Digital merchandise can’t be held, tasted, or touched, however everybody consumes them—from music to movies, ebooks to on-line programs, and extra.
Many entrepreneurs construct whole companies round these intangible items, resulting from their reputation and ease of distribution, or launch digital merchandise to promote complementary to the bodily gadgets or companies they provide.
What makes studying how one can promote digital merchandise particularly interesting, nonetheless, is they are often created as soon as and offered repeatedly to completely different prospects with out having to replenish stock, making them very best for creatives, bloggers, educators, and freelancers on the lookout for passive methods to earn money on-line that require much less effort to keep up.
Here is how one can promote digital merchandise on-line—together with the highest digital merchandise examples, how one can create your personal, and advertising and marketing tricks to promote on-line efficiently.
Discover your subsequent on-line digital merchandise 💻
How one can promote digital merchandise in 4 steps
1. Discover or create a digital product
Discover a digital product to promote, whether or not you resell current merchandise or create your personal. Digital merchandise embody music, fonts, Photoshop presets, programs, or on-line companies.
2. Construct a web based retailer
Rise up and operating in just a few hours. Decide from a catalog of web site templates, populate together with your emblem, copy, and pictures, and also you’re able to get promoting.
3. Use an app to make promoting straightforward
Some apps make supply of digital merchandise even simpler. Browse the Shopify App Retailer to seek out apps that plug into your retailer and do every thing from internet hosting course content material to delivering PDF purchases.
4. Market your digital merchandise
Discover your prospects the place they’re. For those who’re promoting fonts or design templates, construct an viewers of designers and creators on the social platforms they use most. Think about influencer advertising and marketing, social advertisements, or lead magnets.
What are digital merchandise?
A digital product is an intangible asset or piece of media that may be offered and distributed repeatedly on-line with out the necessity to replenish stock. These merchandise usually come within the type of downloadable or streamable digital information, akin to MP3s, PDFs, movies, plug-ins, and templates.
Why promote digital merchandise versus bodily items?
Promoting digital merchandise has many benefits that makes it uniquely enticing to entrepreneurs:
- Low overhead prices.You don’t have to carry stock or incur any delivery expenses.
- Excessive revenue margins. There’s no recurring value of products, so you keep nearly all of your gross sales in income. Calculate your revenue margins forward of time with our free instrument.
- Potential to automate. Orders could be delivered immediately, letting you be comparatively hands-off with achievement.
- Versatile merchandise. You’ll be able to supply free merchandise to construct your e-mail listing, month-to-month paid subscriptions for entry to unique digital content material, or licenses to make use of your digital merchandise. You’ve gotten numerous choices as to the way you incorporate digital merchandise into your online business.
- E-learning is the way forward for training. You’ve gotten a large alternative to develop your online business and affect with e-learning, an business anticipated to be value $374 billion by 2026.
However on-line digital merchandise additionally include particular challenges you’ll must be careful for:
- You’re competing with free content material. With digital items, shoppers can most likely discover free options to what you’re promoting. You’ll have to think twice in regards to the area of interest you goal, the forms of merchandise you promote, and how one can write your product descriptions. You’ll additionally wish to supply high-quality merchandise and know how one can construct your model as a way to compete.
- You’re inclined to piracy/theft. That you must take precautions and scale back these dangers by using the best instruments to guard your merchandise.
- There are some restrictions on how one can promote digital merchandise. For instance, you have to promote bodily merchandise by the Fb and Instagram gross sales channel based on their commerce coverage.
Most of those challenges could be overcome, nonetheless, in case you make use of the best instruments when designing your digital product enterprise.
6 greatest digital merchandise to promote on-line
- Instructional merchandise
- Licenses to make use of your digital property
- Membership websites
- Digital templates and instruments
- Music or artwork
For just a little inspiration when creating these merchandise, discover the highest forms of digital merchandise listed under.
1. Instructional merchandise
On-line programs are greatest fitted to in-depth content material. They require some effort up entrance, from making a presentation to recording a video walk-through. When creating programs, begin with learner outcomes: what would you like the learner to know or have the ability to do on the finish of your course?
You’ll be able to embody quizzes, information checks, and interactive actions inside your programs to assist break-up studying content material and make your e-course extra partaking. Think about studying and implementing a instructing mannequin like ADDIE.
For those who take into account your self an knowledgeable on a selected subject, digital merchandise are an effective way to package deal that info and promote it to others seeking to study.
If there’s an abundance of free weblog posts or tutorials on YouTube about what you’d like to show, you possibly can compete by delivering content material that guarantees not training however transformation. In different phrases, don’t promote the product—promote the shopper’s personal potential after shopping for your product.
You’ll be able to leverage an current fame as an knowledgeable to garner consideration to your downloadable merchandise to promote on-line or, in case you’re ranging from scratch, you possibly can create and provides away free content material to generate curiosity and leads to your paid digital merchandise.
2. Licenses to make use of your digital property
From inventory photographs to video footage, from music and sound results, there’s a worldwide ecosystem of licensable digital property uploaded by creatives for different creatives to make use of of their work.
By providing licenses to people and companies, you possibly can cost for the usage of your photographs, movies, music, software program, and comparable prime digital merchandise in your personal retailer and thru on-line marketplaces, akin to inventory photograph websites. In alternate for publicity, a few of these marketplaces can take as much as 50% in fee for each sale. Nevertheless, if you wish to construct your personal vacation spot for digital merchandise to promote, you should use SendOwl to energy the sort of enterprise with distinctive auto-generated license keys.
When developing with property to create, it helps to work backward from the wants of your meant viewers. Begin by serious about what sort of property they’d wish to use as a way to create merchandise which might be really in demand (and thus simpler to promote).
Additionally, you should definitely shield your digital merchandise with watermarks and different safety measures, particularly in case you’re promoting photographs.
3. Membership websites
As an alternative of specializing in how one can promote digital merchandise individually, you possibly can bundle them collectively and lock them behind a paid subscription to generate recurring income.
This method to promoting digital merchandise is good in case you plan to keep up a rising library of premium content material and nurture a neighborhood of passionate members. In some instances, paid digital subscriptions may even create a chance to straight monetize your current content material advertising and marketing efforts.
Since this content material is behind a gate that solely paying subscribers can entry by their buyer account, you too can host unique content material that may be streamed reasonably than downloaded.
4. Digital templates and instruments
Digital merchandise may also come within the type of intangible instruments that equip professionals to do duties that both fall exterior of their ability set or take up numerous time. You’ll be able to promote digital options to the frequent ache factors and desires of a particular viewers.
Some examples of how one can promote digital merchandise on-line this fashion embody:
- Digital advertising and marketing technique templates for entrepreneurs
- Résumé templates for job-seekers
- Cell apps for companies
- Graphic design templates for brochures, flyers, posters, and so on.
- Adobe Photoshop filters and plugins for media editors
- Icons, fonts, or UX Kits for net designers
If you have already got a contract enterprise, it could be value contemplating how one can flip your abilities and companies into digital merchandise to create passive streams of income.
5. Music or artwork
For those who’re a musician or an artist, likelihood is you’ve explored methods you possibly can monetize your abilities or the viewers you’re constructing. Whereas print on demand t-shirts or customized prints are all the time an choice, there are additionally loads of digital product examples for promoting artwork and music.
A musician can promote ringtones of their greatest songs alongside their merch. Or a cartoonist might flip their artwork into printables, telephone wallpapers, or print-on-demand merchandise. A filmmaker can promote their films on-line. Because you don’t have to carry any stock with on-line digital merchandise, you possibly can experiment with completely different codecs to see what your viewers needs with out a lot threat.
Providers are likely to pair properly with a wide range of forms of digital merchandise as a result of companies are basically their reverse—with companies, your “stock” is proscribed to the variety of working hours you possibly can accommodate.
Plus, prospects usually obtain digital merchandise as a part of their “buy” with many companies. A designer will ship logos. A private coach would possibly ship a exercise plan. Leaning into this, you possibly can place sure companies as packages containing invaluable digital merchandise.
For instance, you can supply a session for a price, together with a customized report or Excel spreadsheet, after which upsell your prospects in your different companies or merchandise. Or you can supply a free downloadable product to generate leads to your e-mail advertising and marketing listing, a tactic that many on-line companies make use of right now.
If there are frequent duties you full as a part of your service enterprise which might be straightforward for you however invaluable to your buyer, you possibly can take into account productizing them to create income streams that require much less of your effort and time to keep up.
Free: The Huge Listing of Enterprise Concepts
That will help you discover the inspiration to start out, we compiled an inventory of 100+ in-demand enterprise concepts, damaged down into classes like health, attire, and gaming.
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How one can create digital merchandise
Whereas it’s straightforward to get caught ready round for a eureka second, discovering enterprise thought is extra of a course of. It’s nice to have an concept that excites you, however in order for you an concept that sells, you’ll wish to comply with a means of brainstorming, analysis, and validation. Right here’s what goes into creating one of the best digital content material to promote:
Generate concepts to start out with, and write all of them down. Don’t be too important—you don’t must provide you with one of the best digital merchandise in your first brainstorm. Dangerous concepts can result in good concepts and vice versa. The important thing to brainstorming is to keep away from overthinking issues.
For those who’re on the lookout for a spark for concepts on downloadable merchandise to promote on-line, listed below are some inquiries to ask your self:
- Are you able to train prospects how one can use your merchandise? For instance, in case you promote knitting merchandise, you can supply appointments to show superior knitting methods.
- Are there issues you possibly can assist your prospects with associated to your total business? For those who promote surfboards, you can create a exercise program to assist your prospects keep in surf form at dwelling.
- What are the values you’ve constructed your online business on, and what are subjects associated to them? For instance, in case you promote sustainable attire, you can create a course instructing your prospects how one can reside a extra sustainable life.
- In what methods might you carry your neighborhood of shoppers collectively? For those who promote kitchen provides, you can run a digital guided wine tasting occasion.
- What are you good at? For those who’re actually nice at product images, you can train different individuals how one can get higher at product images too.
Perform a little research so as to add to your listing of small enterprise concepts. The perfect digital merchandise to promote attraction to ache factors your prospects have associated to your product, business, or values, in addition to subjects they love or get enthusiastic about. Each current nice enterprise alternatives to offer worth within the type of an academic product.
Listed here are some good locations to get began doing analysis to your prime digital merchandise:
- Fb teams. There are Fb teams devoted to each area of interest and viewers conceivable, making them an important place to study what your potential prospects care about.
- Business boards. Boards devoted to hobbies and communities in your business may also help you study extra about what individuals need and wish in your broader business.
- Product critiques. Learn each the critiques to your merchandise and rivals’ merchandise to get concepts. These might come from the critiques on product pages in addition to stand-alone critiques on blogs and different web sites.
- Weblog posts and feedback. Learn the weblog content material your neighborhood could be studying, in addition to the feedback, to get much more concepts. For instance, in case you promote auto elements, dig round on automotive blogs.
- Emails from prospects. Lastly, don’t neglect to return and reread any emails or messages you could have gotten from prospects through the years. The individuals who took the time to contact you with ideas and considerations are often “excessive intent” prospects they usually may need shared some actually helpful insights.
Earlier than committing an excessive amount of time to your thought for digital merchandise to promote, you wish to validate it and ensure it’s stable. The very last thing you wish to do is make investments numerous time or cash in a brand new enterprise with out realizing it has likelihood to achieve success.
There are a few methods to validate your thought as you determine how one can promote digital merchandise:
- Key phrase analysis. Use a key phrase instrument to see how many individuals are looking for your subjects. This will provide you with an thought of the chance dimension of every one.
- Google Developments. Search your subjects on Google Developments. Search for subjects which might be rising in curiosity. This implies the chance dimension will continue to grow.
- Ask for suggestions. Contact your prospects straight, both by e-mail or social media. A ballot or survey is an effective way to gather buyer suggestions.
- Begin small and iterate. Typically, the simplest strategy to validate an thought is to experiment with a smaller model of the thought with room for progress. The purpose is to get one thing out into the world as quickly as potential so you possibly can put your thought to the take a look at and enhance from it from there.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you could have distinctive strengths and information that may be invaluable to your prospects and promoting digital merchandise.
4. Create a web based retailer
When you validate a digital product thought, you’ll wish to get an ecommerce platform to promote on. If you wish to know how one can promote digital merchandise on-line, this step is essential.
Shopify is the simplest and most respected strategy to create an ecommerce retailer for on-line digital merchandise. You don’t want any tech abilities or a giant finances, and you’ll select from over 100 templates with built-in options to get arrange shortly. There are additionally over 4,000 free Shopify apps you should use for managing your retailer and promoting extra digital merchandise on-line.
8 apps for promoting digital merchandise on Shopify
- Digital Downloads
- Single Music
- Sky Pilot
There are a selection of gross sales and advertising and marketing instruments you’ll wish to take into account for promoting digital merchandise, relying in your wants:
- Digital Downloads. This free app by Shopify presents a easy strategy to promote digital merchandise by yourself web site. Upon buy, prospects can obtain their file instantly and obtain a hyperlink of their e-mail.
- SendOwl. For extra advanced digital product companies, SendOwl comes with a wide range of options and helpful automation, like expiring hyperlinks and auto-generated license keys, to energy your merchandise.
- Programs. This Shopify app enables you to create classes, tutorials, webinars, and manuals and promote them on-line. You’ll be able to create lovely on-line training portals, embed pre-recorded movies, and even livestream lesson content material. Prospects can monitor their progress and earn certificates for his or her completion.
- Single Music. For those who’re a musician promoting music, Single was made with you in thoughts. Not solely does it bridge the hole between bodily and digital music gross sales, it additionally enables you to simply embody clips in your product web page for purchasers to pattern.
- Thinkific. This app enables you to monetize your experience and develop your viewers by including on-line programs to your Shopify retailer. You’ll be able to add and drag and drop content material to create a course curriculum. A free plan is offered, permitting you to create as much as three programs.
- FetchApp. FetchApp is one other digital obtain supply app that gives fewer options than SendOwl however has a free plan obtainable (5 MB of storage) and provides you the flexibility to connect a number of information to a single product.
- Sky Pilot or Daring Memberships. These apps are perfect for constructing a membership program. You’ll be able to promote information and unique video streams to prospects. Prospects can then entry all of their beforehand bought information by their very own buyer accounts.
- BookThatApp, Tipo, or Sesami. These three apps are good for companies that provide one-to-one or small group interactions and wish an appointment reserving answer to schedule consultations or teaching classes with prospects. All three apps have a free plan obtainable.
Past these digital product supply techniques, there are different Shopify apps to energy and shield your digital items, akin to:
- Recurring Order & Subscription. That is an app for weekly or month-to-month subscriptions. Use it to automate recurring orders, invoices, and digital subscriptions for on-line memberships or applications.
- Pasilobus Armor. If you would like further safety for visible merchandise like inventory photographs, this app presents a lot of the safety measures it’s possible you’ll want, from watermarks to supply code safety.
- Disable Proper-Click on. When your content material is your product, this app helps you shield it from theft. You’ll be able to lock photographs and textual content to allow them to’t be saved or copied with out your permission.
Relying in your wants, these apps and extra can be utilized collectively that will help you incorporate digital merchandise into your Shopify retailer and execute any of the digital merchandise examples under.
Gross sales and advertising and marketing suggestions for promoting digital merchandise
Whether or not you’re a brand-new enterprise proprietor or including on-line digital merchandise to your current retailer, maintain the following tips in thoughts:
- Create an important product. The primary standards for creating digital merchandise is so as to add worth to your prospects’ life. Because you’re competing with free content material on the net, put money into constructing a product individuals can’t discover anyplace else.
- Promote a lead magnet. No matter how a lot your product prices, create a light-weight model of it at no cost. A free product may also help you construct an e-mail listing you possibly can promote to sooner or later. It additionally opens the door for upselling and retargeting potential prospects with completely different promotions. Free builds belief between your online business and potential prospects.
- Begin an associates program. Associates are an enormous supply of visitors and gross sales for creators promoting digital merchandise. Discover influencers who’re established and trusted in your business and supply them a fee for every sale they make. You’ll be able to create completely different percentages for various associates, so if somebody has a large viewers, you can provide them the next fee price to advertise extra and appeal to prospects.
- Accumulate preorders. A good way to get early gross sales is by giving a reduced “early chicken” worth. For those who’re releasing a brand new digital product, you possibly can supply a 50% low cost for the primary 100 consumers, then 25% for the subsequent 100 consumers, after which launch the product at full worth after the 25% low cost runs out. You’ll be able to solely launch the 50% low cost to your current viewers to reward their loyalty, get suggestions, and drive prelaunch gross sales.
- Provide a money-back assure. For those who’re hesitant about providing a guaranty in your merchandise, it is smart. Some individuals might purchase and use your product then ask for his or her a reimbursement. Nevertheless it’s all part of operating a web based enterprise. The rewards of upper conversion charges outweigh the small proportion of people that might abuse the coverage. A a reimbursement assure exhibits potential consumers you’re placing your cash the place your mouth is, and placing the chance on you, not them.
Creating one of the best digital merchandise for your online business
With out the necessity to maintain stock or the overhead related to promoting bodily merchandise, all forms of digital merchandise could be worthwhile on-line enterprise concepts.
There are numerous methods you possibly can create one of the best digital content material to promote and resell and incorporate them into your online business. With just a little ingenuity and upfront funding of time, you possibly can serve up irresistible worth that may greater than pay for itself over time.
Able to create your first enterprise? Begin your free trial of Shopify—no bank card required.
Digital merchandise FAQ
What are some examples of digital merchandise?
- On-line programs and webinars
- Kindle books
- Software program applications
- Internet parts like Shopify or WordPress themes
- Membership websites
- PowerPoint templates
How do you create a digital product?
- Brainstorm digital product concepts.
- Analysis purchaser ache factors.
- Validate concepts by key phrase and development analysis.
- Produce your digital merchandise.
- Create a Shopify retailer.
- Construct an viewers and market your digital merchandise.
What digital merchandise are in demand?
- Instructional merchandise like ebooks and on-line programs
- Unique membership communities
- Digital templates and instruments
- Repurposed music or artwork
- Productized companies
- Licenses to make use of digital property
What sort of digital merchandise promote greatest?
The perfect-selling digital merchandise embody graphic design, templates, downloadable prints, music and audio, inventory images, and print on demand merchandise like customized t-shirts, notebooks, and mugs.