Drive traffic during the holidays with these festive collections. Simply create listicles and galleries using content from your area or your archives. Plus with the extra ad inventory and sponsorships, these ideas are perfect for your advertisers’ increased holiday-season demand.
Slideshow: Eight festive ideas to help you exceed your year-end goals
1. The ultimate holiday gift guide
gift guide filled with unique, local items—and the merchants that sell them—that can be reposted any time during the season . . . right up to the last-minute. Don’t forget to sell inclusion in the guide as an added-value opportunity for local advertisers.
2. Great holiday lights and displays
Solicit user-submitted photos or videos, or host an online contest for your area's big
holiday displays. Link to the best displays and tours of the year (and years past) to keep readers engaged. Virtual galleries let folks enjoy holiday sights without setting foot outside.
3. A roundup of what's open
Give your users some news they can use with a list of
what's open on holidays, including restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and more. Package the information as image galleries or chunky-text collections to get more ad impression bang for your buck. To get started, consider updating a copy of last year's list.
4. Community events and galas
Photos from the red carpet at the Oscars and other celebrity events routinely generate hundreds of thousands of page views. Give your local community's fundraisers,
galas, and holiday events the same red-carpet treatment by sharing photo galleries. Don't forget to enable photo sales to take advantage of another easy revenue generating idea.
5. Holiday-themed things to do
Listicles of "things to do" tend to be reliable audience magnets in any season, and don't take much effort to pull together. Group similar events and activities for a festive theme such as
"Where to hear holiday carolers" or "Christmas Walks."
6. The weather outside
Pesky weather can interfere with plans, but audiences expect and eagerly consume all weather coverage. Past weather events can also drive traffic and engagement—rain or shine. Create a collection of the
coldest, hottest, or most extreme days. Or look back on holiday-wrecking weather events or the deadliest disasters from your area.
7. Unsolved crimes
Most sites post periodic mugshot galleries or collections of recent notable
crimes. Extend this idea back into history with unsolved crimes, or notable crimes and criminals. Even just aggregating the year's roundups can bring in extra page views without much effort.
8. Wrap-up of sports
Chances are good you already highlight athletes of the week or of the year in several local sports. Attract the sports enthusiasts with collections of the all-time greats, championship winners, top recruits, and more. Another top-performing example: Recapture a pivotal moment from the first, last, or big day in
local sports history.
Bonus idea: Author's choice
As you close out the calendar year, have your authors create a collection of their most-memorable stories. Consider using "popular" articles that ranked high by pageviews, metrics, or comments. Author's choice can also be a great way to spotlight work that had an impact locally.
With these tried-and-true seasonal ideas, you’ll convert casual users into loyal visitors . . . who eventually become subscribers! Share your ideas at the
TownNews Community site.
Tim Kelley is the Director of Digital Engagement for the Digital Content Desk at Lee Enterprises.