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20 Ways to Promote Your Radio Station

Promote your radio station to get more listeners, develop a brand, and build a loyal fan base.

Mike Cunsolo

by Mike Cunsolo in Marketing

Last updated 21.12.2023

20 Ways Promote Your Radio Station

Remember the old saying “if you build it, they will come”? Unfortunately, this isn’t always true as there’s inevitably going to be plenty of alternatives out there for people. Here are 20 ways you can promote your radio station to get on top and increase your listeners.

20 Ways To Promote Your Radio Station

20. MatchMaker.fm: Connect with Guests

MatchMaker.fm is an app developed by our friends over at Podcast.co that connects you to an ever-growing library of like-minded content creators. It’s like Tinder, but for Podcasters.

By getting involved in podcasts, you’ll expand your reach, have a new platform to market yourself through, and develop useful connections to expand your network of friends.

The best part? MatchMaker.fm is free to use. Join, find guests, or get on other shows to promote your radio station.

Join MatchMaker.fm

19. Submit to Internet Radio Directories

Radio directories are a great place to list your station as they have thousands of listeners searching for music and shows. Directories like TuneIn and Streema have mobile apps, so people can access your stream anywhere.

We’ve put together a list of the best internet radio directories you should be on, so get started as soon as possible to start attracting new listeners.

18. Target Your Audience

Many beginner broadcasters make the mistake of aiming for too wide of an audience, rather than targeting a specific niche. Diluting your content so it appeals to as many people as possible mostly just means it won’t appeal directly to anyone. It probably also means you’re covering topics and playing music you don’t really care about, which doesn’t produce thrilling content.

Don’t waste time and resources on people that won’t tune into your station.

Instead, focus your attention on your audience by playing tracks they like and discussing topics they’re interested in.

17. Optimise Your Station with SEO

Searchability online is everything. People need to find you before they can listen to you. It’s recommended you have your own radio station website, which you can develop at Radio.co with the Website Builder.

Get to the top of search results on Google by creating pages and then improving them with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short). More people will be able to find your site and tune into your station.

16. Build a Social Media Presence

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have millions of people using their services, so it’s essential to get established on these platforms. Create a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and profiles on other social media sites for your radio station to post updates, events, and news on your shows.

Social Media

Radio is an audio platform, so using social media focused around images and video gives your station a face, as well as adding another dimension to the kind of content you can produce. Even creating accounts on apps like Snapchat can be effective by giving your listeners another way to interact with you and see you in a more casual environment.

15. Cross-Promote with Other Stations

Cross-promotion is the marketing method of showcasing another’s product and vice versa, in this case promoting another broadcaster’s show and they’ll do the same.

It doesn’t end there, you can work together with one or more broadcasters to promote your radio station. Sending out joint newsletters, running competitions together, and selling products with affiliate links can all be effective ways of promoting your station alongside a partner.

14. Write Blog Posts

Get found online and build a presence by blogging. Write about topics that you know your listeners will be searching for and link it up with your station. For example, is there a new album out? Write about it and list the best tracks, including the ones you play regularly on your station. Blog on your own website or use platforms like Medium.

Blog using a laptop

Depending on your audience, blogging can afford you to be a bit looser with your persona and more honest with your opinions. And best content creation apps help bring the written word to life. For many people, your radio show will be where they hear the ‘professional’ you, whereas the blog is where they get to see the more informal, laid-back part of you. Showing a different side of yourself like this, like with Snapchat and similar apps, can give people a glimpse of the more relatable, human side of yourself.

13. Build Marketing Lists

Who you know and how many you know define your station’s potential to grow. Marketing lists are a cornerstone and tool to mass communicate with your listeners. Services like MailChimp and GetResponse help you keep that relationship open.

To talk to your listeners you first need their details like names and emails. Do this using forms on your website which help build your lists. Before you know it you’ll have thousands of people to contact.

12. Post on Forums

Forums or discussion boards are jam-packed with people, so they’re an ideal place to subtly promote your radio station. Find places that fit your brand, such as Facebook groups, by searching for topics related to your station and simply joining the discussion.

Alternatively, chat with fellow broadcasters to discover how they promote their shows or discuss radio industry news at places like Digital Spy.

Please note, always read the rules before posting. Some groups may frown upon shameless promotion, even going as far as banning you, so try and keep it light and on point.

11. Put Up Posters & Give Out Flyers

Posters and flyers are a form of local promotion that requires a bit of leg work. Put up posters around your town or city in places you think will get the most eyes on them, like bars, clubs, and cafes.

Posters on a wall

Do the same with flyers by leaving them in places that will get the most traction, for instance, if your station focuses on health issues, leave flyers at hospitals or doctor’s offices where they are more likely to be noticed.

10. Use Paid Advertisements

When done right, paid advertisements are a great way to boost your station’s listeners and brand awareness. There’s all sorts of ads you can use:

  • Search Engines: Adwords on places like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are pay per click based on search terms you’re going after, for instance if you focused on “soul music” then it would list your station’s website to the top of the results.
  • Banner Ads: Place a banner for your station on websites related to your shows.
  • Email Ads: Emails sent out to thousands of people can mention your station or show a banner linking out to your website.
  • Radio Shout Outs: Pay to get a mention on radio shows with large followers.
  • Video & Audio Ads: Play ads on services like YouTube and Spotify, targeting individuals that might be interested in your shows.
  • Facebook Ads: Pay extra to Facebook to boost the reach of your posts so they reach people who don’t yet follow you as ‘sponsored posts’.

9. Build Backlinks to Your Website

Link building is an extension of SEO as a way to establish trusted connections with other sites to boost search rankings.

Backlink site traffic

Embedded links are like the back alleyways of the web, they can be placed anywhere and link back to your site. Try to find related sites to your station to link back to, these can be well established or niche sites.

8. Turn Your Station into an Event

Promote your radio station by hosting competitions, pub quizzes, live gigs, charity fundraisers, anything with a chance for listeners to get involved with your station on a personal level.

Offer prizes at these events to encourage people to come. Prizes can be anything like your station’s branded merchandise (t-shirts, cups, hats), gift vouchers, or a free weekend at a popular hotel.

When hosting competitions, remember the idea is to draw as many people in as you can with your promotion and keep it running over a long period so they stay tuned or coming back for more.

7. Offer Discounts on Merchandise

Do you sell your own branded merchandise? If not, you should. If so, offer limited time promotions exclusively to your listeners by giving out codes on your shows.

If you haven’t got our own merch yet then try services like Awesome Merchandise or Vistaprint to create cards, flyers, banners, t-shirts, and more.

6. Invite Guests Onto Your Radio Station

Know someone that would like to get involved in your station? Invite them along for a chat! Preferably get those with a large following to boost your audience. If the guest does well then invite them back or try to get them involved with a regular spot on your station.

5. Get Local News Coverage

Global news can often overshadow everything else, so picking the right stage is important to getting heard. You can’t really make waves by being a little fish in a big pond unless you’re paying, so try local news to increase your visibility. Start off by getting in touch with news in your area that could potentially cover your station.

Reading the news

Offer a unique twist to encourage journalists to write about you. News outlets aren’t going to cover an independent radio station simply for existing, unless it’s a really slow news day. If you can give them a story to draw their attention you could expand your reach to people who may not even interact with online media at all and only read newspapers or watch local news.

4. Develop Listener Communication

Instead of just talking at your audience, build a two way connection. Talk to listeners on your shows and offer them a chance to get involved. Radio evangelists will promote your radio station shows for you by sharing socially online which builds trust for your station’s brand.

Check out our article on 20 ways to be a great radio presenter for more advice on how to develop your bond with your audience.

3. Upload & Repurpose Past Shows

There are times when you aren’t around to present your station; so automate it for when you’re unavailable. Record your shows and upload them, something which is incredibly easy with Radio.co - Here’s how to upload and edit tracks.

Alongside our voice tracking capabilities, Radio.co allows you to record and archive your shows for use after they’ve been broadcast. Increasing the shelf-life of your shows like this increases their value immensely, allowing people to experience them again and again, sharing and promoting them as well.

If you want to learn more about saving and sharing your broadcasts after they’ve aired, check out our article Podcasting for Broadcasters.

2. Produce Good Quality Shows

Striking the right balance between quantity and quality can be tricky, but quality always trumps quantity and keeps listeners coming back for more. Focus on building shows that are jam-packed with awesome music, absorbing discussion with guests and chances to win prizes, all while being tied together in a neat, structured package.

It’s harder than it sounds on paper, but trust us, it’s worth it!

1. Create Clear Calls to Action

Most listeners are passive; they’ll listen to your station and enjoy your shows, but there’s only a small percentage that will share your stream online or interact with it beyond tuning in. Boost the number of people sharing by providing clear messages as often as you can, about how to share your streams, any upcoming shows or guest spots listeners will be interested in, and competitions they can take part in.

To Wrap Up

By putting these 20 ways to promote your radio station into practice you’ll be sure to expand your station’s presence and notoriety in no time. But if you think we’ve missed any points or you have a suggestion on how broadcasters can get themselves noticed then let us know in the comments.

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