Running an online business offers a lot of opportunities for growth, such as selling digital products. However, you may not yet be familiar with the benefits of adding such products to your portfolio. Fortunately, getting started with digital offerings can be both easy and profitable.
In this article, we’ll explore a few benefits of selling digital products. Then we’ll take you through three key tips to help you expand into this exciting market. Let’s dive right in!
An Introduction to Digital Products (and Why You Might Want to Create One)
A digital product is a non-physical piece of content. The definition is broad and includes different types of items, including e-books, music files, course material, and podcasts. Even videos can fall into this category. As such, selling virtual products can be a flexible strategy for any e-commerce business.
In addition to being a sales multitool, digital products have a promising future. E-books alone are expected to grow in popularity at an astonishing rate, reaching a reader penetration of 29.07 percent by 2025. Our lives are moving more online, and our possessions are following suit.
This means that there’s an increasingly large market for you to access. However, a big audience isn’t the only advantage. Digital products also lack any physical overheads or logistics associated with traditional inventory. Therefore, you can save a lot of money on the back end.
Furthermore, virtual products can also help you grow your brand. Items based on your expertise can cement you as a thought leader within your niche. This strategy may also help you connect with customers on a more personal level. For example, if you offer online courses, you are in constant contact with your clients through video calls and emails.
Finally, digital products can also serve as a passive income stream. For example, you only need to film an instructional video once, yet customers can continue to purchase it months after you’ve published it. Therefore, this strategy can be an easy way to increase your overall profits.
How to Sell a Digital Product (3 Key Tips)
If you’re interested in selling digital products, here are three effective tips to help you get started.
1. Build Up Some Digital Buzz
Advertising is crucial to a successful sales campaign. Simply put, people can’t buy your product if they don’t know it exists. This goes double for digital stock: without a physical item to display in ads, shoppers may not fully understand what you’re offering them.
Therefore, we recommend that you try to drum up excitement around your digital product. Not only can this generate more brand awareness, but it can also help you convince shoppers of your product’s value and benefits.
One easy way to do this is by setting up an email marketing plan. This can help you reach interested customers and build a loyal clientele. When inviting site visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, it’s important that you put your form in a prominent spot.
For example, the health site Yoga With Adrienne has a sign-up form on the front page:
You can then provide shoppers with updates on the development of your digital product, leading up to its launch. This gives you multiple chances to remind shoppers to check it out or pre-order a copy. Additionally, weekly emails also give you a platform for explaining the value of your product.
Nevertheless, transparency is key. Studies show that for this kind of word-of-mouth marketing to work, shoppers have to trust your brand. This is especially true if your digital item relies on your expertise. As such, you might want to consider soliciting influencers who are famous for their honesty to review your work.
Moreover, it’s important to remember the motto ‘everyone’s an influencer.’ Treating each customer as a potential marketer or influencer can help you deliver your products to a wider audience.
2. Invest in Graphic Design
The lack of a physical element can pose a challenge for visual advertisements. For example, it can be hard to grab a customer’s eye if you’ve produced an e-book that doesn’t have any photos. Therefore, you may want to consider adding a top-tier graphic design element to all of your digital products.
For example, you can include a well-designed cover for any text-heavy content. For less traditional formats, such as checklists, you may want to integrate interesting design directly into the product:
Not only does this make it easier to attract new customers, but it can also increase value: a practical product that is aesthetically pleasing may be more desirable than a drab counterpart.
Additionally, try to add color wherever you can. Recent studies show that colorful designs can increase attention span and recall by up to 82%. Shoppers who are more likely to remember what you’re offering are also more likely to purchase that item.
If you’re not sure what design would work best for your digital product, consider investigating your competitors. This can provide some inspiration for your creation. It can also help you ensure that your product is distinct from others in your niche.
Alternatively, you can hire a designer. These professionals often pay close attention to successful design. Therefore, they can offer both artistic skills and a deep understanding of the industry.
3. Consider a ‘Freemium’ Model
‘Freemium’ is not a new concept in the world of e-commerce, but it’s still a powerful one. This strategy involves offering some free content to your customers as a preview. This can give them a better idea of your products, and may tempt them into purchasing the full version.
This freemium model is used by many popular brands. For example, the streaming giant Spotify offers free use of its platform alongside a more feature-packed premium option:
Digital products lend themselves particularly well to this model. For example, you might offer a few episodes of a premium podcast for free, or give people a taster of your 30-week blogging course by sending them the first module.
If you want to show off the value of your items even more, consider comparing your free and premium versions using numbers. For example, your advert for a video series might emphasize the fact that the premium version comes with an additional 30 hours of helpful content.
A freemium strategy is perfect for communicating the benefits of your digital offering. Instead of using adverts to convince people to buy your product, you can let them try it out for free so they can see these benefits for themselves.
Digital products represent a huge opportunity for online businesses. However, getting started can seem intimidating if you’re not familiar with this trend. Fortunately, you can use a few creative strategies, such as hiring professional designers and offering freebies, to put your new product in front of the right audience.
Do you have any questions about selling digital products? Let us know in the comments section below!