Most commonly, online stores sell physical products or digital products.
Physical products are merchandise, apparel, and other physical goods sold and shipped to customers. They can either be designer handmade, created by someone else and onsold, highly-changeable, and is extremely time-consuming. Plus, there are also complexities with regards to the shipment, taxes, overseas customers, laws, importation, inventory management, etc.
However, digital products doesn’t have physical form or substance.
Though they can’t be held, tasted, or touched, everyone consumes them.
With little more than few devices, digital products are easy to distribute, more sustainable, can infinitely replicated and much simpler to create. No materials, factories, or even staff are present to develop such thing, all you need is just your personal computer, your passion and determination, and an ample time.
Due to digital products’ simplicity, popularity and ease of distribution, entrepreneurs build businesses around from these intangible goods.
The most common types of digital products you can sell online include eBooks, software, video, audio and music, photos, graphics and digital art, documents, e-Learning courses, professional services (i.e. translators, graphic designers, content writers, web, designers, legal professionals, etc.), tickets, fonts, and web-based applications.
With these varying digitalised products available, how to market them anyway?
Marketing digital products from marketing physical ones isn’t much different at all – defining your audience, targeting them with brand-appropriate messages, and keeping the lines of communication open, still the same.
But the main difference is that explaining the benefits of a physical product is much easier compare to digital products, because consumers can’t obviously touch or feel the exact product item.
That’s why there’s a need for marketing professionals to focus on educating their audiences through blog posts, webinars, landing pages, and other marketing assets.
Why market digital products?
Before answering as to HOW to market digital products, we need to first answer the WHY in it.
The market for online digital products is generating enormously.
In 2016 alone, the online courses market generated a revenue of more than 160 billion USD and is expected reach 240 billion USD by 2022.
In fact, one couple is even making $600,000 a year just by selling digital products. So it’s no surprise why everybody is taking their chance to enter such industry and learn to cultivate money out from it.
How to market then?
There are a lot of ways in marketing your digital products.
Some of these are:
Selling in marketplaces. A market place is where you can easily showcase your product to customers. If you are selling digital or graphic designs you may want to go to GraphicRiver or DesignCrowd; for selling eBooks, try Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and E-Junkie.
Affiliate programs. Attract marketers, bloggers and small business owners who find your products complementary to what they already offer and are willing to promote your products to their audience for a commission. Getting these people are very influential to likely get people to patronise your product, pitching the product you offer in any market groups.
Going live. Live videos are some of today’s most popular ways in demonstrating marketing potential. Online platforms such as Periscope is now used by various businesses to promote themselves via product demos, answering Q&A’s, and even taking your customers behind the scenes, showing them what’s special about anything you do.
Podcasting. It is an effective marketing vehicle to expand your market and get your message across. Creating a podcast is a great opportunity for you to educate listeners and launch new product offers.
Free product samples. Pre-launching is a good phase for you to create anticipation and buzz about your new product. One of the effective ways to do it is by offering product samples.
Upon offering free samples with your product, you can get firsthand testimonials from real users, more interests from your prospects when your offer gets viral, and get feedback from users, thus having last-minute improvement with your product just before selling it.
Co-marketing. Co-marketing campaigns are very effective to hack growth and generate sales fast. It allows two businesses to work together on promotional efforts. Usually, the most popular brand will soft promote the other brand.
Payments will come either through sales revenue or by commission.
Landing pages. Promoting products, specifically digital, is hard without having a landing page. Landing pages are very crucial for a successful product promotion. You can use Facebook ads to advertise using Facebook Custom Audiences and if you are promoting a training product, you can use sales webinars to generate demand.
If you want to gain a bigger marketing presence with digital goods, build trust and confidence with your customers through your branded content, frequent testing over time, using one platform instead of trying out several networks, and a little ingenuity can go a long way.