How to make more money through WiFi
In today’s day and age, whether you operate a business big or small, it is difficult to avoid technology. There are many pros and cons of operating in its purview. For techno-heads, technology is easy to operate, but for laymen, sometimes the simplest of technical hiccups can cause a lot of chaos. Being a non-technical person myself who has been in the IT industry for nearly 10 years, let me tell you this.. If you can’t fight it, embrace it. And more often than not, you will find your life just that much easier.
Trends suggest that consumers have an escalated demand for WiFi but a decreased willingness to pay for it. If you are a business owner, you know how competitive the market is and if you are a small business owner then you know how expensive it is to set up a high end WiFi Infrastructure. So, how do you differentiate?
Why not let the WiFi infrastructure pay for itself and MORE?
Let me give you a few pointers on how you can make MORE MONEY by using your WiFi. Sounds simple? It is. We call it WiFi Monetisation in our industry. First, a few prerequisites,
Make sure you have a strong WiFi connection
I have put this point as the first point because there is no bigger let-down than logging on to a network which is slow or keeps disconnecting. The first priority of any business should be to try, test and implement a strong network.
Get a WiFi Controller that can manage your entire network
Well, people tend to sidestep this, but honestly speaking this is a very basic step to avoid any hassles or downtime in the future. One should always choose a controller which complies with the regulations of the local government, manages the users and the access points as well. The keyword being ‘Access Points’ or the hardware. This is important because every controller in the market these days helps manage the users and complies with the government, but only a few help you manage your hardware.
Imagine a scenario where you have a strong WiFi connection, a lot of users (which is never a bad sign) and a large space. Usually, many access points are deployed in any given location. What if one of them malfunctions? To avoid this outcome you either have to hire a person to take care of the network or deal with hardware downtime and customer complaints/ dissatisfaction. Now imagine that you had installed a controller which allowed you to circumvent these problems and helped you resolve all this from a single dashboard. Doesn’t it sound reliving? Well, it is. That is why, I consider this the second most important thing a business should look into.
Your vendor should always be a one-stop shop
What this means is that whoever you choose as your vendor should be able to manage all your issues and should have a strong support set up. As Murphy ’s Law suggests “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”, so you need a supplier that not only sells you his products but also gives you 24×7 after sales support. More importantly, isn’t it just easier to find all you are looking for at one place? To have to call just one person and not an entire cricket team to resolve your simple queries?
Now let’s talk about how we can earn from our WiFi infrastructure. There are many ways through which you can monetize your WiFi networks; you are only limited by your imagination. A few ways are,
Third-party advertisements on your login or splash page
Whenever a user tries to log into a network, he/she is diverted to a registration page – which is mandatory as per government guidelines – this page is called a login, landing or a splash page. A landing page usually looks like this <screenshot of plain LP>. But there are controllers in the market that allow you to display third party advertisements, like this <screenshot with ads on LP>. It is a great source of revenue generation as there is no additional investment required.
Push & Pull Marketing
If you are a hotel or restaurant owner, you might have experienced certain rises and dips in your sales during promotions. It is a widely known fact that we love to shop, but we love it more if something is cheaper. So usually all businesses encounter a steep rise in sales during promotions, but how to let the whole world know about your promotions? Well, there are many ways to do it, but the cheapest (or I should say Free) way is through Push marketing via your WiFi.
You can use your WiFi network to push your (or third party) ads/ promotions to your customers. For example, you can send a notification to a person who has just purchased a coffee that the donuts are at 50% off, or if you are a grocery chain, you can send notifications if a person is near a certain aisle with a discount offer. The possibilities are endless.
Charge a small fee for video streaming and conferences
There has been a growing trend of Hotels and restaurants that provide free WiFi to their patrons but block video streaming and other bandwidth hungry websites as they lead to issues in ensuring a fair usage policy. They then offer the higher speeds for video streaming or video conferencing (for personal or official purposes) at a nominal charge. This ensures that all your patrons get good speeds and discourages bandwidth guzzling. Plus it’s good for your pocket!
A few tips before you implement this though,
- Make sure you have sufficient bandwidth available for distribution
- The basic functions like email and browsing should be easily accessible to free users
- Backend framework to prioritize paid users
Encourage new users to register with their social media accounts
This strategy not only makes it easier for people to register but also gives you access to their basic information like phone number and email with ease. This data can be used for retargeting in the future. Moreover, the option of a ‘mandatory Like’ can be set up which makes sure your visibility increases, leading to higher revenues. A single facebook ‘like’ was valued at $174 in 2013. So the importance of this is for you to decide.
WiFi Offloading simply means using the WiFi infrastructure to relieve the strain on the cellular network and alleviate the congestion on the spectrum. This is a great source of revenue as cellular networks pay WiFi operators to just use their network. You are free to advertise as you like and you are doing the exact same thing that you set out to do, the only difference is that now you are being paid to do so.
Increase App adoption
Many businesses have started using their own Apps to take orders, give directions, check customer feedback and gather business Intel. Promoting your Apps on your WiFi is a good idea as businesses have registered a 60% higher adoption rate through it.
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