On-air games - Why your radio station needs them (and some ideas to start with)
Wednesday, 23 December 2020
What most of the radio producers want when they are hosting a show is to increase the interaction between them and their audience. Some tend to create playlists with the latest hits while others encourage their listeners to contact them with text messages.
Undeniably, one of the best ways to engage (effectively) with your listeners and boost your ratings is by hosting some great radio games on air!
But why should you add radio games?
It is no secret that some of the most prominent and well–known radio programs host radio games, which involve the participation of their listeners. In this way, they become part of the program as it unfolds, and they might also get a prestigious prize.
So, keep in mind that radio games will help you:
- attract and keep listeners hooked
Radio games can help you nurture a relationship with your listeners. The increased awareness will award you with a faithful audience.
- get companies to sponsor you
You can always ask companies to sponsor the contest by offering prizes. At the same time, you can also ask for a real payment since you are already advertising their brands! Cool right?
So, where should you start?
You made your mind, and now you want to begin hosting your own radio game. But before you start your games or contests, it’s better if you considered the following:
The time that you would choose to broadcast your game should go along with the moment that most of the listeners tune in. For example, during morning hours, listener participation tends to be greater than the evening, because it is the time that people begin their days before work, they feel energized and they are in a brighter mood.
Another thing that you might consider is the physical location of your audience. If most of your listeners are in Japan, try to offer them a gift that could be used locally. On the contrary, if your listeners are spread all over the globe, you could offer them a coupon, a gift, or a service that can be accessible no matter where they are.
Try to ask yourself and those few people close to you: what would your listeners might fancy, for real? Use reports, listenership statistics and any data you might have available to identify the preferences of your fans and offer something that appeals to them! Of course, you should not adopt games or contests that are offensive or totally irrelevant according to the demographics or the preferences of your listeners, or else you will start leaning over the wrong side!
What kind of game should you choose?
As you may have noticed from your experience listening to other radio shows, there are not one or two types of games that your audience can play. Depending on your time schedule, budget, and enthusiasm, you can host popular radio games that listeners will recognize.
Even though these games might have gained their fame from television programs, there are various ways to make your listeners interested in them. Some recommendations might include:
- Find the next word game: the presenter plays a part of a song or famous discussion, pauses it on a specific part and the listener will have to find the next word after it stops. If somebody’s answer is correct, then the prize is his/hers!
- Continue the quote: Similarly, the presenter can mention a quote of a famous person but incomplete, so the listeners could fill the rest of it and win.
Everyone loves a game that makes them squeeze their mind and needs all of their attention. Tricky games can make your listeners engage more with your show and your radio station. You can try, for example, games like:
- Tell me what I am doing game: The presenter will ask from listeners to engage with another broadcasting channel. For example, “Visit our video streaming and tell us on-air what I am doing at the moment”. Therefore, you make your listeners part of your program while they can have an image of what is going on the inside. Don’t just stand still, be spontaneous!
- Find and say it out loud game: What the presenter asks for is that listeners will seek and find a phrase located somewhere specifically on the website or Facebook channel and read it out loud in a matter of minutes. For example, it can be something like “Enter now our blog section, click on our last article and read out loud its 2nd sentence”. How long will it take them for something like this?
Pro tip: What about using a radio app as an alternative broadcasting channel? You could ask them to download your app and participate in a contest by submitting an exclusively in-app form! A great way to gain more app downloads and, ultimately, monetize your apps!
- Listen cautiously game: This game requires prolonged listening to take part. You may want to try and see if you have managed to sustain a loyal audience. For instance, you can ask to “count how many beeps sounded during the program, how many jokes did the presenter say, how many times the telephone rang during the morning session”, etc.
These are, by far, the most popular ones.
The concept is simple: The host asks questions to the first that calls on a live show. Alternatively, the quiz can be hosted on your website, allowing all website visitors to participate.
- Movie Trivia: If you are promoting a movie, you can ask questions about the lead actor, his life, career, work, etc. Try multiple-choice questions to give your listeners the opportunity to answer but also to add a piece of controversy.
- Pop hits trivia: Ask pop culture questions and wait for their reaction. You may discover the greatest nerds lurking around!
- Time Pressure without info: Find a way to add tension and suspense to the contest. The easiest way is by imposing a time limit. Ask them to call and participate in a question challenge. But do not make known what the subject of these questions might be. Just surprise them!
Keep in mind that you want to arouse the interest not only of the contestants but of the listeners as well. It is usual for producers to look for participants that could add to the show’s story by being enthusiastic, funny, and relatable to the audience so each listener can “see” themselves in the contestant. Try to find contestants that fill that same role in your on-air games and add to entertainment value.
Did we change your mind?
Then, do not wait for the next day. There are many ways to gamify your content on-air.