The holiday season is the most significant time for advertisers and publishers. As holiday sales peak during the last festive holidays, publishers and advertisers face overwhelming pressure to achieve their revenue goals. This can seem overwhelming, especially if publishers must juggle multiple responsibilities, such as a major event, product launch, or content update requiring attention.
Besides, with recent changes in consumer spending and advertiser expectations, 2022 has become more crucial for publishers. Let’s look at potential scenarios publishers can expect from consumers before Christmas and how they can make the most of the festive week.
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Understanding Consumer Behavior Trends During Christmas 2022
According to a recent National Retail Federation (NRF) report, holiday retail sales during November and December 2022 are expected to grow between 6% and 8% over 2021, reaching between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion.
Numerator, a consumer insights and data company, published a survey earlier this year that can help publishers understand consumer shopping behaviors for the 2022 holiday season. Here is a quick breakdown of the survey.
- With 77% of consumers planning to celebrate Christmas with their families and friends, spending on travel, gifts, food, and apparel is expected to increase this holiday season.
Image Source: Numerator
- Cooking and baking supplies are expected to be popular Christmas gifts this year, with 57% of consumers planning to purchase such items. With 62% of consumers planning to buy seasonal decorations, retailers and publishers can look forward to a strong Christmas season in 2022.
- The Christmas holiday is known for its high consumer spending; this year, 59% of consumers are expected to spend over $200 on Christmas shopping.
Image Source: Numerator
- Despite a recent upturn in consumer sentiment, nearly 60% of consumers believe that inflation will have a moderate to significant impact on their Christmas shopping and spending this year.
5 Christmas Strategies to Boost Publisher Revenue
Christmas is fast approaching, and publishers are keen to boost their revenue during this festive period. As consumers seem more inclined toward online shopping, it brings a great opportunity for publishers to monetize their websites with ad revenues.
Image Source: NRF
We have identified six ways publishers can ensure they take advantage of all opportunities to generate revenue from their websites.
Get your Christmas Content Calendar in Order
For publishers, Christmas is a great time to promote content they wouldn’t usually publish. For example, if the publisher is in the lifestyle vertical, they can publish articles about how to prepare for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. If they have an e-commerce website, they can provide tips on shopping during the holidays, whereas a publisher in the travel vertical can write about things to do on vacation during this period.
Moreover, publishers should identify what kind of content will attract the audience at this time of year. There are three main types:
- Holiday gifts & recommendations – What gifts should I get my wife? What should I get for my dad? How much should I spend on Christmas presents? These are questions that people ask every year during the holiday season. Publishers can answer them on their website or social media as long as they ensure their content is relevant to the topic.
- Christmas recipes – Recipes for traditional dishes are always popular this time of year, especially if they’re easy to prepare and don’t require unusual ingredients. If publishers want to promote recipes on their site, make sure that it’s easy for visitors to share them on social media afterward.
- Christmas decorations & DIY projects – People love decorating their homes during the holidays, so publishers can find ideas on how they can do it efficiently (and preferably with things they already have) and publish them on the website.
Christmas-themed content is on the rise. It’s easy to see why: the Christmas season is when people look for inspiration, whether it be gifts or recipes. However, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd, with many sites covering similar topics. So how do publishers make sure their website gets noticed?
The answer lies in creating unique content that resonates with its audience and sets the publisher apart from the competition. How does Christmas content affect revenue for publishers? Here’s the answer.
- Increased page views – People love reading about Christmas, so if publishers promote interesting articles on this subject, they will stay on their website longer than usual – which means higher chances of viewing or engaging with the ads.
- Increased social shares – If people like what they read, they will share it with their friends and family on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter – which means more traffic coming through to the publisher’s website.
An example of a publisher staying up-to-date with Christmas content strategy is BuzzFeed. The publisher has diversified its content formats and launched several new initiatives, including a daily newsletter that delivers exclusive content directly to readers’ inboxes.
Image Source: BuzzFeed
Related Read: A Guide to Content Personalization for Publishers
Engage the Audience With Email Marketing
Email marketing is an excellent way for publishers to keep in touch with their readers, but it’s also one of the best ways to increase sales during the holiday season. So how can publishers leverage newsletters during Christmas to boost engagement? Here are some ideas.
- Create an engaging newsletter or email marketing campaign with fun content to keep the readers entertained until Christmas arrives.
- Inform subscribers about new products or services that might interest them and remind them about items they’ve previously purchased from the website that is still relevant during the holiday season*.
- Include an offer or discount on products so that it’s easier for people to buy from the website during Christmas*.
- Promote the newsletter or email marketing campaign through social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so that more people can learn about it and sign up for it.
*Promotion and discounts can apply to publishers with eCommerce and digital products as revenue drivers.
It’s no secret that people are busier than ever during the holidays. They spend more time with their families, travel more, and do their best to get everything done before the New Year. With this extra activity in mind, publishers should be thinking about how they can reach out to their readers during this busy time of year.
Related Read: How Can Publishers Get Started With Native Email Ads?
Explore Different Ad Formats and Sizes
Advertisers often look for ways to get more exposure for their products and services during the holiday season. They’re willing to pay a premium price for ads that they see as high value or that they think will be seen by their target audience. So, publishers must experiment with different ad formats and sizes because they can earn higher rates than usual on those ads.
The reason is simple. Different formats offer different benefits for different brands, and advertisers and publishers can charge higher rates for premium formats like native ads or video ads. But how do publishers ensure they get the most out of this seasonal spike? Here’s what they can do:
- Experiment with different ad formats and sizes: Experimenting with different formats and sizes will help publishers identify which format works best for the website. Publishers can try out different types of ads, such as native ads or multiplex ads, sticky ads, etc., to understand which performs better. Also, test different sizes of ads to see which performs better on their website.
- Use video ads: Video ads tend to perform better during festive seasons because consumers spend more time watching videos than reading text or looking at images. They also allow brands to showcase their products in action through videos rather than just showing still images or logos on websites.
Related Read: Native Ads Vs. Display Ads – Everything You Need to Know
Boost Subscription Revenue Through Discounts
Apart from the ad revenue, publishers can also look forward to meeting their revenue goal through the subscription model. Consumers love to read insightful content that is unique and serves their interests. Festivals further increase this consumption, with readers surfing through different websites to discover the best ways to celebrate the festival. This search can be about finding the best gifts, planning a vacation, or looking out for best dinner recipes.
Publishers with gated content can make use of this spur by producing quality content and promoting exciting offers on the subscription. Take a close look at how The New York Times does it. A subscriber can get access to its different digital offerings under one subscription.
Image Source: The New York Times
In addition, the subscription model gives publishers access to valuable first-party data. These data further help publishers to gain valuable insights into their audiences’ interests, content consumption habits, and many more. Since advertisers can find value in this data while buying ads, publishers can attract much higher CPMs through PMP and direct deals and improve their ad revenue. However, don’t forget to run through the privacy checklist before starting with the user-data collection.
Related Read: Driving Subscriptions – Everything You Need to Know
Have a few Direct Deals in the Bag
Direct deals are deals signed off between publishers and advertisers directly, often without the involvement of any third-party networks or exchanges. Through direct deals, publishers can sell their premium inventories to advertisers of their choice at higher CPMs.
Unlike programmatic auctions, direct deals offer publishers more control over the type and quality of ads to be served. It also reduces the risk of ad fraud or undersold impressions and brings more transparency. Christmas increases the chances of publishers with niche-based audiences getting more direct deals for their ad inventories.
Direct deals come with a catch- publishers must have a good first-party data trove, niche content, and high traffic to attract advertisers for direct ad sales. Here, publishers with diverse content categories can take the help of audience segmentation to make their inventories worth direct campaigns.
Even then, advertisers will most likely choose only premium inventories for direct deals. So a publisher can always fall back on header bidding, open bidding, and private marketplaces for their unfilled ad spaces.
Related Read: Programmatic Direct – Everything You Need to Know
Christmas brings a lot of hope, excitement, and opportunities to everyone. As the consumers get ready to indulge in the celebration, it offers an excellent prospect for advertisers and publishers to rev up their strategies to meet their revenue goals.
It is the best time for publishers to increase their niche audience base and explore different revenue streams for their websites. These strategic implementations will further help publishers navigate easily through the next quarter, which is prone to experience a dip in CPMs.