This morning I downloaded Pokémon Go and played it for the first time.
It’s a funny and fast-moving world we live in. Here I am writing this post at the end of August 2016, and I feel slightly “out-of-the-loop” that I haven’t jumped on the Pokémon bandwagon yet. It hasn’t even been 90 days since its release! Pretty soon people will be like, “Dude! You haven’t downloaded Timesuck Warmachine yet?! It’s been out for two days already!”
I’ve made a few observations we can translate into a marketing lesson about customer testimonials, but first let me show you what I caught!
This little creature was waiting for me right outside my apartment building. At 11 a.m. on a sunny Florida day, I think this Charmander was waiting to be caught — hoping I would come along to rid him of his misery of standing in the boiling sun. So I did him the favor.
I snatched him within 45 seconds… and that concludes my Pokémon-playing experience.
Do you notice how Pokémon Go has altered the gaming industry? Technology is starting to integrate with our physical world. You’re not sitting down in front a screen pushing buttons. You’re standing, walking, moving around and capturing creatures that are all around us.
It reminds me of the book “Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly. In the book, Kelly predicts the underlying trends and technologies that will shape our world over the next 30 years. In 2046, virtual reality will be as commonplace as cell phones. Pokémon Go, albeit limited, is a type of virtual reality.
As a marketer, I like to look at trends and think to myself, “What are the elements of this that make it über popular and allow it to grow at lightning speed?”
Here are a few key elements I saw:
- Stupid-simple to play. When I was a kid, I loved playing complex video games. With Pokémon Go, you don’t need an instruction manual, cheat sheet, or anything. Just download and start catching!!!
- Incorporates more of the senses. This goes back to the virtual-reality thing. Your phone has location and movement censors which allow you to move around your world while playing.
- Social pressure and validation (Most important from a marketing perspective). I recently saw a picture of friends at Disney World. There where hundreds of people around them and they were ALL playing Pokémon Go. Even the “Happiest Place on Earth” needs to be upgraded to virtual reality.
Yep… social pressure.
This is why all the social media companies are some of the biggest on the planet. The more people there are who use it, the better the product is. If you’re not using it, you’re missing out. Every time you see or hear about someone playing Pokémon Go, it’s further building the pressure to try it yourself. I even caved 🙂
No one wants to feel like a sucker. The more people do something, the more it feels “okay” to try it yourself.
What Does It Mean for Course Creators?
So how can creators of online courses and info products use this knowledge? My bet is that you’re not making the next Facebook or LinkedIn. I’m not either. But you do have something to sell that can help people. When your product or online course is new, the hardest challenge is getting people to trust you. How do they know you’re the real deal?
One good way to establish that trust is through testimonials.
Someone who looks like and sounds like your ideal customer should be giving you a testimonial. Collect as many as you can. Post them on your sales page, website, emails… wherever. You can’t overdo it. When you say something about yourself, it’s a promise. When someone else says something about you, it’s a fact. Establish as many facts about your product and offer as possible.
Alas, you may only have two or three testimonials… or (gasp!) just one!
It’s not ideal, but if that’s whatcha got, roll with it. Don’t waste it by posting a text-only name of someone with a quote they wrote for you without any direction or specifics.
Elements of a Great Testimonial:
- Post a picture of them.
- Name them and state their title or company.
- Their quote should be number and time specific.
- Don’t use things like “Ben is such a great guy. He helped me so much. yadayadayadayada.”
- Did they make more money using your help? How much? How fast? Did they lose weight? How much?
See how specific those are? Answering those types of questions gives your prospect specific information they’re able to apply to themselves.
The data here doesn’t have to be outrageous. It just needs to be real. People will trust that.
As a bonus, I’m offering a simple testimonial formula I learned from Andy Drish, co-founder of The Foundation. It’s a simple formula you can use for your testimonials again and again. The phrasing works every time. The only thing you need to do is ask your customer or student to fill it in with their real facts.
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