Or is it still really all about you?
If there’s one thing that gets repeated at Copyblogger over and over, it’s that the key to effective blogging and online marketing is a relentless focus on the needs of the people you are trying to reach. I often wonder if the next time I mention it, I’ll get an angry slew of comments saying:
OK, OK, we get it already!
Unfortunately, I can think of two prime examples of ways in which many are not getting it. The funny thing about these two things is that they are both aspects of what makes the Internet truly unique as a marketing platform, and yet we often fail to take advantage of them.
Take a look to see if you’re guilty of either of them.
1. Producing Content in the Format You Personally Prefer
One thing that many who publish online share in common is that we prefer to read. It’s faster to scan, pull out selected pieces of information, and decide whether to invest in a more careful examination.
The problem is, statistically the majority of people don’t like to read, and don’t comprehend and retain well when they do. The result is, those of us who publish only in text are fighting over a limited audience, while a larger group of people go under served.
I hear bloggers all the time claiming that they don’t do audio, video or visually enhanced online presentations because they personally don’t prefer to consume information that way. But the question you should be asking yourself is:
What format does my prospective audience prefer?
With Copyblogger, I know the vast majority of my readers are, well… readers. But learning psychology tells us that even those who learn primarily from text can benefit from a multiple media format approach. And anytime I’m developing content to sell, it’s definitely a complete audio / visual / interactive collection. The choice of media is that which is best for that particular information.
Multimedia content (combinations of text, audio and visual elements) is perceived as more valuable, because for a large segment of the population, it is more valuable. Thanks to differing learning styles, multiple formats allow most people to extract the benefits of consuming the information.
Start thinking about how you can gain a competitive advantage in your niche by presenting content in other formats. And remember, good copywriting is just as vital to audio, video and live presentations as it is to written text.
2. Ignoring the Marketing Genius
There’s only one true marketing genius in the world. Just one single person who knows exactly what it will take to make a particular person buy.
The genius is that particular paying customer who decides to take the desired action. What you want to achieve with your sales copy is to coordinate your approach with what results in more of those paying customers.
To find out what this collective of marketing geniuses can tell you, you have to test different aspects of your copy against alternative approaches to see what results in the largest number of buyers. After all, are you really focusing on what more of your prospects really want and need if you refuse to find out which headline, offer and call to action they actually prefer within the specific context of your business?
I’d say you’re not. What’s worse, you’re likely leaving money on the table.
Again, many people fall into the trap of marketing in a style that they personally respond to, instead of testing what works with the people who matter—the prospects. Or worse, they blindly follow expert advice without evaluating for themselves what actually works in their particular context.
The Internet is the most easily testable media environment so far. Everything online is trackable, and there are plenty of low cost and even free tools to do it with, so there’s really no excuse for not testing your copy.
Don’t be Afraid to be Wrong – It’s a Contest!
A short time ago I shared the results of a Marketing Sherpa study that concluded that telling people to “click” is still effective in certain contexts. I blogged about it because I have also received higher click through ratios by including the word “click” within the anchor text, based on my own testing.
OK, I admit it’s not always actually “click here”—I focused on that phrase in the headline because it drives some people crazy (and it did). But I have found click combined with other text to boost conversions, often significantly.
But what if something else works better? Would I be upset to be wrong?
Not at all—being attached to being right means you’re not truly focused on your audience. I’d be happy to have something to work with that people respond better to.
With that in mind, the conversion geniuses at FutureNow’s GrokDotCom blog have just announced a landing page contest that could bring you some very valuable data about your specific copy that will help you make more money. And I’m one of the judges of that My Hyperlink Can Beat Your Hyperlink Contest.
Here’s how it works:
- Just comment on this post or the ones like it at GrokDotCom and SEOmoz, linking us to the landing page you want tested and telling us why you should win.
- Judges Brian Clark, Rand Fishkin & Bryan Eisenberg will choose 5 winners.
- To be eligible, contestants must have clear metrics and analytics in place, the ability to test (Google Website Optimizer is free, so no excuses), and the willingness to implement our suggestions.
- Contestants must have enough traffic to yield valid test results.
- For each of our winners, the judges will select a single link to be tested, then agree on three variations of that call to action (a.k.a., anchor link).
- Winners will be announced Thursday, October 11th. Results and analysis of the winners’ hyperlink tests will be posted a few weeks later.
Click here Instruct your web browsing software application to engage this hyperlink in order to retrieve more information from GrokDotCom. Ouch, that much usability hurts!