Developing A Digital Product For A Small BusinessDec 04, 2021
At the top of the agenda for most businesses and entrepreneurs is growing revenue, and one of the best ways to do this is through digital products. Digital products are goods that exist only in digital form. e-books are an example of a digital product that could help capture leads for an organization. Other examples of digital products include digital subscriptions, fonts, logos, webinars, online courses, and more.
One of the great things about a digital product is that it often doesn't cost much money to create, and it's a scalable way to increase visibility and exposure for your business. It's also the kind of product that can be sold 24/7, which means that business owners can make ongoing passive revenue once the product is launched. Also, digital products can be sold to customers repeatedly without any inventory having to be "replenished" at any time.
Of course, it takes a lot of work and research to develop many digital products. Some key steps must be taken by small businesses to launch the most effective digital product possible. There are also some digital products that might require more money and time than others. Here is a breakdown of the key steps to take when creating a digital product for small businesses.
Do your due diligence
Consumers want to know that they are purchasing something valuable. Many businesses launch digital products that don't actually connect with their audience whatsoever. Entrepreneurs and business owners should research their niche and ensure that there is a real audience for their product. There are many e-books out there that have not been able to sell many copies because they might cover an obscure topic. You may find that one particular sub-niche has tremendous potential, but it will take time to conduct this research and due diligence.
Digital products can be extremely profitable since they often don't take that much money or time to create them. However, no small business wants to launch a digital product only to find that they chose a niche that isn't profitable. Whether you create written content, audio content, or video content, business owners should ensure that there is enough interest in that particular space.
You may be a business owner and unsure about where and how to look for information regarding your niche. First and foremost, you can find out about what consumers are looking for through social media. Facebook groups can help you understand consumer demand and expectations, for example. Industry forums and product reviews can also highlight specific problems or pain points that can prove interesting and valuable to customers. The e-mails that your customers send can even inspire a new digital product, as well - and it's relevant because you are using your customer feedback as a research tool.
Your business should do some research to ensure a real audience for the product and its niche or sector. One way to figure out more about whether your digital product has an audience is to utilize Google Trends or other SEO tools. A successful digital product often focuses on topics or keywords in high demand, but which do not have too much competition.
Pick the right problem
Consumers want to purchase a digital product for a specific reason, and that reason may vary. Some may want to find a product that will entertain them for some time, while others might like to learn more about a particular subject, skill, or topic. If you want to launch a digital product, you should pick a specific problem or pain point that your digital product will address.
What are some ways to find out the problems that your customers want to solve? One strategy would be to use a customer survey to determine what issues they might be having with a product or service. Once you gather somewhere around 50-100 responses, you may have collected enough data to help guide your digital product.
One of the advantages of surveys is that you can ask multiple questions to help guide how you create your product. You can ask customers about the kind of content they consume or which price point they find reasonable. Business owners should work as hard as possible to determine what type of product would be effective and how much that product should cost.
Create a waiting list
Once you have established a need for the product, you may want to set up a landing page on your website to create a mailing list. An e-mail list is one of the most powerful tools for a small business, and it can provide a strong foundation for the success of your digital product moving forward. If a consumer is interested enough in your content to sign up to a waiting list, it might mean that they are willing to pay for your product.
A waiting list can help build anticipation, which can be crucial when it comes time to launching your product. A waiting list can also help businesses get some idea of the amount of interest in the product even before any marketing or monetization strategies are in place.
Offer free content
Let's say that you are a small business, and you believe that a newsletter can be an incredible way to reach new consumers. Well, why would a website visitor sign up for your newsletter if they don't have some idea of the value that it offers? One of the best ways to make digital products more enticing is to provide valuable free content, such as website content or blog posts.
Entrepreneurs might also pitch ideas and write guest posts on other high-traffic websites as a way to get the word out about their business or new digital product. The free content you offer can help you build an audience for your digital product.
This free content can help increase trust and credibility with the consumer, which is extremely important for all industries. Furthermore, people that visit your website might be more inclined to stay on your website if you have valuable content to read and browse. It may even lead to them being interested in your products or services.
Create the product
At this point, you should focus on creating a digital product for your business. Whether you are creating an e-book, an online course, or a podcast, you will have established that there is a need to delve into the topics you will discuss, and an audience interested in purchasing those products. You should also have some idea about how monetization will work, whether it's through an e-book purchase, establishing a price point for your coaching package, or finding sponsors for your podcast.
You should focus on creating the best possible digital product and understand that the content you create will be reused and redistributed repeatedly. Before making your digital product, you will also have to answer specific questions. First, have you fully established your monetization strategy? Second, have you already understood and established the best way to collect payments for your digital product? Will you collect customer data, and to what extent? Where will you be storing order details for your digital products?
These are questions that all need to be answered before actually building out your offer, whether it's a song, podcast, course, e-book, or otherwise. You should also figure out the best way to organize and display material and try to make sure that the content is as clear and straightforward as possible. Additionally, you should be aware of how to divide the content into "chunks", rather than cramming too much content into one specific page, podcast, chapter, or video.
Test the product
You might think that all the work is done and that your product will be a success as soon as it’s launched. Often however, this is not the case. The best way to launch the is to find some beta testers who are interested in trying out your product for free. In exchange, they can offer their feedback as to how the product could be improved or revised.
Your beta testers might be eager customers that have already signed up for your waiting list and expressed interest in the product on offer. Business owners could also potentially reach out to beta testers through various social media platforms. You should aim to have somewhere around 20 beta testers to give you sufficient feedback and results.
What are some aspects of the digital product you should be considering? First, you may want to find out whether the beta testers find it visually appealing. Second, you can ask whether it covered every aspect of the topic or niche they were hoping for or were they left "wanting more”. Asking for feedback on price points and value for money is also critical as this will have a direct impact on the overall success of the product or not.
Asking the right survey questions can considerably help the quality and value of your feedback and can have a direct impact on the next stage of the process: improving your product. And one of the best aspects of the testing phase – you can use the positive feedback you receive as a "customer testimonial" when it comes time to launching your product.
Improving your product
It can be easy to get emotionally attached to a digital product, but business owners should listen to audience feedback regarding what should be changed and why. If there was a particular e-book that many customers found confusing, you should figure out why and how to change the content.
If a webinar seemed to skip over topics or go too in-depth into one particular topic, this information should be used to revise the content. The great thing about digital products is that they can often be revised much easier than physical products, which often take a great deal of time and money to revamp and improve. If they find that one part of your course was lacking in terms of value, or one section of your podcast was uninteresting - consider their feedback and work on the product.
We know that many digital products might not get the attention that they deserve during their launch, but businesses should do everything in their power to make sure that the digital product launch is successful. At this point, you will have built trust and credibility through free content, and there may be many customers on your waiting list that are eager to purchase your product. But what about the general public?
Businesses should contact as many strategic partners as possible to help them launch the digital product. Influencer marketing can be particularly useful here. Let's say that you are launching a digital e-book about fitness, and there is already some interest in the book. You've also already improved the content based on customer feedback.
Before you launch your e-book, you should contact fitness influencers to make sure that as many people know about your offer as possible. While it might take some time to negotiate with these influencers, you may find that it can be an incredible investment when it comes time to strategically launching your product. Similarly, suppose you are launching a podcast. In that case, you should contact podcast influencers or bloggers that write about podcasts and see whether they might be interested in promoting you in exchange for payment or an affiliate link. It can prove to be a win-win situation for everyone involved!
Once you are ready to launch your product, you should have an email sequence in place to get customers prepared and excited. You may even tease content or offer insight into creating the digital product, and onboard new affiliates during this time. Business owners may also consider going back to guest-blogging to reach new consumers before the digital product's final launch.
After that, there is only one thing left to do: launch!
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