Keeping it local: Broadcast marketing

Supporting small businesses is always a good choice for local stations.
Date Published

When it comes to marketing, people like to think of the strategies that have the furthest reach. However, when it comes to something as local as a public broadcasting station, sometimes keeping it close to home can be all that it takes to really leverage your donor base. That’s great news, because most nonprofit broadcasters have to pinch their pennies – and local marketing is much more cost-effective than a broader strategy. Here’s what you need to know about marketing locally and how to make the most of it:

“Business partnerships don’t have to be contractual or expensive.”

Invest in small businesses
While something that costs money may not be high on your list of priorities when it comes to raising funds for your nonprofit broadcast, patronizing local businesses can yield a high return. While it may cost a little more upfront to supply event-goers with food from a local pizzeria rather than a chain with $5 pizzas, local businesses will appreciate the publicity, thus bringing your station some buzz as well. If you begin partnerships with small businesses in your region, they may play your station in the store or hang flyers for you. Business partnerships don’t have to be contractual or expensive – they can just be two small, local entities helping each other out!

Mail your listeners
We all love receiving mail. However, we don’t love receiving impersonal junk mail. Next time you’re having an in-person event, consider sending your listeners personalized invitations rather than sending out an email blast that’ll likely end up in their spam folder. Having a physical invitation that they can stick on their refrigerator will not only encourage them to attend, but it’ll remind them to bring a donation. This is a great way to let your listeners know that they’re more than just money sources to your station. With organized donor software for nonprofits, getting their addresses for your mailers  won’t be difficult at all!

“Sponsorships will be remembered at pledge drive time!”

Local events
Holding your own events isn’t the only way you can get the attention of locals who may be listeners. In fact, sponsoring other local events can just as effective – and more cost-efficient. Whether there’s a neighborhood art show, a festival that aligns with your broadcast’s beliefs, or simply a grand opening of a new community center in your area, there’s no harm that can be done by simply donating some money and letting your logo be plastered on pamphlets and fliers around the event. It costs a bit of money, but businesses holding these events will remember your donation for the next pledge drive that comes around!

Many believe that radio contests are cheap ploys at listeners, but anyone who believes that has never seen how successful a contest can really be. Second Street Lab explained the benefits of a well-executed contest as being effective in increasing brand awareness, growing your mailing base, bringing traffic, and assisting you in reaching your ideal audience. This makes sense. After all, most contests require you to enter a phone number and email address, and nobody will enter if they’re not drawn to the specific winnings. However, it’s imperative that your contest winnings align with your ideal audience – at least the first time around. For example, if you’re running a Christian broadcast, tickets to see a touring Christian band would be a great prize. If you want to up the stakes, fly the grand prize winner out to an exciting location to see a show, while giving runner ups tickets to the local date.

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