In 2023, creators are focusing on designing more digital content and distributing it on social media platforms to monetize their efforts. To help you do the same, we’ve put together a short guide to better understand what digital products are all about and how to start selling them on Facebook.
- What are digital products?
- What’s the benefit of selling digital products on Facebook?
- How to get started selling digital products on Facebook
- 5 best practices for creating great digital products
Digital products are content that can be created, sold, and distributed through virtual channels. There are many types of digital products that can be sold in various formats such as text, video, interactive media, or some combination. Digital products can also be sold in bundles that contain multiple file types and products in one package — this is especially common with eLearning programs. Some common examples of digital products include:
- Online courses
- Presentation slide decks
- Spreadsheet templates
- Interactive games
- Journals and journal prompts
- Checklists and to-do lists
- Informational articles and blogs
Monetizing your digital products is a great way to make additional revenue as a creator. Since Facebook has nearly 3 billion users, it’s quite likely that some of your audience is already actively engaged with the platform. In fact, top performing digital creators can make up to $10,000 per month just through selling their content through Facebook!
There’s also a benefit of using sales on Facebook to build brand awareness for your business. There are plenty of Facebook groups and pages where people discuss ideas, special interests, and solutions to common problems, making it a great place for you to join the conversation — and also highlight your digital products! You can even build and manage your own community following on your own page, which helps with overall brand awareness and allows you to expand sales on other platforms.
Do market research
Before you can begin creating and selling digital products, it’s critical to have a solid understanding of who your audience is, what types of content they need, and where to find them on Facebook. This will help ensure your digital products are relevant to solving problems that your target audience actually cares about. You need to make sure that you promote your products in the right areas of Facebook with messaging that will actually encourage conversions.
As a starting point, you can do some research online to see what information others have already gathered about your target audience. From there, you can join relevant Facebook Groups to learn about prominent conversation topics, talk one-on-one with some people who fit your ideal customer profile (ICP), and conduct polls from a Facebook Page to get more in-depth insights.
Determine your pricing
Monetization strategies vary a lot when it comes to digital content, and can even vary for a single type of digital product: for example, videos can be monetized through advertising video on demand (AVOD), subscription video on demand (SVOD), or pay-per-view (PPV), among others.
Figuring out how you’ll price your digital products is important as it’s one of the main things you’ll need to communicate when promoting on Facebook. Your pricing should be based on your information about your audience’s budgets and buying habits. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to price your digital products right away — you can always experiment and change your monetization strategies down the line as you refine your sales process.
Create a sales funnel strategy
Your sales funnel strategy is all about how you’ll flow customers from being potential leads, to first-time customers, and then into repeat customers. Think about the information that you’ll need to collect from leads and customers to help with sales or marketing efforts (for example, you might want to collect email addresses to use in a newsletter for nurturing your leads in the future). This information should be required in any lead generation, payment, or inquiry forms that you promote.
A great digital product can also be used as leverage to upsell your customers to a bigger purchase. For example, you can sell an eBook which covers a portion of your topic — then use that as a lead magnet to encourage customers to purchase an online course that covers more of the topic in detail. Another example is to promote an online course which then invites customers to purchase additional checklists to help with implementing the course lessons. Whatever your plan, ensure that it is relevant to your audience’s needs, spending budget, and learning requirements.
Develop a marketing and promotional strategy
Once you have an understanding of how you want your customers to flow through the sales funnel, you’ll need to figure out how to attract them into it. This is where your marketing and promotional efforts come into play. Luckily, Facebook has a great set of features to help creators promote their content, including Facebook Ads, Pages, Live events, Groups, and Marketplace. You can also check out the Meta Business Suite for more promotional ideas and to see how to extend your digital product sales to other Meta products like Threads, Instagram, and Whatsapp. As the Meta Business Suite has a lot of features that can make it overwhelming if you’re a beginner marketer, you may want to do a bit of exploring around the dashboard first and pick just one or two promotional strategies to focus on at the start.
Your marketing strategy should be catered to the areas in Facebook where your audience is most active. For example, if you are selling a course about indoor gardening techniques for beginners, you should look for Facebook Groups or virtual events marketed through or hosted on Facebook related to that topic. Or, you can create your own to host this audience if a channel doesn’t already exist!
As a general best practice, it’s also a good idea to build your own page to share relevant thought leadership content around your niche. This helps followers find you and stay engaged with your content on a regular basis. Then when you’re ready to promote digital products to sell, you’ll have your own audience ready to buy from you.
Build a digital product
Now, it’s time to craft your product. Depending on the type of product that you’re looking to create, you can use a wide variety of software tools to help with building. Here are some recommended platforms for various types of digital products:
- Create online courses through Thinkific
- Design PDFs, checklists, and templates in Canva or one of Adobe’s products
- Use Excel or Google Sheets for creating spreadsheet templates
Check the most updated selling policies
Facebook has specific policies around selling digital products on their platform. Before you start selling, you should familiarize yourself with those policies here. It’s important to follow any posted policies as not doing so can negatively impact your brand’s reputation and engagement on the platform, or in more serious cases can even get you entirely banned from selling on Facebook.
Start generating sales
Connect with Groups
Facebook Groups are an amazing place to sell digital products because the conversation is already centered around a niche topic, so, it’s easy to jump into any conversation to talk about your solution and digital products to the people who will be interested. Note that there is typically a level of etiquette in most Facebook Groups, so be sure to read the group’s rules before engaging in conversations or adding your own posts. For example, many groups have restrictions about how, when, or how frequently you can offer promotional posts about your own business. Understanding these group guidelines helps ensure that you respect the existing community and demonstrates that your company is here to support your audience above all else!
To generate sales for digital products in a Facebook Group, you’ll likely have to post about your product and link to it so that customers can purchase it directly from there. You can also direct traffic back to your own Facebook Page or website.
Leverage Facebook Marketplace
While Facebook Marketplace is best known as a place to buy furniture, cars, or clothing, it also functions as a great place to sell digital products. You can create a new listing and upload sample images from your product to include. Make sure to add your pricing and a brief description as well. When customers respond to your listing, you can collect a bit of information needed to send them the digital product or you can direct them to a link to purchase and access the product.
With Facebook Ads, you can get your digital products placed in your ideal customers’ Facebook feeds, even if they aren’t engaged in relevant Facebook Groups or searching Marketplace for something related to your brand or products. Facebook Ads work by assessing your ideal customer based on age, location, search interests, career experience, and more. Pricing for social media advertising changes based on the engagement that potential customers have with your Ad. So the more enticing your Ad, the higher the engagement (and likely sales), but the higher the cost. Still,it’s one of the best ways to direct customers to an external link to purchase and access the digital product. If you want to learn more, you can sign up for our free workshop on how to run successful Facebook Ad campaigns or download our free in-depth guide.
Host a Live event
Facebook Live allows creators to host online events. Ahead of time, you’ll need to create an event topic and promote it through Facebook’s channels such as Groups, your own Page, and Ads. On the day of the event, you can discuss thought leadership around your niche and earn sales by encouraging event attendees to purchase your digital product for further insights. You can read more here about how to grow your audience using Facebook Live.
Pay attention to formatting
Digital products need to be compatible with multiple device types, so it’s best to consider formatting for web, mobile, and tablet devices. This may even mean selling different versions of your product based on the devices it needs to be compatible with, especially for interactive products like games and courses.
If you’re importing a product from a physical format to a digital format, the colors may change as printed materials use CMYK colors while digital products typically use RGB. It’s a good idea to double check that your digital products have the intended appearance before you begin selling them.
Finally, you also want to consider the appearance of your URLs. Super long or complex URLs don’t appear as professional as short and relevant link names. Shortening your URL can also have positive impacts for search engine optimization (SEO) too. It’s a small but important detail to pay attention to!
Focus on microlearning
Microlearning is the practice of breaking down large and complex topics into bite-sized learning segments. For example, a 10 minute video can be broken down into individual minute-long clips so that viewers are more likely to stay engaged to the end. In addition to improving engagement microlearning helps your audience retain the information presented in your digital products better too!
Add a call to action
A call to action (CTA) is the way of telling your customer what to do next. Every single digital product should end with a clear CTA. Better yet, if your digital product is fairly lengthy, you can integrate multiple CTAs throughout. Some examples of things you can get customers to do through a CTA include:
- Click through to learn more information
- Request a demo or product tour
- Sign up for a free trial
- Call for a quote or consultation
- View another digital product or website
- Purchase another digital product
Ask for feedback from your customers
When you make a sale, ask your new customers why they’ve decided to purchase, how they found out about your product, and what they like or don’t like. These insights are very important for designing and promoting successful products in the future. You can ask some questions about the purchase decision during the check-out process, and feedback surveys about the learner’s experience with your product should be used once they’ve made it at least partially through your product’s content. This approach will help get you timely, accurate, and helpful insights.
Continually optimize your strategies over time
Through marketing research and trial-and-error, you’ll find what types of content works for your audience. Getting this right doesn’t always happen right off the bat, so you’ll need some patience, practice, and persistence. You should review your sales of each type of digital product on a monthly and quarterly basis to see which ones are performing the best. Additionally, you can try to calculate your return on investment (ROI) for each product to see which topics or content types are worth producing more of. This is calculated by looking at the cost to produce and promote a digital product compared to the revenue earned within a specific time frame.
Your audience may also be sensitive to your monetization strategy, so it can help to experiment with various sales tactics too. For example, a budget-minded audience may convert better with a free trial or if they can view a sample of the product before purchasing. Similarly, some audiences may prefer one type of video monetization, like subscriptions, while others may prefer another like pay-per-view.
As your business grows, you might consider building more digital products to sell through Facebook or other online channels like TikTok, Instagram, Amazon, or other marketplaces. You can also try selling your existing products on those other channels to scale your revenue.
Digital products are a great way to build brand reputation, generation additional revenue online, and upsell customers to bigger-ticket items under your business. Facebook is a fantastic platform for selling digital products as it connects with a wide range of audiences and has a comprehensive business center to organize your marketing initiatives in one place. The key to building a successful digital product involves doing thorough market research, experimenting with strategies to find what works best for your audience, and aligning your Facebook marketing efforts with your audience’s interests and engagement patterns. And don’t forget to get feedback from your customers frequently so you can continue building and selling great digital products for them!
Get started with creating digital products with Thinkific
Start building and selling online courses through Thinkific. The platform supports many different monetization strategies, integrates with major learning platforms like Zoom, has plenty of interactive course features like quizzes, and even has support for you to build and manage your own learning community group. It’s a perfect way to bundle multiple digital product types into one place or sell individual pieces too. Try Thinkific for free today!