How to Turn Your Radio Listeners into Content Collaborators

When it comes to creating content there’s no one better to turn to then your audience. Most people are eager to help, but need the right motivation. That’s why we’re going to show you how to turn your radio listeners into content collaborators for quick and easy contributions.

Why You Can’t Do it All Yourself!

There really aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done we would like to. Often it’s due to lack of time, people, money, or a combination of all 3. In the end you find yourself pulling in different directions and unable create the best content you can.

However you’re not alone! Your listeners are a fantastic supplement to get a fresh perspective and some free content in the process. That being said there are a few shortcomings with this type of “audience-volunteer model” that you should be aware of.


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Volunteers Need Guidance

The type of content you ask for may require lots of time and effort on your part.

For example, let’s say your station has a lifestyle focussed radio show. You could ask listeners to phone in their favourite recipes (or even submit them as a blog post or video). If you’re broadcasting live or putting user generated content onto your station’s website then you need to make sure that any submissions or phone ins with listeners are on brand and don’t contain swearing.

Listeners that volunteer may have some amazing content worth sharing, but it needs to be coordinated properly to avoid a drain on time and resources.

Incentive Volunteering

As much as we all love “something for nothing”, volunteers may not feel the same way. Incentives are usually the best way to grab people’s attention. Offer listeners free merchandise or something that will entice them to collaborate on your station.

You could try partnering with a business or supplier as a type of sponsorship deal to offer listeners free merchandise.

Quality or Quantity?

Volunteer content can be a mixed bag. As you’re pulling from a large pool you’re bound to get some really good pieces of content, whilst others aren’t as good.

However it really depends on what you’re asking for, for example going back to the cooking station video idea you could get a flood of low quality videos, so you need to make sure you are reviewing all submissions. Similarly, if you are asking listeners to phone in you also need to make sure you are screening people before you put them live on air.

Decide if you want high quality or large quantity. One way to deter a flood of submissions is to setup hurdles. This puts people off and leaves only the best to shine through.

Why it Can Work for You

With all of it’s flaws, turning radio listeners into content collaborators is great when done right – Here are 6 reasons why:

6. Minimal Time

Get people involved with just a few Tweets and Facebook posts. Then spend a bit of time going through emails and choose volunteers that work best with your shows.

5. Zero Training

Volunteers don’t need to be highly skilled to contribute. When asking them to get involved, for example like submitting a written article, just keep your instructions simple, easy to follow, and give them room to be creative.

4. Produce Unique Content

What better way to showcase your station then from another point of view. Listeners volunteering can share their own unique perspective and craft content otherwise unattainable.

3. Listeners in the Spotlight

Featured listener content shows that people are engaged and happy to spend their own time to get involved. Shine the spotlight on the best listeners that add an extra layer of interactivity to your radio station.

2. Little to No Cost

Listener curated content is great because you don’t have to spend loads on hiring and directing people. Aside from an incentive to get your listeners involved, there’s very little to no cost involved.

1. Connect Listeners to Each Other

Enrich your radio community by connecting listeners to one another and not just the station itself.

How to Turn Radio Listeners into Content Collaborators

Listeners are a fantastic source of content as they each have unique perspectives and stories to tell. It’s up to you to motivate them into sharing their content. Here are a few ways you can turn radio listeners into content collaborators for your station.

Run Competitions

Offer listeners an incentive to submit content with a chance of winning a prize. For example, say you’re running a rock radio station with a competition to win free live concert tickets. You could ask listeners to submit a short written piece about an embarrassing moment that happened to them at a concert.

It’s fun, easy to do, and gives you fresh content you can use as a segment on your show or a written article on your website. Competitions can be about anything, for example Hallam FM did a “What’s that sound?” challenge to win a cash prize.

Be creative and think of competition ideas that your listeners will interested in getting involved in.

Live On Air Chats

Invite listeners onto your show with live on air chats. It’s a great way to fill time and creates an environment for some really interesting conversations. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are great places to initiate this.

Open up conversation with listeners and ask them to share their stories, then include them in your show. For example if you’re broadcasting at the start of the week you can ask people what’s their Monday motivation?

Giveaway Freebies

Everyone loves a freebie! Turn your giveaways into content goldmines.

For example let’s say you’re running a lifestyle radio station. Offer volunteers free meals at new restaurants and get them to write or talk about their first-hand experience. Have them jot down a few notes to turn into a short article. Alternatively invite them on your show for a chat to make the most of it.


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Turning radio listeners into content collaborators puts a unique spin on your shows. Listeners that write, send in photos, videos, and chat with you live on air can give your audience a new and interesting perspective. Volunteers provide content you wouldn’t normally get otherwise. Always encourage collaboration and get listeners involved in your shows.

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