Chances are you’ve formed your own business (or thrived in an existing one) out of a desire to succeed and a passion for your respective industry. But passion and good intentions will only get you so far. At some point, the money needs to start coming in. Here’s where a good monetisation strategy can begin to separate the successful companies from the business obituaries.
Believe me, I’ve seen those failures first-hand. Especially with new enterprises looking to make a big splash. The whole ‘starving artist’ side of a start-up business can be romantic and formative. Some of my best years were spent making the climb and counting every last penny. It teaches us all a little bit about humility and fiscal responsibility.
But let’s be real about the goal of your business. It needs to bring in some of that delicious cold hard cash! But how do you formulate an income strategy that’s impactful, long-lasting and realistic about your business expectations?
Let’s take a look.
What Is a Monetisation Strategy?
Yes, essentially, a monetisation strategy is the game plan you put in place to generate more interest and revenue for your business, service or product. But it’s never as simple as that, especially if you’re looking beyond your next quarter to boast about profit margins.
A monetisation strategy requires some key elements that need to work alongside any long-term business plans that you may have.
- Having the ability to shift your monetisation strategy to suit changes in business or unexpected circumstances is important. Nothing sits still in modern commerce, so your monetisation plan needs to consider any changes or potential variables that can affect your larger plan.
- That flexibility needs to be in service of the long-term goals of your brand. Start-up businesses in particular can be a little too quick to sacrifice long-term goals to secure small scale wins. Remember – there’s a difference between being flexible and being reactionary.
- How do you ensure that you’re staying on track towards those long-term goals? Through smaller, more measurable goals that you can keep a closer eye on. These goals can be anything from KPIs to numbers of subscribers. It all depends on the industry you’re in, and the ultimate goals you have set out for the future.
What Is the Ultimate Goal of a Good Monetisation Strategy?
Make more money? Sure. But that’s merely scratching the surface of what your overall goals should be here. If you’re at a point where you’re looking into revenue plans, then you’re probably drowning in a sea of market research as well. Good! Take that marketing research and your main USPs, then choose from the following revenue strategies to apply to your business.
Common Monetisation Strategies
Monetisation isn’t about finding some revolutionary new way of doing things. Money will always follow innovation, and if it’s convenient for consumers, the industry will inevitably go with the flow.
Instead, it’s about shopping around for the right monetisation plan for your business and your desired outcomes. Below are the 3 most commonly used monetisation strategies outside of your everyday advertising plans.
The Subscription Business Model
Everyone seems to have a streaming service with a monthly subscription fee these days. But this monetisation model isn’t exclusive to film and entertainment companies.
When I formed Writefully, the idea of a content creation service that offers a monthly fee and marketing content on-demand was unheard of. But the surge in subscribers before we even fully launched taught me a valuable lesson in trusting those business instincts!
Is a subscription model right for your industry? First of all, consider the amount of work that goes into this type of monetisation strategy. Are you able to host and maintain the interest of subscribers? What you gain in a strong and reliable stream of income can be lost in an instant if you aren’t prepared properly.
The Rewards System Strategy
Tried and tested, this is an effective method that gains a greater volume of people to download your app/sign up for your emails/recommend your business to friends. While there’s less of a guarantee of income in comparison to other methods, it’s certainly an effective way of growing your audience.
Monetisation can be made via the percentage of new people signing up for your services in the end, or in advertising from others. This monetisation plan works best for new kids on the block who are hungry to snatch up new business in competitive markets.
It’s certainly a well-tested formula. Just be wary of promising the world and losing reputation points down the road. After all, short-term plans yield short-term results. Keep that long-distance goal in mind and you’ll go far.
The Gamification Gameplan
You can boost engagement and increase your potential to convert new customers through gamification. This can come in the form of a more in-depth standard rewards system, or a promotional campaign that incorporates elements of gameplay.
This strategy has seen a surge in popularity over the years. Not only does it appeal to our urge to participate, but it’s also perfect for mobile devices. Why is this important? Because mobile devices are quickly becoming the go-to method of spending.
The following statistics shed some light on the benefits of gamification across several businesses of varying sizes:
- The gamification market size is predicted to reach a staggering $30.7 billion by 2025.
- When Starbucks introduced gamification with their rewards app, they posted a revenue increase of $2.65 billion and a 25% increase in membership loyalty.
- Floral company Teleflora saw an incredible 105% increase in Facebook referrals and a conversion rate of 92%.
As you can see, if you’re able to pinpoint your goal and incorporate gamification into things like a sign-up or an email entry into a giveaway, the potential to drive interest and boost sales is right there within your grasp.
Too Many Monetisation Methods Make Problems
Great stats, Neil, but it all seems a little too good to be true.
Yes, I’ve condensed and simplified things here. Of course, there are a hundred different off-shoots of these main 3 methods that several businesses use on a daily basis. But we aren’t trying to overwhelm people.
Too much choice isn’t always a good thing, particularly when you’re closing in on a new conversion or developing trust with customers.
Monetisation Through One True Source
Choose one true source of monetisation and stick to it. The flexibility and long-term thinking we discussed earlier can and should play a major role in how you choose to use that one true source. But throwing every monetisation method you can find at the wall and seeing what sticks isn’t going to cut it here.
Is your business capable of effectively hosting and executing one of these monetisation strategies? Absolutely. Have you managed to deduce which of them will work the best in your respective sector?
Let’s ask a few more questions to really nail what the perfect plan is for your brand and business.
Your Monetisation Strategy: Asking The Right Questions
Now that you have some insights into where you can apply a sound monetisation plan into your greater marketing strategies, it’s time to simplify again in order to find the best money-making avenue possible for your brand.
What’s the most popular method? Who cares. Instead, ask yourselves what the best monetisation plan is for you and your specific goals.
I’m looking to streamline your decision making here, instead of bombarding you with unnecessary information. There are so many blog posts on this subject that leave people with more questions and even less clarity than they had before reading.
Forget the jargon. Let’s condense this subject into 3 useful questions to keep in mind:
- Which method works best in your industry?
- Will your customers continue to benefit from this method?
- Can this method highlight your USPs and help you to dominate your markets?
Despite the tendency to overwhelm people with the business equivalent of white noise, harnessing the power that lies behind these simple questions will make your monetisation strategy flexible, future-focused, and financially rewarding.
Do you need that literary spark to inspire your monetisation plans? Are you a global brand with dull content, or a hungry new business in need of some powerful words to capture the attention of your audience? It’s all in the narrative! The team at Writefully are always willing to help shape your brand’s story into something special.