Public radio is a highly effective marketing medium, as is digital. While each has its advantages, they are most effective when combined into a multichannel approach. Recent NPR milestones prove that public radio and digital marketing strategy creates a synergy. Listenership during the election reached a record of over 34.7 million unique users, the NPR Politics Podcast was up 36% in one week, and NPR Alexa users were up 50% over the previous week.
Those numbers are far from an anomaly. Radio has long been a stalwart companion to those seeking the most current news in the world. Public radio, in particular, is trusted by a large audience of educated, well-traveled, and knowledgeable listeners. As digital channels have become commonplace, they have proven to be a perfect companion to public radio, extending its already massive reach and making its content even more accessible from anywhere, anytime.
Public radio sponsorship is an excellent way to not only support a valuable resource but reach an impressive number of listeners. The top 20 NPR-affiliated public radio stations (by listenership) average a total weekly listenership of about 11 million people. Those numbers are increased when valuable and engaging content is delivered via digital media. Having both radio and digital maximizes reach because it speaks to how a diverse demographic consumes content, including news, weather, politics, and music.
While some people prefer to listen to the radio, others may favor more time on the internet and vice versa. Some audiences may want terrestrial radio while others want to stream their content, like with podcasts. Since there is generally low duplication across platforms, you reach a larger audience with a multichannel approach.
One example of public radio and digital marketing strategy is podcast streaming. Public radio has responded to the rapid proliferation and popularity of podcasts with a vast directory of shows from content producers. PRX shows Reveal, Ted Talks Daily, Criminal, and The Moth and Song Exploder show the diversity of offerings available with 24/7 streaming convenience. Each of those engages a different audience, meaning your digital ads potentially influence and inform new target customers in a way that resonates with them.
Sponsored streaming creates engagement, inviting listeners to participate in the process. It prompts conversion with compelling storytelling, integrated formats, and rich media.
The consumer path to purchase involves search, making perfect sense for businesses to leverage SEO in their marketing plan. Even better, the brand-building power of radio increases overall effectiveness.
Evidence on how radio supplements digital is compelling. When you consider that 75% of public radio listeners take action based on public radio sponsorship messages, it’s apparent that there is a natural partnership. But it doesn't end there.
In the analysis of 2,100 local radio ads across six industries, the minute-by-minute Google search volume for keywords was matched to the radio ad occurrences. The findings? Radio increases Google search activity by an average of 29% (Radio Advertising Bureau, Sequent Partners, Sep. 2017).
There are benefits to having multichannel messaging rather than disconnected public radio and digital campaigns. Having more channels is a smart retail strategy, ultimately providing a better customer experience and increased profits for the business. Providing multiple ways for customers to access your goods, such as web, mobile, and radio increases traffic and sales. Not only do multichannel customers spend 15-30% more, but 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a store they found on a web search, such as one prompted by a sponsor ad.
Multichannel messaging allows you to reach customers through their preferred platforms. It provides a way for you to interact with customers in real-time on the web and mobile apps. Multichannel messaging leverages dynamic and engaging content that encourages interaction. Positive customer engagement results in brand loyalty.
Businesses have a unique opportunity to create a compelling, effective campaign by pairing public radio sponsorship with digital media. Having a multichannel approach produces increased traffic, better customer experience, more customer engagement, improved recall, and expanded reach, resulting in enhanced brand loyalty and increased sales.
By integrating digital and radio advertising, you can create a comprehensive, successful multimedia campaign that produces an impressive return on investment. Businesses that leverage this strategy see a 23% increase in ROI. Read more on how to improve your campaigns through public radio and digital marketing on our blog.