When radio stations discuss digital strategies to get radio listeners to tune back in, push messaging has to be at the top of list.
Unlike terrestrial radio, which essentially loses its entire audience every night when listeners turn off their devices, digital radio has push messaging at its disposal. Push messages are those alerts that apps send directly to a user’s home phone screen and they’re super successful in getting loyal listeners to open up their mobile radio apps or head back to a radio station’s website.
There are a variety of different ways radio stations have succeeded with push messaging and in this article, I’d like to highlight the various ways they’re doing that. Push messaging shouldn’t be generic and the more personalized these messages are to a user’s tastes and likes, the more effective push messages become in getting listeners to come back to radio.
Here are 6 strategies radio stations can use with mobile apps to re-engage with listeners and drive audience back to their channels:
Favorite song alerts: Say a listener has liked the new Justin Timberlake song, Nasty, in her app. She’s no longer a faceless user. We now have some valuable information about her — that she likes Nasty. One of the easiest ways to get her to reopen her radio app is to alert her whenever Nasty comes on the radio. It’s basic — but it works all the time because our messaging is personalized and reflects our listeners’ tastes.
Favorite song alerts are more powerful than an alert that would trigger when a listener’s favorite band came on. With bands, there are always some songs we like and some we don’t. A favorite song alert is much more likely to work.
Show reminders: A mobile app can easily remind a listener five minutes ahead of a show that she’ll want to log back into her app to listen in. This works particularly well with talk radio, where strong personalities typically draw in listeners to the station. But it also works for stations that have unique programming throughout the day that they’d like to promote.
Including deep links in push messages: Push messages don’t have to be mere reminders. They can contain links that directly drive a user back to the content a station wants to share. Listeners don’t want to feel marketed to, so if your messaging is valuable and pertinent to their tastes, it doesn’t even feel like marketing.
Examples of deep links can be to archived, on-demand content available in the app. Consider including links in these messages to music videos on YouTube that accentuate the listener experience.
Contest notifications: Radio listeners generally dig the giveaways and contests their local radio stations run. It obviously gives them a chance to be rewarded for listening but it also closes a feedback loop that audiences appreciate today.
To promote usage of your mobile radio apps, consider creating mobile-only contests that are available exclusively through this channel. You can use your other promotional and listening channels to encourage listeners to download your apps to sign up for the contest. It’s a nice little sweetener and gives you an additional value-added reason to message your listeners.
Live requests: If some of your programming includes live requests, you can use push messaging to get listeners to submit their suggestions. Live requests give a voice to the listener and a feeling that they can individually impact programming. What an amazing feeling to sense that your local radio station listens to you! So, use push messages to announce to your audience that they have an hour or two to get their song requests in via your mobile radio app or website.
App onboarding: Smart software companies know that it takes a while for a new user or customer to get used to an app. They do what’s called onboarding — a process that welcomes a new user and provides resources and communication to ensure that the user can get up to speed quickly on the app.
Radio stations should also use the opportunity when a new listener downloads a mobile radio app to onboard him. Use messaging within the app to communicate specific functionality that you’d like your listeners to know about — say, like a sleep timer or alarm that’s built in to your radio station app. Strike a balance between over-communicating and providing your users with the right amount of education for a successful experience with the app.
Push messaging functionality is built into the Nobex Partners platform and available right out of the box in our paid plans. But effective push messaging strategies should be a core part of any digital radio technology.