7 Reasons Radio Should Be Running Ballots

by Emily Thousand Second Street

Ballots aren’t just for print anymore. Whether your station is large or small, ballots provide huge benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.

Here are seven of the biggest reasons ballots are the fastest growing opportunity to engage your audience and dramatically increase your revenue.

Benefit Your Advertisers

Ballots offer a unique and engaging way to help advertisers achieve any goal. You can create a ballot to benefit one specific advertiser or run a citywide ballot to generate awareness for any business in your market.

WRBR-FM ran an awesome ballot sponsored by Hoosier Harley Davidson. Participants voted on varying aspects of the motorcycle to be given away as the grand prize. Not only did users enjoy the chance to share their opinions, but it also showcased motorcycle features offered at Hoosier Harley Davidson. By including an email opt-in and targeted survey questions, the ballot was able to generate 100+ qualified leads for the advertiser.

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Survey Qs Harley

Grow Your Database

With such a large base of participants, ballots are an excellent opportunity to grow your database by including an email opt-in.

For WSTR-FM’s Wedding Pitch, the station seeded their ballot with the proposal stories of many different couples hoping to win the grand prize – an all expense paid destination wedding provided by the advertiser, Lanier Islands Resort. Station listeners got to make the decision on which couple would win. With an email opt-in, the ballot generated over 2,000 email addresses for the advertiser, many of which were leads for future weddings booked at the resort.

WSTR wedding story ballot

Align with Your Existing Content

Ballots are incredibly versatile and can perfectly align with your station’s content and programming. Whether it’s a ballot about the station’s top songs of the year or the station’s favorite shows and radio personalities, a ballot will make your audience will feel more invested in your station’s content.

Knowing they’d be doing a lot of coverage on this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards, WPAW-FM launched a ballot where listeners picked which artists they thought would win each category. This made the audience even more invested in the event and, more importantly, WPAW’s ACM coverage in the week leading up to and following the ACMs.

WPAW music awards ballot

Create Fun, Interactive Content

Ballots don’t just have to be about your existing station content, you can use a ballot to create something brand new your audience will love. These are a great opportunity to give listeners content that’s both entertaining and engaging.

WMGC-FM ran a hilarious dating ballot titled Dateless in Detroit. With this ballot, the audience got to choose one lucky gentleman to go on a date with one of the show’s listeners. Registered users voted on their favorite bachelor, and in doing so, were entered for a chance to win tickets to a concert. It wasn’t all just for fun – 67% of users signed up to join the WMGC email database.

Dateless in Detroit

Allow Your Audience to be Influencers

Nothing is more powerful than giving a voice to your audience. By allowing your viewers and listeners to directly influence your programming, they are more invested in your content, and your content is better targeted.

For WRIF-FM’s Rock Girl Search, the station leveraged a ballot to let their audience pick the WRIF’s next Rock Girl. As a result, the participants are choosing someone who will be a face of the station. Now whenever the audience tunes in, they’ll know they had a direct impact on the station’s programming. Plus, this popular ballot added nearly 3,700 addresses to WRIF’s email database.

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Generate Huge Revenue

Every ballot has countless sponsorship opportunities. Especially for citywide ballots, the revenue potential here is as big as it gets for any size market.

WKDZ-FM succeeded in building a killer citywide ballot program that’s already their biggest revenue generator of the year. By working with local businesses and taking full advantage of category sponsors, the first year of the ballot brought them a 15% increase in revenue from the same month of the previous year. And in year two, their Best Of revenue grew by over 80%.

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Build Unique Content From the Results

Ballots let you see what your audience enjoys and build programming to align specifically with their preferences.

This was especially easy to implement for WTLC-FM with their concert season ballot. They asked their audience which concerts they were most excited to see over the summer. In addition to giving away tickets to the winning concerts, any station can use this ballot to identify popular artists in their market and play them on air.

Summer Concert Quiz

Ballots present a huge opportunity for radio. By leveraging existing content and taking advantage of seasonal excitement, your station will see a significant boost to revenue and engagement in no time.

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