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Radio promotion wows through laser-focused digital strategy

A look at how YFM received over 1 million competition entries during a global pandemic, and what the station did differently during lockdown to cater for its young market over that period.

Since March 2020, radio programming in South Africa has been dominated by all things Covid-19, and many broadcasting platforms found themselves having to pivot rapidly to keep their audiences engaged with topical information during a time of global uncertainty. From daily statistics to coverage on government’s ongoing response, and from features on precautionary measures to advice on how to keep yourself occupied - all media was Corona-media.

However, YFM's approach to their Youth Month campaign was strikingly different. 

As the country prepared to enter a nationwide lockdown amid the anxiety and fear of a global pandemic, YFM - a commercial youth radio station based in Gauteng - set out to run their ambitious audience engagement campaign known as 100Racks, which promised listeners a total of R100 000 in prize money. 

Over the prior four years, the station had been using Fabrik to build, grow and engage their audience.

YFM had run versions of this campaign twice before with different executions as part of a broader strategic objective for the station to educate and connect with their most loyal audience, and to sustain that engagement over time.

This time round, Fabrik's audience engagement functionality combined with powerful real-time insights provided the backdrop to execute an integrated campaign of this magnitude.

Where it began YFM started this particular journey in August 2019 with their 992Racks campaign, which spanned 10 days and gave away R99,200 in total prize-money during The Best Drive, DJ Sabby's afternoon drive-time show.

The motivation behind the first implementation of 992Racks was to familiarise the audience with how a campaign of this nature works. YFM hadn't executed a campaign in this way in quite some time, so it was vital to get both their audience familiar with how these executions would work and to trial different executions with their on-air talent.

YFM levels up

Fast-forward to the weeks leading up to the first Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa, and the general mood in the country and the province was one of fear and anxiety.

What the station knew at the time was that a fundamental shift in radio engagement and consumption would occur during lockdown and that it would be important for them to connect even more deeply with their most engaged audience.

"As we headed into lockdown, we knew that listening habits would, would change fundamentally, and it was important for us to take our most engaged audience and to grow the size of that audience and to take them into lockdown with us." Hilton Tarrant, Digital Manager at YFM

It was primarily for this reason that they elected to run the campaign again, but this time known as '100Racks' - based on the R100 000 available prize money, of which the purpose was twofold:

  • To educate a data-sensitive audience about the app's data consumption and live-streaming efficiencies, which are particularly low as the app has been specifically developed and is constantly optimised for as minimal data usage as possible.

  • To derive certain key insights on audience demographics and usage on an opt-in basis, taking advantage of the app's member registration capabilities - which was a pre-requisite for entry.

The insights derived from this week-long campaign were indeed powerful, and a significant spike in new app registrations was observed during the duration of the campaign.

Graph depicting impact of 100Racks campaign on new app registrations
The impact of the 100Racks campaign on new app registrations

100Racks 3.0 After gauging the significant impact and response of their audience to the prior 100Racks campaigns, YFM chose to run the third and most recent iteration during Youth Month in June 2020, at a time when it was particularly important for the station, who have a predominantly youth audience, to be active and engaging even more deeply with their most loyal audience.

The station considered this particular campaign an opportunity to ramp up their previous efforts, and bring together multiple teams across the station (including Marketing, Programming, Creative Solutions, Sales, and Research) to collaborate in finding ways to bring a message of positivity and hope through the campaign to the country's youth during a time when it was sorely needed.

This time, the campaign ran throughout the day from 5am to 10pm, with different executions, variations and tactics, giving away R2000 prize money in each show to a total of R100 000, and providing 48 unique opportunities to win over the two-week period.

The entry mechanic was once again very simple. Entrants were asked to listen out for a unique keyword given per show, and to message in the keyword to the station as soon as they heard it.

Results of the campaign

The response to the campaign was mind-blowing and by the end of the two-week period, the station had received over 1.1million competition entries. Hear from YFM's Digital Manager Hilton Tarrant about results of the campaign:

During the two weeks, YFM's live-streaming engagement doubled.

A graph showing an increase in YFM's audio engagement.
YFM's audio engagement doubled during 100Racks

App engagement also experienced a significant uplift, increasing by 70% during the campaign.

Graph depicting YFM's increase in app engagement
YFM's app engagement increased by 70% during 100Racks

During the month of June, app downloads increased by 100% compared to the previous monthly average.

Graph depicting YFM's increased app engagement.
YFM's downloads increased by 100% during June

Crucially, the station also noted that listeners were accessing the stream more often during the day, and for longer periods of time, which was visible in audio streaming data from the app, website and third-party streaming aggregators, indicating a structural shift to retained listenership throughout the day for the duration of the campaign.

Graph depicting YFM's streaming engagement during 100Racks campaign
YFM's streaming engagement during 100Racks campaign

As shown in the above graph, the total daily live streaming sessions were higher, and engagement is more sustained throughout the course of the day.

Fabrik redefines the integrated campaign

Throughout the course of the three campaigns, YFM made use of a broad array of Fabrik functionality to engage with listeners, monitor that engagement in real time, select winners and gain insights into the campaign as a whole.

YFM's mobile app was a key component in the execution of the campaign, and the messaging and profiling capabilities within the app were used to enter the competition and derive key campaign insights.

Image of Fabrik's profile section.
Listeners were asked to complete their profile to enter

Fabrik's audience engagement dashboard was used to track campaign entries, select winners and monitor audience engagement. During each campaign, a key application feature, the Campaign Manager was used to monitor engagement on each specific keyword, and monitor audience interaction during each show.

Image depicting Smashboard's Campaign Manager
Smashboard's Campaign Manager was used to track entries for each keyword

Fabrik's Metrics dashboard illuminates key audience engagement insights over time, which the station observed to monitor stats and analytics in real time as well as gain a consolidated overview of all audience engagement throughout the campaign.

Graph indicating the data found within Metrics.
An example of the audience engagement data found within Metrics.

YFM's commitment to their audience draws them ever closer

Fabrik provides a space beyond the normal social media channels for your most loyal, most engaged audience to find you, connect with you and grow with you.

It also provides you with the tools you need to be of service to your community and engage with them in the most meaningful way.

YFM's commitment to doing just that and their strategic vision gave both the station and their audience resilience during a very difficult time, and has resulted in a sustained increase in their app and live-streaming engagement in the months since then.

Watch our recent webinar on the 100Racks campaign to find out more.


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