How to Make Money Selling Your Videos
In the past six years, American adults have more than doubled the amount of digital video they watch, from an average of just 20 minutes a day in 2011 to well over an hour in 2015. By 2019, video is expected to account for 85 percent of all internet traffic in the U.S., with mobile devices increasingly used to stream content.
Sound impressive? It should. Video-streaming technology has given the average consumer far more power over their own entertainment and education than ever before. Rather than being at the behest of television networks, we can now pick and choose what we watch, when we watch it, and (crucially) how we watch it.
More and more businesses are seizing the opportunity to connect with their customers (both existing and prospective) through video. Not only can you use it as a means of communication and brand reinforcement, you can also generate significant revenue.
Video is a terrific way for businesses of all sizes to engage with customers, from international giants to small startups. Not only can you inform and educate viewers in a more personal, direct way than through text, it also requires less effort on the viewers part. Rather than wading through blocks of dense copy on your website, customers can simply sit back and absorb the information instead.
Sixty percent of people would rather watch a video than read, while video keeps visitors on your site for a longer period of time.
Video can also be as dynamic as you like, and employ various storytelling techniques, including visuals, graphics, animations, audio narration, split-screen (for showing multiple videos at the same time), and more. You can pack far, far more into a two-minute video than you can in a lengthy article – and your customers are more likely to watch it.
Of course, selling videos online is a challenge when so many free ones are available on YouTube, but it can be done.
How can you get started?
Know Who You’re Targeting
You should have a mission in mind for every video you produce. However, before you can set a specific goal, you have to know which demographic you’re actually aiming for.
Depending on your business, and your industry, you may have different types of customers. For example, if you manufacture tablets, you’ll cover a broad demographic, from college students and parents of young children to senior citizens. In this case, you could create videos on using tablets to research studies, setting-up safety features on your child’s tablet, or connecting with relatives across the globe.
These are just two examples, but they show how a firm grasp of your company’s customer-base can make sure you appeal to as many viewers as possible.
Establish a Payment Model
There is no one-size-fits-all payment model when selling videos online. You can offer your customers a variety of ways to pay to suit varying lifestyles and budgets, including:
For example, a business selling luxurious products or services is likely to have a wealthier customer-base. Paying for an annual subscription to all of your upcoming videos may be less of an imposition to such people. On the other hand, for companies catering to a broader range of people, a flexible payment model is crucial: you don’t want to out-price your target customers and chase them away to competitors.
Subscription models are incredibly common today, in a huge range of markets. Netflix, for example, allows members to enjoy unlimited access to a variety of films and series for a fixed monthly cost. Amazon offers a more flexible payment model, with customers free to pay an annual fee for access to various media, or they can choose to pay a one-time rental or purchase fee on videos.
Think about your customer-base, and what their spending habits tell you. Are they more likely to appreciate the sense of exclusivity a pricier one-off fee will bring, or would they prefer the freedom of pay-per-view or rentals?
Offer More Value Beyond Videos
Videos should be the foundation of your service, but you should offer customers more for their money. Businesses have a huge range of freedom when building a video distribution site, as they can expand on their material with diverse media.
For example, Zumba Front Row is the official fan-club for the global Zumba movement. It has thousands of members, who get exclusive access to recorded and live Zumba sessions and VIP events. However, beyond video, they also have access to resources on nutrition, discounts on clothing and the popular Zumba Cruise, as well as brand-new Zumba tracks.
Sites like YouTube, which focus primarily on videos, do not allow channels the same freedom to upload supplementary materials.
Other platforms, however, will.
PDFs, podcasts, eBooks, and more all add extra value to your package, offering customers who want to go deeper into your services the power to do so.
Provide Customers with Material Worth Their Money
Any business, in any sector, can use online video to engage with existing and prospective customers.
However, why should people be expected to pay for the same information they can find for free elsewhere? With so many free videos distributed online, you have to provide an in-depth, expert quality – whatever your business.
Let’s take another look at Zumba Front Row, to illustrate how fitness companies can make money selling videos online. While there are countless free dance tutorials available, Zumba Front Row is the real deal: it’s 100 percent official, with classes taught by experienced professionals (and, in some cases, the man who launched the Zumba movement himself).
This is information coming direct from experts, from people who live and breathe Zumba. You have to offer the same quality to your prospects.
Let’s say you want to sell videos based around home improvement, to support your chain of hardware stores. Simply providing brief, vague videos on putting up drywall or mending broken fences isn’t enough. You need to give expert demonstrations from multiple camera angles, with clear, crisp narration and slick editing. You need to make viewers feel as if they have personal access to the undisputed masters of the craft.
As with many aspects of business, you must put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would make you want to pay to watch videos in an area that interested you? What would make one channel appeal more over another?
You also have to make sure your users enjoy unrestricted access to the videos they pay for, too. Whether they’re using a laptop, a smartphone, or a tablet, your media should stream without interruption, without delay. Today’s consumers want convenience and flexibility. They want cross-device synchronicity. They want to access their media how they want, when they want, and where they want. It’s as simple as that.
Selling videos online may sound complicated, but if you invest enough time and effort, you can maximize your visibility, build a stronger bond with customers, and reinforce the value of your brand in a crowded marketplace.
PJ Taei is the founder of Uscreen, a leading video on demand platform perfect for monetizing any content type. Uscreen is one of today’s top platforms used to distribute any form of content to a global audience.