All you need to know about monetizing your video content
From cats playing the piano to the latest season of Sacred Games to the Fortnite World Cup livestream – we all have invested our precious hours watching videos online.
A study conducted by Cisco estimated that by 2021, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video. With the wide availability of affordable personal devices and cheaper data plans, we are now witnessing this estimation turn into reality.
Videos drive better engagement and conversion rates than any other form of content. Though most publishers understand the value of incorporating video into their digital content strategy, few know how to successfully monetize them.
Here are some ways in which you can monetize your videos:
1. Know your audience
To effectively monetize video content, publishers need to first analyze their user data: who is in your audience, and why are they consuming your content?
Knowing your audience inside out will help you plan a video content strategy around their preferences.
Creating and publishing relevant, high-quality videos will automatically increase the shareability of your videos. According to a Hubspot study, 83% of consumers would consider sharing video content with their friends if it is specific to their interests.
This exposure will then help you build a loyal and strong subscriber base. It is this subscriber base that will support your business with a steady stream of revenue.
Apart from subscription revenue, a specific and stable audience will attract advertisers. Knowing that they will have higher chances of reaching their ideal customer, they will buy ad space in your video content. We will elaborate more on this below.
2. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn passively through your videos while helping your audience make well-informed purchase decisions.
The idea behind it is that you promote other people’s products, often through an affiliate network, earning a commission if people actually end up buying thanks to your marketing.
Videos like product reviews, product comparisons, how-to guides, and best-of lists are perfect for affiliate marketing. 64% of customers said they are more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video.
All you have to do is place affiliate links of the products mentioned, in the actual videos (via annotations) or in video descriptions. While platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram all support and encourage affiliate marketing, you can also implement it on your primary website.
Wirecutter is a product review website owned by The New York Times Company which gains a vast majority of its revenue from affiliate commissions.
3. Premium content behind paywall
Publishers worldwide know that the ones who end up subscribing, are their most engaged and loyal audience. They are the ones with whom the publishers should focus on building a relationship.
You can offer this dedicated subscriber base high-quality, premium video content.
The Information, a tech news site, for example, has a video section that features in-depth interviews with industry leaders and exclusive series, but it’s only available with a paid subscription.
4. Educational videos
Online video courses are a huge opportunity for publishers.
Netizens are always on the lookout for information that can help them in their day-to-day life or at their workplace. Topics related to personal finance, parenting, software skills are especially popular.
You can collaborate with industry experts and specialists to draw up a curriculum, shoot videos, compile additional resources and then launch these courses.
Subscription fees charged to gain access to these videos and resources will help generate revenue for the publication.
Learning.ly from The Economist Group offers access to online courses and resources on subjects like finance, business, etc.
Advertisement revenue accounts for a major chunk of a publication’s overall revenue.
Ads can be placed in a number of ways and in a number of formats in your videos. There are two video ad formats used widely:
a) “In-stream” – when the video ad is run before, in the middle or after video content and respectively called pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll, in the same way as a commercial break on TV.
b) “Out-stream” – when a video ad is displayed in a standard banner placement. Other names for this are in-display video, in-banner video, in-page video, rich media ad, video interstitial, incentivized video and in-feed video
The types of ads you choose and their placement in your videos can make a huge difference since publishers get paid based on ad views and/or clicks.
A video ad study by the University of Massachusetts, found the ad completion rate hugely depended on the ad’s placement within the video.
Though social media channels offer publishers the option to run ads on content published on their platforms, a major share of the revenue ends up going to them. While keeping this option in the mix is sensible, publications must pay attention to the constantly shifting rules and offerings on social.
IAB Europe survey (March 2018)
6. Sponsored videos
Sponsored content is a form of content marketing that is typically created by the publisher that distributes it.
According to a Nielsen report, sponsored content resulted in 86% brand recall, while pre-roll ads resulted in only 65% brand recall.
Sponsored video content has a greater persuasive impact on viewers than a straight sales pitch as it reaches them through publications you trust.
Unlike advertisements, after watching a sponsored video, audiences feel like they’ve watched something valuable.
Buzzfeed's Tasty dominates sponsored videos in the Food & Drink space. One of its top videos has 7M views (one-pot fajita chicken dinner) and was sponsored by Kroger (a supermarket chain).
A new opportunity
At a time when digital publishers worldwide are struggling to generate revenue, monetizing videos offers an exciting way to support their business models.
Harness the power of video content and reinvent your video content strategy today.