The traditional model of buy ads, get eyeballs on your product, and make sales is a tired model. Sometimes when a new ad platform debuts there's a brief period where ads are so cheap it's easy to get in and get a ton of eyeballs on your product but eventually those cheap ads disappear.
You can continuously innovate in the advertising space making more and more advanced ads to minimize your advertising costs. Or you can choose to not play that game and instead invest in a product that markets itself.
In his book Purple Cow Seth Godin talks about making a product that's remarkable. To be remarkable, Godin says, is to be “worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting.”
I love the literal definition of remarkable “worth of remark”. Is your product good enough to be talked about?
In the book Contagious, Jonah Berger talks about how ideas spread. According to him there are six ingredients to making a product or idea spread:
- Social Currency – people like talking about it because it makes them look a certain way
- Triggered – it's brought up often in every day life (Mars bars saw increases in sales as news stations were talking about pathfinder launch to Mars)
- Emotional – don't show people what you do; show them why it matters
- Public – it has to be visible behavior. Viral socks will be much harder than viral t-shirts
- Practically Valuable – useful information is shared (ex which vacuum cleaner is more efficient)
- Story – people are good at sharing stories. If you can embed your product in a story it will be easier to share
So let's say I made a new eCommerce platform that automated & paid 100% of your taxes. That would be practically valuable. And someone who wants to make a recommendation to a friend might mention my product because of how useful it is.
If we packaged that feature in a story, like the story of Jane Doe who made her own store, didn't know anything about taxes or online business, and was able to build a thriving business. That story might spread on it's own and carry with it my service.
And it would be easy to make a marketing message about the emotions you'll feel using the product and running your own business.
As an eCommerce educator I'd receive prestige noticing an upcoming product ahead of my peers so I'd want to write about it on my blog. That's another way it can spread.
Of course not every product can get in all six categories. But the more categories you appear in the more likely your product or idea will spread.
A Remarkable Game
As I continue to refine my product I'm spending more and more time refining my marketing messages and studying how users react to my messages. This past week I went through 200 recordings and learned a lot about my audience.
This seems strange right? I mean they didn't read a single word. They probably didn't even have enough time to read the headline. Since the game box is so prominent they must have seen that at. But with just an image to convince them this user signed up in 6 seconds.
This user does the same thing. They start signing up immediately. They start signing up before they've even seen the entire box! They had a second to read the headline and that's it.
They also decide it's worth to be shared on Facebook.
Their screen is so small it literally only shows the headline. They couldn't see what I was offering on the landing page. They had to scroll down to even see the form. That's how tiny their browser window was on their phone.
When I dug into the data I found that I have a very high conversion rate of 30%. That means that for every 3 users who visit the page one of them signs up.
61% of users who sign up do so instantly without any scrolling.
The other 39% do so after going through my landing page. They'll look at the cards, the rules, the reviews, etc.
What's fascinating about this is that the year I've spent building this game doesn't matter – at least not right now. for 61% of the users the premise the idea behind this game is so good they're willing to give me their email.
That's a purple cow.
I've been working on this game for a year so it's more than a premise. The game will be going out to more than dozen reviewers so I can talk about the qualities in the game and get those sales.
Users also love sharing this game. 38% of users shared the landing page on at least one social media platform or via email.
It's so satisfying as a creator to see real people talking about my game. And it's exciting to engage with the community. The user below lives in Madison Wisconsin where we hope to meet up at a board game convention and play test the game.
— KishiBrewKrew (@kishirukrew) November 16, 2018
Getting Attention vs Making Sales
It's worth pointing out that attention isn't the same thing as making sales. I can get someone's attention with a stunt but that doesn't mean they'll buy my product.
“Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable,” Godin wrote in The Guardian, a few years after Purple Cow was published. “Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won't accomplish as much. It's easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful…. No use being remarkable at something that people don't care about.”
For right now all I can do is gather leads and warm up those leads as we move towards a Kickstarter campaign. But those leads will need to turn into sales otherwise it was just attention.