Episode 14 – This “Pseudo-Content Strategy” can sizzle up cold leads, boost your sales and lower your ad costs

Advertorial Copy

Or download the episode to your device by using the links below

In This Episode

Not too long ago, running cold traffic to a product sales page was cheaper than chips in a greasy spoon cafe.  You could chuck a few pence in the ad machine, crank the dial and sales chimed through for less than a pound.

Sadly, a couple of things have happened in the last few years.  Ad platforms like Facebook, Google and YouTube have become way more expensive, as more and more businesses shift from traditional media to digital advertising.

The other problem is that online audiences have got wise to ads in the newsfeed.  They anticipate them. And they avoid them.

OR…if you DO have a great ad with great targeting, the people who click those links erect a 10ft BS wall with a supersonic bollocks-o-meter scanning your copy.  That’s because cold audiences are skeptical.  They’ve seen and heard it all.

Which means lower conversion rates and sky high cost per conversion.  

So what can you do about it?  

The good news is there is a way to warm up cold traffic and persuade by stealth….kinda like a trojan horse.  It’s a way that allows you to frame your promotion within a ton of value, while laying the groundworks to move your prospects closer to the sale.

What is this voodoo magic? 

It’s the magic of advertorials.  Which is what we’re going to talk about with today’s special guest, Rachel Mazza.

Episode Highlights:

  • How to increase your sales by promoting your competitors’ products – Dollar Shave Club do this to generate millions of dollars in revenue
  • The best way to make high-profile publications beg to host your ads on their platform (for free)
  • The single page of faux content the world’s most successful entrepreneurs insert midway through their funnel to sky-rocket their sales conversions
  • The No.1 reason why every business owner should hire more mums IF they want to get sh*t done fast
  • What every business owner must do BEFORE trying to make sales to a skeptical audience who’s heard it all before
  • Why personal stories are the ultimate mid-funnel conversion catalyst, especially in competitive markets 
  • How a pair of former Gap Yaah travellers got direct response A-listers like Laura Belgray and Marcella Allison to appear on their podcast
  • The most effective, hack-free method to consistently grow your business – ANYONE can easily beat the competition to their dream clients by implementing this strategy  

Beg, Steal & Swipe These Resources:

Rachel’s Resources

Download your copy of Rachel’s CTA (Cold Traffic Activation) Guide and discover 5 steps to warm up cold and skeptical audiences so you can pay less for traffic and convert more cold prospects.  Click HERE to grab your copy >> https://rachelmazza.com/

Visit www.businessofwritingpodcast.com/ to listen to Rachel’s amazing podcast (it’s one of my absolute favourites)  

To find out more about coaching with Rachel, you’ll find her and Kevin Rogers inside www.copychief.com 

And if you’re interested in learning more about Eugene Schwartz’s awareness scale you can check out Breakthrough Advertising  https://breakthroughadvertisingbook.com/ (Yes, that is the actual price but it’s worth every penny)

 

My FREE Resources

My Email Story Generator The 9 key story types that help you write binge-worthy stories that get you paid 

The Rawthority Playbook –  Discover a simple, step-by-step process to craft a unique origin story that converts lukewarm leads into obsessed mega-fans  

Check out www.wordistry.co.uk to get more info on how I can help you increase sales and grow your business

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Check Out the Episode Transcript

0:02  

Okay, hey, Rachel, I’m so excited to have you on the show. And also totally intimidated in case I ask you a dumb question.

0:09  

I love dumb questions. They’re the funniest ones.

0:14  

So for anyone who doesn’t know, Rachel, she’s actually one of my amazing mentors inside copy chief. And she’s helped guide me through an absolute ton of entrepreneurial head trust. And she’s also been instrumental in helping me launch this podcast, because she has recorded over 80 episodes of her own show. I think I’ve got that number, right. So I owe you a huge thank you for just helping me to get this off the ground in the first place.

0:39  

Yeah, I’m so excited to be here and excited to see it because you’ve been working so hard. And I’m just so excited for everything that you’re working on. It looks so polished, and sometimes I look and I’m like, man, I really got to step up my game. Seriously?

1:10  

Yeah, absolutely. It’s obviously a very long story, as all of our journeys are. So the too long didn’t read version is I started off like many freelancers and entrepreneurs, trying to be everything to everyone, which is the worst way to do things. So I started off with content marketing, I did technical writing. And about three years into my freelancing journey, I discovered copywriting and I realized that I had been doing copywriting for most of my life. It was just things that I did naturally. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial household, my mom was an entrepreneur, and there was always direct response and sales and direct sales in my house. So I learned all these techniques growing up in that world, and didn’t realize that there were actually real strategies and tactics and techniques and names for these things until I discovered the official world of direct response copywriting.

2:02  

So for me,

2:04  

yeah, and what it’s like magic, right? And it’s like, I finally found my home I had, I felt like I was kind of sticking my fingers and all these different things. I was exploring content and SEO and graphic design and web design. And when I found copy, I was like, Oh, this is where I should live.

2:23  

I totally feel that as well, because my very first online business was a mum blog. So I was like, the kind of stereotypical mom who left corporate after a couple of years with my children, I kind of got bored. So I thought, well, I need to do something. What does a mom do around her children? I’m going to start a blog, and I realized that you can’t make any money promoting chicken dippers. Which is I pivoted into direct response.

2:50  

Well, actually, that’s really funny because once I really got going with copywriting, I had an SEO business before I was in copywriting. And I ended up shifting to having an SEO optimized copywriting agency. And so we would write copy for affiliate marketers and bloggers who wanted copy that converted but was also friendly to bring in organic traffic. And I had a team of about 15 writers and my best people were always stay at home moms, because they were literate, they were educated, they had some time on their hands, they were creative, and they were just hungry to do something exciting. And so stay at home moms I find are some of the best writers ever. And they’re also

3:28  

the most productive people you’ll ever met because yes, the stakes are high. And we’ve got to make every second count.

3:35  

Yep.

3:37  

Sometimes what I hear people say that they they sit staring at the wall and I would love to have time to stare at the wall.

3:43  

Yeah. What is that like?

3:47  

So you specialize in helping entrepreneurs and fellow copywriters warm up cold audiences using advertorials. Lot of my audience probably aren’t familiar with the magic of advertorials, or they’ve probably seen them but they didn’t realize what they were reading. So could you explain a bit about when and how you would use one? Sure, absolutely.

4:09  

Yeah, advertorial is such a old school term, it’s four back from the print days. And so a lot of times in online marketing, these are go by different names, so their presale pages or in between pages or customer activation pages, driver pages, no matter what you want to call them. They’re basically a page of copy. And it can be on your website, on a third party website on a blog that goes in between that initial touch point where you first interact with your customer. And the final point where you ask for the sale. So that might be between your Facebook ad and your sales page. And what they do is allow you to approach colder audiences or wider audiences or even more skeptical audiences and really highly competitive industries and give them some more information, more education and warm them up a bit before you you throw your sales message. Get them in make sure that they’re ready to receive that and consume that before you’re asking for the sale.

5:06  

So would you say there are particular niches where they’re more likely to use advertorials or where advertorials are particularly effective?

5:15  

Yeah, I think advertorials are great across all industries, because they’re usually meant for people who aren’t quite ready to buy and help them get to that point. But if you don’t, if you never use them before, you’re not quite sure how they fit into a funnel. It can be difficult to implement them the first time because you need to have a longer term view, because you’re going to need to send more traffic in order to truly see the results and be able to measure that. So I see advertorials used mostly in industries where they’re used to set setting up advertising funnels, paid advertising funnels, or organic advertising funnels, and they have the funnels and the metrics in place to be able to measure that. So a lot of times that would be weight loss, health, fitness, finance, certainly anyone that has a business based around publishing and direct response publishing, so they send out a lot of emails and they have an email list and an opt in form. That’s where I see advertorials use the most because they can track the results better.

6:14  

So lots of my clients are in the personal development and biz up nice will be a lot of coaches and, and influencers listening to this podcast. Is there a place for advertorials for the the kind of business coaches or personal development coaches or was it not really appropriate for that kind

6:32  

of niche? No, absolutely. That is a great niche for advertorials or presale pages. Because one thing that coaches have and influencers have is stories and stories work the best with advertorials. So you see this all the time for other industries. I love using Dollar Shave Club as an example, they just sell cheap razors, but they use great advertorials and you’ll see these story based advertorials, like how one student disrupted a $10 billion razor industry or shaving industry. Or you’ll see these all the time in weight loss, how one single mom from Texas lost 30 pounds and is living the life of her dreams, things like that. So if you’ve got stories, you can use that to get people indoctrinated into your brand. Or even get them ready to hear more about what you have to offer. When before if they just landed on your site or stumbled across an ad, they might not be in that mindset to learn more.

7:31  

So say, why would you say is the best place to put them you mentioned that sometimes people put them on their websites. The other day I was reading, I was reading one of the blogs on your website, where you’d written about how sometimes people feel stupid for asking the question, Where would you put them? But actually, it’s it’s a question that I keep wondering about because I it’s not something that I’ve ever written? I haven’t right ever had any experience writing an operatory. And I wouldn’t even know where to, like, where would you host it already? How’s that?

8:01  

Yeah, that’s a great question. So if you’re just getting started, the easiest place to get started is just publish on your blog or a page on your website. And that is absolutely fine to do it works very well, you just want to be careful about the topic, it just needs to be relevant and appropriate for where you’re publishing it. So for example, let’s say you’re selling a type of camera or something, right, you wouldn’t probably post a a review of the top 10 types of cameras of different brands on your website. So in one particular brand of camera, that wouldn’t be natural for a customer to go and be like, why are they advertising all these competitors cameras on your site, right. But if it was a story about how one guy traveled with this camera and took the best pictures of his life, that would be appropriate. So you just want to make sure that if you’re publishing to your, your website, it makes sense that something like that would actually live on your website, which is just common sense. But marketers sometimes get in these modes where they just like don’t use their real person brain. And so you just want to make sure that it makes sense for you to publish on your site. Okay,

9:06  

so could you if you were doing a list where you would maybe be mentioning your competitor’s product? Will you public try to publish that as a guest post on somebody else’s site or as a medium or somewhere like that? Will that make more sense for that kind of thing?

9:25  

Yeah, and affiliate marketers do this all the time. They’ll either do guest posts, or they’ll even start the entire new websites just for product reviews and publish blogs that review different types of products. But guest posts are absolutely fine. And you can get those you can purchase those from different services. You can partner with other business owners, you can get placed in other publications by applying to be a contributor. Or if you want to bypass all that you can pay to play with what we call content networks. And those are websites where you can pay them to publish your advertorial. on Big Content websites like Daily Mail or cnn.com, or wired.com. So there’s companies and a couple of them are like to bhula.com or outbrain.com, ad blade.com. These are actual advertising platforms where you pay them and they’ll publish your article on other sites as sponsored content.

10:23  

This is like a whole different world that I know nothing about. I should read more.

10:29  

Well, that’s the thing I learned about this just from people asking me questions about advertorials, and me saying, Oh, I don’t know, let me go find out for you. And so, five years later,

10:40  

there seems to be a fair amount of crossover between a blog and an advertorial. And to be honest, it’s something I’m still trying to get my head around, because I’m quite kind of process orientated. So I like to have rules about how things fit together. So what would you say are the key differences between a blog and an advertorial

11:03  

so in terms of the the content you’re going to be, they’re going to be very similar because advertorial I like to say it’s maybe 80% editorial content. So just value driven interesting content, and maybe 20% ad. So you’re really leaning a lot heavier towards the content side, because it’s designed for people who are looking for information or entertainment, not looking to buy something. And so the biggest difference is that an advertorial is designed to be measured, it’s designed to measure its performance, and whether or not it’s getting you a lead or a sale or a click, where a lot of times blogs are just meant to either simply provide value because you want to position yourself as an authority, or draw an SEO traffic by ranking well on Google and things like that. So they’re very, very similar. But an advertorial is a very specific piece of the sales funnel, and it has a very specific purpose to get people to convert in some way.

12:03  

Okay, so can you could you run us through what some of those purposes might be?

12:09  

Sure, yeah. So if, for example, if you have a Facebook ad, and you’re running to people who may never have heard of you before, the advertorial might be to get people who click on that Facebook ad to find out more about their problem to learn more about potential solutions before they learn about your particular solution that you’re offering. So one thing that we talked about it when when I teach about advertorials is there’s this scale of awareness. And if you’re in marketing, for any point of time, you’ve probably heard about some sort of buyers awareness scale or buyers cycle. And I love to use the one by a guy named Eugene Schwartz and a great book called breakthrough advertising. And it’s all about how people are either unaware if they have no idea about you, your product, they may not even know that they have a problem in the first place. And that’s one end of the scale, but the polar opposite is most aware. And that’s where people they know they’ve got a problem. They’ve explored potential solutions, different brands, and they’re ready to buy they’re just looking for the perfect option for them and they’re ready to pull the trigger. And so the purpose of the advertorial is to move people further up that awareness skill towards that that most aware where they’re ready to buy. And you might do that with with one advertorial with multiple advertorials. But the thing is, if you’re running an ad to people who are all the way on that unaware side, they’re not going to be in that right mindset to hear your sales message. So you want to get them more aware so that they’re more ready to hear what you have to offer. And that’s the purpose of your advertorial.

13:43  

Okay, that makes sense. So for example, if you had to look at the funnel from start to finish if you ran a Facebook ads to a cold audience, directed them to an advertorial, would you then hit them with a retargeting ad and direct them to a different advertorial where they’re further along the scale and kind of keep doing that and keep retargeting them with another advertorial until the right point to buy? Is that kind of how it works?

14:07  

That’s definitely one way you could do it. And that’s a very sophisticated funnel that you’re talking about. Oh, me. Oh, yeah. That’s what so that would be a very sophisticated funnel and a very sophisticated strategy that I would be fascinated to test. But a lot of times people don’t have that, that much ability to track and test or patience for that matter. And so a lot of times what they’ll do is they’ll run an ad to an advertorial and then in that advertorial, there will be links to another advertorial and so you’re trying to get someone in one reading one sitting to move further through the funnel. But many times you can just run just three pieces ad advertorial sales page, and that’s often enough. I love the idea though. If someone doesn’t go to all the way through to your sales page, retargeting them with an ad, that would be a no brainer to test for sure.

14:58  

So what would you say in terms of The impact on conversions. What kind of uptick? would you expect to see? If you are comparing the prospect who’s gone from the Facebook ad straight to a sales page, with Facebook ad to advertorial to sales page? What kind of impact would that have on? How Will someone converts?

15:21  

Of course, it’s different for every market. But I would say that the conversion rate on your sales page is going to be higher, but it’s going to be a smaller number of people. So if you think about if someone clicks on a Facebook ad and gets to your advertorial, they could be looking for any number of things, they could just be bored, they could just be looking for more information or they the headline could have really caught them, but they not may not be ready to buy. But if they make it all the way past your advertorial to your sales page, there’s a good chance that they really want to hear more about what you’re offering. So if you’re if you’re running an advertorial from a Facebook ad, you’re gonna want to increase that traffic so that more people get your advertorial. And that’s great, because those clicks can be quite cheap, you can lower your traffic costs that way. But the people that actually make it all the way through to your sales page, they’re more likely to be in a buyers mindset or be someone who is actually looking for what you want to offer.

16:16  

No, that makes sense. I feel I feel like I’m completely enlightened now. So to shift gears a little and talk a bit about your podcast, because you’ve had some amazing guests on like, Marcella, Allison, Laura Bell gray and Colleen Cole. And these guys are absolutely huge, which speaks volumes for how amazingly you’ve grown your podcast. So could you share some of the biggest pitfalls you’ve encountered along the way, and also some of your most effective strategies that have helped you achieve your listener growth?

16:49  

Sure. Certainly just putting in the work. I’ve been around the industry for quite some time, almost 10 years now, certainly between six and 10 years. And I’ve met along a lot of people along the way. And just I love networking, but I hate that word. I just love talking to people and learning from people. And so the podcast was, for me was just a better way to do that. And I partner with an amazing marketer. She’s a ghost writer named Laura Gale. She’s written books for Marcel Ellison and Brian Kurtz and all kinds of great Astro Carlene Angela Nicole’s book, she writes amazing books for people. And so I come from the sales copy and marketing side of things. And she comes from the craft side of things. So together, it was really advantageous for us to come together. And now we have an ability to both access both of our networks, but also explore different parts of the industry, right? So the craft versus the sales part of things. So that was a big a big way in. And that was made it a lot more easy and a lot more fun. But also, I think the hardest part is just making sure that you’re plugged into the conversations that that you are having, and that they have a very specific purpose, but also just keeping it fun and casual and conversational. So that was a big lesson for me is is trying not to be too controlling of the conversation. But making sure it has a really specific outcome at the end. But it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned starting this podcast, and we’ve been doing it for over a year now we’ve got Yeah, like you said over 80 episodes was that it’s doesn’t have to be a business. I’m a revenue generating business. When we first started, we really were thinking, Okay, how do we monetize this thing? What do we sell to these people, and it’s just brought so much more value, to to our individual businesses to our partnership, not worrying about having something specific to sell or revenue to generate. It’s just brought incredible leads to us incredible opportunities and partnership opportunities. And so I think one of the biggest pitfalls to avoid is worrying about your your podcast being having a product of some sort, just let it be an amazing marketing tool and relationship building tool.

19:11  

You know, I think that’s the problem with with most of these, these content strategies is that people kind of run them for a couple of months. And then when they’re not seeing instant conversion off the back of them, they give up. And there are all these stats that say most people have dropped their podcast after seven episodes or something. So yeah, I think people just don’t they’re not willing to stay consistent with it and see as a long term commitment. That’s a huge thing like it. Yeah, definitely. And I think it’s the one thing that makes most people when they’re running their own business, they really struggle with that. Luckily, I’m one of those people that’s kind of boring. Like just plugging away things. And my husband always laughs because I was that person that used to go to the gym without fail that the same class Is that the same time? Every week, I was like the only person that was a permanent fixture, you know, when the teacher starts to know every detail about your life? Um, so such a square?

20:12  

No, that’s so great. It’s the same thing like Anna, in our mastermind, we always talked about putting out consistent authority content. And it’s the same thing with podcasts. It’s same thing with publishing authority content. If you’re consistent, and you just do it over time, it’s almost like a year goes by and you don’t realize that you’ve created 50 to 100 assets for your business. And that stuff doesn’t go away. It floats out there in the internet, people share it even when you don’t think that they are people are reading it when you have no idea that they’re reading it. And it truly builds and compounds upon itself. But what people see is they think it’s not working. They’re like, Oh, I’m not seeing a return from this. And the thing is, everyone just wants a hack. They want a shortcut. And there is no shortcut. Just do good work. Teach what you’re, what you’re learning and what you’re doing as you’re doing it. And just put it out there show your work. And it that stuff compounds upon it. It’ll bring you the right people into your world.

21:08  

Yeah, definitely. Well, my my first copy clients, I honestly don’t know how it happened. But about probably a month after I decided to pivot from my first business. I had like three inbound leads. I don’t know how they came to me. And so I was really lucky. I didn’t have to do any cold outreach right at the start, because people came to me. And it was because I’d been consistently showing up on social media and writing blogs, before I moved into copywriting. So people already knew who I was. And I built a foundational network. Yes, right from the start. So yeah, I’m a big believer in just keeping up the content even on days when you just really, really don’t feel like it.

21:51  

Right. And you’re so good at that, Anna. And the thing is, I think you learned quite early on, it doesn’t have to be something epic every time like you don’t want to put out fluff or stuff that doesn’t, that just doesn’t add any value. But it could be a quick tip on a video, it could be a blog, it could be a podcast episode, it doesn’t have to be this massive 3000 word, tome every time you publish something, right? To

22:17  

be honest, that is something that I struggle with, because I kind of set myself ridiculously high standards. So when I’m when I’m in a rush to try to get something that really sucks.

22:28  

you publish Anyway, you hit Publish anyway, that’s that’s the important part.

22:34  

Yeah, I mean, you have a fit. So in within our mastermind group, we have this challenge every week where we all have to share our piece of authority content. And if we don’t, we’ve got to buy the entire group, a book of the Amazon gift list, which becomes a very expensive mistake if you don’t, if you don’t produce your content, so that on its own is a massive incentive just to hit publish, even if you don’t feel like it’s up to scratch.

22:57  

Yep, yep. And you know what, I was part of the same type of group. And that’s the reason for two, three years now, I’ve put out authority content every single week. And it’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my business. And it was so simple to do. But so easy not to do, right.

23:15  

So Rachel and I met inside copy chief where she works closely with Kevin Rogers, who hosts the community. And Rachel recently stepped into a much closer role with Kevin. So what I really want to know is what is it really like to work so closely with Kevin? And is he actually funny?

23:31  

Oh, yes, Kevin is actually funny. Sometimes we get to funny. We don’t get things done. No, Kevin’s amazing to work with. And he’s always been an incredible mentor to me. And now stepping into more of a partnership with wrote with him roll with him, has been even 1000 times better. He’s just such a great visionary. And there’s a great book called rocket fuel, which all talks which talks all about the visionary and the integrator relationship. And the visionary, his job is to go create great ideas, create the vision for the business, and the integrators job is to go and make that happen, make it a reality. And that’s the relationship that Kevin and I have now evolved into after years of coaching. And it just amazes me how he, he can get his hands into the nitty gritty of the business and still just be so creative, and so funny and so nurturing. And one of the things I love about Kevin is everything that he puts out on video, everything that he does in his coaching programs, everything is 100%. authentic and genuine. There is no hidden, Kevin Rogers, like what you see is what you get, and it’s all real. And he truly cares that much about his students and his community and the people that he’s helping, and that’s just a parent, everything that he touches and everything that he does, and every single one of his team members that works with him. So I’m constantly just learning from him and inspired by him and it’s been an amazing year of lessons and hard work, but actually Citing achievements as well, a copy Chief,

25:02  

without this turning into the wheel of Kevin fest. I debated so when when I joined copy chief I’d had I’d had a few experiences with the typical business gurus where they’re like, oh, like, click your fingers, and in five minutes, you’re a millionaire. Yeah. And you kind of get suckered into it. And Kevin’s like the antidote to that, he’s, he’s so honest about the fact that this is gonna take work. And I’m here to support your hits guide you, but I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna tell you that there’s a magic wand that’s just gonna make all these amazing clients and a seven figure business fall in your lap. And so I really, really appreciate that and the amount of support that he and the team provide inside his programs, it’s like on a totally different level to any of the other programs that I’ve, I’ve been involved in where you’re pretty much just left to your own devices.

25:50  

Yeah, well, that’s the thing is he’s, he’s, I call him the anti guru, because he’s not there to be a guru. He’s there, because he’s put in the work for over a decade. And now he’s like, Alright, if you want to know what I know, I’ll give you absolutely everything I have. If you just show up, I’ll give you everything that I have. And he does it to the fullest extent. And so there’s no he’s very upfront. He’s like, there’s no hacks here. There’s no, there’s no, like, like shortcuts. It’s I’m just going to tell you exactly what I did. And it’s worked for me and 1000s of other people. And if you want to do it, you can do it. But you got to trust the system.

26:22  

Yeah, totally. And Kevin, I’ll be coming up to you for my affiliate commission after the show.

26:27  

Oh, yeah.

26:30  

So before we wrap up the show, can you share the best place listeners can go to find out more about advertorials? and also your amazing coaching programs that you run?

26:40  

Yeah, definitely. I actually just did an overhaul of my website after like years of not touching it. Well, yeah. It’s super fancy now. Oh, I’m so glad I my goal is simple. So it’s at Rachel mazda.com. And it’s been redone recently just to reflect all the great stuff that I’m working on now, including the business of writing podcast, my partnerships and coaching programs with Kevin, my advertorial course. And if you guys want, I’ve got a free guide on there. It’s the cold traffic activation guide. And that’s all about how to start using advertorials and cold traffic copy in your business. So you can get that for free on the homepage.

27:14  

Well, thank you so much for all your amazing insights. I know you’re super busy. So I really, really appreciate you coming on my little show and sharing all your wisdom. And I’m sure it’s opened up a whole new form of copy that a lot of my listeners probably have no idea even existed. So this is going to be super useful for them. And I also had an amazing time speaking to you.

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