WiFi has grown into a universal necessity and has become synonymous with the Internet connectivity in itself. It has impacted our lives so much so that 48% of respondents in one survey in Britain felt they could go longer without seeing their family than without being able to use the internet. A similar survey by Linksys found WiFi to be the #2 thing we do not want to live without. Regardless of the increase in its demands in WiFi at public spaces wifi users expect it to be a free service. This means we need to re-evaluate how WiFi monetization can be done.
To be honest I do not fully agree with the finding of the surveys. Primarily reason being, both surveys were done by companies with a vested interest in selling WiFi and services. Having said that we have to acknowledge the extent to which WiFi now dominates most people’s essential daily routines.
No-one wants to pay for WiFi
We all have used WiFi for free at home, office and schools almost all of our lives. This has psychologically made WiFi synonymous with free service. Moreover, unlike 3G/4G, WiFi networks have a limited area of coverage. If a user pays for it they will not be able to use it when they move away. This makes wifi users reluctant to pay for it. This leaves very few methods to monetize WiFi, making it difficult to incorporate into your business strategy.
Hotels have been traditionally considered as one place where guests would not mind paying for WiFi service. Even that is changing now as another survey done by Statistica found most travelers consider Free Wi-Fi the most important factor In choosing a hotel.
Free WiFi, why not. More power to the guests, right?
For service providers, this proliferation has been a bittersweet experience. Reliable WiFi service is not simple and most people expect it to be free. This leaves very few methods to monetize WiFi, making it difficult to incorporate into your business strategy.
Different ways can be implemented to run a good captive portal program.
Survey’s turn out to be a good option to collect user data and insight like their emails. Phone numbers or even a feedback portal can be set, which can later be used to run email marketing campaigns eventually will derive financial value to the business, not in a very direct way. These survey campaigns can run for someone not associated with the business, supposedly some third party business or a partner who can again bring in capital just from a login page.
Most users are willing to see an advertisement in exchange for free internet. Advertisements through captive portals are something that has been into the process for quite some time now. The method of monetization works in a way where each view has a particular amount, more the views more it will derive financial outcome. The only thing to restrict is the excessive amount of advertisements which can eventually make the user switch networks.
Video advertisements can take monetization on an advertisement revenue to another level, bringing in a much higher pay per view rate. This requires the users to watch a 20-sec video before accessing the internet.
Bringing in revenue through a wifi service can be considered a long term goal running for shorthand revenue goal can lead to mismanagement. Guest wifi’s have a lot to offer and if implemented in a perfect way it can lead to wonders. The direct method of monetization of wifi services is not so embraced by the audience and also a lot of efforts have to be put down by the venue owner to align such a revenue model which is complicated plus no guaranteed results.
This which makes life tougher although steps and improvements are always welcomed, the better way of getting an ROI (Return on Investment) is always the indirect way of monetization where you use services like wifi marketing. Wifi marketing can do wonders for a business as it can eradicate all the other strategies needed to marketize it. Although it’s a long term process that gradually turns into results there are no shortcuts to it, it has to be strategically set and the owner has to take control.