Thinking about selling Virtual Products? Sales have been increasing with the onset of Covid 19 as businesses scramble to keep offering their services in safe and socially distanced ways.
Many have turned to selling digital downloads. Whether it be a lesson/class, informational talks, entertainment show, training course etc. For many of us with WordPress websites, the obvious choice is to add on to the website we have. This is good for SEO and relatively straight forward. WooCommerce is a wonderful platform to offer physical and digital products.
Things to consider before selling a virtual product;
Who owns the content? This is important, you need to make a statement prior to purchase. Is the customer buying the content outright or the right to view the content. This is an important distinction.
What is the cost of your virtual product? This will be affected by the question above. Pricing is your choice but if they own the content outright it should cost much more.
How long will you grant access to the product and how many downloads can they have? I recently set one up and we gave the purchaser 3 views over 20 days.
What are your terms and conditions? This is where you outline the ownership of the content and what you are allowed to do with it. For example; if you create a course can someone resell it? Can they post to social? Share with their friends? Make sure to include a section on what to do if you dont receive the download link.
It is hard to enforce these things, however you must state whether it is allowed or not. List the allowed and prohibited usages in the terms and conditions and have it so people must acknowledge the Terms when they check out.
In order for digital downloads to work automatically the payment processor (ie. PayPal) must return an Instant Payment Notification (IPN) This triggers the software to send the email with the digital download link to the customer.
How will you market it?
This is huge. Please do not assume people will find it on your website on their own. You need to announce it, introduce the concept, explain the advantages and play the number. If you look at average conversion rates for e-commerce you need 1000 site visitors to get 10 sales. This number will changed if you have a following who is engaged and eager.
Tips for selling virtual products:
Newsletter to your existing customers (Warm Market)
Purchase incentive- Buy my course and get a 1 hour one on one zoom meeting.
Post to social
Boost a post on social (this will help give you better visibility)
Make sure to create benefit focused ads- put yourself in someone elses’ shoes, why do they need what you’re selling?
Try A/B testing on posts to determine what graphics and copy work best.
As a small business owner there are many “free” things you can do to help market your business. One of them is adding new original content to your website. But where do you put it? In the posts / blog area.
This is a great way to write meaningful post about your business, product, service and industry. It poises you as an expert in your industry and it a great opportunity to show people you know what you are talking about. Blogging for business should be strategic and compliment your marketing plan. Ask us how!
I would say most business owners know their industry so why not explain it; Highlight advantages, benefits of your product or services, case studies, how to’s etc.
Why Blog posts?
They are Searchable by Google
Provide their own URL for sharing on social
Can be put into categories
Various formats; videos, audio or text, (always include a transcript)
Help search engine optimization by adding new original content
Essential to keep your site updated- don’t let your site go static
The big advantage is it allows you to give your business a more informal voice. You can express your passion behind the business, why you care, why your are different. Only 1 post a month of at least 300 words that is unique (original- no copy and paste from somewhere else) and you will also help your website SEO. Just think, Google wants to render the most accurate, recent search results based on a users query so if you are writing new meaningful content then that is a “brownie point” for Google. It builds your database of information on a topic and credibility. Consistant blogging on a topic can also build domain authority (that’s good by the way)
Here are some ideas of what to write about when you blog for business:
We often get questions about our services and common questions about web design.
Here are just a few that we will answer here:
How much does a website cost?
Great question, Each website is created specifically for the client. We don’t have set prices because we don’t know what you need yet. Our number one goal is to create a website that will help your business. Our prices start from $500 and up. Our prices are quite reasonable for several reasons;
We don’t outsource, all work is done in house- no need to pay a separate developer
We do not have a physical location. Why? There is nothing to see in web design. We don’t want to pass along an inflated price to the customer just to have a bricks and mortar location. We gladly set up online meetings or in person meetings.
Experience- we have created well over 500 websites and we know what we are doing.
Can I expand my website later?
Absolutely, and we encourage it. We develop in WordPress and you can create a small one page landing page to many hundreds of pages and posts. We also encourage a new business to purchase a website based on what they can afford. Don’t get SOLD a site over your budget. It is quite easy to create a website in phases (stages).
Why can’t I do it myself?
In this day and age you certainly can create your own website. There are great builder sites like Wix, Weebly, Square etc. What we do here is use your extensive experience in SEO, design and development to create a unique website that reflects your business, gets it done professionally and properly with a unique url and hosting space to better index your site. The free bees and builder sites just are not the same as a professionally built site. It is like comparing chocolate cake to mud. They could look similar but are not.
I want to use my old host, can I?
Yes, if it is technically compatible with WordPress and allows us to manage your php and resources like; max input time, memory limit, max execution time, post max size …etc.May people want to use old hosting for a new site but if the server is old and does not meet the minimum requirements for our theme, we do not recommend it. If the web hosting is very inexpensive, there is usually a reason and can yield subpar results. Now more than ever, your site needs to be fast.
Do I Need Web Maintenance?
Any WordPress website needs web maintenance on a regular basis. Quite often the WordPress core, theme or plugins need to be updated biweekly. Why so often? WordPress developers are very proactive, if a security vulnerability is detected or a new functionality is required, it comes out as an update. Generally, if we build your website and you ask us to change something on the site, we will back up and update the site at the same time. Usually this should take under 15 minutes. We can teach clients how to update (it is really easy) so they don’t need to pay the maintenance fee.
My website is finished now what?
It can take up to 4 weeks for Google to index your website if it is a new one. We can request a faster indexing. Please remember to add your website url to your social media and directories. Definitely make sure it is correct at Google My Business .
It is imperative to collect stats where web visitors come from, where they go, and how long they stay. By analyzing the data, we can see what is working and what isn’t.
Often small businesses use the Spray and Pray Are you just putting stuff out there for your marketing and hoping that people will find you and become a customer? This spray and pray approach to marketing has been failing companies forever, and it’s because you are essentially leaving it up to luck for strangers to become customers.If you want to influence people in your target market to become your customer, you must dictate what that process looks like and the steps they should be taking. Create content for your website, social media channels, and email messages that help guide someone from their before state to their transformational after state of being a customer.
approach. Spraying your marketing message out to anyone and everyone and hoping that the right someone will immediately come knocking at your door just doesn’t cut it.
Our approach to digital marketing ensures the right mix of Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, and Online Advertising can be tailored for each individual client depending on where the data points them.
While small businesses and nonprofits recognize the need to promote their message online to grow their audience, they are often at the size/budget where they lack the expertise of an in-house digital marketer. We can help fill that gap by providing digital marketing services at the fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.
Some things to consider:
Know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing- set goals and know the desired result.
Determine who is your ideal client?
Research- do they need what I have to offer?
Do they have the money to spend on my product or service?
What problem does my product/service solve for the client?
Develop a message that speaks to the clients need.
Implement several marketing channels to hit your target market,
Often we get clients calling wanting a website but have no plans to blog or use social media, videos etc. Part of our job is to educate customers on the fact that just the website alone is not enough. Each business should have a clear content creation plan to complement their inbound marketing strategy. Gone are the days of build a website and leave it. With millions of websites online, we must stay competitive on the content/ information driven internet.
We work with clients to help them understand the strategy of inbound marketing and how the website works in conjunction with blogging, social media, video, newsletters, lead magnets, e-commerce etc.
Your website should be the HUB that ties all your marketing efforts together. Conversions happen on your website; whether the visitor picks up the phone, buys something or signs up for an offer. The website is the hub of all your business information.
The concept is to lead the viewer back to the website at any opportunity so that they have the opportunity to see the products and services you have. Here are some examples of some marketing strategies and how they work with your website.
Example: You see a beautiful blouse your friend shared on Instagram, you think, I want that blouse, so you click the link in the post and land on the website that sells the blouses. You can then investigate what else they have and buy the blouse.
Another example; your child is acting out at school, you Google “child acting out at highschool” the search results indicate a local phychologist written blog article that discusses parental strategies, you read the article and are impressed with the tips so you look on the website further and find you can go for family counselling. This same example holds true with videos as well, as long a detailed description is used with the video.