Discover how top digital publishers are generating more revenue through premium listings, display advertising, venue pages, and more.
For today’s digital publishers, having an online events calendar is about more than just creating a centralized hub where readers, and community members at large, can find out what’s going on in the local area. Events calendars are also about revenue.
People land on events calendars from search engines, social media posts, email newsletter links, and links on a publisher’s own homepage. Once they arrive, they tend to stick around.
Community calendars and events calendars usually have low bounce rates because of the sheer volume of content contained within them. On one events calendar, a reader might find information about high school sports games, local festivals, and special offers or promotional events being put on by local businesses. Events calendars meet the needs of every person in the community, and that makes them especially attractive to potential advertisers.
Most of the publishers we know with events calendars have some type of “free” listings available. That means people in the community are able to add to the events calendar for free, usually as a way to promote the events their organizations or schools are putting on. To go along with those free listings, though, publishers will often develop self-serve portals where businesses can purchase enhanced or premium listings for a fee.
Of course, if the answer to how publishers make money with an events calendar was simply “selling premium listings,” then this article would be very short. Just selling premium listings isn’t how most digital publishers generate most of their revenue from events calendars. It’s just one piece of a much larger pie.
Over the past few years, we’ve watched more digital news and magazine publishers expand their profit centers and introduce new revenue streams into their business models. In nearly every case, an efficient events calendar has become an important source of ancillary revenue.
With a systematic approach, publishers have been able to monetize their events calendars in multiple ways. That includes integrating calendar listings into their existing advertising sales programs, which gives in-house sales reps more to offer local business clients. As is so often the case in digital publishing, creativity is the key here. Publishers have the most success monetizing events calendars when they get creative in their sales efforts and come up with new programs or benefits that woo potential advertisers. Having a successful events calendar also relies on reader traffic, and any publisher that plans to monetize an events calendar needs to have a plan for how he or she will optimize that calendar to rank in local search.
Here are seven of the top strategies publishers are using to monetize online events calendars right now:
- Selling enhanced or premium listings The most straightforward approach to monetizing an events calendar is to sell premium calendar listings to businesses through a self-service portal.
- Running display advertising Publishers can work with Google AdSense or a larger advertising platform to manage display advertising that runs alongside the calendar on their websites.
- Charging readers to access premium features Many readers will pay for extra calendar features, like full-length event descriptions or weekly event updates sent via email.
- Upselling existing advertising clients with premium listings Publishers can offer free premium listings when advertisers renew their campaigns.
- Creating venue pages for businesses Businesses will pay a premium when their calendar listings link to internal venue landing pages.
- Letting advertisers sponsor a calendar Whole-page or whole-section sponsorship opportunities can be especially lucrative before major events and holidays.
- Developing upsell opportunities, like “editor’s pick” or “featured” events Listings that are selected as “featured” or “editor’s pick” can be moved directly to the top of the calendar page.
To add an event calendar to your own website, and create beautiful, user-friendly online calendars that advertisers will actually pay to be a part of, try out Web Publisher PRO’s Event Publisher PRO platform.