As a content creator, you’ve probably heard that a video membership site is the key to maximizing profits and keeping customers.
Well, you’ve heard right! If you’re already considering launching your own membership site, you’re on the right track.
But where do you even start?
Between finding a platform and figuring out plans and pricing, creating a video membership site can be really confusing!
Lucky for you, we’ve created this guide to help you launch a successful video membership site. We’ll cover:
- What a membership site is.
- Why should you have a membership site.
- How to create a video membership site of your own.
Ready? Let’s get started…
So, What Is a Video Membership Site?
Video membership websites give users exclusive access to your content and online community.
Members pay for access to this gated content on a recurring basis, usually every month or year.
There are a few different membership models out there, but the most profitable type of membership site is a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service. Read our expert guide on AVOD, TVOD, SVOD and learn how to price your SVOD business.
Video-on-demand (VOD) is an online video that is playable at any time. The subscription part just means you charge members a recurring fee for access to your paid content.
If you create video content, then you can launch a video membership website of your own and make money off your exclusive content.
Some of the most popular topics for successful membership sites include:
- Online courses.
- Health and fitness.
- Faith and spirituality.
- Yoga and lifestyle.
- Arts and crafts.
- Kids content.
And the possible combinations and variations are limitless! If you have video content and a niche audience, you can absolutely benefit from having a membership site.
Here are some reasons why.
But Why Should I Have a Video Membership Site?
If you’re considering creating a video membership site for your business — good thinking! You’re definitely on the right track to success.
Video membership sites are one of the best possible options to build a stable and consistent income.
The subscription business model is popular among both consumers and content creators.
On the consumer side, people want to pay for content because it’s:
- Convenient: people are happy to pay for a one-stop shop where they know they’ll find the content they love, instead of sifting through the endless content in their news feeds.
- Familiar: subscription services have become the new normal. In fact, 85% of U.S. households have a video subscription service.
- Perceived as more valuable: people who pay for a service frequently in smaller amounts are more likely to engage with it in the future.
- Supportive for their favorite communities: people love to support their favorite creators and will contribute significant amounts of money to help them keep creating.
- Ad-free: people want a seamless experience watching their favorite content, meaning they want it without ads.
In fact, 59% of people watch content through SVOD services for at least 3 hours every week.
As for video entrepreneurs, they reap the rewards of a paid membership through:
- A predictable revenue stream: it lets you have a better understanding of your business’s financial health and where to reinvest revenue.
- More accessible pricing: you can charge a lower upfront cost because of the more frequent payments, which makes pricing less intimidating and can increase sales.
- Longer customer lifetime value: a subscription business model lets you keep customers for longer, which means they generate more value for your business over a longer period of time.
- Loyal customers: since you have long-term customers, you can build stronger relationships with them and create a loyal and engaged online community.
- Better user insight: you can get valuable information directly from your community that’ll help you improve your membership website.
- Increased customer retention: a community around your content will make members stick around longer. And by constantly adding value, you’ll be able to retain more people and grow membership renewals.
Convinced? Let’s look at how you can build a video membership platform of your own.
Cool, How Do I Create a Video Membership Site?
Now that you’re well-versed in the basics of memberships, here’s how you can create a video membership site:
- Check to see if you’re ready to launch a video membership website.
- Pick the right site-building method.
- Plan your video content
- Customize your site
- Set up marketing tools.
- Pick a pricing structure.
- Optional: expand your offering with a membership app.
Step 1: Check To See if You’re Ready to Launch Your Video Membership Website
Before you invest in a platform to launch your membership site, you need to make sure you have these 4 essential components:
- Premium content: these can be videos you have planned, recorded, edited, and uploaded anywhere online.
- An existing audience: your audience or community can be anyone who is directly linked to your existing content.
- An engaged audience: an engaged audience is a good indicator that your audience likes and trusts your brand.
- A video marketing strategy: you need to use both short- and long-term marketing strategies that’ll help you get new members for your video membership site.
If you’re unsure about any of these, we recommend you take a look at our checklist on how to know if you’re ready to launch your VOD service.
Step 2: Pick the Right Site-Building Method for You
When it comes to building your own video membership site, you have 3 options:
- Use a specialized video membership platform: a platform like Uscreen, allows you to build a membership site without writing a single word of code.
- Hire a developer: you can hire a professional developer to custom build your membership website, however, this can be a pricey and time-consuming project.
- Build your own membership site: if you’ve got the time and technical skills, you can try your hand at building your own. For example, you can use WordPress with membership plugins.
Step 3: Plan Your Video Content
Now that you know how you’re going to build your video membership website, it’s time to plan your content.
You need to think about what kind of content you want on your site. This can be:
- New exclusive content.
- Repurposed free content.
- A mixture of both (recommended).
You will need to have premium content for your paying subscribers. You can even bulk up your premium content by offering live streams or webinars.
There’s also a great opportunity to grow your content catalog by recycling content you’ve used on IGTV and YouTube.
You should also consider what extra materials you can offer to supplement your videos like…
- Course notes.
- Training plans.
- Tests and quizzes.
…which will add more value to existing and new members.
If you’re unsure how much content is too much content, we have an industry guide on how big your content catalog should be.
It’s fine to start slow and treat this guide as a goal to work toward (and maintain) over the coming months.
When you’re ready, upload your videos and organize your content into a cohesive catalog. You can organize it in a bunch of different ways like by topic or video length.
If you offer multiple membership plans like free, basic, and premium, you can also organize by membership plans.
Step 4: Customize Your Site
Now it’s time to customize your video website!
Depending on the video monetization platform you’ve chosen, you should have the option to customize your website and add your branding.
If you’re using Uscreen, we have a number of customization options you can choose from.
Our most popular tool is our built-in, customizable page builder, which lets you build stunning homepages, website pages, or separate marketing pages.
You can choose any of our core themes and edit the specific elements to create a page that lets your brand and products shine through.
Best of all, you can do this without any coding knowledge! (But, you also have the option to edit things with HTML if you want to customize your page even more.)
One of the key things to remember here is brand consistency across all your online presence. You need to consider the…
… that you’re using on other platforms like social media or YouTube and make sure everything matches up nicely.
This will help your customers know they’re in the right place.
Step 5: Set Up Marketing Tools
Once your site is up and running, it’s time to set up automated marketing tools that will help you reach more people and earn more money.
We recommend you set up these 3 marketing tools before you launch:
- Email list: a tool that allows you to collect email addresses of potential customers (i.e. Mailchimp).
- Membership upsell: a tool that allows you to offer point-of-purchase upsells of your membership subscriptions to customers.
- Abandoned cart: a tool that automatically contacts people who leave the sales process before completing their purchase.
That way, you can begin to build a solid foundation for the long-term marketing of your business, as well as recoup any potential “lost” income from on-the-fence customers.
On the Uscreen dashboard, you can access a full suite of marketing tools that’ll help you launch, grow, and retain customers. These tools also help you:
And, if you have your own preferred tools — like email marketing software — you can use our API and integrations to create a personalized experience.
If you want to learn more about Uscreen’s video marketing tools check out this video:
Step 6: Pick a Pricing Structure
With your video membership site, you want to make sure you charge what you’re worth and give your members the most bang for their buck.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Pick your recurring fee structure: decide if you’ll be charging monthly, quarterly, or annually. You can even offer these options as monthly and annual payments.
- Select your membership tiers: decide if you’ll be offering premium content only, both paid and free content, or if you’ll be dividing your pricing into tiers.
- Set your membership price: consider your revenue goals, how many existing followers you have, and your conversion rate to set your price.
Want to skip the math? Check out our monthly subscription calculator.
Step 7 (Optional): Expand Your Offer With Branded Membership Apps
A big part of the future of online video is OTT apps. That’s because they let users watch their favorite content natively on any device.
You should look for a platform that is:
- Easy to use.
- Equipped with a support team.
And for the duration of your OTT lease, you’ll have the full support of our team to help you with the back end of your platform and regularly update your app!
Wrapping It Up
Congrats on making it to the end of this guide!
We’re excited to see content creators like yourself thrive by launching their own video membership site.
If you want to start your membership site on a dedicated platform, Uscreen is an all-in-one platform that allows you to sell memberships, create communities, and make money from your video content.
Video Membership Site FAQs
Still have questions about video membership sites? We’ve got the answers.
Here at Uscreen, we’ve seen membership websites from a wide range of niches earn an average of $12,000+ a month from selling videos online!
Your membership website needs to offer value for subscribers because they chose to pay for your content instead of getting it for free. You’ll need to have a clear difference for the perks that members get versus non-members. This can include:
• Video (highly recommended).
• Written content like blogs, PDFs, or eBooks.
• A community (like a group on Facebook where members can write to each other and feel supported or member profiles on the site).
• Live streamed content.
You can use WordPress to build a website for free. But to create a fully functioning membership website, you’ll need a lot of add-ons that you’ll have to pay for like:
• Domain name and web hosting.
• Website theme customization.
• Security and content delivery network (CDN).
• Payment gateway (that accepts credit cards).
• Website optimization.
• Membership management system.
• Custom development and maintenance (by hiring a developer).
And if you’re creating a video membership site, then you’ll need to add video hosting and cloud video transcoding to that list.
To get your WordPress membership site up and running, you’ll need to create a website with WordPress. Then find WordPress membership plugins like Memberful, set up your website with the right template, and add eCommerce functionality.