Radio sales reps are asked to sell digital advertising every day. And so much of their training is built around understanding the terminology and techniques for selling display ads or streaming on their own station’s digital platforms. The problem is, if a business owner or potential advertiser does not feel their radio rep understands the problems they face with their own web presence, they’re less likely to feel confident in buying radio digital.

The easiest way to sell more radio digital is to have sellers who have a grasp on how the client can be more successful with their own web presence. If you can talk shop about what they’re going though with their own digital presence, they’ll be more likely to have more confidence to buy radio’s digital offerings.

Here’s a list of 10 items every business owner grapples with constantly. An understanding of their issues will help you sell more radio digital opportunities…

1. Simplicity
From website design to the amount of content on the page, keeping things simple is one of the best things business owners can do to make life easier on themselves. A website with a clean design, simple navigation and ease-of-use is what will provide the safest solution to their web maintenance dilemma. Not only will they save time, but their visitors will have a better user experience.

2. The Sales Funnel
Business websites exist to inform and generate sales. By seeing a website as a sales funnel, instead of just an online brochure, your clients will generate more web leads and more opportunities for new business. The sales funnel process begins with driving potential customers to their site, keeping them there with a professional look and compelling content, inviting visitors to connect through social media or joining an email list, and finally – following up to build a relationship.

3. Words That Connect
One of the most frequent mistakes business owners make is creating web copy that doesn’t connect with real people. They have a habit of taking old thoughts on proposal/pitch/sales copywriting and applying it to their online media. In other words, they keep things too stiff and stuffy, instead of presenting in a conversational tone. The Internet is a personal medium and it’s important to keep copy on websites a bit more casual and conversational. If your client can pull this off, their website visitors will feel more connected to their business.

4. SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the key to business websites being found online. Problem is, there’s information overload. People write books (really, really long books) getting into all the minutia of getting ranked higher in Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. The good news is that the 80/20 rule plays out big time with SEO strategies and that means there are just a few things business owners need to do to achieve higher search rankings. This includes making sure keywords are incorporated in page titles and page descriptions and are scattered at a 3-5% ratio throughout a web page. And if they’re focused on a local audience, always incorporate their city or town name as one of their primary keywords. Finally, business owners should take every opportunity to have their website linked to from other websites (and the bigger the better). Do just these items and your client’s search rankings will increase.

5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a delicate dance of moderation. Send more eblasts than customers expect and they’ll unsubscribe or click the SPAM button. Don’t email often enough and they’ll forget about you. So, what’s the right mix? For most small businesses, once to twice a month is usually the sweet spot. Just remember that the key is to always provide helpful information up front and to keep the pitch secondary. If businesses need to send a specific pitch to their email list, never do it twice in a row. A little moderation will go a long way.

6. Get Social
Without exception, I can’t think of a single business that won’t benefit from incorporating social media into their online strategy. And fortunately, most do. The big ones that deliver the best results are Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook is great for most small businesses, especially when they want to expand their local reach. Pinterest is great for connecting with females. Instagram is the choice of a younger audience. Twitter is excellent for connecting with heavy online users. And LinkedIn is a great connection tool for any B2B professional.

7. Blog Required
Businesses of all sizes need to have a blog built into their website. Over 60% of businesses that blog generate more website leads than those that don’t. A blog allows business owners to easily create single page posts (like this one) with helpful information, events, specials and company news. Not only does the business owner get the benefit of keeping website content fresh for visitors, they’re also creating new content that Google and the other search engines love. It’s a big win-win. A blog post every week is great, but once every two weeks or even once a month will still serve any business owner well.

8. Google Tools
If your client doesn’t have a Google account, they need one. Yes, they’ll have to get a Google email address, but they don’t have to use it, except as a login name to get the other free Google goodies. Once they have a Google account, they can access some important free tools that can help increase website traffic. Including, Google Places, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster Tools. Even if they need assistance using these free Google resources, they should get their Google account to at least take a step in the right direction.

9. Staying Connected
One of the biggest problems small business owners have with their online presence is staying connected with visitors and those in their social media networks and email lists. It’s crucial to stay connected enough so you’re not forgotten. That comes back to creating new and engaging blog content, posting and commenting on social media and distributing helpful email marketing.

10. Managing the Madness
Business owners have their website, email marketing, blog and social media to manage…and it can be brutal. The secret to managing it all in-house is “chunking.” That means instead of logging in and accessing all their online tools through the week, it saves time and frustration to keep a list and do it all at once. And it’s easier than ever to chunk. You can schedule blog posts in advance with WordPress, schedule email marketing with services such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber etc… and tools like, HootSuite, make scheduling social media really easy. When businesses manage their online presence by chunking, it saves them time and stress… and that leaves more time to talk with you, realize how much you can help and give them confidence to buy more radio digital.




  1. David Duffy says

    Hi Gregg,

    I really admire and respect your passion to drive more digital amongst broadcasters (I share the passion). But (and here’s the but), the breadth of this list is far too ambitious for most broadcasting organisations let alone their sales people. The opportunity (volume and margin) lies with focus on number 6 – social. Integrating social as part of radio-led campaign is easy; there’s a natural synergy between the two social mediums. And what is even better, radio sales people are able to understand and articulate a social proposition with very little training. Almost all of the others will bury you.



    • says

      Thanks, David. I agree with your comment about social media being the best mutual marriage. No doubt it takes years to master all 10 elements, but knowing a paragraph worth of each could be helpful. That way a radio rep could at least have an intelligent conversation about digital issues that face business owners everyday. I don’t know much about gastronomy, but I’ve watched enough Anthony Bourdain episodes to at least converse and ask intelligent questions to a foodie. And that provides me a greater opportunity to build a relationship. Thanks for you comment, mate. Cheers.