When you’re running a content-based membership website or posting content online to build you brand, one of the first things you’re going to have to decide is the format of the content.
Will it just be text? Will it be audio, in the form of recordings or interviews? Or will it be a video of you talking?
The two most important things to evaluate for each choice are its ease of production and its perceived value.
Ease of Production
What should you consider when you’re trying to gauge how easy or hard the content is going to be to produce?
First, evaluate any “additional” tasks that need to be done in order to fulfill on one product.
For example, with DVDs, you’ll need to edit the video and coordinate with fulfillment in addition to filming the product. Text, on the other hand, doesn’t have that additional task.
Then consider whether or not outsourcing is possible. Video, especially of you, pretty much can’t be outsourced.
Audio, on the other hand, can take the form of interviews or even audios of other people, so long as they’re recognized or are perceived as a credible source of information in your industry.
In other words, if you can have someone else do the hard work every once in a while, that can make it a lot easier in the long run.
As a rule of thumb text will be the easiest to produce, followed by audio and finally video.
There’s an almost inverse relationship between perceived value and the ease of production.
In other words, a video has the highest perceived value, audio next and text the lowest.
People will only be willing to pay as much as they believe something is worth; usually a bit less.
In other words, you need a perceived value of at least $50 a month if you want to charge $35 for a membership site.
If your using content to build your brand, (which you should), then you can get a competitive advantage by posting more videos then text.
The videos can give you and your brand a higher value rating, vs you just posting text or some pictures.
A solid strategy would be a combination of text, images, audio and video with video being the highlight and a video posted at a minimum once a week. The other days you can post text, images and audios.
What else influences perceived value?
After all, one subscription might charge $20 a month for content, while another charges $200. It’s not just the format.
First and most importantly, what is the solution worth to the subscriber?
If you can solve someone’s marriage problems, that’s worth a lot more than teaching someone to perform magic, for example.
Who you are also plays a big role. How well known is your name in your industry?
A no-name financial analyst might only be able to charge $50 a month for a newsletter, while Warren Buffet could easily charge $5,000.
All that said, the actual format still plays a big role. You’ll be able to charge as much as quadruple for video than text.
At the end of the day, the two questions you should ask yourself are:
- A) How much money do you want to make? And
- B) How much work do you want to do?
Based on these two answers, pick the format that makes the most sense.