In a world with YouTube millionaires and internet sensations, the sky’s the limit when it comes selling your videos online. Sadly, many people write this possibility off as a mere pipe dream or something that only happens to the very lucky. But even before COVID-19 took the world by storm, causing businesses, academic institutions, and edupreneurs to flock to remote training in droves, many were already creating online videos as a valid, lucrative, and fun source of passive income!
By 2020, there will be almost a million minutes of video per second crossing the internet . . . By then, 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video (Source: Cisco).
That said, few things are more paralyzing than a destination point without a roadmap. Whether you’re new to selling live or on-demand videos, or a seasoned veteran in the undertaking, the secret is using the right platform, one that offers an ideal combination of features, functionality, and flexibility.
Clearly, the burgeoning demand for online video content has flooded the market with e-commerce platforms that host, market, and sell your videos online. The sheer number of options can be dizzying. Fortunately, in this article, we’re going to introduce you to Uscreen, a video monetization platform that’s been steadily eclipsing competitors as it gains ground.
If your goal is selling online videos, then aside from the video content itself, your single most important consideration will be the platform you’re going to use to host and distribute your videos. Uscreen is an all-inclusive solution that does the heavy lifting for the entire process of hosting, marketing, and selling your videos. While it might be tempting to lump it into the same category as YouTube, it’s quite different. While YouTube monetizes your videos via ad-based video-on-demand (AVOD) consumption, Uscreen monetizes your platforms via a variety of streams. Moreover, it’s much harder to make a notable, let alone stable, profit using the AVOD model.
In contrast, Uscreen offers both video-on-demand (VOD) and live streaming options to sell your videos online. Often referred to as the Netflix of video monetization platforms, Uscreen provides a website with a high-converting storefront and sales funnel that is simple, intuitive, and hosts a breadth of customizable options. As a result, it’s not uncommon for Uscreen video creators to earning $30,000+ monthly!
Effortlessly track sales and leverage Uscreen’s detailed analytics to grow your business, employ your HTML/CSS skills to make custom alterations to your website, or get lost in Uscreen’s maze of built-in options. You can also seamlessly deliver your video content on a wide variety of devices such as Android or iOS. Another unique touch is creating native apps with Roku and Apple TV. This allows you to bolster sales by casting a wider net that targets a diverse audience with unique viewing habits. And for all that functionality, no coding is required! Even still, unlike many software as a service (SaaS) platforms, Uscreen offers ‘round-the-clock, live customer support for newbies!
But the best part is that, with Uscreen, you are truly the master of your domain. There is no revenue sharing, hidden fees, or any costs beyond a flat monthly fee. Better yet, you completely own and export all your customer data; this rare yet crucial feature is yet another example of what truly sets Uscreen apart from the herd.
Getting Started with Uscreen
Now that you know what Uscreen is and why it’s the optimal choice for marketing and selling videos online, you’re probably keen to get going. In this section, we provide 8 simple steps that walk you through the entire setup to sales process!
Step 1. Sign up
Go to the Uscreen website and sign up for a free 14-day trial by inputting your name, email, and credit card details. Note that you won’t be charged until the trial period expires.
As soon as you’re authenticated, you’ll be taken to the “dashboard”, the main page of the back end with all the admin features listed on the left-hand margin.
The rest of this article covers each of these features in the context of each step.
Step 2. Upload and organize your content
Step 2 presupposes that you have pre-recorded content ready to upload. Just navigate to “Content” in the left margin and at the center of the screen you’ll see an option to upload your videos from your computer or Dropbox. The best part is that it’s a bulk video editor, meaning you won’t have to repeat the process for every individual file.
Once your content is uploaded to the platform, you can begin organizing it in accordance with your sales model. For example, if you’re planning to upload movies, then an individual setup is best. Whereas educational content, training videos, or progression-type content can be effortlessly organized into a series of videos, learning paths, or curriculum. As you can see, Uscreen offers ample flexibility to meet your diverse needs.
Moreover, as shown on the image above, under “Organize”, you can create video categories, add custom filters, and list authors. First, under “Categories”, enter the category title, description, and thumbnail.
You can even specify which order each category will appear on your storefront by picking a “position number”, or much more expeditiously, the drag and drop tool under “Sort Content”.
Note that Uscreen also enables you to upload additional content types, including Word documents, PDFs, and most audio formats.
Once all your content’s been uploaded to the platform, the next step is to describe each offering and price them accordingly. Click “Edit” next to your uploaded video to access these options.
Lastly, add in your video details, such as the title and description. You can even make the videos downloadable and enable subtitles for accessibility.
Step 3. Set your pricing
Uscreen’s platform is highly intuitive. Not only is the sidebar available at all times in the dashboard to navigate to key features easily, but it’s structured such that the next logical step is apparent just by looking at the page that you’re on. For example, right underneath video details, you’ll see the “Pricing” link.
But while pricing your products on Uscreen is straightforward to do, it’s worth noting all the pricing models at your disposal to best leverage them. From one-time purchases to subscriptions, rentals, and free offers, you have the flexibility to choose pricing model that suits your business needs/revenue goals.
Moreover, any video ecommerce platform worth its salt offers incentivization tactics, and Uscreen is no exception! If you have any customers who are sitting on the fence, you can offer coupons, free giveaways, and bundle items, or you can offer trial periods for your content.
Note that these promotional offers are located under “Marketing” in the leftmost margin.
Step 4. Customize your website
Once your content is uploaded, organized, and priced, it’s time to envision your storefront and how your video offerings will look on it. Fortunately, all Uscreen plans offer attractive, full-fledged, ready-made websites that have been tried and tested to maximize customer conversions. Moreover, you can choose from 8 professional themes – nearly double the number of themes afforded by most other eCommerce platforms.
And the best part is there’s no coding or technological proficiency required. That notwithstanding, if you do have some HTML/CSS skills, or access to a developer, then you can also customize your storefront using code. This is yet another example of Uscreen’s commitment to customer satisfaction. It is saturated with convenient and practical features that cater to a diverse user base of techies and non-techies alike.
Feel free to add your personal touch if you need coding, or take advantage of the many customization options using the theme editor and live preview features. The theme editor is accessed from the same place as the code editor; just click the blue “Customize” button, as shown above.
Moreover, each website theme hosts a broad array of options, including a main banner, branding options such as your logo and color scheme, navigation, and “Why Us?” or “About Us” pages. You can even add an explainer video or testimonials to your website! And any changes can be live previewed live to visualize before finalize. Going a step further, there’s even options to preview your site on various mobile devices, as shown at the top-center of the following image.
What’s more? Each of these aforementioned options yields their own array of sub-options. For example, “Navigation” allows you to display text on the left-hand navigation pane, add your company logo and adjust its size, and include background colors of varying opacity. Just be sure to save your changes before exiting the theme/visual editor.
Take your time and play around with the customization options to get the desired look and feel for your website. Your storefront is the first point of contact with prospective customers. First impressions are absolutely crucial. An incomplete or unprofessional storefront could lead to similar assumptions about your offerings.
When building your website, be sure to customize both your home page, or storefront, and common pages like the video catalogue, checkout, and account pages. They also make for excellent real estate for branding. Speaking of branding, Uscreen can also help you set up a custom domain name, thereby allowing you to take full credit for the site! To customize your domain name, instead of using Uscreen’s default domain, navigate to settings from the dashboard, click “Domain Settings”, and follow the instructions.
Lastly, don’t forget to configure your SEO settings to maximize visibility. This setting is also available from the main pane of the theme editor, as shown above.
Step 5. Market your videos
Now we’re getting to the fun part – the monetization aspect of this process! Uscreen offers a wide range of methods to both gain and retain customers; you can really get creative here.
When you incentivize your offers with these marketing tools, your customers will feel valued. And they’re more apt to be satisfied when they know they’ve gotten a deal on your products. As such, you reduce “churnover”. You can offer coupons at either percentage or fixed-price discounts, and apply them to subscriptions, bundles, and/or specific video content. And of course, you can set the coupon expiration date to any time you choose!
Moreover, coupons enable upselling and cross-selling to your existing customer base. Not only are these strategies excellent for bolstering revenue, but these well-considered “suggestions” will strengthen your client relationships and keep them coming back for more! To make strategic upsells and cross-sells, from the dashboard, click “People” to select from a list of active users (as above).
In addition, Uscreen offers sophisticated marketing tools that “target” users. For example, if your customer abandons ship mid-transaction, you can give him/her a little push in the right direction by configuring automated emails that offer discounts to reel them back in. Or you could reinstate free trials periods for customers that didn’t convert or need more time beyond the expiry date. These types of marketing features are crucial for converting customers who are straddling the fence.
If a user abandons cart, then you can configure an automated email to send 15 minutes after inactivity, then 6 hours of inactivity. And if still nothing, then you can automate a final email that goes out 24 hours later and creates urgency (e.g., final offers). Fortunately, Uscreen provides guidance on how to write each email, as pictured above.
It’s also worth noting that Uscreen grants access to a complimentary library of email templates, if you’re ever stumped for words. To access these templates, go to “Settings” at the bottom of the left navigation pane and click “Email Templates”.
Finally, to reduce churn and prevent user cancellations, consider configuring an automated discount offer as a last-ditch attempt at retaining their business. You can also prompt “churners” to provide feedback about why they’re cancelling their subscription.
These feedback surveys mainly reduce churn by offering the required insight to prevent future cancellations.
In addition to all these promotional tools, Uscreen offers an unparalleled number of integrations to unlock the full potential of your site and sales. Do you have an affiliate marketing network that you’d like to bring on board? No problem! Uscreen is compatible with software apps such as Rewardful for affiliate/referral programs, Mailchimp for email campaigns, and social media apps like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to yield external traffic.
You can access the above-pictured integrations by navigating to Settings “Integrations”. But quite frankly, we’ve barely scratched the surface. Uscreen integrates with a whopping 1000+ apps ranging from automated email marketing software to graphic tools and affiliate marketing capabilities. As such, Uscreen is one of the most flexible and convenient online video-selling platforms on the market!
Step 6. Set up your payment gateways
While Uscreen does most of the heavy lifting, you are in the driver’s seat. That’s why Uscreen offers a host of different payment gateways to meet your specific needs, and those of your customers.
Natively, Uscreen accepts credit card and PayPal transactions, which only take 1 business day to process. It also integrates with Stripe and Authorize.Net, thereby further enabling debit card transactions.
Moreover, thanks to Uscreen’s setup, you can accept over 130 international currencies – yet another obvious feature that many eCommerce platforms surprisingly overlook. But when you’re selling videos online, or any type of digital content, the whole world is a potential audience. Few things are more frustrating than losing an interested buyer due to mere payment/currency logistics.
Step 7. Gather insight from detailed analytics
As mentioned, with Uscreen, you completely own all your customer information. While this might sound par for the course, many eCommerce platforms will withhold this information. But keeping you in the dark about user analytics limits your insight into your customer base. How can you continuously improve if you don’t know how your users are interacting with your content and storefront? Fortunately, while Uscreen does the heavy lifting for you, it’s completely hands-off when it comes to your customers. You can communicate freely and directly with them on your own terms; there’s no middleman or pockets in between.
In keeping with their user-friendly interface, the option to view analytics is near the bottom of the left margin.
Uscreen offers robust and detailed analytics right out of the platform. It reports on regular statistics such as your total number of views and total watch-time hours. To help you narrow things down, you can also request reports for a given time period (days, weeks, months). Most impressively, it provides reports on seemingly-inconsequential data like the user’s country or browsing device(s) they use. However, user activity merely offers one side of the story. You also need deep insight into your sales activity!
As shown above, Uscreen allows you to analyze your online video store from a sales point of view. In addition to invoices, Uscreen generates payouts, monthly and annual sales reports, as well as coupon redemption reports straight out of the box! But be that as it may, you still have the option to entirely supplement or enhance the reporting and analysis process using Uscreen’s plethora of integrations. For example, Google Analytics is practically a must, as well as Google Tag Manager. Used together, you can get a close-up, 360-degree view of your audience’s activity, needs, and interests.
Moreover, integrations are great for tracking various pixels, leads, and traffic from your marketing efforts, especially external traffic from your social media channels. As a result, you can effortlessly track and leverage your leads from outside advertisements.
While Uscreen’s unrivaled analytics let you view your business from a bird’s eye view, it also allows you to zoom in and out of each crucial dataset to ensure that your business is on the right track!
Step 8. Rake it in!
There’s not much left to do, so this step is as simple as it sounds! Just sit back and watch the money flow in. But stay diligent. Always be on the lookout for new features while keeping a steady eye on your user and sales analytics to ensure that you’re staying the course.
Uscreen OTT Apps
Last but far from least, Uscreen enables you to create native apps that are compatible with the following smart devices (image below):
At face value, creating native apps might just seem like extra work. But not only is it a breeze with Uscreen, on average, users experience around a 30% increase in revenue. This ultimately amounts to extra flexibility regarding content distribution strategies. As a matter of fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a platform for online video sales that allows for creating native apps. This opens up doors for users to access your content anywhere, at any time.
To get started, near the bottom-left of Uscreen’s dashboard, go ahead click “Distribution”. Then, once you’re there, click “Request App” for your chosen smart device, and it’ll guide you through the steps for creating a developer account. First enter your email address, storefront name, and select which apps you’d like to order.
Furthermore, you can incorporate branding elements into your native apps, as you did with your website, to truly make it your own. Uscreen automatically syncs your complete website catalogue, uploaded content, and even filtering system to your native apps. You really can’t go wrong. Creating native apps helps prepare your business for the wave of the future. Don’t fall by the wayside by only leveraging traditional distribution models for your online videos. Taking advantage of Uscreen’s native app feature will keep you ahead of the curve.
Beyond that, you’ll barely have to lift a finger; Uscreen takes care of the rest.
Uscreen pricing starts at $49 per month for the basic plan (paid annually), which stops short of supporting live streaming. Note that Uscreen is clearly trying to encourage annual subscriptions – the price for basic jumps to $99 with the month-by-month option and to $499 for Amplify. Note, too, that there is a 50 cent per subscriber fee monthly (i.e., $6 per year) and Uscreen charges a 5% fee on single transactions (i.e., sales that aren’t subscriptions).
Uscreen Review: Final thoughts
Uscreen is quickly making its presence known within the video eCommerce world. Regardless of whether you’re a software developer, seasoned videographer, or completely green, you’ll find that Uscreen strikes a nice balance between user-friendly and fully-functional. It hand-holds you throughout the entire process, ensuring that you won’t lose time or money from navigating a poorly-designed interface.
You can set up a fully-functional website in just a few clicks, and make it your own with a customizable domain name, logos, color schemes, and themes. The sheer breadth of themes Uscreen offers sets it apart from the herd, and allows you to achieve the exact look and feel you want. But you can also add your personal touch to any aspect of your site by leveraging the HTML/CSS code editor. Once your storefront is setup, it’s simply a matter of uploading and organizing your content before determining which sales, marketing, and content distribution models best suit your needs.
While Uscreen isn’t the cheapest option on the market, starting at $99/monthly for the basic plan, it provides the best bang for your buck. But you don’t have to make any commitments now.
Download Uscreen’s free 14-day trial to get started today!
By Sydney Mansaray for Learning Revolution
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