Next month, we’ll be covering this topic with more specific details, but I thought it important to provide a broader overview. When you create new online services, you are undergoing digital product development. Like traditional product development which results in a tangible item that you can sell, it’s a process and requires time and patience. But the way you market a digital product differs significantly from marketing traditional products.
When marketing digital products, there’s one tenet that holds true, regardless of what you’re marketing: find your audience. Use social networks to build organic audiences and plan to at least begin with some pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. Facebook advertising is a great, inexpensive option for testing ad campaigns that provides you with a way to target very specific demographics and geographic areas. With these types of campaigns, it’s important to identify that target demographic so you can narrow your audience and get the most out of your advertising dollar. These kinds of campaigns be very effective because you’re able to target people with your preferred interests and locations (down to as small as a 5 mile radius).
Another way of marketing your product lies in the development of the product itself: freemium. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a mashup of "free" and "premium" and it’s used to describe a product which is free to acquire with limited (or expiring) functionality. By paying the premium fee, you retain use or gain access to those otherwise restricted features. Mailchimp is a great example of a freemium service and it's one that allowed me to get things rolling. Offering a free trial to new users is an effective marketing tool, but you must have something over and above the base features of your digital product to allow for this.
Finally, focus on landing pages (whether that’s through a service such as Lead Pages or highly customized landing pages designed to convert on your own marketing site) and marketing before you launch. The timing here is important: this needs to take place before you launch the final product. Why? Because you want to launch with an excited, anticipatory audience. That excitement will help drive your other marketing efforts on social media and throughout the Web.
Need help developing your next digital product? Contact us and we can discuss what you want to build and how best to bring it to the world.