How to make money streaming - 6 ways to go live and get paid
1. Run ads
Running ads is one sure method of monetizing your live video stream. There are two types of video ads - In-Stream (Linear video ads) and In-Display (non-linear video ads). The ads that are displayed before the video are called linear video ads while the non-linear ads are the ones that the viewers see concurrently while watching the video.
Ads are a great way to monetize your video content, but it's tricky. You need to play the ad, get the viewer to click on it, and at the same time ensure that the viewer doesn't get bored and leave your live stream. Plus, major platforms like Facebook and YouTube have different regulations for video streaming and running ads.
When to run the ads - the best time would be when the creator or the person doing the live streaming wants to take a break. Time the ad correctly - don't leave the viewer hanging in the middle of a sentence!
When you're running a live stream on YouTube, you can play the ad at any point of time in your live video. However, do try to keep your audience informed that a break would be coming up.
On Facebook, not every video streamer will have the option of taking a break. If your Facebook page displaying the live stream has more than 50,000 followers and more than 300 concurrent viewers in the last live video, you can take a break after 4 minutes.
If you want to maximize the earnings from your live video stream, you need to build traffic to your website or your Facebook page. When you have higher number of visitors, the number of concurrent viewers increase, so the chances of ads converting are higher, which translates to increased revenue.
2. Subscriptions/Pay per view
The other way to make money from your videos is to get your audience to subscribe or pay for your video. You could release a teaser, giving the audience a taste of what is to come. If the viewers want to watch more, they need to subscribe to your page or pay for the video. Streaming platforms such as Vimeo Live and IBM Cloud have in-built subscription features.
3. Donations and Crowdfunding
A recent study by Deloitte Global found that "Donations are also an emerging element of the business model for other live-streaming platforms, including platforms used for streaming video game play." Many live streams are asking their fans for donations and in return giving them virtual gifts.
Crowdfunding is another method to monetize your video stream. Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Patreon are a few of the popular crowd-funding platforms. You need to create an account on these platforms, build your project, specify your goals, and then promote your project on other platforms, so people visit your project page and contribute to it.
Setting up an affiliate program is a sure way of monetizing your video stream. It could however take time to establish and give you the returns you expect. The best part is that once you have set it up, you can passively earn money as your video gets more popular.
You need to first link up with affiliate platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. You can create videos about products sold on the platforms. If you have a video stream that focusses on technology, then you can choose such products. For example, a mobile phone - you can create a video about the features of the mobile phone, trouble shooting tips, best ways to customize the cell phone, and lot's more. At the end of the video, direct the viewer to go to the product page on the affiliate platform. Every time a viewer clicks on your video and goes to the affiliate site, you earn a commission.
If your live stream channel is popular, then you can confidently approach the larger players in the market for deals and sponsorships. Brands don't come forward to sponsor your video stream, you need to take the first step and approach the right people. However, when you're doing that make sure you stay within your niche. The theme of your video should be in accord with the brand that is sponsoring you.
6. Sell your products
Live videos are a great opportunity for subconscious selling. For ages, marketers have been using this technique to sell products and services to their audience. However, you should remember that subconscious selling only happens when you have already built the trust in your viewers. Market research shows that a person is more likely to buy a product when someone in his/her social group has already purchased it. That's why influencers play a huge role in promotions. However, you don't have to directly sell your product when you're streaming the live video. Use the product and then casually talk about its features and where one can buy it and then go back to your video's main theme. This could subconsciously encourage viewers to check out the product and buy it.
Live video streaming gives you plenty of scope to explore your passion, share your views with your fans, and still get to earn money. To make the maximum earnings from your live video streams, you can use a mix of the above 6 ways. Competition on the internet is very high, so you need to continually work to keep your fans' attentions so that they keep coming back to you. To keep your fans interested, your video content needs to be interesting, useful, and clear. Create great videos and build a loyal fan following - you can surely see returns on your investment.