5 ways you can monetize video on Facebook

By Jed Williams, Local Media Association

Video and Facebook: two of the biggest buzzwords in our industry, but also two of the more confounding. Local media leaders realize there’s ample opportunity in both, but are often left shrugging their shoulders when it comes to designing a strategy that combines the best of both and can be directly monetized.

But, it doesn’t have to be an enigma! Here are a five fresh, generally lightweight approaches to driving new revenue through video on Facebook, and without compromising the viewer’s experience. Some provide direct revenue streams, others are indirect or integrated into larger programs, but all are finding success with local media properties just like yours!

Facebook Live with Advertisers: Some local media – TV broadcasters in particular – are creating custom Facebook Live streams for advertisers, featuring their own talent and often on-site with the brand.

WRAL.com Car Smarts: NC off-roading from the mountains to the …

Shift into gear, and tag a friend who loves their Jeep! More: wral.com/16790142/

Posted by WRAL TV on Monday, July 10, 2017

As part of its “Car Smarts” series, WRAL-TV in Raleigh produces Facebook Live videos in conjunction with a local dealer on automotive topics of interest like tailgating tips and car rental made easy. The series is bundled into a larger, multi-platform campaign that includes linear TV and website/mobile advertising. But the Facebook Live series added unique sizzle to the program that helped WRAL win the deal and increase the total order.

Facebook Live for “Tent Pole Events”: This was a key learning on LMA’s Innovation Mission visit earlier this year with Michael Page, VP Digital Sales at Tribune Broadcasting. Granted, Tribune has massive reach across its 40 local station brands, which it has leveraged to build huge Facebook audiences. However, its use of Facebook Live to cover what Page termed “tent pole events” is something that can be replicated in almost any market.

KTLA in Los Angeles live streamed the Rose Bowl Parade on Facebook and built a sizeable enough audience to sell sponsorships to Honda and Jack in the Box. Not every market has the Rose Bowl Parade, but every town has its own parades, festivals, conventions and other attractions that can be captured and monetized just the same. Take a page from Page and put Facebook Live to work for your events!

Sponsored Social Series: These original video programs don’t integrate the advertiser directly, as in the Facebook Live automotive example above. Rather, they are more customary sponsorships that associate a brand with unique content to create awareness. Videos can and should be distributed across multiple platforms: owned & operated sites, YouTube, and Facebook. In fact, Facebook often drives the highest engagement.

American Bar & Grill is the third stop on the 'Pete Eats Lanca…

American Bar & Grill is the next stop for the "Pete Eats Lancaster" tour of the top four places in the Lancaster area to get wings. In this episode, head chef Hector Martinez talks about the business and what goes into American Bar & Grill's wing sauces. Sponsored: Gochnauer's Home Appliance Center

Posted by LNP + LancasterOnline.com on Wednesday, August 9, 2017

LNP Media Group and LancasterOnline created an entertaining food critic series called “Pete Eats” in which the host frequents a different local venue each week to visit with the owner. The series is sponsored, distributed widely (with print and billboard promotion as well), and routinely drives thousands of views on Facebook. The series is being sold successfully at nearly $1,000 per week.

Facebook Branded Posts: This one is obvious, but still just being tapped into by many local media. Facebook has created more standardization and easier rules for creating branded posts on behalf of advertisers, with clearer sponsored designation for readers.

These also come with full analytics so an advertiser can analyze performance. It’s a surefire way to enable brands to leverage your established reputation and audience; just be careful to keep frequency in check to ensure a quality user experience. Here’s an example of a Branded Post from KTSM in El Paso (courtesy of Social News Desk).

Niche Partner Video: Deseret Media has created Facebook sub-brands such as “I Love My Family” as part of its FamilyShare.com brand. These niche brands are dedicated to uplifting content (inspiration videos, “life hacks,” and more) that spur massive engagement. The “I Love My Family” page, for example, has more than 10 million Likes.

To great dads

To great Dads, who can seemingly fix anything. Happy Father's Day! #SnackCakes #LittleDebbie #V4 #ad

Posted by I Love My Family (FamilyShare.com) on Thursday, June 15, 2017

The sheer size and engagement level of the audience, coupled with the specificity of the content, enable Deseret to integrate 3rd party partner videos with sponsorships, like this one from Little Debbie.

Jed Williams is the Chief Innovation Officer at the Local Media Association. Contact him at jed.williams@nulllocalmedia.org or follow him on twitter: @williamsjed