hero image of blog post - Building profitable digital products

Building profitable digital products

In today's situation, this industry has received even greater development. Have you noticed how the number of online schools, useful apps, online stores and platforms has increased? Our social networks are flooded with offers from similar startups. And every day there will be more of them.

Modern technologies have long and firmly changed our lives. On the one hand, we made many things easier and more convenient, on the other hand, with the advent of the Internet, the world began to change rapidly: new specialties appeared, and some professions, on the contrary, disappeared, new tools for solving everyday tasks appeared. But at the same time, there is still not enough time to complete these tasks.

In business, technology also plays an important role. This is especially true for business promotion and the tools that serve it.

15 years ago, companies that offered business owners to create websites barely received orders, because everyone threw up their hands and said “ " why do we need a website, who needs it, because we are already selling?!"Today, a business without its own website is unthinkable. And those companies that took care of this tool in advance took the lion's share of customers, while others only sigh with disappointment that they could not get among the first.

After the Internet revolution came the era of mobile technology. Right now it's time to create new effective tools that have literally burst into our world along with mobile devices. We're talking about mobile apps.

If you have a smartphone or tablet, then you understand how various functional applications, games, and entertainment work. But why does a business need a valuable digital product?

There are many great reasons of creating a digital products - but firstly, here is just a short fact: according to App Annie, the mobile app industry generated more than $41.1 billion in gross annual revenue worldwide. In 2018, this figure is expected to grow to $50.9 billion. According to Statista forecasts, in 2020, the gross annual revenue in this industry will exceed $189 billion.

Today, mobile reality has become an urgent necessity for users, mainly because it adds innovation and unlimited consumption, which can translate into high profits such as passive income. Again, they’re a lot of work upfront depending on the content you’re selling, but once they’re in place, you can sell them over and over on autopilot. For this reason, they’re more scalable than a traditional business model of selling a service or physical product. Since you’re no longer trading dollars for hours, the sky’s the limit for product development and potential income. Since nothing physical is produced or shipped, digital products are also far relatively less expensive to produce (you don’t have to set up your own production line, software usually does not require some special pemissions in diffrent countries, it is easy to distribuite, testing digital product is easy to coordinate accross diffrent countries ), so as a result they’re also much less risky. Selling digital products related to existing services or products you already offer helps establish you as an expert in your field and provides further education opportunities for your clients or colleagues.

From Hootsuite yearly presentation on https://www.slideshare.net/hootsuite
From Hootsuite yearly presentation on https://www.slideshare.net/hootsuite

Summarizing today, a significant portion of customer interactions with businesses take place over the Internet and the mobile app for business allows you to:

  • Improve your company's image-having a high-quality mobile app shows your customers that your business is keeping up with the times and that you are looking forward to long-term partnerships.

  • Stand out from the competition-many companies still use traditional channels of promotion and communication with customers-advertising, flyers, SMS notifications. Your business can compare favorably with its competitors and offer its customers a convenient and modern channel of interaction.

  • Raise customer loyalty to a new level — through the app, you can run various loyalty programs, encouraging your long-time customers. Instead of club and bonus cards that the customer may forget or lose, they will use a smartphone with your mobile app, which is always at hand.

  • A new level of service-notifications in the app will help your customers to be aware of all the news, promotions and activities of your company, they will not miss the most important things and monitor the execution of their order.

  • Work for the interests of target consumers – the application will gather an audience that is already interested in the services of your business. This is a new opportunity to work with "warm" customers and offer them your services.

  • Conducting marketing promotions-discounts, and special promotions for mobile app users, is a new way to interact with a potential customer.

  • Boost sales – Your business is now in the customer's pocket. You are constantly in touch and can apply various types of purchase incentives.

  • Achieve continuous communication with the customer – you will have a unified system of communication channels with consumers, which will provide a modern level of customer service.

Okay, you know that having a valuable digital product is an important business need today. What’s next? 

  1. Validate Your Digital Product Idea 

Very important thing is a validation of your business ideas, primarily because it's something As a Mobile Reality and I personally have failed so miserably at in the past. Think about it this way: There's no point in devoting all of your energy for days, weeks, or months to building a product that nobody actually wants. There are thousands of self-published books on Amazon that have only sold a few copies, usually to the author's friends and family, because they're on an obscure topic that no sizable audience is interested in learning about. Always research your market before you begin to create any digital content. I start with Google Trends and search for topics of interest around which I could viably produce digital content. Once you enter a specific keyword phrase, Google Trends will show you the popularity of that phrase over a defined period of time. The next tool I go to, one which really helps me validate the potential success of a digital product, is the Google Keyword Planner, part of Google AdWords. This allows you to analyze the monthly search volume and projected competition on specific keyword phrases. If you can find a combination of high demand and relatively low competition, this signals a great opportunity to create and sell products related to that keyword phrase--if you have the right strategy and can provide more value than the other alternatives out there. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback as long as you're careful to make sure it comes from unbiased sources. The opinions of your friends and family don't often reflect 100 percent honesty. Search online for relevant forums and social media groups, and check out these 6 best websites for unbiased feedback to get truly objective, real opinions.

2. Set Up a Waiting List 

People love anticipation. Setting up a waiting list is also one of the best ways to validate your digital product idea, as you'll very quickly see how many people express interest by driving targeted traffic to your signup page. It doesn't matter how good your product is if no one knows about it. Your email list is one of your most valuable assets, thus it's in your best interest to build up your list with potential customers. I recommend beginning by creating a simple landing page on your website before you build anything related to your upcoming digital product idea. This will give you a way to test the waters with this product concept, start getting indexed by search engines, and prime your existing audience. Here's an example of a very simple landing page I used to test the validity of an online course on starting a business while working full-time. If someone is interested enough in your online course concept, downloadable product, or service, to give you their email address, you know that there is a decent that they'll be interested enough to buy your digital goods once they're live. 3. Start Building Your Audience With Free Content Once you have a landing page on your site ready to collect email addresses, you need to begin by giving reasons for people to go to that page and sign up. Start with creating some high quality blog content for your site.

and building a targeted list of potential companies, brands, and influencers who may be interested in sharing your content with their audiences. The people on that list you create will also be great prospects for publishing guest posts that you know their audience is already primed for. I use BuzzSumo for identifying these distribution opportunities. Guest posting has been by far the best driver of new traffic and waiting list signups to my digital content. Since you determined your niche in the first step of this process while validating your idea, now it's time to hunt out other, more successful, blogs that cover the same niche. Analyze these blogs and pitch ideas to them for posts you could write. Make sure that your pitches are on topics similar to what they already cover, but not identical to pieces they've published before. You'll have to make quite a few pitches before being accepted if you're just starting out with your online brand, but you'll eventually manage to land a few guest posts, and you can then use these as leverage to gain more. Check out this extensive guide to landing high value guest posts by Ramit Sethi. Most blogs will allow you to have a short bio attached to your post, and some relevant contextual (non-spammy) links within your post. Of course, you will want people on your list to keep you top of mind, so be sure to keep up with occasional new content on your own blog--shoot for at least one solid post a month. One way you can help speed up the uptake of names to your list is to create a small digital product that you can use as a "free giveaway" in exchange for an email address, offer a pre-launch discount, or even access to a free webinar or coaching session. 

4. Create Your Digital Product 

Once you've built an email list or have a sizable social community (shoot for at least a few hundred to a thousand people), you should have a trickle of regular traffic to your website, which will warrant spending more time building your digital products and getting early feedback from your community. The idea at this point is that you start shifting your emphasis away from guest posting and gradually move back towards improving the quality and frequency of posts on your website. You now have enough readers to justify writing more frequent posts, so focus on ranking for your target keyword phrases, bring visitors over to your waiting lists, and even pre-sell your online course. Lastly, look ahead during your creation process and consider exactly how you'll be selling those digital products from your website. Which tools will you be using to set up landing pages? Which will you use for collecting payments? Will you collect customer data? Where will you store order details? Be sure to try out Selz, which is designed specifically for this type of scalability.

“Even the smallest detail in a digital product is very important for a positive consumer experience”

In terms of building digital product and making it as an efficient process:

a) focus on main, first core process in you app, that should be responsible for generating revenue,

b) Try make first, core process as optimize as possible. I am sure that you will have thousands ideas how to evolve it, but please focus on the first version, that will allow you offer the first service to your users and validate your business model. 

c) well-prepared backlog at the beginning with all of the features and user stories that has to be implemented will allow you to manage your project efficiently. In Mobile Reality, dozens of delivered product development project learned us that efficient project management is clue to not wasting money. Your team or the your software vendor’s team should understand your product not only form technical side but also from business perspective. If they understand business goals they will know how to build your product in order to achieve them.

d) try to use and integrate your app with already existing solutions, do not waste your money and create modules from scratch that can be provided by other provider. In Mobile Reality we are always recommending to our Clients building their solutions by taking advantage of already existing APIs, SKDs etc. Years of experience and dozens of completed integration with various providers taught as a lot.

e) building the product is not only taking a few developers and telling him to develop the app that I have in mind, this is the process of choosing the most appropriate way of implementation according to the business requirements, strong team with tech experience and business approach is important to have. Good coordination, and communication, tech knowledge and implementation are significant factors in delivering the product in efficient and reasonable way.

Some examples of efficient process of building digital products:

a) We convince our Client to build the PoC of his platform to validate the core process that will have impact for all of the rest features. The unusual conversion of the files and output visualisation will allow us to get the knowledge how to optimize the rest of the process in the system. Speding $5k at the beginning of the journey will allow us to understand how to efficiently allocate rest of the money ($50k-$100k) and resources in terms of building client-facing platform with proper administration panel,

b) In terms of efficient project management, we convince our Client to extend his backend team for the next month in order to speed up the development of the scope and efficiently manage frontend and mobile devs in the next weeks. We make development process much more efficient saving $10k-$20k,

c) Before spending hundreds of thousands dollars on ML algorithms we convince our Client to start with simple analytics workshops to understand the dataset and prepare the efficient plan of transforming data into profit. Simple workshops and relatively simple data analytics activities that can take week or two can answer a lot of questions and can help prepare effective plan for the future. $5k - $10k is enough budget to start and have some outputs that will allow to validate first concepts.

As a Mobile Reality team we can point out dozens of such examples, but the main thing is that your tech partner or internal tech team should focus not on spending and building as much as possible, but making it as a efficient process for the future. Thinglink in long-term not short-term is important. We always choose the best web development frameworks possible to meet client’s business goals and satisfy their users’ expectations. We’ve worked with technologies like Node.JS, Terraform, Amazon Web Services on the backend and cloud side and we’ve leveraged React.JS or Vue.JS on the frontend and React Native on the mobile side. We have years of experience in these technologies. Depending on the scope of the project, features, expected traffic, and time and budget, we individually choose the optimal options for your project. We are polish, eastern europe software company that delivers astonishing results. Software outsourcing, outsource web application projects to us is always excellent choice. Quality that matters.

From Hootsuite yearly presentation on https://www.slideshare.net/hootsuite
From Hootsuite yearly presentation on https://www.slideshare.net/hootsuite

Here are a few things that a comprehensive approach to building a digital product brand provides.

- Strong connection with the audience.

The audience understands the value of communicating with the brand, is ready to forgive small mistakes and purchase the product at a higher price.

- A prominent position in the market.

The brand is focused and unique, and difficult to copy.

- Holistic visual image and communication with the audience.

The visual language, communication channels, and communication style are not built randomly, but based on the values and character of the brand. This creates a stable image in the mind of the consumer, forms his positive impressions.

It is important to note that just having a mobile app does not solve all business problems, but in the right hands it can become a powerful marketing and business tool. So don’t hesitate and choose Mobile Reality Team as your valuable partner on digital market today.

Surely, you've been wondering: which app will pay back the investment in it? The answer depends on the scope of your business, the goals and tasks that the application should solve.

07.05.2021Mobile Reality
Matt Sadowski / CEO of Mobile Reality
Has this article been helpful? Are you interested in consulting your business initiative with us? We would be thrilled to support your tech and business efforts in order to create profitable digital products with you! Just contact us through the contact form or chat on our website our experts are always ready to advise you and help you create an effective mobile or/and web platform for business.

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