Successful knowledge creators know that not all content is equal. They segment and slice their content into different buckets. They differentiate between content that will make them money, content that will drive web traffic and content that will build the brand.
As a knowledge creator, identifying and structuring your content to get you the maximum output helps to define your content strategy. Content has all kinds of purposes and when you think like a business, it’s easier to segment your content. One way to do this is to identify what the content truly does for you. Does it give you more views? Does it help strengthen the brand you’re trying to build? Does it serve as promotional material for you? These are the kinds of questions that make it easy to understand the purpose of your content.
Attaching a purpose to content makes it easier to create sub-headers for the type of content you’re creating. Some ways to think about segments to your content are:
- Promotional content
- Brand-building content
- Exclusive content
- Early access content
- Full-version content
- Catalogued content
Typically, content that has a high amount of intrinsic value to the viewer such as educational or informative content gets entered into a direct value equation. The viewer receives direct value from the content and is therefore, more likely to give you direct value for your content. One way to think about this kind of content is that it is ‘directly monetisable’ or in other words, it is a content product.
On the other hand, content that has a high amount of promotional value to the viewer such as entertaining content gets entered into an indirect value equation. The viewer receives entertainment value from the content, and therefore, pays for the content through an appreciation for the content such as liking it on a social media platform. One way to think about this kind of content that it is ‘promotional content’.
Often, businesses will use promotional products to increase awareness and conversion with the goal of getting more customers to try your product, be excited by it and make the decision to buy your product.
- Beauty brands give sample products.
- Film studios release trailers.
- Gyms offer free trials.
Creators typically straddle both worlds – the directly monetisable world and the indirectly monetisable world as they build their creator businesses. A strategic approach to content strategy is one that matches the type of content you create to the channel on which it can give you maximised return, i.e. pushing promotional content on channels/platforms where you can increase viewership and indirect monetisation and pushing directly monetisable content on channels/platforms where you can increase direct income.
Promotional / Indirectly Monetisable Content:
10-second promotional clip —> TikTok
30-second video-reel —> Instagram
3-minute teaser video —> YouTube
Directly Monetisable Content:
20-minute full-length video —> Your own site where the trade is payment for access to your exclusive content.
Early-release video —> Your own site where the trade is email addresses for early access.
The key difference between promotional content and directly monetisable content is that one category of content makes you money directly, and the other doesn’t. Recognising this difference acknowledges that one of them is a product and the other isn’t. Flipping that into the language of a content business, content that viewers will pay for is a content-product, and content that will increase viewership is promotional-content.
The key win for successful knowledge-creators is that they acquire audiences through promotional-content and convert that audience into paying customers through content-products. When you push promotional content, you drive traffic to a platform in return for a share of advertising income. When you sell content products, you drive sales to your site in return for direct income. Successful niche-creators focus on direct monetisation because it is more logical and easier. To see why, scroll below👇 .
Does the math add up ?
A quick back-of-envelope calculation based on YouTube’s average CPM of $4.00 means that you get paid $4.00 for every 1000 views, which means that to make $4,000, you’ll need 1 million views. On the other hand, content products have a very different economic structure. If you create a content product such as an exclusive video or a course priced at $10, you’ll need 400 people to buy your product to make the same $4,000. And often, for creators who are specialists in a niche area, figuring out how to get 400 people who’ll pay for your content is a whole lot easier than figuring out how to get 1 million people to watch your videos.
A caveat is that this math doesn’t work for everyone. It depends on where you operate. If you are a creator in a mainstream category such as music or entertainment, it’s often harder to get people to pay for your content and easier to rack up the views. However, on the other hand, if you are a classical pianist or a marketing specialist making informative/educational content, it is far more challenging to get 1 million people to watch your videos than to find the 400 people who find your content valuable enough to pay you for it. If you want to read more about how YouTube pays and how much you can make, read Mint’s blog here.
Another caveat is that while the path to 400 paying customers is a whole lot easier than 1 million viewers, it’s not that this path is easy. It comes with it’s challenges, but there are ways to unlock it. There are known strategies to drive conversion from a passive viewer to becoming your customer.
Is social-media the best place for promotional content ? Yes.
Is social-media the best place for content products ? Not really.
Can you create content products that are directly monetisable ? Yes.
Is it easier for niche creators get 400 paying customers than 1 million viewers ? Often, yes.
Can you get 400 paying customers for content products ? Often, yes.
How ? 👉 Read on in Part 3!