The last quarter of the year offers many opportunities to build revenue and engage your audiences through sweepstakes, contests, specialty days and sponsored content.

Here are three things any size news organization could do:

1. Light up sponsored content

There’s so much information around the holidays that’s teed up perfectly for sponsored content. 

Think about these options:

• 10 local gifts perfect for __________  (Mom, Dad, Sports Enthusiast).

• Planning your holiday travel.

• Being safe and smart when you shop.

• How to do the holidays for your kids economically but still provide them a great Christmas morning.

Take the content and move it across numerous platforms. For example, create a video for the content with the sponsor connected to a video story and/or a gallery story and/or a list on your website. Use every channel and align your content with that platform, including social media and newsletter. Basically, focus on taking a single topic, create multiple touchpoints for it, and sell it as a flat-rate sponsorship.

2. It’s prime contest time

Second Street is all over ways to engage your audience during the holiday with several ideas around sweepstakes and polls.

In the linked post above, check out how a TV station drove $10,000 in revenue through their Countdown to Christmas initiative. During each of the 12 days, a different advertiser was featured on their broadcast and the selected winner got a prize from the advertiser. 

For photo contests, note the success one news organization had with their Scared of Santa contest. Other good holiday photo contests: holiday lights, ornaments and a cookie bakeoff. 

3. Make Thanksgiving a day of good news

Switch your content on your websites, in your print editions and TV broadcasts to be nothing but good news. Sure, if something major happens, report it and explain that you have a duty to report it, but do your best to make it a day about shining light on all of the good things happening in your community. And find a sponsor to get behind the effort. Create a brand for the day.

One way to help you achieve a day full of good news is to do a bunch of call outs to your audience asking them to share the good news in their life. That could be anything: Something good happening in their lives, what they love about the community, etc. Your content becomes original good news you report and your audiences’ submissions, which could be text, photos and videos.