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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Content is Constant In a Changing Media Environment

    Posted by Jasmine Henry

    Inbound Marketing from Behind the Mic

    Few people know more about producing quality content consistently than radio personalities. Inbound Marketing Agents welcomes a guest post by career content producer Rick Eberhart.

    As marketing models and media platforms change, content remains constant. Creating content is just as important now as it was 10 years ago- maybe even more so. Remember the old adage, “The only constant is change”? That’s true but the other constant, at least in the media and marketing world is content. The delivery systems and platforms that deliver content to consumers are changing at a rapid pace. Consumers are migrating from older forms of media to newer ones.

    I spent the last 14 years as a morning radio personality.  As a person who professionally created content, watching this shift start to occur was a bit disheartening. How would I survive this change in the marketplace? Could I continue to make a living as a content creator? Broadcast radio is stuck in a state of what Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing, calls the “interruption marketing” model. The programming has to stop temporarily and advertisements “interrupt” the programming. In fact, the “inside radio” term for a block of commercials is called a “stop set”. Why would anyone stick around and be “sold to” when they have the power to change the station? Well, turns out they don’t…

    The old method of rating radio stations was to distribute paper diaries to a select sample group of people in a radio market. They tried to divide the diaries up in an equal manner to pretty much every age and gender group based on the population statistics of the particular market. The sample groups were instructed to fill out their diaries and document every radio station they listened to. That should be pretty accurate, right? What happened was that a good portion of these group members would fill out what they thought they were listening to. For instance, a diary holder may write “I listen to Banana Jack and The Monkey Bunch on Yuckster 105 EVERY morning between 6:00 and 7:00 when I drive to work”.

    Several years ago Arbitron, the company that rates radio stations, ditched the diary system in a lot of radio markets. They switched to an electronic device that has the ability to LISTEN to the radio and document the exact listening habits of the sample group. The device called a “portable people meter” or “PPM” is able to document any broadcast signal it “hears”. It even logs radio stations you hear while waiting in the dentist office, radios that are playing in the background in stores and businesses.  It turns out that our sample group member does listen to “Yuckster 105” when they are playing music or when Banana Jack is doing his “Wacky Zany News” segment, but as soon as the commercials begin, our listener starts pushing the pre-sets in his car and samples 2 or 3 other stations. If he lands on something he likes on “Jurassic Rock 99.1” or  “Nothing But Taylor Swift 107” he may stay there for 5 or 10 minutes before he checks back in on Banana Jack.

    So what does that mean to you?  You are already using inbound marketing strategies or engaging in “permission” selling. What’s the deal? Here’s the deal- Content endures. Good, informative, entertaining content that satisfies a particular need of an audience can cross many platforms.  Good content in a newspaper can be good content on the web. A good song on the radio is still a good song when streamed through a mobile app.

    What about our favorite morning radio personality “Banana Jack?" Can his original content, that already attracts an audience, exist on a blog? Can he create a podcast of his popular “Wacky Zany News” segment? What about a YouTube channel? The point is – good content is the constant thing that consumers of the media whether it’s the so-called “old” or “new” media. People have a desire to be informed and entertained.What about the content that you create and use to attract and build an audience? Can it be utilized on any other platform? Podcast? YouTube? Social media?

    Work on creating great content. Listen to your audience and give them what they want. Give them value in your content. That value can be delivered through multiple delivery streams to bring in more audience members and potential customers.Great content endures. No matter what the future holds for media, good content is constant. It will transcend the method in which it is ultimately delivered to the consumer.

    Rick Eberhart is a radio personality, content creator and the publisher of the Create Better Content blog.

    Topics: Inbound Marketing