NTR and Small Market Radio: A Necessity for Survival

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With new media offering venues to market businesses, traditional media has been met with the challenge of how to capitalize on these new opportunities in order to stay viable as a business. This challenge has been met nationally by large radio companies taking advantage of resources in bigger cities, but the adoption of these new media NTR opportunities has been slower to occur.

The key element to NTR for radio in any size market in this age is a website. A radio station's website can create a number of NTR opportunities alone. Development of a website for a small market radio station may seem like an inefficient use of time and money to some stations due to the cost of developing and maintaining a functional site, but these services are becoming increasingly inexpensive and sometimes can even be traded out for airtime. The value of a station's website, if used correctly, can far offset the costs of it in both with increasing listener interaction and loyalty and financially.

The most basic means of developing NTR opportunities using a station's website is through selling banner ads or sponsoring sections of the website. Some stations also include a business guide on their site that is regularly promoted on the air to drive traffic to the site. The guide generally basic information for all on-air and online clients including the business's name, address, phone number, a link to the business's website, and a feature allowing site visitors to map the business's location and get directions from their current location or a specified address. Some companies are also offering additional features to this business guide, offering printable coupons in the business guide and a feature similar to the familiar "online radio auction" where business goods and gift certificates are sold. Including options like this in a sales proposal not only provides more of an impression for businesses, but it also allows radio stations to adjust prices as necessary for the increased services being offered.

Post-new media marketing avenues

Figure 2. Post-new media marketing avenues. Click image to enlarge. Source: RAB

Along with the basic concepts, a station's website allows a venue for more content and as a result, more things to sponsor. In a smaller market, it isn't quite as easy to generate online content as it is in a larger city. Big market stations usually have a person or team of people in charge specifically managing and developing online content. Being budgets are smaller in small-market stations, working with existing content is always a good starting point.

Podcasts of popular segments during morning or afternoon drive shows can be developed simply by recording the segment and posting it to the website. Some stations are having jocks create a longer-form version of the segment for the podcast, driving people who enjoy the on-air version to check out the full-length version online. These podcasts are generally built with a sponsorship message at the beginning and end of the podcast, and with longer podcasts there is also a message inserted into the middle. The concept of a podcast has also been used for businesses that use institutional advertising as a means to market their business and also show expertise and offer advice on the subject of their product or service. The podcast would consist of a few minutes delivering a tip or "did you know" type of information in the industry of the sponsor business. Examples of businesses that would benefit most from this type of product would be plumbers, auto dealers, home builders, banks, and mechanics. The concept of networking over the Internet, banner ads, streaming audio, emails, mobile marketing and alternative forms of delivery are taking over. Figure 2 outlines new available options.

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