Webinar Review: Crowdfunding and Micropayment Revenue Streams

Making more money is at the core of every business. Sometimes you need to look outside of the box to find new streams of revenue. By taking a look at what other businesses have done successfully to raise funds, you can create a new marketing plan with these ideas at the forefront.

The LocalMedia Association put together a webinar titled, “Raising Revenue: Crowdfunding and Micropayments.” The video presentation and corresponding paper are by Beth Lawton, the Executive Direction of LION Publishers. She goes into detail describing both concepts and how they might work for publishers and journalists today.

What is Crowdfunding?

It’s a unique way to raise money for a business project that can be applied to virtually any type of operation. By posting about the project on a crowdfunding page, you would set a fundraising goal and an expiration date, along with detailed information about the product or service you ar
e raising funds for. If the goal is not met, the money goes back to the donors.

Since less than half of all crowdfunding projects reach their goal, but others are able to knock it out of the park and generate far more money than they set out to, it’s important to understand what makes a successful crowdfunding campaign. It starts with a realistic goal, a solid marketing plan, and a professional video. You want to earn trust and build a strong reputation. Networking is also key for building a successful campaign. The more people you have promoting the idea, the more revenue you will bring in.

What are Micropayments?

While crowdfunding donations are a one-time thing, micropayments are very small payments made over time to a particular business for the use of a service. The most popular model for this is iTunes, in which listeners pay around a dollar each time they download a song.

This method of gaining revenue isn’t ideal for every business though. They can be set up to charge anywhere for a few cents to $12. Charging these tiny amounts is not cost-effective for the company who also has to pay the credit cards fees on each of these small transactions. There is a lot of controversy around it because they don’t always work.

Will it Work in the Media?

While there are always exceptions to the rule, it is unlikely that crowdfunding or micropayments could create new streams of income for newspapers. One option is to give readers access to only the content they want for a small fee. The idea is to turn the occasional reader into a subscriber. But with so much free information available already, it probably won’t be the newest trend. However, by taking a local angle, crowdfunding can be used to promote ideas that are important to the community.

According to Lawton, crowdfunding and micropayments are just two ideas to add to your marketing strategy in order to boost revenue. Whether you are a startup looking for funds or an established paper interesting in tackling new ways of providing content to readers, they can be great tools for generating funds.

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