Squarespace announced an expansion of their Member Areas monetization platform that now allows publishers to host and monetize video content. The new capabilities makes it easy for publishers to sell access to video content and build a new revenue stream.
Screenshot of Squarespace Video Hosting Admin Panel
Squarespace Video Monetization Platform
Squarespace is a website building platform that helps publishers build online stores, an online presence for a local store or to simply create a blog.
In response to rapidly changing trends Squarespace rolled out a program called Member Areas that allowed publishers to earn money selling instructional and other kinds of content online through private members-only sections of their Squarespace website.
The goals of the Member Areas are:
“Engage your audience with exclusive content.
From virtual classes and workshops to newsletters, podcasts, and video series, Member Areas help you build, harness, and monetize the power of your online community”
Squarespace announced today that they are now fully video capable and that publishers can now fully host videos on Squarespace and sell access to them via the platform.
Squarespace handles all of the infrastructure for hosting the videos and for collecting the fees. Publishers can choose to charge a one-time fee or a recurring fee.
According to Squarespace:
“Sell access to video content: With Member Areas, customers can choose to charge a one-time or recurring fee to access their video content.
Host video directly on Squarespace: Squarespace is now supporting native video hosting on our platform, in addition to externally hosted videos on YouTube and Vimeo.
Video hosting storage: All customers will be able to upload up to 30 minutes of high-resolution video content to their website for free.
Leverage our new video player: All Squarespace hosted videos will be played on our new video player with slick playback, speed controls, resolution controls, and a deep integration into the Squarespace platform.
Customize video details: Titles, descriptions, URLs, custom thumbnails, metadata, and more can be fully customized.
Merchandise video content: Videos can easily be categorized, arranged, and styled to best represent a customer’s brand.”
Squarespace Makes it Easier to Earn Income
The new video platform allows publishers to sell access to recorded member-only video content. This provides local businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to provide services like online classes to a wider audience, giving businesses and individuals a new way to earn income.
The new video platform is available as part of the Member Areas add-on service with plans that start as low as $9/month.
Video Hosting and Monetization Announcement
Read About Squarespace Member Areas
B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements
Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.
The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:
After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.
The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).
The Struggle With Images
Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.
Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.
Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:
- How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?
Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general eCommerce businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.
More Uses Cases, Please
Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.
The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.
Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.
Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.
The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.
- 30-minute follow-up session on how these relate to advertisers
- Focus less on verticals
- Provide more use cases
Michelle Morgan and Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.
Google Product Managers Weigh In
The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:
- It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?
Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:
- Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
- For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page
However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.
Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.
Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?
The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.
Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.
Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.
Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.
Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.
The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.
Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.
However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.
Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.
A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.
Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M
B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements
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