Five Steps to Perfect Teasing

 In Blog

I’m a runner. In one of the various group runs that I do here in Portland, I found myself running alongside Mark Remy, writer at Runner’s World magazine.

Mark told me that the hardest part of his job is “writing the clickbait.” In today’s writing world, you can write and post a great article, but if you don’t hook people to click on it, the article is a failure.

We have the same issue in radio, TV and podcasting, but our “clickbait” is teasing.

Doing it well is hard. Here are five easy steps to follow that can significantly increase the time that your audience spends with your show.

  1. One segment = one tease. The first step is to calculate how many segments are happening on your show today. If you do four content segments and a newscast every hour, that’s five segments per hour. For a four-hour show, that’s twenty segments. Therefore, you need 20 teases. If a segment is worth airing, it’s worth teasing. Tease every segment.
  2. How often to tease? To induce the audience to stay with you longer, ask how much time they stay with you now. For example, look at your latest Nielsen Audio report. If the time-spent-listening on your daypart is 1:00, it means that listeners spend about 12 minutes per day with your show. Get another 3-4 minutes out of them by teasing at least once or twice within that 12-minute period.
  3. Where to tease? The best place to tease content is at the end of content. For example, if you’ve just delivered a segment on funny first date stories, the audience at that time is invested in your content. That’s the moment to let them know more fun is on the way. You can also tease coming out of commercials, between songs, coming out of news, and even between commercials.
  4. Write the teases. Don’t try to tease off the top of your head from memory. Good teasing is exact, brief and compelling. Remember to follow the 80/20 rule. Give people 80% of the story, but save the most compelling 20% for the payoff. It’s best to bounce what you’ve written off someone before trying it on the air.
  5. Remembering to tease. This is the hardest part. In the eye of the hurricane that is your show, it is easy to forget to tease the next segment. Consider how to build physical and visual reminders. Some hosts use Post-it notes, some write on the show plan, some quarterbacks hand off teases to their cohost, and other shows pre-record them. Do whatever it takes.

Teasing is the one thing the highest performing radio shows we work with have in common. Teasing is even more important once you consider this week’s Edison Research study that shows AM/FM listeners switching stations an average of 22 times on their drive time commute! A compelling tease can bring those channel-changing commuters back to your station more often.

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