in the roundabout at Lake and Broadway at noon on Saturday and would award $1000 randomly to someone, it would look like Woodstock.
And yet, we can do $1000 16 times a day and can’t crack 4%.
So, as you shoot for the impossible 5%, work the problem backwards: what would we need to do to hit that number?
The Prizes I was talking about this problem with one of the Sales Managers and she blamed the low number on the prizes. I disagree. $1000 is a great prize. A trip to Las Vegas to see a music fest is a great prize. But maybe we’ve desensitized people to “Win $1000” that is just doesn’t mean that much anymore.
Frame The Prize Money can be more than money. One of the Newcap stations took $2500 and themed it as “Gas For A Year”. It was huge. 93.1 The Wolf in Greensboro had $300 to give away three times a day, so we did the math and realized that it would buy school lunches for a year. The phone system in the Triad has yet to recover. With group contests, there are things that you have to say, that you are required to say. But you still have wiggle room. So WDJX in Louisville took their group cash and framed it as “Win $1000 In Ceramic Cats…Or The Cash Equivalent” and pulled the highest engagement numbers in Alpha with the promotion.
Imaging Ah…the stuff we use to market our marketing. We’ve taken our venue for promoting our promotions, for selling our sizzle, and chlorinated it down to 25 second wallpaper. How can we expect people to get excited about our contests when we don’t seem all that excited with them ourselves?
Dare to have fun. Dare to not sound like a 60 second national barter spot for Massengill. Maybe add a character like a crazy cat lady
Make It Easy But Not Boring A few years back one of the CHR’s in Chicago was doing a contest based on awarding $500 when you heard an artist at an appt. time. How difficult could that be? Well, I forwarded the link to their VP and asked him to explain it to me. His reply? “I have no fucking idea how this contest works.”
This always pisses a few people off but regarding appointment times….
If I emailed you and said “I’ll meet you outside Mortons at 6:08 and then at 8:18 we’ll go to the strip club and at 9:38 we’ll go to see a band”, you’d have me admitted to see if I had suffered a stroke. I’ll just leave it at that.
I’ve referenced Mark Adams with iHeart in SFO as being literally too smart to be in Radio. He’s always been exceptional with creating a methodology to fit what he believes he can “get out” of a prize. Tickets to see an artist like Ariana Grande? It’ll go on the air with a cool name and call ins and excited winners. Tickets to a Halloween corn maze? Probably something fun on social media. A chance to go to NYC and meet Taylor Swift in a “secret location”? Holy muther of balls: it’s going to be like Mardi Gras.
Speaking Of Winners Can you imagine “The Price Is Right” if everyone just stood there and was polite? It would be cancelled after two episodes. There’s a screening process when you enter a taping. They talk to you. They take a moment to gauge your excitability. They’re looking for hyper nuts. Contests without at least giving out the names of the winners comes off as kind of shady.
Priming The Pump No one wants to be associated with something that no one else wants to be associated with. With festivals and other public events I teach the street team that you want to build a crowd in front of your booth. Crowds attract crowds. Ditto with contests.
One of the things that I learned from Newcap is that on Day One, Hour One of a new promotion, they flood the phones and social media with fake listeners asking questions about the promotion and giving off the vibe that this is the most exciting thing they’ve ever heard and everyone they know is trying to win. It sounds…exciting.
So that’s your goal. To add just 1 tiny, miniscule percent to the number of your listeners who want to play your reindeer games. This is Radio, not Plasma Physics. It shouldn’t really be that hard.