Turning Your Content into Profit
There are many ‘secrets’ and ‘best practices’ about how to turn your content into profit, but at the end of the day what do all of those pieces look like? How can a company look to turn their everyday content into income?
Whether you are an emerging company with a few employees or a large corporation with divisions for days, there are ways to turn your content into deliverable, measurable profit. In today’s fast-paced world of instant technical gratification, the pain of not having easy access to content and data is larger than the price people are willing to pay for it. Finding a niche where you can solve a real need will result in profit for content.
There are a few methods that have been talked about recently that can assist you in generating profit from your digital content.
- Banner Ads can be fairly generic Adword-style or more targeted dependent upon whether you are patient enough to handpick your advertisers to match your target audience. For the more broad and untargeted banner ads, the rates will be lower as the audience reach is more generic and less likely to convert. But if you find a targeted niche to advertise to, you will be paying higher rates as the number of potential advertisers is lower allowing you more prime banner space.
- Native Ads are ‘sponsored’ or paid ads that are flagged as “Promoted or Sponsored” in an obvious fashion. These can be shared across social media, they easily display on mobile, and they appear in Google searches. Ad Age describes native advertising as “a sometimes controversial practice in which ads mimic the editorial content surrounding them.” English translation, you ask. It means that the ad is written using the same form as an article written by the staff of the periodical. There are a group of people that feel like this is a misleading form of advertising, but it is required for these ads to be clearly marked by as paid, sponsored, or promoted. Being straightforward and obvious about which ads are sponsored is the key to maintaining a trusting relationship with your readers.
- Fees/Subscriptions are a common way of monetizing your content. Many major brands have a paid version of their product or service that offers ‘more’ to the reader. For example, our local newspaper charges a subscription fee to access their online feed, albeit small, it is still a fee to access data conveniently. These small subscription fees aren’t painful, so we pay them in order to not have to go purchase a physical paper. Another example of monetizing through subscriptions or paid features would be Vogue. They offer limited archive access with the one-year subscription, but historical content is available (122 years’ worth) for a mere $1575. At the other end, there are companies that are allowing readers access to their content in exchange for an email address, allowing additional marketing at a later time.
- Zeen 101 describes the fourth monetization method as real-time “ad blogging”. This method allows advertisers to log into your site and upload fresh, relevant ads to a dedicated section of a website. The most recently uploaded ad gets top priority, so it is on the advertiser to keep it up-to-date. For the website owner, it allows you to gain revenue from dead or empty space on your site 24/7.
Therefore, there are many ways to financially monetize your content efforts.