Digital products can be a valuable tool for any marketer or business owner looking to attract new leads.
The idea is simple: you create a valuable, free digital resource that’s available to anyone who visits your site (i.e. potential customers). This digital product showcases your expertise as a business and benefits your target audience by answering a question or solving a problem.
The catch is this product can only be accessed once the user has entered their email to download it. That means they’re now in your funnel as a subscriber that you can nurture through to a sale. A good example of using this lead-generation tactic comes from the marketing agency, Whole Whale, which used digital products to increase email sign-ups by 100%, and conversions by 62% (see case study on Optinmonster).
Any company struggling to drive leads can benefit from this strategy. Use the tips below as part of your marketing game plan for attracting new customers:
Choose Your Digital Product
Start by considering your target audience—which type of product would they find most valuable? Think about relevant or industry-specific useful tools, like a content calendar template for marketers, or a downloadable pattern guide for knitters. Focus on solving a problem or offering an asset that provides immediate value to your ideal customer.
There are a variety of digital product options for you to consider as you take stock of your audience and what would be most valuable. Here are a few to consider:
If you already have multiple blog posts based on similar topics, package them into a comprehensive ebook. Check out Selz’s guide to creating ebooks for more specifics on the process, including how to develop an eye-catching cover, how to promote the final product, and much more.
Freebies or Downloadable Resources
Freebies are usually smaller, downloadable resources, like PDFs or documents that offer a template or guide. Start by asking yourself if there are any tools like this that you already use regularly, like a budget spreadsheet or a sales tax guide? This may be a great resource to package for your audience.
Courses allow you to teach a topic or skill that you know well. In this case, a free lead-driving course could just be a 1-hour webinar, as opposed to a multi-hour course like one that you’d find on Udemy, which is less time-consuming and still valuable.
Get the Tools to Create and Publish
Once you’ve decided on the format and topic, you can start gathering or creating the content you’ll be using. For example, if you’re repurposing existing blog posts into an ebook or digital course, your first step is to get all that content into one doc so you can start editing and formatting for the product.
Don’t forget that you may need to outsource for help to create the best version of your digital product. For example, consider working with a designer to develop your template or design the ebook cover.
Once you’ve developed the foundation of your digital product, including content, resources, copy, visuals, etc., you’ll need a platform to create and publish your digital tool. Here are a few to consider:
- Ebook: To make your ebook available for download on your website, upload a PDF or readable version to your site. Follow this guide if you’re a WordPress user.
- Webinar: A webinar can be hosted with a tool like Zoom or Google Hangouts, with the landing page hosted on your site.
- Freebies or downloadable resource guides: This is uploaded to your website as a piece of media. You can then create a landing page on your own site or with a tool of your choosing.
Wherever your digital product lives, remember that it needs to be gated, so make sure to require an email opt-in at the point of download.
Build Your Automation Flow
Before you publish your digital product and release it into the world, you’ll need to build out the backend of your sales funnel.
Start by creating a separate email list for subscribers that have entered your funnel with the digital download. Then, develop an email series specifically for the freebie, introducing your brand, highlighting your paid products or services and getting to know the subscriber. Ultimately, you want your lead to travel through the funnel and convert to a paying customer and that will take time, so don’t sell to them just yet.
Creating an automated email funnel for lead generation can be a complex process and the way it works will depend on the product you use. Tools like ConvertKit and MailerLite are opt-in tools that allow you to build this funnel. Test a few to find the one that works for you before releasing your freebie.
Get It In Front of Your Audience
You’re ready to launch when your digital product is polished and your funnel is set up. This is also the time to promote it to your target audience. There are a few ways to attract exposure and traffic to your digital products.
- Landing pages: Specific landing pages with the opt-in allow you to create a link that you can use in other places (see next point).
- Social media: Highlight your free digital products with social media posts across all platforms. Link to landing pages or the exact area on your website where they can opt-in to download.
- Email it: This is a great resource to send to current subscribers as well. If they haven’t purchased yet, you still need to provide enough value to get them there, and this product may do that.
- On-site ads: Make sure anyone who lands on your site knows about your product by using on-site ads. While people navigate the different pages of your site, they get reminders of your available digital products. For example, you can use a tool like Hello Bar, or another offer widget, that’s both eye-catching and effective.
Leverage Digital Products to Attract New Customers
Digital products are an effective strategy for attracting your target audience and getting them into your sales funnel without trying to sell or ask for anything.
Once you’ve captured them as a lead, continue to market your products and services until they convert.
**This post was provided by our friends over at Jessica Thiefels Consulting, an organic content marketing agency.
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