The Power of Creative Online Content

September 28, 2012

Quickly answer this:

What are the three websites you can’t live without?

Now think about why you visit those websites so frequently.

Is it because of their perfectly validated HTML, use of well-researched SEO keywords, or promotional pages?

Or is it because of fresh, compelling content that speaks to your passions and interests?

While worrying about all the aspects of website’s execution, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.  In radio we can spend lots of time making sure the weekend promo has a webpage or that the images on the site have proper image tagging so they’re indexed by Google.  But we can’t forget that the most-consumed content on our sites are not necessarily promo pages.

Just like our listeners do not flock to our stations to hear the station promos, they flock to our websites for our stations’ live station simulcasts, DJ videos, music news, and pop culture commentaries.

The great news is we have free tools at our hands to get immediate feedback to the content that resonates with our audiences.  Google Analytics now provides real-time data.  We can learn which pages are getting clicks as soon as the DJ directs listeners to the website or as soon as the station’s email newsletter is sent.  We can see instantly which stories on our websites are being shared across social networks and which videos are getting commented on.

Using this feedback allows us to create new, similar content.  If cute baby pictures are highly visited on the website, how about creating a section of photos of cute babies in Halloween costumes?  A DJ cooking video gets a lot of views one week? Turn it into a series.

Creating more compelling content based on high engagement creates a positive feedback loop:  high engagement leads to more compelling content leads to more high engagement.

This is not to say the technical details aren’t important — listeners need to be able to quickly get to the content they crave and not face technical obstacles when they get there.  But it’s the content that’s the foundation of not only our on-air, but also our online products.

Chris Brunt is making Greater Media, Inc. great in his role as Director of Internet Operations at Greater Media Detroit.