Let’s face it!
We all are guilty of binging YouTube only to realize it’s now 3 am, and we still have to go to work in a few hours.
Consuming videos has become secondary to our online lives (video ads be damned!).
So much so that by the end of 2020, video content will drive a whopping 80% of online traffic.
Which brings us to video monetization in 2019.
As you may know, video monetization involves getting paid for publishing your videos on online platforms. Using methods like inserting ads, offering subscriptions, getting sponsorships, doing reviews, etc.
Monetizing video is a logical strategy for many publishers –– small to big. And many of them are already getting paid for their content.
But this opportunity to capture more viewers and drive revenue comes with a burden.
As video consumption continues to climb up, so will the demand for high-quality, targeted video content.
And if you can’t deliver content that speaks to your audience, you can kiss your ad breaks goodbye.
So let’s get down to business and talk about video monetization essentials you need to become a rockstar in 2019.
What comes before video monetization
The first step to nailing video monetization: Niche down your video marketing strategy and champion your consumers.
Tap into your current network and/or subscriber base to test your video ideas and execution. See what resonates and what doesn’t.
This way you can create a video content calendar around your consumers’ preferences while adopting channel policies, guidelines, and formats.
And once you know your audience inside out… from their online behavior, struggles to goals, you automatically increase the shareability of your videos.
Which helps you build a substantial following in the early days of your video monetization debut.
A strong subscriber base is your lifeline, for earning real money off your videos.
Without it, you’ll struggle to even make $100/year in ad revenue.
Besides, advertisers prefer publishers with a specific audience. This way, they can invest their ad space in your videos knowing they’ll reach their ideal customer.
While it’s tempting to use social video ad breaks as your only monetization weapon, don’t. Instead, make them work for you.
YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram mass-produce millionaire creators and influencers, but their monetization structures are far from ideal… more like work in progress.
These platforms boast a huge number of daily users who love to devour videos. So, engage their already thriving user base to experiment with video monetization. Publish consistent videos –– driven by storytelling and SEO –– which can be repurposed into different formats on different channels.
Monetization methods online creators use the most | Source
Without delay, let’s look at monetization techniques you can implement (alongside advertising) to get more control over your content, voice, and revenue.
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How to monetize your videos
1. Create profiles on patronage/crowdfunding platforms
Platforms like Indiegogo or Patreon allow you to offer exclusive content like sneak peeks, early access/viewing, premium giveaways to your subscriber base for a fee. You can use social media to encourage your audience to connect with you on these platforms and build an authentic relationship.
2. Kickstart affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn off your videos while helping your audience AND building a relationship with brands you like. To clarify, this method works wonders as long as you get a good number of new visitors to your blog/site every month. Otherwise, you’ll be targeting the same links to your returning, non-unique visitors. Check out 5 strategies for beginners who want to get started with Affiliate Marketing.
You can host your video content on sites like Vimeo or YouTube Premium behind a paywall. And offer your audience a high-quality, long-form visual experience like never before, in the form of weekly episodes, documentaries, etc.
Note: YouTube is rolling out channel memberships for creators with at least 30,000 subscribers, charging a recurring fee.
This option is already a hit with many publishers. Chances are, you have inside jokes with your viewers, or you're a slang extraordinaire, or you design badass graphics. Then, selling your merch is a great monetization route for you.
Note: YouTube will now allow creators to sell their merch through their channel.
5. Create online video courses
Another way to build a video empire is by offering online courses. No, you don’t need to be certified in that vertical/topic so long as you have actionable, helpful hacks and strategies your students can implement to get results.
6. Look for sponsorships and product placements
Sponsorships are hard to come by unless you are a known creator with a strong following. But if you have built a small, niche channel which deals with a specific audience, you can reach out to businesses (aligned with your and your viewers' interests) and pitch your video.
Note: YouTube has rolled out a sponsorship option for channels.
7. Make product review videos
Product reviews are a great way to monetize your videos. In most cases, not only do you get a freebie (and compensation), but your review will genuinely benefit your subscribers. Just like sponsorships, work with brands which make sense for your consumers and channel.
8. Run ads on your videos
As mentioned before, you should implement different strategies to strengthen your video revenue streams. And video ads are still a great way to boost your earnings, albeit a few fluctuations like:
1. Advertiser-friendly guidelines
2. Online channel algorithms/updates
3. Viewer statistics
Given that publishers get paid based on ad views and/or clicks, the types of ads you choose and their placement in your videos can make a huge difference.
For example, the University of Massachusetts, in a video ad study, found the ad completion rate hugely depended on the ad’s placement within the video.
A mid-roll ad showed completion rate twice as high as a pre-roll video ad. Viewers were more inclined to sit through an ad inserted in long-form content (87%) than bite-size clips (67%).
Different types of ads that can be inserted in your videos
- Pre-roll ads: A pretty common type, these ads –– often skippable –– come before a video begins to play.
- Mid-roll ads: These ads play during a video run and see a better return with viewers sticking around and engaging with your video.
- Post-roll ads: Post-roll ads come after a video is over, often making them undesirable to advertisers.
- Image/text-based ads: Many times, online platforms will insert traditional ads like image/text banners within the video or right next to it.
- In-Video text ads: These ads run for the duration of your video, taking up a small space of the video frame.
Next are the ever-evolving social platform guidelines and updates. These are crucial to skyrocket your video monetization in 2019.
YouTube video monetization
YouTube has become the second-largest search engine after its parent company, Google, with more than a billion users using the platform regularly.
It taps into Google’s extensive network of advertisers to provide a revenue-sharing model to publishers. Because of which, the number of creators making into five-figure (35%) and six-figure (45%) clubs is increasing year-over-year.
YouTube creators are going full-time even after the platform takes 45% of their ad revenue.
As of 2018, YouTube introduced new parameters for publishers –– current and new –– who wish to monetize their videos, prioritizing watch time above view count (the previous focus of the platform).
- Publishers need at least 4000 watch hours over the past year.
- Publishers should have a minimum of 1000 subscribers.
Once you meet these conditions and adhere to YouTube Partner Program policies, Terms of Service, and Community Guidelines, you can set up/connect your AdSense account within YouTube to start making money.
And in addition to introducing sponsor buttons, channel memberships and merchandise shelf, here are more features on the YouTube horizon.
1. YouTube is working to roll out ‘Premieres’, a feature allowing publishers to engender live, one-on-one experiences with subscribers via pre-recorded content.
2. YouTube will introduce their own Stories version for creators community.
3. It’s also testing out a vertical video ad format that works similar to horizontal ones.
Facebook video monetization
The social behemoth is an effective data collector, making it a lucrative platform for marketers and advertisers.
Its 1.45 billion daily active user base is slowly turning to Watch –– Facebook’s video hosting platform –– to find relevant content with 40% of users tuning in every week. That’s massive!
To be eligible for monetization on Facebook:
1. Your videos must be at least 3 minutes long
2. Your page should have 10,000 likes
3. Your 3-min long videos should have 30,000 one-minute views in the last 60 days
Even after meeting these criteria, you may not get to monetize your videos if you don’t follow their advertiser-friendly guidelines.
One major difference between YouTube and Facebook is the inclusion of human review in the latter platform, thanks to their brand-safety issues.
Which may reduce your ad revenue since it can take hours to days to get your already-published video approved to run ads.
Then again, Facebook is constantly churning out new features to keep its user base on the platform. Here are the ones we’re excited about:
- Facebook’s Creator Studio will offer automatic ad break insertion within a qualified video for its mid-roll ads.
- The platform is introducing the Pre-Publish Brand Safety feature which tells publishers if their video is eligible for monetization.
- Facebook will show preview trailers for Watch programs within the News Feed.
- Brands Collab Manager is another feature that connects brands with influential publishers and creators.
- It will introduce fan subscriptions (for $4.99/month) allowing users to access exclusive content.
- Pre-roll, mid-roll and image ad formats are now available to creators and publishers.
Tip: You can go to the Creator Studio to analyze your content performance, create custom ad breaks, publish videos, collaborate, and access tools including Rights Manager (to monitor content-sharing and copyright violations) and Sound Collection.
Video Monetization on Instagram and Twitter
Instagram and Twitter are gearing up to join YouTube and Facebook in the video monetization race.
Instagram’s newest venture, IGTV, allows users to upload 10-min videos whereas select accounts (larger and verified) can upload hour-long video content.
Although Instagram is yet to introduce a monetization model, it’s expected to offer pre-roll and mid-roll ad breaks in long-form videos and may split the ad revenue with creators (similar to Facebook’s 45% cut).
Instagram may, in addition, offer subscription or direct transaction models to creators in 2019.
The platform is also allowing users to add IGTV video ‘previews’ to their Stories to increase user engagement.
What separates Instagram from other social channels is its emphasis on vertically-shot videos. Remember this viewing behavior while drafting your monetization strategy.
Twitter, on the other hand, has gone one step ahead and introduced ad breaks for a global audience. Meaning, Twitter accounts can monetize organic videos viewed by all their followers, irrespective of their location on Earth.
You can choose which regions you want to monetize your videos in with a few clicks. As of June 2018, all advertisers can buy in-stream video ads for these twelve global markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States.
Here’s a little motivation in case you weren’t sure to produce Twitter videos: The first half of 2018 saw publishers doubling their earnings for in-stream video ads compared to the same period in 2017.
In 2018, 80% of brands increased their video spend with video ad spend rising by 53% in over the last two years.
Video monetization is only going to grow from here on out.
And, you can grab a small (but substantial) chunk of that sweet $200 billion global TV advertising spend for yourself by putting user experience and needs front and center.
The Internet is your shiny oyster… embrace it with open arms and lots of video editing tools.
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