How to Monetize Your Holiday Content

Done well, holiday revenue generation is a gift for everyone involved.
Done well, holiday revenue generation is a gift for everyone involved.

There are a few times throughout the year when your audience focuses on similar things. Back to School affects households with kids, as does summer vacation. But the holiday season finds people from coast to coast all working toward the same goal: celebrating with friends and family.

Monetizing content is both the same and different during the holidays. There aren’t any completely unique ways to generate revenue that only exist this time of year. The difference is how you use what you’ve got.

Focus Content on Holiday Topics

Knowing your audience is critical for monetizing content. You have to know what interests them before you you can expect to engage their attention. And there are few times like the holidays when you can reach more people with a similar approach.

SEE ALSO: 6 Ways to Monetize Your Blog

When you offer relevant content, and a larger than usual portion of your audience is interested in the same, you’ve got prime ad real estate. Tree lighting ceremonies, a holiday choir performance, or even an appearance from Santa might not seem to be meaty enough topics for a normal feature. But when everyone is in the holiday spirit, those stories become a lot more valuable.

You could also consider catering to as many different holidays as you can to draw in advertisers that ordinarily wouldn’t buy space in your publication. They have a target audience, too. And if you are reaching it with your content, those advertisers will want to be there.

Native Ads for the Holidays

Native advertising gives you valuable content and promotes your advertisers at the same time. In the bargain, your audience has one more reason to stop and read. And the holidays give plenty of opportunity to create relevant content and ads.

Forbes Brand Voice is a leader in native advertising. They’ve erased concerns about content quality, and are doing ads right. On November 29, Forbes and their advertiser, NetApp, promoted a short and witty bit of prose about Black Friday shopping. This is targeted content and revenue at its best, because it’s all rolled into one.

Native advertising is wide open for the holiday season. You can create strong, relevant material, your advertisers have their names attached, and your audience finds just what it’s looking for. It’s efficient, one-stop shopping for everyone involved.

Shoppers Guides aren’t Outdated

Tis the season for holiday shopping guides.
Tis the season for holiday shopping guides.

Reach shoppers in your area with an old-fashioned idea, revamped. Shopper’s guides have been around for ages. In print publications, they’re usually pull-out or special sections. Online, they’re just another section of the website.

The New York Daily News has compiled a handy shopping guide for the 2013 holiday season. And what will you find there? Lots of revenue for the paper. Featured retailers show up with oversize images, which equals revenue.

The interesting thing here is that that you don’t have to limit shopping guides to just local businesses. In the Daily News, you’ll also find links to online retailers. Ad revenue can pour in locally and from around the globe.

Pull in Sponsored Video

Sponsored video is yet another way to generate revenue this season, even when it’s placed near an unrelated story. Who wouldn’t want to click on a video to watch adorable kids singing in the snow, animated characters exchanging jabs, or an attractive man promoting a new cocktail mix?

Sponsored video ad space can fit wherever you want it to. And you can adjust your advertising rates based on the location of the ad.

If you really want to kick it up a notch, think about augmented reality (AR). Your advertisers can offer an amazing, multi-dimensional experience to your readers, including video, and you’ll reap the rewards.

It seems rather the opposite of the holiday spirit to equate this season with generating revenue. But everyone knows, if you want to stay in business you have to earn a living. In newspapers, earning a living means revenue, and revenue depends on your audience.

Reaching your audience requires focusing on where their interest lie. And this time of year, there’s no better topic than the season itself. With a mix of standard and native ads, video, and maybe even something special, like AR, everyone gets a good return on their time and money investment. Even better, you can make payroll a lot more comfortably.

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