Are you a fan of talk radio? Well, nowadays you can be more than a fan – you can be a host of your own radio show and turn listeners into customers. While getting your own show on a traditional radio station might not be within your reach; the Internet provides an easy and cost-effective way to get on air. Whether you stream live broadcasts or pre-recorded materials, your radio show offers a great opportunity to share your industry knowledge and build visibility for your small business products and services.
Internet radio also makes it convenient for your listeners to tap into your knowledge whenever and however they choose. They can listen to live streaming broadcasts on their computer or mobile device – aided by a headset to cancel out background noises — or they can download shows that you have archived any time they choose.
Boost your marketing
There are a number of advantages to having your own Internet radio show as part of your marketing activities. As the Small Business Administration points out, a show can not only give you recognition locally, it can provide:
- A platform for interacting directly with customers
- Opportunities to meet colleagues and potential partners
- The opportunity to learn directly from your guest experts
- An enhanced profile among journalists and others looking for expert sources
- Potential additional income from sponsors or advertisers
Today, you’ll find a number of Internet radio service providers to choose from, many of them providing free options for a set number of listeners. Free plans, however, won’t give you control over the advertisements your audience hears while your show streams. With a paid account, you have more control over the advertising and the number of concurrent listeners.
Regarding equipment, you’ll just need a sound card, speakers and a headset. Depending on your comfort level, you can broadcast live or pre-record your shows and upload them.
Set your goals
Once you sign up for an account, think about what your goals are. You may want to drive traffic to your website, sell your products or services or present industry issues that support your positon in the market.
Formats can vary. Depending on the service you use, you’ll be able to include guests or conduct chat around the broadcast so listeners can discuss the show and provide feedback. Some services enable listeners to call in using Skype, for example. You also can include clips of pre-recorded interviews with customers or industry experts.
Promote your show
When it comes to building your listener audience, you’ll want to:
Use your website for promotion: Update your website with information about upcoming shows and enable visitors to get access to archived ones.
Leverage social media: Post links to your show on your social media sites. Some of the hosting services enable you to dynamically syndicate your shows through your social networks. Also talk about your show in your blog posts.
Distribute a press release: Send out a release to editors at publications that cover your industry to let them know about your show. Continue with updates when you book high-profile guests.
Newsletter: If your small business sends out a newsletter, include a rundown of upcoming show topics and guests.
When it comes to marketing, an Internet radio show can be a powerful way to get out the word about your small business.