We’ve written at length about seasonality in advertising. In fact, the first of many posts I wrote for the Mediavine blog was on this very topic, nearly two years ago.
I’m always surprised to see the ongoing popularity of this post, fittingly titled “Ad Revenue By The Seasons,” and its relevance to publisher earnings ever since it was first published.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised though. History tends to repeat itself, as the saying goes, and in our case, the advertising industry proves no exception.
In this edition of Behind the Numbers with Brad (BTNWB), we’re diving into seasonality once more, this time with a definitive guide to specific dates (and printable eCPM prediction calendar!) to keep in mind throughout the year.
The beauty of being in the publishing world for 15+ years and representing nearly 8,000 sites in nearly every lifestyle niche that exists is that Mediavine has data.
Billions and billions of points of data.
Again, history repeats itself, even during the trying times of a pandemic. Life as we know it has changed in many ways, but spending patterns around major holidays and events — and lower spending patterns around the ends of fiscal quarters and years — persist.
In order to outline the exact dates that you, a publisher, should focus on to optimize content and earnings, I’ve teamed up with Cynthia, Director of Mediavine’s Business Intelligence team (a.k.a. the keeper of the data), to isolate the hottest (and coolest) days of the year.
So to speak. These don’t always correlate with the weather outside.
To arrive at these “hot or not” days, we’ve analyzed eCPMs by calendar day, using the last few years for comparison. Mediavine calculates eCPM by looking at the average CPM and multiplying it by the fill rate on an individual day.
CPM and fill rate are both heavily influenced by increased competition, which results from advertisers eagerly positioning themselves to get in front of the right audiences during the periods of higher consumer spending, such as holidays.
Without further ado, here’s our eCPM guide for 2021!
(If you’d prefer a printable version, we got you! Print either the color or grayscale PDF to pin to the wall behind your desk. You can also find them in this Google Drive Folder for easy cloud storage.)
The beautiful graphic above, put together by the amazing graphic designers on the Marketing team, is a perfect illustration of each quarter and month, complete with major holidays and events associated with each and how low or high we would expect eCPMs to be.
Going forward, this will be my favorite graphic to reference as we move through the year, and as a publisher it should be high on your list as well because it beautifully illustrates the best days of each month (and each month does have them), from the slower times of January (new quarter, new year) to late November (holidays).
As you can see, it also clearly illustrates how the end of the month is almost always better than the beginning of the month, no matter the time of year.
So, how can you put this graphic to use as a publisher?
First, print it out. Now, laminate it, and hang it above your desk, on the refrigerator or on the mirror. I mostly kid but not entirely.
Think of this as your content roadmap for the rest of the year. Take a look at the upcoming days with the best eCPMs, and look back at your previous content.
Is your content relevant to the holiday or events around those days?
For example, did you have a recipe or travel post that performed really well last year around Memorial Day?
Focus on promoting that post ahead of the days in question and allow that momentum to carry you into the highest earning day of that holiday cycle.
Don’t have a post for that holiday? Well, now you know when to create one. Make and push out some new content to capitalize on the traffic and earnings when eCPMs are highest.
At Mediavine, we are always challenging our publishers to make the most of their hard earned traffic, and using this seasonal data is a powerful tool in your arsenal.
We hope that the data acquired and organized into this amazing graphic helps you meet the challenges throughout the year to make 2021 your best yet.
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