A for-profit website content strategy doesn’t deliver results if the content doesn’t match the potential for advertising.
After all, it’s the advertising revenue that pays for the content. It’s also the advertising revenue that ensures the profit and future growth of the site.
But a content strategy isn’t just about chasing after ad revenue. The starting point is opportunity with content and opportunity in finding an audience for that content.
For example, a local newspaper publishes local news in print editions but also posts that content online. It has a content opportunity with its website because it doesn’t have to create new content for it. The newspaper can simply post content it already has created for the print edition. Magazines and TV stations do the same.
Likewise, an expert on a topic has an opportunity with content because he or she can write with authority on that topic.
So for many website publishers, the topic of their content is already a given. That content gives rise to brand and an audience with an interest in it.
Content Sub Categories
The story changes when the website publisher begins to explore a topic in depth. Some topics have greater opportunity with advertising than others. Travel, health and personal finance all attract high-paying advertisers. So do traditional classified advertising categories such as real estate, automotive and employment.
Think of these content categories as having sub categories with differing levels of appeal with both audiences and advertisers. Within travel, cruise is a lucrative sub category. Within cruise, the Mediterranean attracts more advertising than Northern Europe.
Does that mean a website publisher should focus more on one sub category than another? The answer is, it depends. A deep focus on a subcategory that is lucrative with advertisers may hold appeal only to a small audience of site visitors. The higher RPMs (revenue per thousand impressions) may not justify the amount of work that goes into reaching a small but lucrative audience.
Balancing Content and Advertising
So a website content strategy is most effective if it balances the opportunity with audiences and the opportunity with advertisers.
A large but less lucrative category may be worth the effort simply to draw a larger audience and a higher total volume of ad revenue. Publishers may overlook a small content category simply because of the size of the audience. But at least some extra effort may produce a worthwhile increase in revenue.
Either way, website publishers should consider how much to evolve a content strategy for the sake of maximizing audience and advertising revenue at the same time.