With the booming digital space, the radio industry has turned to the just a click way medium in a big way for building greater listener connectivity, branding as well as for various other big bang promotional activities. Industrial players believe that radio and digital media are inherently complementary. Both have benefited extensively from the technological advances in recent years. The advent of portable devices have made accessing radio and the Internet easier and helped in making the two media more immediate and relevant.
Many in the industry are also of the opinion that radio being a local medium, requires city targeted campaigns. Digital medium helps in localisation of campaigns to reach out to city audiences with much higher effectiveness than conventional media vehicles and that too at a reasonable CPC (cost per click).
Radio is a live and interactive medium, just like the online media, thereby creating immense synergies of a complete experience. The ability to build a holistic experience is, therefore, enhanced, creating a pull on air and call to action in the online space.
Looking at the time when radio first started using digital media for commercial promotions, Radio City 91.1 FM was the first amongst the radio stations to have realised the digital potential. The FM player had launched www.planetradiocity.com - its music portal - in 2008. They are also the first FM station to launch Web radio that offers 24 hours of uninterrupted streaming Internet radio.
The Social Network
With marketers increasingly taking to social media, there is today a huge set of upwardly mobile working population and a larger set of youth and teenagers who can be reached through digital initiatives.
It is estimated that 20 per cent of Radio Mirchi listeners are online. Radio Mirchi has had very successful digital campaigns on YouTube, integrating Mirchi Music Awards, wherein Radio Mirchi’s YouTube channel became the top 100 channel for that week. They have been able to take some of their weekly properties and contestants on social media, which includes an active social media community. Radio Mirchi is one of the few channels which takes the help of external agencies to bring its expertise to the online medium. The FM player works with Hungama and Watconsult for its digital promotions.
Red FM with its ‘Bajaate Raho!’ attitude is a brand that resonates most strongly with younger audiences, especially in the 12-34 age group. The FM player, too, has used social media to complement its marketing initiatives for its RJ Hunt. RJ Peeyush was bought on board as a co-jock on ‘Morning No. 1’ with RJ Swati in a selection process via an application hosted on Red FM Delhi’s Facebook page.
It may be recalled that a couple of months ago, UTV Movies and Red FM got together to organise a special screening of the movie ‘Delhi Belly’ in 18 cities across the country. Listeners had to share their ‘udhaarwaley’ stories with the channel to be eligible for the contest, which was promoted on air and on Facebook. Listeners could submit their stories via SMS or by using the app that Red FM had hosted on its official pages. A chance to meet Aamir Khan and watch the movie for free grabbed maximum online attention for this campaign.
Networking for a difference
Regular on-air radio contests have set a trend in online promotions as well. There are a few others channels who have tried to do things differently. The most recent one is the BIG Green Ganesha social media campaign, where the BIG FM Facebook page saw a drastic rise in likes from 15,000 to 73,000 in just one month. Not only did they give information about the paper collection drive as part of its on-ground activity, the FM station also invited celebrities to its station, besides engaging users with a Facebook application where the people could share the application with their friends and build a virtual Ganesha. BIG FM invests about 7-10 per cent of its total budget on the digital platform, which includes mobile promotions.
Meanwhile, one of the successful campaigns of Fever 104 FM was the digital game ‘Slay Raavan’. The task at hand was to reach out to the youth and get them to tune in to ‘Ramayan’ on Fever 104 FM. The game got the youth hooked on to it and got their message across.