Isn’t it amazing how quickly something becomes the status quo in our digital age?
At first, nobody thought marketers could monetize traditional social media channels. As we all know in this day and age, it’s definitely happened and quite effectively at that.
Now that video is taking over social media, marketers are wondering how they can take this aspect of social media marketing and capitalize on its current popularity. After all, video is the most engaging form of content out there.
- According to the American Marketing Association, video will constitute a whopping 85% of all content on social media by 2018.
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
Just think about it, when is the last time you’ve watched a video? With auto-play, Instagram stories, Snapchat and other forms of video at our fingertips at all times, it’s pretty hard to avoid. If you’re using video, kudos to you! But only video marketing, what about monetizing as well? Companies and individuals around you are already monetizing their strategies.
Check out this example from California's Meridian University. They're utilizing a clip from their video series to engage their target audience, and then asking them to register to see the rest of the conversation. Smart!
If you’ve been creating video content for a while, or if you are a newbie to video content creation, there's one thing you need to know: it’s time to take your video marketing strategy to the next level and start generating money from it. Why waste any more time creating content without an ROI? I’ve put together some tips for you to start monetizing your social media video strategy.
To get started, all you need is one thing: an idea for your content.
If you’re a business, this can be easier than starting from scratch. But, not always! If you need ideas for coming up with content to get started, check out this article.
Alright, ready to start making money on your social media video content?
1. From Freemium to Premium
Giving content away for free? Huh?
The freemium content business model or giving content away and then charging for premium content, has proven to be successful in the social media world. You might be thinking “why would I give content away for free!?” And, that’s a great question!
Instead of telling you “just do it”, here’s an example:
Say you are a career coach who has a list of clients throughout the world. You meet with your clients individually and in groups over live video chat. During these conversations, you give valuable advice that allows them to advance in their careers and maximize their earning potential. You may even record some of your video sessions and allow your clients to download them for use at a later time.
At the end of each video session, your clients understand the value of what they’re paying for. Your clients pay a premium rate for your time, which allows you to run your business and pay your salary.
At this time, you’re looking for new clients but you’re not sure how to demonstrate your value to a new audience. YOU know what you have to offer, but someone scrolling through your website, social pages, or blog might not get the whole experience.
Solution? You got it! Give some content away for free.
Hosting Facebook live sessions that demonstrate your expertise can be a great way to show potential clients who you are, what your values are, and where their money is going.
Since 81% of shoppers do online research before buying, this is a crucial step of any marketing funnel.
Now, let's check out a real life example:
Blogilates is a fitness company based in LA, which has mastered the freemium monetization model. They offer workouts, promoted via social media, and then entice you to sign up for their workout program for more exclusive features.
2. Use Affiliate Links & Sponsorships to Monetize Your Video Content
Even if you don’t know the term, you’ve definitely seen affiliate links in action. Just think about it: have you ever followed someone on Instagram who is promoting something and trying to get you to “swipe up to shop” or “click the link in my bio?” These users are using affiliate links (either directly, or cloaked through an affiliate marketing software) to earn money from your purchases without extending a markup to you, the customer.
Some Tips to Follow
- Create your own opportunities. Once you feel comfortable, you can also reach out to companies you wish to work with.
- If you’re a brand that creates or sells its own products, then you’ll be able to promote your own products through this method.
Note: Affiliate links are about promoting links that are relevant to your customers. If you’re a video game blogger, a link promoting high-end shoes isn’t necessarily going to be in your best interest. Consider what your expertise is in, and capitalize on this.
This won’t just help you monetize your video strategy, it will also help you build your brand and grow your business.
Let’s take an example of the career coaching business again. There is a book you always recommend to your clients, which they, in turn, purchase out of pocket. You’ve referred this book to hundreds of clients, friends, and colleagues. Yet, you’ve never thought to tell them where to buy it.
This is the perfect opportunity to set up an affiliate link to gain a little extra cash on each sale.
- Contact the book distributor you’d like to work with.
- Let them know that you’ll be referring your clients solely to their site and bringing them in a lot of business.
- Have a rough estimate as to how many potential sales you’ll bring, the distributor will likely ask this information at the start of your conversation.
- After you’ve come to an agreement on the percentage of the sale you’ll claim, you’re in business!
Let’s learn this trick from video blogger XandriaOoi. She partnered with Clinique to host give aways, promote content, and push sales! By partnering with a brand that aligns with her brand's message, she is able to earn income and benefit her followers by giving some product away for free. After the video was posted, she then followed up with several photos of Clinique products, what they do for her and why they make her happy.
There’s one last thing to remember: Be honest with your followers about your affiliate links. Be sure to tell them what they are, that you promote the product and stand behind it, and that you’ll earn a bit of money from it. Most people are more than happy to use your link if they were going to purchase the product anyway.
3. Choose the Right Network
When you first start out, you may think you need to do video on every single social network. You may think that more is better. After all, every network offers the option for live and conventional video! But I’m here to tell you to choose quality over quantity. You’ll thank me later when you save hours of time not shouting to an empty room.
It can be a bit overwhelming at first when deciding which social media network to put your video on. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Live.me? Which network should you choose? The hardest part about making this decision is that there is no “right” answer. Each company or individual is unique, so what works for someone else may not work for you. Trust me when I say this: not even what works for your competitor will work for you. You need to forge your own path.
The most important thing is to find your niche. Testing out a bunch of networks and failing can mean wasted time and wasted money. Do your research!
So, what social media networks really matter? The short answer: wherever your audience is!
Let’s just say my audience is small & medium sized businesses and marketing agencies. Their age would start from 25 and goes upto 65 or more.
Below given data from Tailwind will help me a bit more:
With the above data, I can make assumptions that Facebook and LinkedIn are my key focus followed by Twitter. If you are someone creating videos regarding Lifestyle, Food, Fashion, personalities and luxury brands, put your focus on Facebook and Instagram as these networks count heavily for visual content.
Now, you’re almost all ready to go off in the world & monetize your video content strategy on social media!
And remember, it’s important to be who you are, authentically, in your videos. This has always worked for all as audience always appreciate authenticity and thought fulness instead of a rehearsed script or someone reciting a list of buzzwords.
Let your personality shine, and you’ll be rewarded.
Whether there is one strategy you’re most excited about, or if you’re going to try your hand at all of them, don’t forget to share your experience in the given comment box.