How to get your fans to pay for your videos!
Most growing content creators know the frustration associated with having one of their videos go viral, generating thousands or even millions of dollars for the host platform, and only receiving a disappointing fraction of that revenue. An even worse feeling is being a content creator who grinds out hit after hit video and develops a large and dedicated fan-base but whose only source of revenue is selling T-shirts and accepting tips. Celebrity is fleeting and there is never a better time than the present to figure out how to monetize your fan-base. If they truly love your content, asking your fans for money is not a betrayal of their trust, rather it is a fair approach to let them show their appreciation and compensate you appropriately.
So you are probably thinking, “I know I want my fans to pay me for content, but how?!?!?”
First and foremost, you need to make sure you are set up with your own video streaming site on a platform that allows you to accept payment for your content. This does not mean abandoning the place where you built your fan-base. If you are a YouTuber, stay on YouTube, but also open up shop on an additional platform where you can sell content to fans.
Full disclosure, this is an Unreel.me article, so of course I am going to tell you Unreel.me is your best option — but that doesn’t make it untrue. Unreel.me has fairer rev share, puts you fully in control of your video distribution with your own website and apps that instantly synch with your existing content, and has the most customizable options for how you want to sell content to your fans (Video on demand, Subscription service, Tip jar, Advertisements, and yes, even T-shirts in a merchandise store.) Oh, and Unreel is free to use! There are other options out there and you should do your due diligence before deciding into which basket you place your eggs.
🔑 It is all about exclusivity.🔑
Exclusivity is the reason you want to sit at the cool-kid table at lunch, fly first class, and have a Netflix account. It is also the same reason fans will leave your native platform (YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo etc.…) to visit your own video streaming site and pay you for your content. It all starts with exclusivity.
This means saving some content, or creating new content that you plan on only posting to your site. Once you have done this, your fans will have the necessary carrot to follow you anywhere! If you choose to monetize that exclusive content and it is amazing, fans will be shouting, “Shut up and take my money!”
What kind of exclusive content?
There is no limit to the type of content you can make exclusive. Here is a list of some of the most effective use cases for your site.
Release a Movie/ Documentary:
Who doesn’t love a good movie? Showcase your content in a longer form video and turn yourself into a silver screen star. Promote the movie by sharing sneak peaks and trailers on your native platform. Just as with a Hollywood film, you will develop hype amongst your fans, who will race to your site once the picture is out. A movie is the style of content that fans are most accustomed to paying for and lends itself to a one-time Video-on-Demand payment. For more on self distributing a film, check out this article.
Release a Series:
In this era of binge watching, viewers are constantly on the prowl for the next series to watch in one sitting while ignoring all responsibilities. Why not help them dodge the grim realities of life and get them caught up in your own show? Release a trailer and the first episode or two on your native platform for free. Once fans are firmly placed on the edge of their seat by a cliff ending episode, direct them to your site where they can watch the rest of the series for a one-time video one-demand fee. Or release episodes one at a time, racking up the bucks with a subscription fee as fans keep up with the latest episode.
Behind the Scenes/Deleted Scenes/ The Making of/Commentary:
The typical bonus features on a DVD menu, behind the scenes, deleted scenes, ‘the making of,’ and commentaries are the style of content that appeal most to your true fans. If you have a dedicated fan-base craving to see any additional insights into your content, this can be highly effective. Release a new set of this type of videos each month and tie them to a subscription fee, or release them once in conjunction with a specific piece of content as video-on-demand.
Whether you are hosting your own Super Slam backyard-wrestling tournament, or are a competitive gaming streamer, asking fans to pay to view an exclusive live stream can be a lucrative avenue to pursue. The excitement of a live event is something Pay-per-view on cable has been leveraging for years. If live streaming is new to you, your fans will relish the opportunity to witness you unscripted and live for the first time. Live video creates a FOMO among your fans and will mobilize them to your site.
Maybe you do not like the idea of creating content solely for your new site. That does not mean you can’t repurpose content! Creating a highlight reel of your best work condensed, or a compilation of your finest moments, is a way to re-present old content as new. Unreel.me has an automatic highlight reel creator that uses a patented AI to find the best moments in your videos based on fan engagement and then stitches them together into an awesome new piece of content. By releasing a new reel once a month or so, you keep some of the content on your site exclusive without keeping anything away from your original platform. To learn more about Unreel’s Reelgenie automatic highlight reel generator, click here.
The most important part of exclusive content is that it needs to be marketed well. If your fans do not know it exists, they cannot pay you for it. Check out this article for ways creators can make their fan-base aware of their new site and its exclusive content.
Also keep in mind; you do not have to charge fans to make money off of them. Enabling adds and having a tip jar on your exclusive videos is a way to take advantage of the better revenue splits that a platform like Unreel.me provides versus YouTube, etc.
To learn more how Unreel can help you reach your monetization goals, click here.