If you have ever wanted advice on making your content that much sweeter and you like to play around with statistics and experiments, then strap yourself in and read Head boy’s fantastic post:
If you have been reading from some of the Godfathers and Godmothers of blogging you may have heard of a term referring to cookie cutter approaches to styling, writing articles and general presenting of information on a particular subject. This also applies to the “copy” used. The way you present data to draw your audience to buy.
What is Cookie Cut?
You should know what a cookie cutter is. It is either a metal or plastic circular tool used by bakers to cut cookie shapes out of dough. In essence it is a way of applying the same template of cookie to every piece of dough. Baker’s do this to apply some form of uniformity to their product. With an even use of the rolling pin on their dough they should in essence have many identical end products at the end of the baking process.
Why should you avoid the Cookie Cut?
The Cookie Cut makes you lazy as a marketer. By applying a set template to everything you do, and by repeating it hundreds of times, you could be applying a defective strategy to your sell en masse.
Introducing the custom fit
Being a good marketer means tailoring your sell. You have to use methods that people respond to specifically to that item because the most basic template may not be a best fit.
The saying goes: “Good enough is the enemy of best.”
The custom fit as an evolution
The custom fit for a piece of marketing or “Copy” can start out as a simpler template but it has to evolve away from defined ways of doing things. It actually has to fit what the customer wants and supply their demand in a way that makes sense and that is logical to that audience.
You don’t sell a leather jacket to a concert conductor. Instead you sell the full tails.
Tools that can help
You may soon become aware of some marketing tools that can be of great help in shaping a unique fit. The particular tool you are looking for to start is something that helps with A/B Split testing.
Split testing helps with everything traffic related because you can experiment with very minute but noticeable elements of your website within a matter of seconds. There are some good premium services already out there (and yes, you have to pay for these) which work effectively. Optimizely and Kissmetrics both provide A/B split testing and you can use more than one variation per element.
One thing to be aware of if you are a stat watcher is that these tests may skew your viewing figures in less controlled areas like WordPress stats.
What is split testing?
Basically it is like running a trial. You have two beakers of fluid and ask so many people to take one or the other. You then gain a consensus of the option that was most popular.
Split testing normally takes so many visitors down one option randomly whilst a similar number are taken down a different route. Think about the difference between a red button and a blue button. Which one is the audience more likely to click. The other benefit of split tests are that they only test people going down certain paths so you can be very specific in what you are looking to change.
Say that your Welcome page doesn’t motivate people to go anywhere else. You can set a split test on this page to see if a video works better than your text on that page. The variation would be a text only page or a page with a video and the visitor would be channeled down one or the other.
Advantages of split testing
Split testing can get a whole lot more complicated but is useful in making your mode of getting people over the line a unique activity. Split testing is also useful because it eradicates this thought of one size fits all. You can also renew and enhance areas you thought were doing okay but actually could do better this helps eradicate complacency.
Don’t be told the best way to do something is “this”
Often you are going to need to experiment and go against any misconceptions that people may have painted for you. Just because you can see something working for somebody else selling the same thing you are, doesn’t mean it will work the same for you.
Often you need some sort of tipping point to encourage people and that tipping point could be any number of attributes that you may or may not have captured. It is sometimes a matter of opening up the back of the machine and trying a few things.