When WNCI-FM disc jockeys talked on-air earlier this year about which celebrities they looked like, the station asked listeners to call in their own stories.
Callers made what the DJs thought were outrageous claims about looking like some of the big stars of today. So one DJ asked a listener to e-mail him a photo.
That viewer complied as did many others.
The response to the radio bit grew so extreme, the DJ decided to post each of the photos on the World Wide Web. That way, the radio audience could check out other listeners first hand on the WNCI Web site (www.wnci.com).
Thousands of people went to the Web site to see if people really looked like [the stars], says John Potter, general manager for WNCI-FM. What mainly drives traffic to our Web site is when our personalities talk about whats on the site.
Drawing radio listeners to the Web is increasingly important for stations like Potters. A PC Data Online Reports poll shows 16 percent of people spend less time listening to the radio now and are surfing the Web instead, says Will Poole, vice president of digital media for Microsoft Corp., who discussed this issue at a National Association of Broadcasters convention this spring.
But recapturing those listeners is only part of the goal in setting up and promoting a Web site. After all, the more traffic an organization can drive to its Web site, the more money it can make down the road.
Although Potter says WNCIs Web site is profitable, I think theres an opportunity for it to be more profitable. After all, as listeners visit the stations site more frequently, there will be a greater opportunity to sell advertising at a higher price with the same amount of overhead, he explains.
Thats why WNCI puts everything from school closings to news stories on its Web site. When the station posts school closings, Potter notes, it gets such a response, the server practically shuts down.
WNCI, like many companies with an Internet presence, makes money through banner advertisements on its Web site. The Center of Science and Industry, commonly known as COSI, is among WNCIs Web advertisers. Larry Meyer, public relations director for COSI, says the general marketing exposure his organization gets through the Web can increase interest in COSI and translate into increased revenues.
When Internet surfers visit a companys site and see that it either improves their lives or entertains them regularly, they are more likely to do business with that particular company, Meyer explains.
Our on-site Web visits have tripled since we opened our new building, he says. People want to come visit.
To build upon that excitement, Meyer says COSI will be launching a new online exhibit this year which will showcase information available only on the Internet. He hopes this will create a more active interest in the center and be a reason for people to return to the site.
According to Microsofts Poole, any business looking to make its Web page more effective should:
- Create compelling content.
- Team with other organizations to create a more powerful and dynamic site.
- Interact with customers.
- Use Webcasting to complement the companys services.
- Effectively post the companys logo or brand on the site.
Darrel Richter (DRichter01@aol.com) is a free-lance writer for SBN.