5 ‘Best Of’ Ballot Ideas for Magazines

by Julie Foley Second Street

Simply the Best 2018 | Harrisburg Magazine

Harrisburg Magazine saw incredible revenue from their first citywide ballot covering their large local audience. By selling sponsorships of enhanced listings, category ads, and group ads, they were able to generate over $152,000. One of their biggest successes was that their ballot increased their monthly print revenue by $10,000-$15,000!

Gayest and Greatest 2018 | OutSmart

The best thing about ballots is that you can tailor them to your niche audience. OutSmart, a monthly magazine for Houston’s LGBT community, had categories such as ‘Favorite LGBTQ Educator/Teacher’ and ‘Favorite Trans Community Hero’ to celebrate those who are doing great things in their own community. See how you can add personalization to your Best Of that your audience will love.

Best of KC 2018 | The Pitch

The Pitch in Kansas City, MO put a fun twist on their Reader’s Choice ballot. The magazine gave this year’s ballot a western theme and searched for the best food, shopping, people, and places. With a different theme each year, it makes your ballot always feel new and exciting. This citywide ballot surely hit the mark with more than 35,000 nominations and more than 336,000 votes.

Best of Memphis 2018 | The Memphis Flyer

Giving readers flashbacks of the ‘90s, this Best Of ballot had tons of personality and engagement as it received nearly 330,000 votes. It covered all the bases while also having a more unique ‘Media & Personalities’ group to highlight local media.

Best of Toledo 2018 | Toledo City Paper

This ballot shows just how much engagement a Best Of can create. This one from the Toledo City Paper had 30,000 nominations and 667,000+ votes. It also had fun Art and Music categories highlighting more unique local talent such as ‘Visual Artist (Glass)’ and ‘Blues/Jazz Artist.’

As shown from the numbers and ideas in the examples above, there is potential for big engagement and revenue if you dedicate the proper time and resources to it. Follow our best practices from our ballot playbook, and you will be set.

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