One of the most important things when creating your own online radio station is gathering listeners. 

But creating a listener-base isn’t enough. You have to make sure that your radio station makes your listeners want to come back for more! This week we’re here to help you engage and, above all, retain your listeners!

1. Talk over the music

Talking over the music is a great way for your listeners to feel as if they are not alone. Obviously you shouldn’t speak over the entire song, as many music fans could get easily frustrated, however there are a few golden moments where you can chime in!

At the beginning of a song: Announce the artist and title of the song

At the end of a song: Tell your listeners how much you love the song that has just been broadcast! You can also give fun facts about the artist, or any news about their upcoming music releases.

2. Invite guests on your radio station 

Inviting guests on your radio station has proven to be an effective way to increase engagement. However, don’t invite someone on your radio station just because you feel like you need a guest. It’s important for you to invite someone who has a link to the theme or values of your radio station.

For example, if you have a Jazz radio station, your listeners are probably huge jazz fans! Invite a jazz musicien to speak live on your radio station, you can interview your guest and even have your listeners call in to ask questions!

Top Tip: Don’t forget to let your listeners know beforehand that your guest will be live on your radio station!

3. Use sound effects

Using sound effects on your radio station is a simple way of creating a specific mood whilst you’re on air.

This can vary from spooky sound effects if you’re telling a scary story, to laughter and applause if you’re telling a joke or making an important announcement!

It’s a simple and effective way to get your listeners in the right mood and hype them up for the rest of your broadcast.

4. Record and reuse your radio shows as Podcasts

Record your live broadcasts in order to make them available for all listeners, at all times. Add your past broadcasts to your website or mobile application as a podcast! This can help you attract new listeners as they may stumble across an old broadcast that’s of interest to them. It’s also the perfect way to make sure your content is available for those who were unable to tune in live.

Top Tip: Other broadcasting software such as Mixxx and Audio Hijack also allow you to easily record your live shows.

5. Talk to your listeners

You may be alone in your radio studio, but don’t forget that you have a number of people listening to you worldwide! Remember to use inclusive vocabulary such as: we, us and our.

Your listeners need to feel as if they are part of the conversation, and as if you are speaking to and with them. It’s the perfect way to seem more relatable and create a direct link with your audience.

6. Share unusual facts

Get your radio station to stand out by sharing unusual facts! Giving your listeners surprising new information is a great way to stay in the back of their minds. Your facts can be funny or downright bizarre, whatever makes your audience come back for more!

Example: Websites such as “Days of the year” give you funny worldwide events that you probably didn’t know about! You could also share unusual facts about the music genres of your radio station, or specific artists!

Give your listeners something to think about and share with their friends

7. Tell a story

Every time you go on air, try and have a couple of stories prepared. They can be personal anecdotes or stories you’ve stumbled across that you think your listeners may enjoy!

The important things to remember are:

  • Your stories shouldn’t be too long (you want to keep your listeners captivated!)
  • Your story should have a clear beginning, middle and end.

You could also announce a specific theme (such as Christmas, the beach etc…) and get your listeners to send you their top stories anonymously. You can then read them out during a regular story time segment on your radio station.

8. Get your listeners involved 

Your listeners are part of your radio adventure, so why not get them involved as much as possible with your radio station! There are numerous ways of doing it:

  • Ask their opinion: People love sharing their opinions and feeling heard! Ask a question at the beginning of your show and get your listeners to answer! You could create a specific hashtag on twitter for your listeners to use, that way you can read them live on your radio!
  • Get them to participate in your radio programming: Involving your listeners will not only make them feel heard, but it will also bring them closer to you and your radio station. Ask your listeners to send in their song requests via social media or directly to your email address.
  • Audio shout-outs: If you have a Pro or Business Radio Offer, you have access to the audio shout-out widget. This widget will allow your listeners to send you a vocal message of up to 30 seconds that you can then broadcast on your radio station!
  • Contests and giveaways: Not only will your listeners tune in to get the participation information, they’ll also be sure to tune in when the winner is announced! Plus, organising contests is a great way to give something back to your audience.

9. Keep your content appropriate

Being honest and open with your audience is crucial, however make sure that you are careful when it comes to discussing sensitive topics. Listeners can be quick to leave your broadcast if they find your content rude or offensive. It’s a quick way to lose listeners, plus, they may leave negative comments about your radio station on social media or forums.

10. Deliver with energy and confidence

If people tune in to your radio station, it’s because they like your content! Be confident and give 100% for each broadcast as your listeners will feel your energy. If you’re excited and happy to be there, so will they!

What are your top tips to engage and retain your listeners? Let us know in the comments below! ?

Create your own radio station today!