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Peri Elmokadem

Written By

Peri Elmokadem

Peri is the content marketing manager at Uscreen. She writes to teach the world about the ways of video monetization. She’s also a visual artist, traveller and dog lover (although she’s starting to warm up to cats).

Validating Your Video Business Idea

Once you have a list of niche topics you would like to launch a VOD website out of, it’s time to see if they’re potentially profitable.

What is idea validation?

Idea validation is the process of testing and validating your idea prior to launching your business name, tagline, product, service or website. (The Sparkline)

Unfortunately, a lot of people skip the validation phase of the ideation process. Don’t do that. It’s easy to get caught up and excited about your new idea and how great it will be, and forget to check if it’s actually something people want, let alone pay for.

This might sound like an overwhelming process, and sometimes it can be. But it is so important. This part will guide you through it step-by-step. It will outline the use of different types of internet marketing research to validate whether or not there is any demand for your product before getting started.  

Grab your top three ideas from lesson 2 and start validating.

How to Validate your Video Business Idea?

Google it  

The simplest way to see what’s out there is to do a quick Google search and see what comes up. This will help you understand the kinds of topics your audience is interested in.

To effectively use search engines to validate your business ideas, you first need to fully understand the value each of your top ideas would provide the customer. Use those values to come up with a list of keywords and phrases your target customer would search for to find your video website online. Then use those keywords to do your searches.

Remember:

You’re not just searching to see if this topic niche has been done before. You want to know if there is demand for this “problem” to be solved in the first place. Find out what comes up on the first page of your Google search using the keywords you have determined, and if those top results are relevant to your topic idea.

Run your keywords and phrases through tools like Buzzsumo and Google Keyword Planner to find out the most shared content on the internet related to your topic. Use search volume data to determine how frequently people are searching for your keywords and questions.

Not only will this help you find out if people have a need for your video content, but it’ll help you shape your idea into a niche.  

Assess your competition

Head over to online video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera, and find out if your idea is being offered on there. If it is, read the reviews. What are people saying about it? Does it have high views but not-so-great ratings? (That would be a great video content to create and sell online – the demand exists, but the currently available product isn’t good enough for people. Hop on that and offer a better one.)

If you find your idea being offered effectively but not fostering a lot of viewership, then it’s probably not a good one.

A lot of people think it’s a good sign if no one has created video content like that before. If you don’t find your idea made into a video library anywhere, don’t get too excited. You have to do more research to find out why that is. It’s very likely that it hasn’t been made before because it’s not something people want to learn about. Just keep that in mind.

Ask and listen

Often times the best way to know what people want is to directly ask them.

This is ideal for those who already have an audience-base interested in the same topic of their idea (i.e. social media followers, blog subscribers, email list, etc.). Create a simple survey on Surveymonkey, Polldaddy or Google Forms and send it to your audience to fill out. Clearly ask them if:

  • They would be interested to learn about [insert your exact idea]
  • They would be willing to pay for this knowledge
  • There is any other problem related to [insert your general topic] that they would like to learn to solve.

At the end of the survey, ask for their email addresses (but make this optional). Not only will you have a few more emails to add to your email list, but it will also allow you to value some opinions over others – those who opt into mailing lists are usually more interested and committed than those who don’t. This isn’t always a rule of thumb, you should still judge the results primarily. But if a bunch of people give you their email addresses, then it’s a super good sign of interest.  

Ok, but what if you don’t have an email list or blog subscribers to send your survey too?

Use those Facebook groups! Once again, do a search and find the Facebook groups that are relevant to the topic your researching so you can reach out to your ideal audience. Find ones that have the most followers and activity, and post your survey on the group. Before you do that, make sure you review the group rules so not to annoy anyone, or ask the group admin if you want to be extra safe.

The most important part of this method is to be very specific in the way you ask your questions. If your question is too general, like “what do you want to learn about?”, the answers you’ll get back will be weak, all over the place and useless. By giving your audience a specific area to focus on, like asking them about their own challenges in a specific area, they will be better able to give you exactly what you’re looking for.

Differentiate from your competition

Is the content out there around your idea targeting one gender and not the other? Then target the other gender!

Depending on how niche your idea is, you might not have direct video competition. You might have competition in different forms of content – blogs, social media, etc. This is actually the best case scenario, because your idea existing in other forms means it’s a validated idea demand-wise, but that you don’t have direct competition since it’s never existed in video format before.

Now you’re probably wondering – what if the content does exist online, but it’s free? Why would anyone pay for my content in this case?

Well, we wrote a blog post about just that to calm your mind – 8 Reasons People Pay for Content When They Can Get It For Free.

If you weren’t able to validate any of the three ideas from lesson 2, don’t fret. This is actually likely to happen and is a part of the whole process. Go back to phase 1 and brainstorm some more. You will come up with something really good the second time around, because you will have done a lot of the validation legwork and will have understood the market a little better.

Keep doing this brainstorming/validating cycle until something passes validation.

Lesson 4:

Who, what, and where

Go to Lesson 4