How to Plan and Execute Your Content Monetization Strategy

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Monetizing your content, particularly from reader revenue, is an inevitable reality for most publishers today. The diminishing revenue from advertising forces publishers to supplement monetization by selling content to their readers. But for most, it’s not as simple as just putting up a hard paywall. It’s much more complicated than that and there are many ever-changing factors to consider. So how do you get started? In this post we have outlined some basic steps you should follow to build and implement your content monetization strategy.

1. Set a goal

First, determine what it is that you want to achieve. Whether it is reaching a certain number of annual subscribers, a certain number of paying customers, selling a certain number of articles or bringing in a certain amount of revenue with paid content, you have to set a goal from the start. You can’t determine whether your effort is successful if you have not defined what success means to you and your organization. 

2. Develop a testing strategy and timeline

Based on your goal, list the tactics you can deploy to reach that goal. For example if your goal is to gain 500 paying customers per month, you should test a few different strategies and find the best one - or the best mix - that will get you there most efficiently. You may want to test selling individual articles at lower costs to go after more volume, or test time passes and subscriptions to give loyal users more value. 

You will also need to experiment with which content to put behind the paywall and determine which content sells best for each commitment level. Of course price testing is something everyone should consider. How much are your visitors willing to pay? The engagement before the purchase is something that you should think about as well. How much does your visitor need to engage with your content before they determine it’s worth paying for? Give yourself enough time to derive statistically significant results before you roll out with a strategy across your site. 

3. Choose the right tech stack

This step actually takes place simultaneously with step #2 as you will need to figure out how you can technically accommodate what you need to do. For example, make sure that if you want to only put a section of your site behind a paywall, your paywall solution has that capability and will easily work with your CMS and the way you have your content organized/tagged. Or, if you want to sell individual pieces of content and price each piece differently, make sure you’re able to do that with the technology you choose. 

Analytics is another big consideration when researching your tech stack. You want to make sure you can easily get data in the right metrics and evaluate results of your program. You can’t have a successful testing strategy without a way to analyze results. If the solution you choose doesn’t give you sufficient data, you may have to integrate an additional tool that allows you to do that.

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4. Launch and scale

Once you have integrated the right tools and completed your testing, you should have a good idea of what will work best to achieve your goal. It’s now time to roll out your strategy across your site and do more of what has proven to produce the best results in the testing stage. 

If, for example, you aren’t selling any weekly time passes but you are seeing interest in daily access passes or access to individual pieces of content, you should consider getting rid of the weekly option and stick to what’s selling. Scaling may involve shifts in your content strategy as well. If certain pieces of content prove to sell better, you should consider developing those topics. Many successful publications are doing this to reach their revenue goals

5. Evaluate success - did you reach your goal?

Having set a goal in the beginning makes it much easier to determine if your efforts were successful. Perhaps you will set a different goal knowing what you know now, and change your strategy. But it’s important to evaluate in terms of what you’ve set out to accomplish and the steps that you took to achieve your goals. 

6. Iterate based on results using data and industry expertise

After the testing stage and your initial implementation you’ll have access to invaluable data that will help you expand your success. We recommend that you constantly look at your results and data and use all of the resources you have available to determine if your strategy needs adjusting. Remember, the digital media landscape changes faster than ever. A close and constant analysis of your results allows you to stay ahead of the trends.

Performance analytics is a big focus at LaterPay. We are heavily invested in the success of the partners using our platform. Our dedicated team of data scientists monitor results and provide useful and actionable advice. Take advantage of these resources and continue improving your results.

Contact us to find out how LaterPay can help you sell content effectively and efficiently.

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