Creating More Sales With One Type Of Marketing Content

by Brooks Van Norman

In business there are only two targets: time and money. There is nothing else. The only measure of success in business is that you make more money in less time.  

That you create growth

When I think about winning in business, I think about how to create the most profit in the shortest period of time. Thinking this way is incredibly clarifying and liberating.

The best way to do that is to focus on the people who want their problems solved right now. 

But for some reason, there is a prevailing belief out there we should be creating all kinds of content to build an audience who will “like”, “re-tweet” and “re-post” it. All that great content you spend untold weeks and months creating is supposed to build up a fan base that will one day buy from you.

It doesn’t happen like that. 

Content Marketing is slow and expensive.

Content marketing consumes a ridiculous amount of costly resources. Likes and tweets just don’t add up to much in the way of revenue results.

These are called vanity metrics.

Vanity metrics are poor indicators of buying intent. 

Just because people ‘like’ you, doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you. 

There is a better approach.

Here’s one example: over the last five years I’ve built up my video production business called Hot Pepper Videos, entirely from advertising and one piece of content – a landing page with a video.

It’s a video that converts buyers into buyers of my company’s services.

Our customers search for and find our service on Google, see one of our highly optimized ads, click on it, come to a landing page with a well scripted video, then inquire about hiring us to make them a video. Sometimes I have to turn off the ads because we can’t handle all the inquiries.

I didn’t do any Tweeting, Facebook-ing, Pinterest-ing, LinkedIn-ing or blogging to build that business.

Just advertising, a landing page and a video

With direct response marketing, we profitably “buy” new customers at a nice discount, every day. 

Most of the searchers who click on our ads become new customers within 72 hours. And those customers get their video (and results they wanted from it) usually within 30 days.

Problems solved. Profits generated.

Every 30 days.

Try doing that in the stock market.

And, it’s Win – Win – Win.

Buyers who need their problems solved NOW, don’t care about marketing content – they care about solving their problems today.

While this is an extremely simple model, it’s difficult to do.  None of it would have been possible if I was focussed on creating pretty info-graphics or fancy content to spread all over the web, hoping someone will read it and hire us.

Feeding the content beast isn’t fun. Most marketers hate it.

Even if you have significant content creation resources at your disposal, content marketing is way more difficult to measure than direct response marketing.

Best I can tell, it usually takes a year to see a return on investment in content marketing and by then so much changes. 

You don’t have the luxury of time. Time and money moves too fast now.

What’s worse, when you count all the places marketing content is supposed to go…

The back-of-the-napkin math gets scary very quickly.

Content marketing advocates use “relationships” and “social connections” as leading indicators of commercial impact. 

This is where content marketing fails as a measurable, commercial effort.

REAL customers want their problems solved TO-DAY.

Every business, especially those in startup mode, need new customers now and that’s all they should be focusing their marketing on.

The content marketing advocates should be held accountable and measured according to these questions: Do we want people who like our content? Or do we want people to become our customers?

When I speak with prospective clients and they tell me about their content marketing activities, I always ask how they’re measuring the impact of that cost.

The result is usually a blank stare or the reply, “What do you mean?”

I remind them without some kind of performance measurement in place showing a clear return on the content marketing effort, this is a cost centre in their business. 

This is often an “aha” moment. 

If I work with the client, we’ll engage with their content marketing team to double down on direct response marketing to start producing measurable results (and new customers) quickly.

It’s game changing and liberating for the client.

The shift from cost centre to profit engine is a beautiful thing. 

The only kind of content that marketers should be focussed on developing and improving are their ads and their videos (this includes any automated marketing for buyers who don’t purchase or ‘convert’ from the first click).

Truly understanding why people are buying your products and services gives you a massive edge in getting even better at direct response marketing.

When you combine advertising performance data, website conversion data and the live feedback from your sales people speaking to qualified buyers in this model, you gain a real-time feedback loop that helps you improve the entire process quickly.

This approach has another hidden benefit.

Another benefit of using buyer driven marketing is truly understanding buyer intent. This helps you find and serve even more customers you couldn’t reach or didn’t know existed before.

The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it's selling. - Peter Drucker

It all comes down to getting in front of people who want their problems solved with your solution.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Understand exactly what problems people want solved (not what YOU think your product or service does).
  2. Find and show those people how they can solve their problems with your solution.
  3. Offer them your help.

You can do all of those things and get more customers right now.

Not a year and 52 blog posts from now. 

Right now.

This takes skill…but it’s faster, more measurable and way more profitable than content marketing.

People looking to solve their problems, (real buyers), aren’t perusing articles for entertainment purposes – they’re actively searching for a business to solve their problems.

Make the shift from creating content to advertising for profit.

If you can spend $1.00 and know that you’re getting $1.50 back, it means you’ve got a new place to spend your dollar.

Every time you do that and do it faster, you’re fuelling growth.

Isn’t growth what you want?

About the Author

Brooks Van Norman is founder of Hot Pepper Videos, a full service video marketing agency that provides marketing strategy and custom animated videos for leading businesses, government and Fortune 500 companies.