How to survive on advertising if your business is seasonal?There are websites about every single subject under the sun, which is part of what makes the internet such a wonderful place to explore. In many cases, website owners will start a blog or page about a subject that is of great interest to them, with the problem being that said subject is completely seasonal. These are sites about political elections, summer vacations, ski resorts, Olympics, World Cup, and other sporting events. It is expected that traffic to these sites will waver during certain periods, and that can have an effect on advertising income. There are some things that site owners can do to keep the visitors coming and the ad revenue alive, so let’s take a look at a few.
Understand your traffic patternsWhen you have a seasonal site, you need to be aware of when the highs and lows are coming. If you are aware of that, you can better adjust your ad rates, customize ads and content that will soften their effects to your traffic numbers by offering or showing something that make viewers come back for more. You can create deals and special content during the slow periods that may make it enticing for visitors to hit your site even when they have no other real reason to do so.
Know your advertisersMany of the advertisers that you have on your seasonal site will be those who also do seasonal business. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to sell their products or services year-round. Their goal is likely aligned with your own. The goal of these types of businesses is to keep their brand visible and recallable to the buying public, even when they are entering a slow period. There are plenty of advertisers out there who may be seasonal, but who want to have a major online presence every single day of the year if the returns on their advertising investment makes financial sense.
Deliver advertising dealsFor every seasonal business looking to get their ads out all year, there are others who are working on a tighter budget. They still want to advertise all year, but simply don’t have the budget to do so. If you can offer these businesses a deal in the slower months, you will be doing them a favor and it also benefits your business as well. With this arrangement, they will also remember you when the peak season comes around, and will likely be happy to pay your higher rates at that time. Building relationship takes time but it offers a big long-term benefit.
Pay attention to your budgetYou don't want to shell out a lot of money in the month’s where business is slower, which means you have to become financially savvy with your own expenses. One of the most effective ways to do this with online advertising is to go with an adserver that allows you to scale up or down as needed so you can save on your ad ops. That means choosing an ad server with a flexible contract or no contract at all.
Get creative with contentDiversification is key. No matter what sort of niche industry you are in, there are a number of sub-categories or related categories that can be tapped and explored. These are still interesting to the viewers regularly visit your site but they expand your available offerings. Start thinking about what that content might look like, and get ready to deliver it when things start to slow down. This will help keep people coming on a regular basis, and will help prevent serious dips in viewership.
However, seasonal effects might be very strong for certain niches that no matter what you do, there will still be a decrease in advertising income during these slow periods. Thus, it is not a bad idea to adjust your expectation accordingly.
Posted in AdServer for Publisher Ad Strategies August 29, 2018 (first published September 2016)
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