There has never been a better time to sell videos online. As society starts navigating the waters of remote learning and online entertainment, the popularity of video on demand has reached an all-time high. In spite of the wide availability of free content, paid videos are seeing the biggest upsurge. Users are willing to pay for high-quality content, as it’s deemed more professional, trustworthy, and valuable.
This trend has affected nearly every type of video content, from tutorials and courses to workout classes and workshops. Consequently, selling videos online has become a valuable practice for professionals across many industries.
In order to help you make the most of this opportunity, we have put together a list of everything you need to know about how to sell videos online, from defining your audience and content to creating a website and promoting your work.
How to sell videos online
Find your niche
Plan your content strategy
Create enticing videos
Build a video website
Select a payment structure
Promote your videos
Engage with your audience
01. Find your niche
In order to successfully sell videos online, your first priority should be to identify your target market. In order words, you must determine what type of videos you are going to sell and to whom you will sell them.
Start by doing some lean market research on the topic you have in mind. This will allow you to assess whether there is demand for the content you plan to offer, as well as how challenging it will be to make a name for yourself in that space.
You can take your research one step further by performing a thorough SWOT analysis of the main players in the space. This will allow you to identify the characteristics of successful video content, as well as recognize untapped potential where you could thrive.
02. Plan your content strategy
Once you know who your audience is and what they’re looking for, it’s time to come up with a plan for addressing their needs. This is one of the most important steps in learning how to sell videos online, as it will determine the core aspects of your offering.
Start by defining the type of content that will best allow you to address the niche you identified in step one. This can be anything from online courses and webinars to vlogs and travel videos. Keep in mind that different video formats resonate with different audiences. For example, while some topics are best presented through vlogging, others are more effective when packaged as an online course. Whichever format you choose, you can offer added value to your audience by providing them with unique insights and supplementary resources, such as ebooks or access to exclusive online communities.
You’ll also need to decide how often you will be creating and sharing new content. There is no black-and-white answer here, but you’ll attract a bigger audience if you share content on a frequent and consistent basis.
Once you plan your content strategy, you should be able to put together an elevator pitch about your online video offering. This will serve as a mission statement for your project as well as a summary you can provide potential partners.
03. Create professional videos
At this point in your journey toward learning how to sell videos online, you should know who your audience is and which type of content you want to create and a general guideline of its characteristics. Now it’s finally time to make all those concepts come to life.
There are three main factors to keep in mind as you create your videos: value, quality, and uniqueness. Each one of the pieces of content you produce should meet the viewers expectations’ through these fields. After all, they are not only investing their time but also their money.
Chances are there are some video production areas in which you’re not yet an expert. If that’s the case, you might want to invest in the services of a professional to avoid jeopardizing the success of your online video selling venture. For example, you can hire a freelance video editor while you learn how to make the most of your free video editing software.
Just as in any other industry, you’ll also need to stay on top of the latest developments in order to continuously create relevant content. Make sure to subscribe to related blogs to gain up-to-date insights and inspiration and check on the latest video trends regularly.
04. Build a video website
There are many video hosting sites available out there, but the benefits of creating a video website remain unparalleled. The most evident one is that you’ll have full control over how your videos are presented and displayed. This allows you to ensure that everything from your website color scheme to the microcopy is in sync with your brand identity.
The second biggest reason why you need a website for your videos is revenue. Despite being the primary goal of selling videos online, revenue opportunities are often overlooked when choosing how to share said videos. Most platforms take a significant percentage of the money earned using their services or limit the types of payment accepted. Having your own website will allow you to take charge of how to sell your videos online, as well as keep all your hard-earned profit.
Finally, you don’t need to be a professional designer to make your own video website. These fully-customizable videographer website templates will allow you to look your best for free.
05. Select a payment structure
The final step before starting to sell videos online is to determine your preferred payment structure. This will depend on your type of content as well as your video hosting platform.
There are three main online video monetization strategies:
SVOD stands for subscription video on demand. In order to consume SVOD content, viewers sign up for a membership that grants them full access to the videos as long as their subscription is valid. Popular examples of this type of video monetization include Netflix and Fitness Blender Plus.
TVOD stands for transactional video on demand. Under this monetization strategy, users purchase videos in exchange of lifetime access. Well-known examples of TVOD content include iTunes and Udemy. DTR (download to rent) is a subdivision of TVOD through which users gain temporal access to the content for a smaller fee.
AVOD stands for ad-based video on demand. Much like traditional television, this strategy monetizes videos through advertising placements. Two of the most popular examples of this are YouTube and DailyMotion.
You might be wondering why we would mention AVOD in a guide on how to sell videos online, seeing as under this monetization strategy the videos themselves are not being sold. Advertising offers creators a great opportunity to maximize their reach by offering free content for users to get acquainted with their offering. All while generating additional revenue.
Experts recommend choosing more than just one monetization strategy. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You can use online video selling tools like Wix Video to offer premium content under subscription, purchase, or rent prices while uploading free videos to YouTube to expand your potential user base.
06. Promote your videos
Besides ad revenue, there’s another big incentive to build a successful YouTube channel: brand exposure. No, not the bad kind you’re offered in exchange for free labor. The good kind that will allow you to reach more users and increase your revenue. In the business world, this is known as “awareness” and is the first stage of the marketing funnel.
In order to maintain the premium value of the videos you intend to sell, the content you offer for free should only serve as an enticing preview. Depending on your niche, this could be anything from a short beginners’ class to the trailer of your latest long-form video project.
Other popular ways to promote your videos online include social media and email marketing. These are more commonly used to announce new content and stay in touch with your viewers. Which brings us to the last tip on how to sell videos online.
07. Engage with your audience
Mouth-of-mouth, or screen-of-screen, is one of the most effective marketing strategies. Think about it, when was the last time you bought something without looking at reviews or testimonials? And how many of your purchases did you learn of through friends or social media posts?
No matter how much work you put into promoting your content, your existing viewers might just be your strongest marketing tool. To gain the loyalty of your audience, be sure not only to provide valuable content but also to build meaningful relationships with them. Creating a conversation will not only strengthen their connection to your videos, but also allow you to learn more about how to better tailor your content to their needs.
With social media playing such a huge part in today’s human connections, it’s important to be active in these platforms and consistently answer comments and questions. You can take these interactions one step further by using a forum solution to create your own online community, or hold regular live streams to interact with your audience in real-time. Access to forums can be free or paid, meaning you'll be able to charge a subscription fee for users who want to access this premium content and further strengthen your online video selling efforts.