Monetizing a website is a challenge. There are dozens of online platforms competing for your users’ attention, trying to keep them engaged and away from the competition. The competition also includes you.
How do you beat them?
How do you keep your users engaged better?
And how can you monetize your online community?
In this post, I’ll teach you exactly how to do that with CometChat Go, a plug-and-play solution to get your website chat ready in no time!
Some Hard Truths First
Building, managing, and growing an online community takes time and hard work. It’s a reward unto itself. But eventually, the bills arrive. And they will not pay themselves.
It’s more rewarding to see your hard work turn into cash than frustration and desperation. And when that effort pays off, there’s nothing like it.
Sure, you can use ads to get the revenue ball rolling. But unless you’re happy with just covering your hosting costs, ads are one of the worst revenue models for small to medium online communities.
And, many users don’t like to see ads anyway.
So, what’s the best way to monetize then?
There are quite a few, but all of them have one thing in common: they engage with your users directly.
And how do you engage with users directly online these days?
With chat, of course!
Why Use Chat (& Bots) to Monetize
As per Mobile Marketer, “...the most successful apps today are those with a strong social engagement component.”
Having a chat feature on your online community creates an innate way for your users to communicate with not just you, but also with each other. This allows them to express themselves, share their ideas and opinions, and communicate with like-minded people who share common interests.
This leads to more user engagement, which leads to better monetization opportunities for you.
You should note that you’re not monetizing your user base directly. You’re monetizing user engagement for the value you provide to them.
“Companies that employ technology effectively to identify, understand, and provide highly personalized experiences to their customers with engaging content will succeed, while those that hesitate to fully embrace personalization will be left behind.” — Advanced Advertising by Adobe
Chat (and Chatbots) are the hottest go-to tool to deliver personalized marketing to users. Big brands such as Facebook, Google, and Telegram have already disrupted this area by creating their own chatbots and chat platforms.
Whether you’re a startup, an edutech site, or an online community of like-minded people, adding chat functionality to your website and app can enhance the experience of your users significantly.
How to Monetize Your Site Using CometChat Go
Chat is great, and bots are cool. All that is fine and dandy!
Now, the billion-dollar question is: How can you monetize your online community with chat?
That’s where CometChat Go comes in. Here are five amazing ways you can use it to monetize your online community:
1. Restricted Content & Features
Everyone likes free stuff! An intuitive chatbot is a great way to get users hooked to your community. And if your users like the value you provide them, they’re more likely to sign up for your paid plans.
MailChimp is a perfect example of a freemium business model done right. You can use almost all its features for free for sending emails to your first 2000 subscribers (with a limit of up to 12,000 emails per month).
If you want to use advanced email marketing features such as automation, or you’ve outgrown your free subscribers limit, then you have to shift to one of their paid plans.
Setting Role Based Permissions in CometChat Go.
CometChat Go lets you set Role Based Access Control for your users through its settings. You can use this to your advantage and restrict premium content and features to only users with certain roles.
Almost all popular CMS platforms let you define as many user roles as you want. This opens up a lot of monetization opportunities for you.
2. Native Ads & Sponsored Content
Native Ads and Sponsored Content are one of the most effective content marketing techniques, and perhaps the most divisive one too. Naturally, brands want to cash in on it.
The secret sauce behind native advertising is to make it appear as organic as possible. Sponsored content on the other hand is pretty straightforward.
“Chat. . . platforms offer a path that could potentially reach audiences without too much intrusive branding.” — Contently
You should ensure that the ads you’re putting up on your platform aligns with the interests of your core user base. For instance, if you’re an online tutor, the ads could be related to the educational tools and resources your students can use, such as ebooks, video lectures, tablets, etc.
An example of ads inside CometChat Go’s chat module.
CometChat Go is highly customizable. You can insert ads in your chat module with ease through its dashboard.
Microtransactions allow users to pay for add-0ns or additional features or add-ons. They’re a norm in most mobile games and apps.
CometChat Go’s Credits Deduction feature allows you to deduct credits from users for using premium features such as audio, video, etc.
Charge your users for using various chat features.
Find out which features can bring additional value to your users. And then charge them for providing that value.
Video chat is a premium feature. Monetize it.
For example, Tinder charges its users to see whether the messages they’ve sent to their matches are Seen by them. Similarly, MyGreatDating.com, a French dating platform, uses CometChat Go to monetize their online community.
The best way to find out which features to charge your users for is to listen to them. Check with them if it’s something they’re willing to pay for. If even a fraction of your user base is on board, then you’re good to go.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is nothing new and is almost as old as the internet itself. It has grown rapidly in the last decade and is now a multibillion dollar industry.
At its core, affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing marketing program. You promote the products of a company. And if successful, the company shares a small commission with you. Amazon’s Affiliate Program is the most popular program of its kind.
Now, how can you use chat to leverage this to your benefit?
Say you’re the owner of an adventure blog and you have a highly engaged audience. Your users will always be on the lookout for quality adventure gear. You can use your experience and knowledge in this industry to suggest them products that they’ll love.
If you can figure out a way to automate this with chatbots, even better. It’s a win-win scenario for both you and your users.
Add value to your community members and get paid for it.
CometChat Go also supports sending push notifications to your users. If there’s a sale on a product that you think your community will be interested in, you can share its affiliate link with them. Don’t forget to include how it can add value to them. Otherwise, it’ll seem like an intrusive ad.
5. Lead Generation
Chatbots can be used as an alternative to landing pages to generate leads.
How? You create a simple questionnaire in your chatbot and entice readers to fill it. It’s best practice to offer new users something valuable in return for providing information such as their name, email, phone, etc. A freebie like an ebook or webinar is a great example to get started.
The chatbot records the user’s information, validates it, and then stores it in your backend as usual. You can also set it up to send emails to you every time you generate a lead, just like a contact form on your website would.
CometChat Go integrates effortlessly with dozens of web platforms. And if you think it’s missing something, you can suggest us new features that you’d like to see. We’re always listening to what our community wants!
As per Internet World Stats, almost 90% of adults in North America and Europe are regular internet users. Even my friend’s grandma is online. She mostly shares content about cats and cooking. Curiously, it’s the same as what I usually do.
Consumer preferences have shifted over the past decade. More than 45% users prefer contacting businesses through messaging than email. Over 49% of users prefer to chat rather than dial a number, even with their friends and family.
Converting web traffic into a profitable, recurring revenue separates successful online businesses from the rest. And as we’ve seen, the future of revenue generation is conversational. CometChat Go is here to help you in this journey.
Experience a live demo of CometChat Go and see for yourself how it can add value to your online community.