Flash Drives for Info Products – Flash in the Pan?

There’s a lot of talk these days in the information marketing industry about using flash drives as the delivery mechanism for content. It’s so convenient many say – “Just look at all the video, audio and other content I can put on one small flash drive.” Well not so fast Sparky.

Without a doubt you can pack a ton of content onto a single flash drive. We recently did an info product for a client that was delivered on a 32 GB flash drive. And you can get flash drives these days that have a capacity of up to 64 GB of data. That’s a lot of stuff!

But before you go jumping on the flash drive bandwagon there are a couple of points you need to consider. The first, and most important in my opinion, is the issue of “Perceived Value.” Intellectually, we all understand the value of an information product is in the content itself and not the delivery vehicle (DVDs, CDs, Manuals, Membership Site, Flash Drive, etc.). Yet, when someone has just invested hundreds of dollars or more in an info product and they’re handed a tiny little flash drive there is a disconnect in many cases. “I paid $497 for this little thing?”

Their response is emotional, not intellectual, even though they know the value is in what they’re going to learn and not how you’ve delivered it to them. It’s simple human nature.

A second major consideration is the whole “Out of sight, out of mind” dilemma. Flash drives are small and therefore, easily lost. While a manual and disc sets occupy shelf space and are visible reminders of your content to your customers, a flash drive is often thrown in a drawer and forgotten, never to be seen again. You’ve got to develop strategies to help your customer consume your information product, regardless of the delivery mechanism. How will you do this with a flash drive?

There’s a perception that because they are so tiny that the cost of delivering content via flash drive will be less expensive then doing a set of discs and printing a manual. Maybe and maybe not. If you’ve got a lot of content, especially video content, then you can have $15 – $20 into a larger capacity flash drive. You’ll want your logo on the drive for branding purposes. That’s an additional cost. You’ll need to load your data onto the flash drive. That’s an additional cost. Don’t assume it will be less expensive to do a flash drive vs. a set of DVDs. It may be or it may not be.

I mentioned earlier the issue of “Out of sight, out of mind”. To combat this it’s imperative that you insert your flash drive into some type of custom packaging that can sit on their shelf. You can get a DVD style case that will hold a flash drive. There are beautiful 4 panel packages that will hold flash drives. You’ve simply just got to dress it up a little bit to increase the perceived value.

Flash drives are here to stay. They are not a flash in the pan. And you’re going to see more and more products delivered in this format. Just be sure that if you do a flash drive product that you consider perceived value and product consumption ahead of time so you can have the greatest possible success with your flash drive product.

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