Video Monetization

Are You Ready to Launch Your Own VOD Service with Uscreen?

By Ashley Hortulanus 10 Min Read
Are You Ready for Uscreen?

“How do I know if I’m ready to start using Uscreen?”

We get this question a lot.

And chances are, you’re more ready than you think.

We created a checklist of just five indications that you’re ready to start using Uscreen to build your independent VOD service and monetize your videos. We also give you some actionable advice on how to become even more prepared.

The 5-Point “Are You Ready For Uscreen” Checklist:

1. You Already Have Videos

We recommend you have a foundation of videos before you start using Uscreen.

These can be videos that you have planned, recorded, edited, and uploaded anywhere online, on your own or as part of a content creation team.

Having a library of videos means you are ready to upload your content to your Uscreen platform and start building your VOD website right away.

Having these videos also means you’ve already acquired a number of the skills needed to run a VOD business. (Or you already have someone taking care of that for you).

For example, it’s key that you can:

  • Generate engaging content ideas
  • Plan a content schedule
  • Create focused content for a target audience
  • Publish high-quality videos
  • Edit videos to meet the needs of the platform
  • Gather feedback from viewers
  • Adjust your videos accordingly

That may sound like an overwhelming list, but if you’re already creating videos, you likely do many of them already.

Your paying customers are going to expect each of these elements from you as a minimum, so being well-versed in each of them is going to make your life a lot easier.

No Videos? Here’s What To Do Next…

We recommend you take the time to find a topic-niche you’re after with your VOD business and create 10 to 15 videos around it. As you do this, upload them to YouTube and gather feedback from the people who watch them.

There’s no rush to launch your business. So, take the time to get this right, and you will lay the foundation for the long-term future of your business.

2. You Already Have An Existing Audience

We recommend having an already-established audience to market your subscription service to. If you don’t have one, it’s ok–just keep reading.

When you have people who already know, like, and trust your content, it is much easier to sell to them because they are already listening to you and are invested in you.

But don’t worry:

You don’t need to have a crazy following of fans to get started – we aren’t talking about 2 million followers here.

We find it’s good practice to wait until you have at least 500 engaged people in your following – and the more the merrier.

Your audience (or “community”) can be anywhere that is directly linked to the content you create, such as your:

  • Email list
  • Social media feeds
  • Patreon page
  • YouTube channel

Having this community also shows that you have taken two important steps. You have:

  1. Invested significant time into your content creation
  2. Cultivated an audience that likes and trusts you and what you have to offer

Reaching 500+ subscribers is no mean feat. You’ve clearly invested in the long-term success of your content and are ready to establish yourself as a professional content creator.

But you also need to be sure that your audience is actively engaged with your work, and you’re getting a nice number of comments, likes, and discussions on your posts. 

Basically, you need to be sure your audience is human and interested, and not just a bunch of bots. Which brings us squarely to point number three.

No Audience? Here’s What To Do Next…

Having an existing audience makes launching a video business a lot easier. After all, you can’t pitch an idea to an empty room! 

We recommend you look at our guide on How To Grow An Online Community Around Your Videos for all the tips and tricks you need to grow your audience.

3. Your Audience Is Engaged With Your Work

How are you getting on with the checklist so far?

If you’re still with us, you’re really on your way to being Uscreen-ready.

There are still a few more boxes to tick though, so let’s keep moving…

The next step is to ensure your audience is engaged with your work. 

“Engagement” can take on a number of different forms. So, we recommend you look out for some tell-tale signs that people are reacting to your content:

  1. You have a consistent number of people watching your videos
  2. Your videos receive interactions such as likes, shares, or comments
  3. Your community speaks to each other through discussions and debates
  4. Your community speaks with you through comments or direct messaging
  5. Better still, they request certain topics or content types

You’re likely already aware of whether this is true for your videos. But, if you’re unsure, you can always look at the analytics tool on the platform where your content and following currently are.

If you have got an engaged community then you’re ready for point number four.

Audience Not Responding? Here’s What To Do…

If your audience isn’t responding to your videos you likely have a content issue. You aren’t creating things they want to see!  

To remedy this it’s time to reach out to people in your audience. Take a look at comments and interactions on other people’s videos to see what they are saying. 

Then you can create content around those topics. See what the response is and adjust until you see a spike in your audience engagement.

4. You Are Ready To Do Some Marketing

Many people think “marketing” is a dirty word; they picture sleazy guys in suits and ties pushing products nobody needs or can afford. 

But the truth is… marketing is an essential and enjoyable part of running a VOD business. And, you can’t build a successful platform without it.

You need to be able to successfully put your content – both free and paid – in front of the people who want and need it.

Now, you don’t need to be a “good” marketer to start. You just need to be willing to get out there and share your work with people! 

Don’t worry if you find this intimidating, though. 

We have lots of resources to help you figure out how to market your VOD services over at our (free) Video Business School and on the Uscreen blog.

We also recommend you take a look at the following books:

Not Ready To Market? Here’s What To Do Next…

If you don’t feel ready to market your service you really need to take a look at why that is.

Do you feel sleazy? Do you feel scared? Do you feel inexperienced? Do you feel weird asking for money?

Reading books on marketing can alleviate a lot of fears and pressure. But, you could also look at hiring someone to handle this aspect of your business too.

Strong Plus – 5. You Consider Yourself “Good” At YouTube

Having a YouTube channel with an engaged following dramatically increases your chances of success on Uscreen.

Our data shows that every single YouTube channel with 500 or more engaged subscribers has the quickest and most undeniable success selling their videos on our platform.

There are two reasons we think they are so successful:

  1. They already have lots of experience creating community-focused content (specifically video content)
  2. They have an existing audience who values and trust their content

These might sound familiar to points one and two on this checklist. But, YouTube has a way of supercharging these elements.

Simply put:

If you’re successful at YouTube and you are not running a VOD business you are leaving a lot of money on the table! 

Don’t Feel You’re “Good” At YouTube? Here’s What To Do Next…

Having a foundation of YouTube skills can dramatically increase your chances of success. So, although this section is a “nice to have”, we still recommend getting to grips with the platform.

YouTube can be used as a powerful marketing engine for your Uscreen business, so getting your skills to a level where you can confidently create and publish videos there pays off in the long run. 

You can learn more about how to get more views on YouTube here; and more about how to use YouTube as a marketing tool here.

Do You Feel You’re Ready For Uscreen?

Okay, it’s decision time:

How do you think you performed on the checklist? Are you Uscreen ready?

Here are some “next steps” depending on how far you made it into the list:

  • You didn’t tick any boxes: focus on creating videos you love and connecting with people in your online community. Uscreen will be here when you’re ready, there’s no rush!
  • You have videos, but no audience: look for opportunities to get more views, connect with people in your content niche, and ask what people would like to see. Aim for at least 500 people. 
  • You have an audience, but they’re not engaged: survey your audience to find out how you could improve; also look to improve the quality of your videos and see if there’s an opportunity to create more engaging content that strikes discussion and conversation
  • You have an engaged audience, but you don’t want to market to them: take the time to read a few marketing books and see if you find a method that suits you.
  • You have an engaged audience around your video content who you are willing to market to – and you think you’re “good” at YouTube – then you are definitely Uscreen ready.

We hope this checklist blog post helps you realize that you’re probably a lot further along than you thought before.

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