Customer Stories

6 marketing tips to promote your radio station

Kendall of DFW Den Radio Station shares his top tips to promote your internet radio station, engage with listeners, and build a larger audience.

Customer stories with Kendall Henderson

In the summer of 2017, Kendall Henderson, started DFW Den Radio Station, in Dallas, Texas, with his wife Rachelle. Kendall’s initial goal was to provide low-cost marketing options for ministries and small businesses to gain radio exposure and to spread their love for God through gospel music.

When he realized it would be better if they had their own station, they started DFW Den. We spoke to Kendall about the radio station, how he and Rachelle started their journey, and how they promote the radio station and build their audience.

Hi Kendall! What inspired you to start DFW Den Radio Station?

Five years ago, Rachelle and I decided to pursue our passion so we started our own radio station.

One of the motivating factors for us was our love for God and our eagerness to spread his message by using this platform to promote gospel music. So we decided to focus solely on promoting ministries, playing gospel music, and hosting shows that get God’s message across to his people.

1. Cater to a large audience with a variety of programs

How did you successfully increase your number of listeners?

There are a few different tactics we implemented to help us grow our audience, which is now  around four hundred regular listeners a week. The first tactic is variety. Variety is key when you want to appeal to a larger audience – and so we produce several different types of shows. 

We have evening shows for worship, daytime shows that motivate those who want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, plus we have ministries from across the U.S. coming on to do their programs. The variety helped attract more listeners.

2. Build strategic partnerships

Another strategy that worked for us was partnering with small businesses and ministries across the country. Our mission is to be the top platform for marketing small business gospel music, by making it affordable and accessible.

Being an internet-based radio station means we are not limited to a specific geographic locality. Listeners can tune in from pretty much anywhere. This worked in our favor — when we worked with small businesses and ministries across the nation, not only were we helping them, but they unknowingly helped us grow our listener base as their local audiences tuned in.

3. Leverage the power of social media

What was the go-to marketing strategy for the radio station?

Social media has got to be the frontrunner in helping us promote our radio station and grow our audience base. We started by creating profiles on all the popular channels most small businesses seem to use — Facebook and Instagram pages, a Twitter profile, a YouTube channel, and a LinkedIn account.

Initially, I posted text-based content, lots of links, and some generic images from the Internet. This didn’t get the levels of engagement I was hoping for even though we were posting quite regularly. That’s when we realized there was a need to shift strategy and post more visual content. 

It started with me using social media templates on PosterMyWall to create customizable graphics to post on our social profiles. Slowly but steadily, we saw an increase in engagement on posts and in our following on each platform. 

I made sure each image had some element that stood out, whether it was the colors used or the font. You may be tempted to add lots of text to your graphics, however, try to keep them as concise as possible, as audiences generally don’t respond well to images with lots of text.

We also changed the tone of our posts after understanding audience intent on social media. We went from an informational and formal tone to a more casual and conversational tone. This also encouraged users to interact with us.

Next, I experimented with creating and posting video content, which got even more engagement. This is particularly true on Facebook and YouTube, where we post interviews with various guests and episodes of some of our shows.

Engagement on social media translated into a boost in listeners at DFW Den Radio Station, with followers downloading the app to tune in to the station.

Does paid social media advertising work for radio stations?

We did publish a few paid campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, however, that didn’t yield the results we were hoping for. The return on investment wasn’t there, so we decided not to pursue paid social media campaigns as organic posting was working much better.

4. Try B2B marketing through LinkedIn

You mentioned using LinkedIn, which seems like quite an unconventional platform to market a radio station! Could you tell us more about that?

LinkedIn has actually been a key platform in helping us generate lots of interest in our radio station. I have a lot of connections on LinkedIn, almost 7,000 individuals and businesses that I connected with through using LinkedIn’s search functionality and sending invitations to connect with people who had their own ministries, were involved in gospel music, or owned small businesses.

To help us work towards our goal of promoting gospel music, I shortlisted a precise and targeted audience consisting of ministries and people in the gospel music industry by getting a LinkedIn Premium account. I sent InMail to ministries looking to promote their gospel music and to other small to medium-sized business owners. This allowed us to build personal relationships with other businesses, which resulted in more interest in our radio station. 

5. Post your radio shows on YouTube

How to market a radio station on YouTube?

YouTube is another platform that we use to market our station. It may seem like a weird one considering we’re an audio-based business and not a video-based one. But when we started recording our radio sessions and posting them on YouTube and using custom-made YouTube thumbnails, we saw the audience respond positively. Our viewership and likes steadily increased, as did our subscribers on YouTube.

6. Add hashtags to get more views on YouTube

What worked particularly well for us with marketing on YouTube was using custom hashtags. For each type of video we post on YouTube we’ll add relevant hashtags in the description, and custom hashtags that relate to each particular episode. It helps reach the audience we’re hoping to target. For example, we recently posted a video we did with a partner, added some relevant hashtags and some custom ones, and in less than 24 hours, we had over 2,600 views.

Hashtags help ensure that your video appears in front of audiences who will find your content particularly useful and also help people who are searching for videos about those topics to find you.

Another out-of-the-box marketing strategy we implemented on YouTube was running giveaways, but not in the traditional sense where you give away prizes. Instead, we gave away 500 10-minute spots on our radio station for small businesses, so they could advertise their business and gain exposure. This also helped us grow our audience, and also helped further our mission of becoming the top marketing platform for gospel music and small businesses.

Any advice for people looking to market their own radio station?

It’s essential to not give up, or let failure derail you. Marketing a radio station can be a daunting task, as conventional marketing strategies may not work as well as they do with other types of businesses. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with wacky concepts. If you fail or something doesn’t work as well as you thought it would, make some changes and try again.

Thanks for your tips, Kendall! We wish you and DFW Den Radio Station more success in your future endeavors.

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