Marketing has certainly changed over the last three decades. People no longer rely on newspapers, magazines, and television ads to gather information about the products and services they buy. Instead, they can find everything they need online. Because of this, digital marketing has taken over the world. The principles and guidelines that apply to selling physical products and digital products have a huge effect on your marketing tactics, so understanding the difference is crucial.
A physical product is one a consumer can hold in his or her hand and analyze up close. He or she can view pictures of the product online, head to a local store and look at the product and/or packaging, and even watch a friend use the product to see how it works. As a result, the tactics for marketing a physical product are fairly straightforward, whether online or on the web.
A digital product, on the other hand, is not quite tangible. It exists only inside computers in the form of software. This can make it a bit trickier to show consumers how it works and what it does because they can’t just go into their local shop and pick it up. For this reason, the tactics you will use to market a digital product are quite a bit different, and if you are used to advertising physical products, you will need to make a few adjustments.
If you’ve developed a digital product, whether that product is an awesome CRM for small businesses or perhaps even a lightweight application designed to track workouts, you will need to take a much different approach when it comes to selling that product. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Whether you are selling a physical or a digital product, search engine optimization and quality content are going to be some of the most important tools in your arsenal. Either way, the goal is to attract people to your website where they can learn more about your product and the value it can bring to their lives. Case studies have proven that proper SEO, both onsite and onpage, along with outstanding content and an easy-to-use site will go a long way toward helping you rank highly in search engines like Google.
When Google shows your website to people who type in certain phrases on the internet, you are well on your way to success. It’s getting there that can be tricky. You’ll need competitive keywords, optimized URLs, the best possible meta tags, and constant sitemap monitoring to ensure that you have done all you can to impress Google’s algorithms and climb the search results ladder.
Marketing a physical product on the internet is all about getting people interested, and for the most part, the same can be said for digital products. However, there’s one big difference: there are still plenty of people who prefer to buy their physical products in person so they can see exactly what they’re getting. Why take the chance of ordering a pair of jeans online when they could just as easily go to a local shop, try them on, and make sure they fit? In this case, the consumer needs a pretty spectacular incentive.
In the digital realm, a consumer can’t go try on a piece of software to see if it’s the right fit for his or her company. In fact, the only way to do anything like that is to actually try the software you are offering. You should provide a free trial – long enough to show your potential buyers or subscribers why they need your product – to entice these individuals to buy. Depending on the type of software you’re selling (and who you’re selling it to), your trial could last a week or a month before prompting the user to buy. On the other hand, if you are selling something like POS software, you could set it up so the first 5000 transactions are free; afterward, the user must purchase the software to keep using it.
As you can see, there are some huge differences between physical and digital products, and that means there will be significant differences in the best and most successful marketing tactics for them, too. Learning more about marketing best practices as they apply to selling digital products online is sure to serve you well both now and in the future.
The market today is more competitive than ever and businesses are doing everything they can to make their products stand out. They are doing better research, conducting more surveys, and honing their products to meet their customers’ demands. But having a great product is not enough to make it successful – companies need to do more than that. It is very important to get exposure for a product in order for it to do well. There are a number of ways that you can achieve more exposure, and below are seven of them. Read on to see which ones make sense for your product.
Does your company have a Facebook page and a Twitter account? You should have both. Use your social media networks to market and promote your product. Just remember to do more than promote your own products – people will start to ignore you if you do not also share other information besides your own.
Journalists love to get free stuff, so if you engage with the right ones, you will likely find a ready audience. Are you an artisanal chocolate company? Find writers that have covered chocolate, and ask them if they would like to try some of yours. Giving out freebies does not guarantee coverage but it’s a good start!
Your employees should also be your biggest fans. Make sure they are all well acquainted with your products, can answer questions about them, and hopefully, will recommend them to friends. Employees are also great recipients of your generous freebies!
If your product is at all complicated to assemble or use, then create some YouTube demo videos to teach your prospective customers how to use it. Make sure you make high quality videos with a friendly voice and that are easy to follow.
Trade shows should be seen as great opportunities. According to Under 30 CEO, “Trade shows are still a great way to allow people to touch and feel your product, but they can seem cost-prohibitive. Reach out to the organizers and ask for last-minute space or a smaller one at a discount. If they have nothing available, approach a company with a complementary product and see if they might consider sharing a booth space.”
Do not forget that face-to-face contact is still the best way to do business. Make sure you are attending industry events and engaging with everyone you meet. Bring plenty of business cards and know how to describe your product in five sentences or less.
Find your product’s biggest fans and invite them to test it out and become part of the process of making it. Ask for their thoughts on aesthetics and functionalities. WePay.com says, “Doing this will make your customers feel like contributors, nearly guaranteeing they’ll share your product with the world because they helped create it.”Tape the process so that it can later be edited into a video providing the rest of your customers with a peek into the process.
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About The Author
Julianne Parrish is a freelance writer that specializes in marketing and advertising. She writes for sites featuring Optiva’s SpellBrite technology, that help companies drum up new business. In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her daughter.