Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A few tips from the Beeb -- with numbers

On one of my radio listserves, the subject of YouTube videos came up (after a radio announcer posted some videos). My contribution to the discussion, how a station can use YouTube as a marketing tool, was the basis of my post "Radio for video websites -- the easy way."

In the listserve discussion, I cited the BBC Radio 1's "Chris Moyles Show" as an example of how to integrate the various media. I linked to one of their videos involving the staff trying to talk while eating Pop Rocks, and explained how the show used this one skit on the radio, on video, as a text message topic, and a blog post.

Response from the listserve? "Eating Pop Rocks is dumb. What's the point?"

The point wasn't the content itself, but how it was being used to reach a wider audience through different media (as I further explained in another post).

Recently the Chris Moyles show did another video stunt worth paying attention to -- not necessarily because of the content, but because of what they did with it -- and the results.

The show's newsreader, Dominic Byrne, set out to make the world's most boring YouTube video. And the Moyles team set out to get that video as many views as possible. A silly stunt, sure, but let's look carefully at the execution -- and the results.

Listen carefully to the original segment. Although Moyles and his team are talking about a video (and a deliberately boring one at that), they use a wide range of audio tricks to make it interesting and fun on radio. When the segment starts, they note that the video has around 10,000 views -- by the end it's 100,000. Over 400 text messages come in during the segment, and the energy level of the segment is high throughout.

Now that broadcast has come and gone, but there's more to the story. I don't listen to the BBC live, but I did hear about this on the Chris Moyles Show podcast. And it pursuaded me to watch the video. I could have also read about it on the Chris Moyles Show blog. And played the Flash animation game. And watched the trailer.

As of this writing, the video has over 350,000 views -- which represents about 5% of the show's audience.

This video is silly, but what if these same tactics were used to drive traffic to a different kind of radio station video? What if it was a video designed to strengthen the brand of the station? What if it had an advertiser's message incorporated into it? Now you've got something that's working for the station in a medium outside of over-the-air broadcast. And what if listeners were directed to a page on the station's website to view the content? A page with additional advertising opportunities.

While 5% of an audience may not seem like much, consider this: a realtor shared a success story on our listserve. She was excited because advertising an open house on our local radio station resulted in 24 people showing up to the event. How much happier would she have been with ten times that turnout (closer to the 5% mark) -- or more?

- Ralph

Day 46 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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