How To Sell Videos Online: The Beginner’s Guide
Want to learn how to sell videos online? Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the whole process of selling videos step-by-step. First, we’ll discuss how to plan your content and create video content that audiences will love.
Then, we’ll show you how to list your videos for sale on your website and online marketplaces.
And finally, we’ll show how to drive a ton of sales fast with some powerful online marketing strategies.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Why sell videos online?
Before we jump into the guide, let’s look at some of the reasons you might want to sell videos online, instead of other products:
- Demand for video is sky-high. Consumers are mad about video right now. Total video watch time increased by a whopping 85% in 2020 alone. And in general, demand has been trending upward for a long time. You only have to look at the meteoric growth of VOD platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus and video-sharing social networks like TikTok to see that. All that demand means it’s easier to sell videos now than ever before.
- You’re never out of stock. When you sell digital content like video, you never have to worry about running out of stock. You only have to create the product once and you can sell it over and over again an unlimited number of times with no need to restock and no manufacturing costs.
- High intrinsic value. Compared to other forms of digital content like images and text, videos are widely seen as having more intrinsic value, so they’re an easier sell to potential customers.
- Easy to market. Videos are easy to market compared to other types of content as you can drive traffic through social video platforms like YouTube, TikTok, IGTV, etc. Plus, video content is 12x more shareable than images and text, which means your audience is much more likely to recommend it to their friends and family and do your marketing for you.
Creating your videos
The first step in selling videos online is to create your video content. If you’ve already recorded and published the videos you want to sell, skip this section. If not, read on and we’ll walk you through it.
Decide what type of videos you want to sell
First, you’re going to need to decide what kind of video content you want to make and sell.
There are lots of different types of videos out there, but some of the most popular types (that tend to sell the best) include:
- Educational videos (e.g. online courses, how-to guides, tutorials, self-help videos, etc.)
- Workout videos (e.g. exercise routines and fitness programs)
- Short films (e.g. animated shorts, live-action shorts, documentaries, etc.)
- Exclusive live streams (e.g. webinars, streaming videos, etc.)
If you already have an existing audience, it makes sense to create videos on topics that you know will resonate with them.
For example, if you’re a fitness influencer with a large following on Instagram, you could probably sell a fitness program video series to your followers.
Or if you have a YouTube channel where you already post short-form animation sketches, you could create feature-length animated movies, or a cartoon series, and drive sales from your channel.
If you don’t already have an audience, consider what kind of content you’d like to create and start there.
Is there anything you’re particularly interested in or passionate about? Are you knowledgeable in a particular area, and could you turn that into educational content? You get the idea.
Research the market
Once you know what kind of videos you want to sell, the next step is to validate your idea by making sure there’s demand for it.
The best way to do this is to comb through VOD platforms like YouTube, Udemy, etc. to see if there’s already similar content to what you have in mind out there and that lots of people watch it.
You can also use keyword research tools to see how many people are searching for that type of video content every month, which can give you an idea of whether or not your product might be in demand.
In addition to making sure there’s demand out there, you’ll also want to assess the competition: Is the market saturated? How will you make your product stand out from your competitors?
And don’t forget to research your target audience. Make sure you’re clear on exactly who your customers are, what they expect from video content, and how to reach them.
Choose a payment structure
The next step is to decide how you’re going to price your video content. You have a few options here.
One of the most common ways to sell videos online is through a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) model.
Under this pricing structure, your viewers will pay regular monthly payments for access to your entire video catalog (much like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, etc.). It’s also a great way to sell video courses.
Naturally, SVOD payment models will only make sense if you have multiple videos.
If you only have one video to sell, it might make more sense to sell access to it for one-time payments, rather than monthly subscriptions.
Another cool option is to set up pay-what-you-want (PWYW) pricing. Under this model, viewers can decide how much they want to pay for your video based on what they think it’s worth. It can work well but you’ll be relying on your audience’s generosity.
And of course, there are even ways to monetize your video content without selling it.
For example, you could make your videos available to watch for free but use them to promote affiliate products that you earn commissions on. Or you could run ads to monetize your views or sell supporting digital downloads.
Plan your content
Now you have a rough plan in place of what you’re going to make and how you’re going to sell it, it’s time to plan the video itself.
There’s no right or wrong way to plan, and the process will depend largely on what kind of video you’re planning to produce, but it might involve:
- Outlining. Outline the basics like the theme of your video, the setting, etc. Break down the idea into scenes and draft the order you’re going to shoot them in
- Storyboarding. Create a visual representation of your video by drawing a series of sketches of each individual shot you’re going to record. You can use software like Storyboarder to do this digitally.
- Scripting. Write the video script, including all the dialogue between characters/presenters, additional notes on camera angles, descriptions of special effects, scene notes, etc.
- Revising. Review your script and storyboard and revise as needed to ensure it’s as good as it can be.
- Scheduling. Decide when and where you’re going to film and put together a shooting schedule.
Invest in recording equipment
If you plan on recording and producing the video yourself, you’ll need some equipment.
The equipment you’ll need will depend on the type of video content you’re trying to create and how complex it is to shoot.
If you’re just creating something simple, like a video course where you stand/sit in one place and present to the camera, you could probably get away with the basics: a good-quality camera, tripod, lighting, shotgun mic, and a green screen.
But if you’re planning on shooting complex action shots outdoors, you may need more sophisticated equipment like gimbals, camera rigs, drones, etc.
Record your videos
Finally, it’s time to record your video.
Unfortunately, we can’t give specific advice here as every shoot will be completely different. That said, some general tips are:
- Ensure that there is adequate lighting
- Think about acoustics (avoid echoes, background noise, etc.)
- Learn about videography first
- Shoot multiple takes
- Work on your camera presence
- Keep your recordings organized
- Take multiple memory cards and camera batteries
Edit your videos
Once you’re finished recording, the next stage is post-production. This is where you edit the raw film to cut and combine your footage together and add visual effects, music, sound effects, etc.
You’ll need video editing software for this, like Adobe Premiere Pro, Vegas Pro, Final Cut Pro, or Da Vinci Resolve. The latter has a free version that has very few limitations.
Typically, you’ll upload all your footage to a media library, and then pull individual clips onto the timeline in linear order, trimming and cutting them as needed.
You might also do some color correction, add video effects and transitions, sync up your audio, and do everything else you need to do to get your video ready to sell.
Once you’ve finished, you’ll need to render it to turn the timeline project into an actual video file that can be played and sold to customers.
You can choose what kind of file format you want to render it in; MP4 is the most popular. It’s the preferred format on YouTube, Apple, etc., and is supported by most devices and digital platforms.
How to sell videos on your website
The best way to sell online videos is through your own video website.
This is better than selling through a video selling platform as you won’t have to deal with all the extra charges and transaction fees—you get to keep 100% of the profits.
Plus, you’ll also have full control over the selling process. You can set up your online storefront in any way you want and set your own pricing, product pages, sales funnels, etc.
And the good news is creating your own website couldn’t be easier. Anyone can do it—no design or coding skills necessary—and it only takes three steps:
Step 1: Sign up for Sellfy
Sellfy is an ecommerce platform that you can use to build your online store website. It’s the perfect choice for video sellers as it’s easy to use, has no transaction fees, and comes with a bunch of built-in marketing tools.
Most importantly – it’s actually designed to sell videos.
It supports all types of digital products and lets you choose whether to make your videos downloadable or streamable. So you can offer both one-time payments for digital downloads as well as video-on-demand subscriptions.
Plus, you get unlimited bandwidth and storage, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space if you have a large video catalog. And all video types are supported, including AVI, Adobe Flash, MPEG-4, MPEG, QuickTime, and WebM formats.
To get started, head to Sellfy’s website and choose a subscription plan. You can start out with a 14-day free trial and upgrade to a paid plan later if you want to stick with it.
If you choose to upgrade, we’d recommend the Starter plan as it’s very affordable and should be sufficient for most beginner sellers.
Once you’ve signed up, log in to your account and you’ll be greeted by a setup wizard. Choose the option of creating a new Sellfy storefront and you should be brought to the dashboard area.
Related: Sellfy Review: The Easy Way To Sell Online?
Step 2: Upload your videos
Next, go to the Products tab and select Digital product > Add new product. Then, drag and drop your first video file into the upload area.
You’ll need to choose whether you want it to be downloadable or streamable, set a price, and enter some basic product details.
Once you’ve done this, click Save product to create the product page. Your video will now be live and ready for sale in your Sellfy store.
However, before you can accept payments, you’ll need to connect a payment processor too, which you can do via the Store settings page. Sellfy currently supports both Stripe and PayPal.
Step 3: Customize your website design
You can change the way your Sellfy store looks by changing the theme.
To do so, go to the Store settings tab and click Customization > Customize store > Store style > Browse themes. Then, choose your favorite.
You can then tweak the way your theme looks by changing the text, images, colors, and other design elements in the Store Customizer.
You can also connect a custom domain to your store from the Store settings page. This will change the URL your Sellfy site lives on.
You’ll need to purchase a custom domain from a registrar like GoDaddy before you can do this.
How to sell videos on marketplaces
If you don’t want to sell videos on your own website, you can sell them through a video selling platform or marketplace instead.
This will make it easier to start selling fast as you won’t need to build a website first.
However, the tradeoff is that you’ll have less control, and the platform that you sell through will usually take a cut of your sales revenue, so you’ll make less money per sale.
That said, if you still want to go down this route, here are some of your best options.
You can sell stock video footage through online stock footage marketplaces like Getty, iStock, and Shutterstock. These platforms tend to get a lot of traffic, but they’re also very saturated with content, and you won’t earn very much per sale, so your earning potential is severely limited.
You can sell exclusive video content to your existing audience through Patreon. It’s a popular community platform that you can use to sell subscription content to your fans. Fans support you as a creator by subscribing to your Patreon, and in return, you give them access to exclusive video content and other perks.
Another alternative to Patreon for adult video makers is OnlyFans. Content creators can use it to sell all kinds of exclusive content to their fans, but it’s best known for adult content.
You can sell your educational video content through Udemy. It’s an online course marketplace that connects instructors with students. All you have to do is sign up and list your video courses, and when students find and purchase them through Udemy, you’ll receive 37% of the revenue. If they sign up through your referral link, you’ll earn 97% of the revenue.
Finally, Uscreen is another all-in-one video monetization platform worth considering. It gives you multiple ways to sell your videos including as one-time purchases, as live streams, or on a subscription basis.
How to market your videos
Just because you’ve listed your videos for sale doesn’t mean the sales are going to immediately start flooding in—you’ve got to market them. With that in mind, here are some powerful marketing strategies you can try.
Drive traffic through YouTube
If you’re selling video content, YouTube is one of the best marketing channels available.
Why? Because by definition, YouTube users are people who already watch a lot of online video content, which makes them the ideal target market.
The basic strategy is to upload short, traffic-driving videos to your own YouTube channel, and subtly use them to promote your paid content.
For example, if you’re selling a full-length movie or documentary, you can upload trailers, highlights, blooper reels, or behind-the-scenes footage to your YouTube channel.
Just remember to include a CTA and a link in the description that points to your product page so that viewers that want to watch the whole thing can click through to buy it.
If you’re selling a video course, you could consider uploading the first episode of the course for free and using it to push traffic/sales to your online course page.
When you’re creating YouTube content, make sure you use eye-catching thumbnails and attention-grabbing titles to maximize your clicks. And if possible, create YouTube videos around popular search terms, then optimize them for those keywords.
Related: How To Promote Your YouTube Channel (18 Ways To Get More Views).
Use Sellfy’s marketing tools
Take advantage of the marketing tools included in your Sellfy subscription to maximize your website conversion rate and turn more of your visitors into paying customers.
For example, you can use the discount and coupon code feature to create promotional offers that encourage visitors to make a purchase
You can use upsells to push add-ons during the checkout process and upsell things like behind-the-scenes clips or other supplementary content. This helps maximize your average order values.
And you can use Sellfy’s email marketing tools to build your mailing list and nurture leads with thank you emails and special deal emails. Plus, implement abandoned cart emails to capture more sales that you might have lost.
Launch a paid ad campaign
You can advertise your video content through paid ad campaigns such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads. This is a great way to drive traffic to your product pages fast but it can be costly.
You’ll usually pay per click, so you’ll need to make sure a good chunk of those clicks are leading to conversions/sales in order to generate a positive return on investment.
YouTube advertising is a particularly good option if you’re selling videos as it lets you run video ads on the platform, where you can hook viewers in and give them a sneak peak of the product.
Run a social media contest
Running a social media contest is a great way to build hype around your video product fast. You can use giveaway tools like SweepWidget to set one up easily.
The idea is that you offer something as a prize (e.g. a package of your videos or other goodies) and set up the entry requirements. In order to enter, you can require participants to join your mailing list, share a social post, or anything else.
That concludes our in-depth guide on how to sell videos online.
The only thing left for you to do now is to start creating your online videos and making sales!
Just keep in mind that the thing that will have the biggest impact on your success is the quality of your video content. Make producing fantastic video content your top priority, and you’re bound to make sales eventually.
But if making great video content seems like a lot of work, you can always try selling other digital products that are easier to create instead.
I’d recommend checking out this guide on how to sell PDFs online. Or for the more musically inclined, here’s how to sell audio files and sound effects.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.