The internet is the destination for information. Whether looking for today’s headlines, downloading scholarly articles to understand complex concepts, or watching the latest viral videos, people use the web to learn about the world.
Content marketing is not a new concept. Your company likely has a blog or a newsfeed that you use to connect with potential new customers. But there’s untapped potential in your expert knowledge. Though many haven’t discovered it yet, there’s a way to sell your knowledge and turn it into an ongoing, profitable revenue stream, rather than simply using it as a promotional tool or marketing hook. It’s called content monetization – or Knowledge as a Service (KaaS).
Content Monetization: A “Book” For the Modern Era
You may have heard the term “infopreneur” used to describe someone who sells information online. Content monetization is the act of being an “infopreneur”: storing a library of knowledge within a “portal” for paying customers to consume. Through content monetization, your knowledge becomes an actual product you can sell.
Think of content monetization as the 21st-Century version of a book. Nonfiction books are really just collections of knowledge organized by an expert; people purchase the book to get the information. Content Monetization Portals function the same way, your audience purchases access to exclusive content created and curated by an expert (you). Unlike a book, content in a Content Monetization Portal can come in all sorts of formats and varieties, appealing to the 21st-Century learner. And when you have more to add, you can expand your offerings and deploy new, useful content to your audience instantly.
Your Knowledge: A New Business Opportunity
There are three effective models to profit from your expertise through a Content Monetization Portal:
- Content Subscription: Users pay an ongoing monthly, quarterly or annual subscription fee to access your continuously-expanding library of multimedia content. Members stay connected and engaged through added features, such as gamification, which allows them to challenge themselves and engage in friendly competition with others. Subscription services are ideal for companies that teach concepts, rather than processes. Because the conversation is always evolving, there is always new knowledge to share and always a new reason for users to log in.
- Pay-As-You-Go: Users can pick and choose individual classes, enroll in module-based courses, or buy individual eBooks and papers. If your knowledge has a clear start and endpoint – if you sell processes and how-to style information, your business is well-suited for a pay-as-you-go model.
- Industry Certification: For some, you can take a few steps beyond courses and sell full-length certification programs. Users benefit from the “proof” they have to show they learned their skills and approach from a leading industry expert. Your company can become the standard-bearer of your industry, locally, nationally or even globally.
From Your Brain to Users’ Eyes, Ears And Hearts
Managing, organizing and presenting your knowledge in a consumable, sustainable way is a vast undertaking. Developing your own Content Monetization Portal; marketing it to potential subscribers; continuously developing and adding new content; connecting with users to keep them engaged; troubleshooting technical problems… it takes a significant commitment of time and resources. Business owners and entrepreneurs typically don’t have the time or the know-how to make it happen.
This is where a content monetization service provider comes into play. You instantly connect with a team of experts who can manage the process. You teach, and they take the ball and run with it, from site development and management to content creation. A successful Content Monetization Portal requires a strategy plan that identifies the intersection between three key areas:
- Your goals
- Your key stakeholders
- Your knowledge
Once the “sweet spot” is identified, your content monetization team maps your knowledge concept-by-concept to build a portal that is well-organized, useful, engaging and valuable to paying users. Over time, the team will build out new classes, modules and courses, expanding your offerings and growing your customer base without a significant increase in overhead.
Who Wants to Buy My Knowledge?
If people are willing to pay for your services offline, they will be willing to pay for them online. The benefit of an online platform is the ability be in a million places at the same time, 24 hours a day. If you’re selling your expertise in person, you can only handle so much business. But there is no ceiling to how many new customers you can take on when a Content Monetization Portal is your information delivery vehicle. A chef in Schenectady can teach students in Stockholm; a consulting firm in Chicago can impact businesses in Calgary – without boarding a plane or waking up to Skype at 4:00 in the morning. With a Content Monetization Portal, you are able to focus on your core business model, while generating a brand new revenue stream.
A Content Monetization Portal can connect you to vast networks of customers and it can help you solidify your brand and “prove” your expertise and thought leadership. Whether you teach fitness, community organizing, roofing, or financial investing, you can leverage your content to profit from your expertise in new and exciting ways.