When it comes to selling videos online, there are two great locations to do it on: Vimeo and Shopify. Using tools from both websites, you can create yourself an empire of selling videos online. More than 80% of businesses use videos as a marketing tool, so videos are the king of content strategy.
Why Not Rely On YouTube for Advertising Revenue?
YouTube is an excellent platform but not suitable for selling premium video content. Instead, it’s best for influencers who have large audiences, as advertising revenue is abysmally low.
Instead, YouTube can be an excellent place to put excerpts from your videos. Teaser trailers for the premium content you make available through other services you have more control over.
YouTube (Google) owns all of the content on its website due to its Terms of Service. So to retain ownership of your video content, so you make real money, keep the complete version away from YouTube.
Establishing Your Shopify Video Selling Business
Step #1: Follow Our Guide On How To Sell Digital Products
Before we jump into the deep end, I recommend you check out my guide on how to sell digital products. Because video content counts as a digital product, this guide has a chance to be very redundant.
So to avoid being repetitive, we are going to assume you already have an active Shopify account. The guide will provide tips on listing digital products, protecting your assets, and disabling shipping notifications.
You can proceed with step two after you think you have a good understanding of digital storefronts on Shopify.
Step #2: Selecting a Niche for Your Video Making Service
A product niche refers to the types of videos you want to share with the world. Here are a few examples:
- Educational videos for kids
- Online video content on different programming languages
- Health and fitness videos with detailed step-by-step workout guides
- Providing online lessons on how other people can do video production
Ideally, your target niche is something you have experience in and something that is of significant interest. Picking something you have experience handling ensures that you can provide help.
If you talk about a subject you don’t have much experience in, it’s harder to sell. However, you can also consult the expertise of a third party if you find a topic that you believe has potential.
If you want to confirm the effectiveness of your niche, see its popularity on learning websites. Sites like Skillshare, Udemy, YouTube, and Tik Tok are great video hubs to see how other content creators handle this topic.
If the topic is underserved, you might also create a sample video on YouTube. The sample video provides a significant sales channel for people to be directed to your video sales site down the road.
Using Reddit to decide on a video niche
You can also use Reddit to search for keywords about your topic. Your topic can be narrow, but you should ideally target underserved communities that total at least 100 thousand members.
For example, if you want to teach people how to make pizza, going to a Reddit board like r/RedditInTheKitchen is a great way to share your cooking skills.
Just be sure not to be too promotional, people might love to buy, but they usually hate to be sold to.
Targetting niches on Reddit with smaller groups might mean your niche is too narrow. Start with long-tail keywords that transform into shorter keywords to see your options.
Compare this with your findings on other social media pages to see what niche you have the most potential at.
Step #3: Selecting The Type of Videos You Want To Sell
Above, you’ll see a screenshot from Udemy, one of the most popular sellers of online video courses in the world. This is a reminder that creating an online learning platform is one of the most lucrative selling videos available.
Video content wins because it is chunked into small bits and is simple to follow. After all, you have someone explaining it to your face. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stick with the online video course format.
There are numerous underserved video genres you can take advantage of. Here are a few examples of areas you can target:
Example #1: Stock Videos
Much like stock photos, stock videos are generic enough to be applied to anything. For example, a small business that sells skateboarding accessories might want a stock video of someone skateboarding.
Through video editing magic, they can impose the announcement of a sale over the skater. Pexels (from the image above) is one of the more popular providers of stock video.
Example #2: Entertainment Videos
People are always looking for new and unique methods of making people laugh. Ask yourself what kind of content your target audience wants to be entertained by and create it.
This content production method can be tricky, as you will have to outperform people who do this work for free. So be sure that your content exceeds others in the same niche.
Rooster Teeth (seen above) is one example of someone who does entertainment subscriptions right. They supplement their paid content with a healthy bit of free content.
Example #3: Educational Content
Educational videos are the most straightforward option because they provide value to your reader in an area you (hopefully) have expertise in. Entire sites like Skillshare and Udemy are built around this idea, but you can focus on a unique video niche where those sites are very general.
Regardless of what type of videos you create, the point is to stick out when compared to your competition. You need to have a unique selling point that makes you better than your competition.
Teaching you proper form and function is essential for workouts. FitFusion by Jillian Michaels is an excellent example of selecting an informative niche in action.
Step #4: Selecting the Type of Payment Method You Want
Your payment system dictates how you will be receiving money from customers. When it comes to videos, you have a few options:
Payment Option #1: Payment For Permanent Access
Option number one is the most friendly customer-facing option. It enables shoppers to pay for permanent access to your download code.
Of course, you will want to protect your digital assets using an online tool like Downloadable Digital Assets. This tool will enable you to deliver personalized files and custom assets after purchase.
Companies like Udemy follow this business model with great success. They periodically host sales to draw attention to their website and increase their digital exposure.
You also have two other options when sharing your videos.
Payment Option #2: Enabling Users To Rent Your Videos
This payment method is best if you have incredibly high-value content. Renting enables the users to keep it and use it any number of times within a given period.
This method has excellent potential earnings if your content has high value. For example, Amazon follows this business model for its video streaming services.
When offering this option, it is best done alongside payment for ownership options. That way, it doesn’t feel like you are trying to rip off your customers without options.
The third option is a bit more tricky.
Payment Option #3: Creating A Subscription Service
Companies like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon all use a subscription-based service to attract new buyers. This is one of the most appealing options among the three because it enables you to receive consistent payments with the slightest chance of upsetting your customer.
If the customer doesn’t like what videos you offer, they stop subscribing. Still, customers are more likely to apply value to your videos if they don’t feel like they are a permanent owner of something they will not use or a temporary owner of something they got no value from.
In this case, you expose them to a series of videos. Given that they are addressing a series, it is more likely for a single video from that series to create some value.
Subscription services require regular activity and uploads of new content. So if you don’t plan on releasing a series of videos, this option might not be best.
Using Vimeo On Demand To Supplement Your Shopify Video Business
Unlike YouTube, Vimeo enables its users to sell premium content behind paywalls. Vimeo On Demands allows you to make the transition into premium video content.
To create this video content, you’ll need to follow these steps:
Step One: Upgrade to a Premium Account
Standard Vimeo users are unable to sell videos directly to their audience. Instead, they need to have one of these account types:
- Vimeo Pro – $20 per month (billed annually)
- Vimeo Premium – $75 per month (annually)
- Enterprise – Requires contact with sales
Premium accounts from Vimeo are limited on a “gigabyte per week” rating. So if you plan on uploading more than 20 GB a week, go with the premium level option.
Premium subscribers (or Enterprise subscribers) also have access to Vimeo’s live streaming services. Vimeo Live is an excellent tool for hosting webinars, another method for providing value to your audience.
Step Two: Create Your Vimeo Video On Demand Strategy
By creating a Video On Demand page here, you can utilize one of two strategies:
- You can create a single video that provides value to people
- You can produce a series of videos that acts as a supplement to your primary video offering
Both elements should reference back to your Shopify store for selling content. Much like the options above, you can choose to sell the video for permanent access, rent the video, or provide a regular subscription.
Vimeo OTT (Over The Top) refers to the subscription service; we will discuss this aspect next.
Step Three: Utilize Vimeo OTT (Over The Top)
OTT content refers to all of your offerings on paid content management. OTT is one way to attract additional subscribers through Vimeo’s base for those who utilize multiple video content platforms.
Given Vimeo’s lower population and competitiveness, you have a higher chance to rank for your niche utilizing Vimeo Pro and Vimeo Live features.
There is also nothing preventing you from utilizing YouTube, but Vimeo enables you to produce premium content. So offering free content to attract viewers alongside paid content is crucial.
Regardless of what you release to your subscribers, be sure it is something they can use. If your content doesn’t provide value to your viewers, don’t bother with it.
Best Practices For Your Video Sales Business
Here are some quick round-up tips when selling videos online.
Tip #1: Don’t Forget All Of Your Social Media Channels
Don’t forget to remain active with your user base on social media. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all technically social media.
You can manage them across platform managers (Like HootSuite) or decide on a handful to make things more manageable. Be sure to set aside one hour each week to catch up with your people.
Tip #2: Stick With Common Themes
Consistency is vital when it comes to running a business. When you release videos under a brand or a theme, stick with some commonality to keep people engaged.
For example, members of the workout niche have a standard format for showing people who to perform simple moves. Using the same process, they eventually teach people to perform more complex movements following the same system. This allows users to know what to expect before getting bombarded with the next step.
Tip #3: Create Multiple Membership Plans
People love a simple number of options when it comes to choosing the proper payment method. For example, many subscription plans offer a basic plan alongside more complex membership options.
In your case, you can offer rentals, permanent purchases, and subscriptions. Whatever combination you choose, be sure to give your users options, so they feel in control of any commitment they make.
Tip #4: Use Multiple Monetization Strategy Methods
Just because YouTube advertising revenue is less than subscription revenue doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Sales channels should come in multiple forms, especially when it comes to online content.
You might be surprised at the amount of revenue you can get when sharing particularly engaging topics. If your free videos go viral (which depends on you being particularly interesting), you can earn a good chunk of money from this through multiple channels.
Wrap Up – Reminders on How To Sell Videos Online
When it comes to selling videos online, you have one of two available choices:
- You sell the usefulness of the content
- You sell a video other people can apply their content to
It is crucial to understand how to operate digital assets and your options for selling these videos in either case. For videos that provide exceptional value, you might be better suited at renting them out or providing a subscription service.
By knowing your options, you can ask yourself the tough questions about what you would like your video service to look like.