Happy New Year's fair readers! Are you here because you've resolved to do a better job reading up on industry information more regularly? If so, you're helping to make my case for today's column. Perhaps there's no better time of year to generate action for products tied into life change. Because of New Year's resolutions, consumers in a take-charge kind of mindset have a mentality that doesn't ordinarily mirror their behavior or might not be reached by any kind of other typical targeting. These consumers are very responsive, but don't expect this window to last long -- through mid to late February at best. How to reach them? Think of common resolutions, develop resolution ad messaging and creative, and take it from there.
Health-Related Resolutions: Diet, Fitness, Nutrition, and Vices
Probably one of the most popular resolutions has to do with improving health -- be that through weight loss, fitness, better eating, or quitting unhealthy habits (or combinations thereof). Some well-known weight loss programs like Weight Watchers have content-driven Web sites that also offer advertising, as do Web-based diet programs like SparkPeople. Or try a comprehensive health site like WebMD, which addresses multiple health topics in their Living Better section.
Time Management/Getting Organized
Another popular resolution is to spend more time with family. In order to do this, people usually have to tackle a greater challenge: better time management. While there are many sites selling time management tools, a good place for advertisers to buy is how-to portal About.com, which offers many articles on the topic. Good Housekeeping is another good source for organization of the home and personal life.
New Year's often causes people to reflect on their status, be that career or personal development. It's not uncommon for people to explore career changes (or career assessments) or seek to advance themselves or their careers by going back to school. Check out career assessment/development sites like HotJobs or a career-minded site like BlueSuitMom. For continuing education try BusinessWeek's Business School Comparator or an adult education-focused lead generation company.
If you want to develop yourself, but not through career or education, you may be resolved to pick up a new hobby or activity. This category is huge: collecting, crafts, gaming, travel, reading, sports, and more, which means that it's better to match your advertiser with a specific and relevant hobby or activity rather than try to advertise on broad sites. There is a small site trying to be a catch-all that you may want to check out and scoop up on the cheap: NotSoBoringLife.
Many people feel that bettering oneself means bettering others, and, oftentimes, New Year's resolutions revolve around this theme. Many sites fitting this category do not offer straight-up ad buys, so you might want to contact them to see if your advertiser can work with the site in exchange for visibility or promotion.
Between tax incentives, President Obama's drive to make the U.S. the world leader in green energy, and because green is now in vogue, 2010 might just be the year for green resolutions. Green sites have cropped up all over (see my "Greenvertising" article), but some sites good for green newbies include Lime and The Daily Green.
Financial: Investing, Budgeting, or Cost-Cutting
Speaking of tax incentives, the new year also gets people reflecting upon their financial situation. Some folks may need to get out of debt while others just seek to do a better job managing their money and planning for retirement. Advertising options are best on broad sites like The Motley Fool, SmartMoney, or even Personal Finance for Dummies.
Sometimes the New Year's resolution isn't about self but instead is about home -- specifically, improving the home. Lots of sites offer home improvement tips and ideas: HGTV, DoItYourself, Better Homes and Gardens, and Architectural Digest, among others.
Online media planning for New Year's resolutions is actually a fun idea. It gets the media planner in a different mindset than typical media planning and can lead to some great return on investment for advertisers!
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
A ClickZ expert columnist since 2005, Hollis Thomases (@hollisthomases) is president and founder of Maryland-based WebAdvantage.net, an online marketing company that provides results-centric, strategic Internet marketing services, including online media planning, SEO, PPC campaign management, social media marketing, and Internet consulting. Author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day and an award-winning entrepreneur, Hollis is the Maryland 2007 SBA Small Business Person of the Year. Hollis speaks extensively on online marketing, having presented for ClickZ, the American Marketing Association, SES, The Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association, The Kelsey Group, and the Vocus Worldwide User Forum. WebAdvantage.net's client list has included Nokia USA, Nature Made Vitamins, Johns Hopkins University, ENDO Pharmaceuticals, K'NEX Construction Toys, and Visit Baltimore. The agency was recognized as a "Small Giant" by the Greater Baltimore Tech Council and was chosen as a "Best Place for Business Women to Work" by "Smart Woman Magazine."
March 19, 2014