Live events are officially a big deal. As the world gears up for a different way of communicating and doing business, live events have become the smart choice for reaching larger audiences and making money.
It may seem like a stretch and even a slog, but the idea of hosting and making money from your live event is easier than you think.
How do you monetize live events? The great news is that you have options. I’ll show you seven proven methods you can take and apply to your brand along with tips to help you get started.
But first, why should you monetize your live events?
Why you should monetize live events
If you’ve seen a lot of jaw-dropping live streaming statistics floating about, that’s for good reason. Live events offer tremendous brand value. Here are three powerful reasons why you should start monetizing yours:
A new revenue stream
The first is most obvious, monetizing live events means creating a revenue stream. A new revenue stream also means more opportunity. If you’ve struggled to grow your business, especially in 2020, the money made from monetizing live events can help scale your brand faster.
More long-term customers
Adopting live events into your brand’s communication and revenue model expands your reach and strengthens brand equity. While some might cringe at the idea of consistently creating live streams for clients, don’t. The more you engage with customers, the greater your chance at finding new ways to serve them.
As long as you put your audience and customers first, you’ll become a valuable resource for information. This brings me to the third and very valuable reason…
Become a thought leader
Live content is more than just a way to make more money. When done right, it positions brands as thought leaders. The right live stream topics provide attendees with a deeper understanding of key ideas they want to grasp. And if you can present valuable insights during your live events, you’ll find yourself commanding a considerable amount of mindshare in your industry.
Top 7 Ways to Monetize Live Stream Events
With seven choices, picking one can seem a little hairy. But what’s great about these options is that you’re able to find one that’s most aligned with where your business is right now.
Some of the models below require special live streaming platforms, but they are easy to work with. Here are seven ways to monetize your live events.
1. Monetize live events with subscriptions
Live event subscriptions allow you to charge a set recurring fee for access to your live events. This monetization model relies on a video-on-demand platform like Uscreen. It makes broadcasting your live stream a breeze and comes with more than just the ability to charge viewers for access to your video.
Take Button TV. It’s a channel dedicated to sharing sets from poets, curated episodes, documentaries, interviews, and so much more. When Button TV broadcasts live events, Uscreen automatically records all live streams so they can later offer videos within Button TV’s catalog. This means people get to watch them whenever they want, a service Button TV can charge for.
Tips for creating a subscription live stream
- Find a platform that can broadcast live and offer recordings you can sell after the event
- Make sure your platform can easily sell live stream seats and recordings as part of a subscription model that’s billing monthly, weekly, or annually
2. Monetize live events with pay-per-view
Pay-per-view is just what you think it is. People pay for access to view a live event. Pay-per-view isn’t a new idea, but it’s a powerful one. With the right marketing, you can attract large audiences and charge a fee for your event.
HighVibe TV is a spiritual lifestyle media network. It showcases exclusive daily, weekly, and monthly content you can pay to view.
Tips for creating a pay-per-view live stream
- Find a platform that can broadcast live and offer recordings you can sell after the event
- Make sure your platform can easily sell live stream seats and recordings
3. Sell your own products
Live streams can also be used to promote your site and sell your products and services. Remember, when you go live, your event should be about offering value your audience can’t live without. If you can present information that they need, and your product or service is the logical next step to helping them realize a personal or professional goal, you’re on the right track.
Amy Porterfield often hosts live streams through Facebook. She uses live streams as a way to position her products. She offers a free guide and workbook on identifying your niche and ideal client. This offer is a great way to build a large email list to sell to.
Tips for selling products and services on a live stream
- Make your product and service directly related to your event content.
- Make it easy to buy or sign-up for your offer.
- Don’t hesitate when sharing the offer. Be confident that it is valuable and people will want it or you will seem to lose credibility when you make your offer.
4. Monetize live events with sponsorships
Sponsorships are like paid ads and can be a lucrative way to monetize live events if you have a large enough audience and sponsors who want access to it. Sponsors are willing to pay for ad placement in live streams to audiences that meet their demographic.
Sponsorship deals can include anything from a quick mention with around a minute of advertising or something a little more elaborate like sponsored tiles.
Think Media’s video spends around a minute introducing VidIQ and how to get hold of the app.
Social walls and sponsored tiles are another ingenious way to generate revenue from your live event. A social wall displays social media posts shared by your viewers, speakers, and sponsors.
By integrating your live streaming tool with a social wall, you open up a way for viewers to interact with each other and with the speakers without having to install any additional software.
A social wall is easily embedded into your live stream setup, doesn’t require any downloads, and is completely user-friendly.
Social walls can give your sponsors an additional spot on your live event to buy and display the ads as sponsored tiles next to your live stream. This way you make sure the ads get seen by lots of viewers. Sponsors will be happy to see their ads and viewers will be equally happy to see their social media content.
Tomorrowland used a social media wall and monetized their live event using social tiles. Learn more about the virtual Tomorrowland live stream event and how they monetized it using sponsored ads and social walls.
Tips for using sponsorship in your live stream
- Grow your audience before approaching sponsors. They want to reach as many people as possible.
- Align your brand with sponsors that add value to it and have something worthwhile to offer your audience.
5. Monetize live events with donations
Donations, while typically associated with non-profit organizations, aren’t limited to those kinds of entities. Receiving donations is possible during a live stream, you just need an easy way to make that happen.
Polaris uses Facebook for live streams and to accept donations.
Pat Flynn, a well-known online entrepreneur uses YouTube to receive donations through chat.
Whatever your choice, be sure you pay attention to the details surrounding donation and how they work on your platforms of choice. Facebook, for example, requires that your channel be verified before you can begin receiving donations.
Tips for receiving donations during live streams
- Use a platform that makes it easy to receive donations
- Let your audience know that they can donate if they want to
- If you’re collecting donations for a cause, be sure to explain what it is and how the donations help
6. Monetize live events with affiliate offers
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to monetize live videos. Affiliate programs are built by brands that want to reach and sell to larger audiences. Through affiliate programs, they give entrepreneurs and brands a way to earn referral fees for every new client or lead that you refer to them.
Referral fees are typically a percentage of each sale, starting at 5% to as high as 75%. Think Media strategically places an affiliate link in the description of this YouTube live stream.
Tips for making affiliate offers during live streams
- Find offers that a related to your live stream
- Offers must be aligned with your audience
- Don’t sell. Explain how affiliate offers benefit your audience.
7. Monetize live events using advertisements
Advertisements are a great way to monetize live events. They appear throughout live streams, and while they may come across as interruptive, they are often short. Adverts are also an easy way to get started with live stream monetization. In most cases, you simply need to activate an advertisement option on your profile.
In this example, VidSummit uses a pre ad roll showcasing Facebook Launchpad during the live event.
Tips for using advertisements in your live stream
- Use a platform that offers a fair advertising model
- Ensure that your channel doesn’t violate the platform’s advertising policy
Over to you
Live event monetization is low-hanging fruit. With these and many other ways to turn your live streams into money-generating tools, you’re able to grow your brand faster. But be sure to build live events around topics that audiences find value in.