The 1-2-3 guide to selling digital products online


Online sales are at an all-time high, with B2B ecommerce in the US projected to hit $1.8 trillion by 2023, as per data from Forrester. As ecommerce activities soar, both in the B2B and B2C sectors, it takes a strategic approach for selling subscriptions, premium content, services, apps, downloadable media, and other digital products online in 2020.

Before you set up shop, there are several considerations to keep in mind. The first step is deciding on a product and the correct format for maximized sales. From there, you can begin planning your strategy from all aspects, ranging from branding to SEO. Let me walk you through this process.

What types of digital products can you sell online?

Digital products come in a variety of formats. They can work as evergreen products that serve as passive income, such as PDFs (books and other high-value content), audio (music and audiobooks), plugins, graphic art, photography, and hundreds more.

What’s wonderful about selling digital products is that production is extremely scalable, with a high profit margin. Moreover, other than your time, there isn’t a large capital investment upfront. Once produced, you don’t have to worry about packaging or logistics either, as there is no physical delivery.

If you require any specific skills to develop your product, many tasks can be outsourced at a cost that is still favorable to your profit margin.

Once your digital product is ready for sale, the next step is to set up a marketing funnel. This will help you to reach your target customer and bring brand awareness.

Building your marketing funnel

Every touchpoint in the sales funnel where customers meet you should emphasize the benefits and features of your product, and yet convince them that it offers a premium on value for money. A standout product has the potential to lead to upsells and cross-sells in the future.

One key cog in the marketing funnel wheel is the landing page. The landing page serves to promote your product as well as capture personal and contact details from potential customers. It page lies at the center of every marketing campaign that leverages a specific channel, such as PPC or email.

And so, it’s crucial to map the customer experience with your strategy on each of these channels. Your marketing automation workflow should be able to capture leads as they enter, interact with, leave, or return to your landing page.

Kajabi is one such platform that enables niche experts to build a start-to-end sales workflow based on thought leadership with readymade CMS-like tools and automated marketing sequences. Different landing pages for different functions such as membership subscriptions or online courses can assist in multi-channel campaigns and buyer funnels.

You can build multi-channel marketing workflows via pre-built automation templates, which you then tweak depending on the use case, such as a product launch, webinar, event invitation, or a limited-time sales promotion.

You can go on to make your landing pages media-rich by adding overlays, video backgrounds and scroll-triggered animations, and integrate them into to your pipelines, spanning email message drips, webinars, and other content assets.

When you’re building a landing page, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Make sure your landing page is mobile-friendly and loads quickly.
  • Highlight your unique value proposition (UVP).
  • Use images and video to bolster your UVP.
  • Include a strong call-to-action (CTA).
  • Keep the layout simple but contrasting so that all elements draw attention.
  • Use a lead generation form to collect customer data.
  • Make it trustworthy, using testimonials, reviews and ratings from existing clients, as well as certificates relevant bodies in your industry.

The landing page serves as the online equivalent of a store shelf or booth for selling digital products. Next, you’ll need to consider branding.

Branding and launching your product

Branding is establishing the identity of your product, along with implementing recognizable features such as colors and fonts. It’s imperative for standing out from the competition and showing customers how your product improves lives.

One idea is to demonstrate a before and after for branding purposes. Perhaps you are selling an online course helps customers build a new skill. That person can learn from your course and implement those skills which lands them a new job. Along with that, you might also include a plugin that increases the speed of a website, and this makes the website faster while improving user experience.

When it comes time to launch, it’s important to test whether everything is working correctly. You might also want to do a pre-launch with a build-up phase that generates buzz and excitement for your new digital product. With digital products, delivery is key. It provides instant gratification and builds trust during the launch phase.

Once you create your product and launch, your work isn’t done yet. The next phase is integrating various digital marketing channels like search engines, PPC, and social media. One marketing tactic critical to selling niche products is using influencers to assist sales by spreading controlled branded messages on key digital platforms. This helps you overcome the distrust of traditional media and the disadvantage of an unknown brand or small company size by using an authoritative voice to generate interest in your product.

The channel that brings in the most traffic (and consequently, potential sales) is SEO, which is an ongoing project to let you reach potential customers at the exact moment when they have the intent or inclination to buy.

Boosting awareness with SEO

SEO involves many working parts when you’re aiming to sell digital products online. Google is the most widely-used search engine in the world, and optimizing for search can bring more traffic to your website while boosting awareness.

One place to begin is with keyword research – this is where you try to gauge the intent of your customers when they search for something that might potentially lead them to your product. You can use tools such Ahrefs Keywords Explorer as a springboard to find new keyword opportunities. Ahrefs lets you find relevant terms to cater to searches on Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, and other platforms. You can make primary and secondary lists to target, based on metrics such as monthly search volume in your target location, number of click-throughs from the SERPs, and difficulty of ranking.

When you have a list of keywords, you can use this information to create new content for your product. Use variations these keywords intelligently in your blog posts, headlines and section headings, meta descriptions, alt tags in images, and so on.

SEO is not an overnight accomplishment. Consistency with content is one of the most overall important factors of success.

As you send more traffic to your website via organic SEO, you’ll want to take advantage and collect email addresses and convert leads.

Reaching Customers with Email Marketing

Marketing your digital product to a targeted, segmented email list is effective for multiple purposes including brand awareness, raw sales, and customer loyalty. In fact, email offers the highest ROI of any digital channel:

Source: Profit Copilot

Just like SEO, there is a strategic approach to take with email marketing. Even though you need to promote your product at the end of the day, you should also use it to share relevant and useful content as well as support existing customers.

Create and send out a regular newsletter with helpful tips, exclusive tips from influencers, industry news, or even digital freebies such as a short PDF checklist. This is easy to do using any number of email solutions.

Keeping your customers

Once a customer invests in your product, it’s time to convert them to a customer for life. Statistically, it’s much cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

There are several ways you can focus on customer retention, with one method as focusing on excellent service. This means responding to customers in a timely manner, being personable, and always giving the white-glove treatment. Selling digital products is highly competitive, and the way that you reach out to, keep in touch with, support, and help your customers can make a major impact on your business.

However, with demand for new categories and types of digital products growing every day, there is still ample opportunity to build a thriving business. You have a nearly unlimited number of tools, strategies, and resources to help you succeed. With all of these tips in tow, you’re off to a strong start for selling digital products online in 2020. Make strides with your new brand this year and beyond!


Rohan Ayyar

Rohan Ayyar

Contributor


Rohan Ayyar is the social media and content marketing maven at E2M.



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