While we've often elaborated on how both in-app stories and web stories can help grow your brand, we haven't really covered the aspect of monetization. Namely, a lot of people looking to grow their content primarily in order to yield revenue from it. And the first thing they learn while doing so is that creating engaging content and monetizing it is rarely easy. In certain instances, poor monetization can even hurt your overwise stellar content. So, let's explore how to monetize your content with in-app and web stories and elaborate on why doing so can be a good idea.
What is content monetization?
To "monetize content" means to turn the material you create, such as videos, articles, blogs, podcasts, or any other form of digital content, into a source of revenue or income. Essentially, it involves finding ways to earn money from the content you produce and share with your audience. This concept is especially relevant in the context of online platforms and social media, where content creators have the opportunity to reach large audiences and potentially generate income through various means. Both publishers and content creators need to be aware of different forms of monetization in order to best implement it.
Keep in mind that not all forms of content are suitable for all methods of monetization. Therefore, it is important that publishers are aware of all predominant monetization processes in order to aid their content creators in the best ways possible.
Different ways to monetize your content with in-app and web stories
So, where do in-app and web stories factor into all of this? Well, as fairly novel and engaging content, both in-app and web stores can help with the monetization process in different ways. Depending on what your content is like, you can rely on in-app and web stories in different ways. Here are a few strategies that publishers commonly use:
Arguably the most straightforward way to monetize content is through adverts. You incorporate advertisements within your stories to generate revenue. Simple enough. You can do this through display ads (both programmatic and direct), sponsored content, or native advertising. Ad networks and platforms like Google AdSense or specialized mobile ad networks can help you implement and manage ads effectively. Both in-app and web stories can easily host ads. And adding them to existing content is quite easy, seeing as you can export them as widgets.
Branded content and partnerships
Another common way to monetize content is through partnerships and brand deals. Content creators collaborate with brands to create sponsored stories or product placements. This allows advertisers to reach their audience in a more engaging and immersive way. In this regard, in-app and web stories are also quite useful. If designed properly, they will stand out enough to draw attention, but not so much that they overshadow the rest of the content. Therefore, they are ideal for product placement within a review. Keep in mind that story content can lead directly to a line store. Therefore, people can purchase products as they are viewing the review.
Some content creators can look to offer subscription models for their content. They either look to partialize their content, and offer some of it as premium. Or opt to completely monetize their content, and have it all be accessible only to paying viewers. All content can be declared premium including story content. The only question is what makes certain content worth paying for. If you, as a publisher help publish premium content, you can look to use web and in-app stories as a way to explain what makes it worth it. A quick web story can outline the benefits of being a subscriber, and can even outline different subscription models (if you have them). Platforms like Patreon or GoFundMe or your own website can facilitate subscription-based monetization.
If your content creators aren't strictly dealing with branded content, you can always look to recommend products or services within your stories and include affiliate links. When readers make a purchase through these links, you earn a commission. The main trick is to choose affiliate programs that are relevant to your content and audience. If you manage that, you can easily place product recommendations within web stories and place them along with other content. Such stories will not only bring revenue but will also help improve your content.
What makes both in-app and web stories so effective in marketing is that they don't have to be static. Yes, you can create a single instance of story content and publish it. But, if you truly want to make the most out of marketing you will look to make your story content dynamic. This includes using data and analytics to offer personalized stories or targeted advertising. Tailoring the content to individual reader preferences can increase engagement and attract advertisers who value precise targeting. As you can imagine, this is quite useful for monetization. In order to convert an interested viewer into a paying customer you will have to address their needs on a personal level.
Is content monetization a good idea?
While there are numerous ways in which you can monetize your content with in-app and web stories, doing so isn't always the best course of action. People often overlook the potential downsides of introducing monetization in your content. And plenty of publishers have ruined their brands simply because they became too greedy and wanted to monetize something that should have remained free. So, before you look to introduce monetization, consider the following pros and cons
Cons of content monetization for publishers
One of the biggest obstacles to proper monetization is balancing user experience. If you don't do your due diligence when introducing ads and other monetization elements you can sometimes disrupt the user experience. This usually leads to dissatisfaction and reduced engagement. And can even lead to your customers leaving your website. Keep in mind that most monetized content is by default disliked by users. This is why many users employ ad blockers, which can significantly impact ad revenue for publishers who rely heavily on advertising. And even if you do manage to properly incorporate monetization, you still have to combat market saturation. Namely, in competitive niches, it can be challenging to attract advertisers and secure profitable partnerships.
All this is to say that monetization requires a fair bit of time and effort. In order to implement and manage monetization strategies you will require to allocate a fair bit of time. This ongoing optimization diverts attention from other aspects of content creation and platform management. Secondly, you as a publisher, may face ethical dilemmas when choosing advertisers or promoting certain products. It is by no means uncommon that certain monetization practices will conflict with the values and interests of your audience. You also need to pay attention to potential privacy issues, as some monetization methods involve data collection, raising privacy concerns among users and potential legal implications.
Lastly, proper monetization will require you to depend on algorithms and marketing platforms. Most publishers relying on third-party platforms for advertising or content distribution are subject to algorithm changes and policy updates, which can impact their reach and revenue.
Pros of Content Monetization for Publishers:
The primary benefit of content monetization is the ability to generate revenue. Publishers can earn money through various methods like advertising, sponsored content, subscriptions, and affiliate marketing. All these methods allow you to diversify your income. The more monetization strategies you implement, the more you can diversify your income stream. This reduces your reliance on a single source and potentially increases overall revenue.
One of the first things you will notice when you start monetizing your content is that quality becomes paramount. While you can get away with subpar content, if it is free, paying customers will simply demand a certain degree of quality. Keep this in mind when you discuss any updates with content creators. Quality content will, of course, draw in new readers that respond better to it. But, while monetization does provide a clear incentive, it is still up to you to ensure that the content you publish is top quality.
Although monetization can be difficult to set up, it does provide you with some unique benefits. Through monetization tools and analytics, you can gain valuable insights into your audience's behavior, preferences, and demographics, which can inform content and marketing strategies.
This provides a degree of long-term sustainability. Sustainable monetization can help you maintain your platform over the long term, ensuring continued access to valuable information and content for your audience.
In order to monetize your content with in-app and web stories, and reap the most benefits of it, you need to strike a balance between revenue generation and maintaining a positive user experience. Transparency, authenticity, and understanding your audience's needs are crucial for successful content monetization while preserving the trust and loyalty of your readership. Additionally, try to explore diverse revenue streams. That way you can adapt to industry trends and navigate challenges with relative ease.