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Create a Killer Radio Station Branding Strategy

Struggling to turn heads? You need a killer radio station branding strategy to stand out from the crowd.

Mike Cunsolo

by Mike Cunsolo in Marketing

Last updated 01.02.2024

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You may not know it, but a great radio station branding strategy is the difference between a smash hit station and failure. If you want to break out into a new audience, you need to grab their attention and give them a taste of what they're missing. People need to recognise your station at a glance and know your station is an experience like no other.

Your killer radio station branding strategy is how you set yourself apart from the pack and make audiences sit up and take notice.

Define Yourself

Think of your station as a living, breathing person. Spending time with someone that has the personality of dry paint isn’t something you'd do often. Your station is the same; it needs to have an engaging personality, or no one will listen. Part of any great radio station branding strategy is determining what your station is and how you want to communicate that to your audience. Ask yourself; who do you want to attract and what do they respond best to? What kind of tone are you aiming for? Are you funny or serious? Bouncy and excitable or cool and collected?

A common marketing tactic is to visualise your audience as one person. Create a fictional, idealised listener, the specific kind of person you want to attract, and tailor your station and branding to what they would want to see and hear.

Your personality needs to stay consistent in everything you do online. We’ve all seen people turning on flip-flopping politicians; it can't just be an act or people will see through it, you need to be real. Audiences connect with people they see as relatable, reliable, and often inspirational, so turning around on your values is guaranteed to ruffle some feathers. If you’re in a scenario you’re unsure of, think to your fictional listener and ask yourself ‘would they approve?’. If the answer is no, it’s probably not a great idea.

Take the Reins

Staying true to your station isn’t just your responsibility. A great radio station branding strategy needs teamwork, you need to be surrounded by people who live and breath your mission statement. Basically, if your talk radio station is focused on history, you best make sure there are at the bare minimum a few history buffs among your presenters. If there aren't any, why would listeners tune into your shows instead of someone else's?

Boogaloo Radio exemplifies this with their commitment to promoting the musical history of the Boogaloo pub. The iconic venue has been host to a wealth of notable acts, such as Oasis and The Pogues, and this influences every aspect of the station's image and branding. As well as broadcasting from the pub itself, the hosts have been personally involved in its history, lending a genuine sense of authenticity. As a result, they’ve built a dedicated audience, who trust the station to remain true to itself and what they love about it. When you’re figuring out your radio station branding strategy, consider how Boogaloo Radio maintains brand consistency and listener loyalty.

Build a Hub for Your Listeners

Your radio station branding strategy dictates everything you do online. Building a website give you a dedicated platform to interact with your listeners and develop brand loyalty. Our Website Builder gives you the tools you need to build a compelling hub for your listeners. You’re even in full control of your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), so you can climb to the top of the Google leaderboards.

Don’t neglect your social media! A Facebook page, Instagram account and/or Twitter account are great places for people to discover you and your station through promotion and interaction. Social media gives you a place to personally interact with your followers, it's invaluable for developing a connection between you and your audience. Answer questions, ask questions post polls, post teasers to build excitement for upcoming events and shows, the possibilities are endless! Some people even craft content specifically for their social channels! Knowing the best ways to use social media will expose you to a wider audience than you could have previously imagined. Alternatively, promotion agencies can do the heavy lifting for you.

Create a Memorable Tone of Voice

Stepping away from radio for a moment, countless companies have used social media to change the way they talk to their audience. For the most part, gone are the days when businesses would dictate their messages to the audience. Now, businesses have conversations with people and try to connect to them on a personal level, with humour and authenticity. Authenticity is especially important in the modern era; people don’t want to feel that they’re being lied or condescended to, they want to feel like the businesses they interact with are made up of real people, something your station should strive for in every situation, online or otherwise.

Maintaining a conversational tone, rather than regurgitating robotic responses, will help your listeners connect with you, and give contrast to those moments where you do have to get a bit more serious. Giving your brand depth by varying your interactions like this can help endear you to your audience, by showing your brand as multi-dimensional.

Craft a Distinctive Sound and Vision

Establishing your brand isn’t just about how you speak to listeners though, it’s how you present yourself and how you style your station. How will your station pop? The visuals and audio of your station should complement the rest of your branding unless you want to confuse people. James Mulvany gives some great tips on how to visualise your brand.

Focusing on the sound of your station; audio branding mainly consists of sound effects and jingles. Effective jingles set listener expectations without even saying a word. You can make one yourself to keep costs down or you could hire someone to make it for you on websites like Fiverr.

Colours also need to be considered as part of a good radio station branding strategy. Think of the colours yellow and red, what comes to mind? If you’re hungry, probably McDonald's. That worldwide level of brand recognition means that even thinking about certain colours can bring a familiar business to mind.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel; keep it simple and only use one or two colours. Colour choice can inspire emotions in audiences and can be used to exaggerate your brand's strengths. So make sure to pick colours that you want your audience to associate with your station.

For a great example, look no further than Foundation Radio. Browsing through their website, only two colours are used, which as well as showing consistency, give off a calming, earthy feel with its muted green, while grabbing your attention with a pastel pink that pops in contrast. Foundation shows how you can use contrast between colours to give your station a look that draws the eye and retains your attention.

Design a Unique Logo and Fonts

Like everything else in your radio station branding strategy, even fonts need to be consistent and work towards communicating the tone or central idea of your station to your audience. This is even more important with your logo, which is likely to be the first piece of branding many listeners see.

To keep consistent and make your station more unique, it may be worth contacting an artist or graphic designer to produce your logo and fonts. Once you have these, you may want to make some promotional materials. Be sure to keep branding consistent by using a service like Wepik. With Wepik you can use your own fonts and logos to create attractive and professional business cards, event flyers and more.

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Whether you’re new to online radio or have been broadcasting for years, perfecting your radio station branding strategy is key to unlocking your station's full potential and ensuring success. With, you can get started on your path to radio stardom, with a 7-day free trial.

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