Last week I was driving through my little beach town in Southern California.
This area is wealthy and historically very conservative in comparison to the rest of California.
So I found it interesting passing big house after big house that I wasn’t seeing a single political sign in support of Trump.
I thought, “Rich, Republican-leaning neighborhood. No open support for Trump. This is going to be a landslide.”
Obviously, I was wrong and in hindsight I feel silly.
Anyone with a job that involves online advertising and marketing, like mine, should have been able to predict a close race.
Typically, advertisers and marketers go where their customers go. They follow the desires of the market, not the other way around.
In my Friday Copy Over Coffee newsletter I identify advertising strategies that smaller, lesser-known companies and brands can use in their digital advertising. (My audience is comprised of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelance copywriters.)
Naturally, I find the ideas that help my audience most come from other lesser-known brands. It makes sense to model companies that have the same brand awareness level as you.
And what I’m noticing in retrospect is just how much money these lesser-known companies have been spending on advertising.
A lot of the top advertisers (dollars spent) on Google and the content networks like Yahoo Gemini Native, Outbrain, Taboola, and Revcontent are small brands and companies you’ve never heard of.
Yet, they’re consistently spending as much, and in some cases more, than big brands on ads.
Further, because these smaller companies aren’t “brands you’ve heard of” they’re tasked with creating ads that quickly provide a ROI. In other words, they’re not looking to build brand awareness.
These small companies can’t afford to use typical brand advertising strategies.
They need to identify the message what will immediately attract attention and then use sales tactics that will turn that attention into a sale RIGHT NOW.
One of my first mistakes was simply not paying attention to the volume.
I was only looking at their messaging and saying, “Okay, they’re appealing to their ideal market. This is what their small niche market wants to believe.”
But it turns out that this market isn’t niche at all! The volume was right in front of my face and I didn’t see it. They’re spending just as much and getting just as many clicks as other advertisers.
Which brings me to their message – a message that obviously appeals to a large percentage of the American population.
A message that just so happens to align with Trump’s.
The message: Big government, “the establishment”, is corrupt and broken. They’re keeping you poor. They’re wrecking your health. And so on.
Before the election started heating up this message focused on Obama or just simply the government.
Ads like these below:
As election day grew nearer, blame shifted from Obama to Hilary – the obvious choice. She represented “the establishment” in this election.
Adbeat estimates that HSIOnlineOrders.com spent $216.2K on ads like these below in the last 105 days alone:
Ads with Trump in them looked a little different:
Again, advertisers with ads & messages like these consistently have been among the biggest spenders across multiple online networks.
The volume is there staring us in the face.
This anti-establishment message no longer resonates with a radical minority… it’s damn near popular opinion.
On top of that, there’s another (somewhat) new market filled with demographically similar consumers — The Prepper or Survival market.
A large group of Americans believe that America as they know it is coming to an end (according to this article they might be right).
It’s clear that a large segment of our population is concerned about disease, terrorism, or some world-changing disaster. In 2011 one of the largest direct response campaigns of all time carried the headline: End of America.
The prepper market advertisers can be found spending big bucks across all the various ad networks as well:
While not all Prepper products are sold through political messaging, their correlation with anti-establishment and Trump’s platform is pretty easy to see.
Gun rights, distrust of government, etc.
When it comes to demographics, the typical consumer of these anti-establishment and Prepper products is a 50+ white male, middle-class, and often from the center of the country.
Older white middle-class dudes get out and vote. So percentage-wise, when it comes to voting, they grow even larger in comparison to the whole of this country.
Again, what I think most people including myself missed was just how large and “mainstream” this demographic has become.
Donald Trump saw it and tapped into it.
And the direct response marketers knew it before most of us could see it.
What’s awesome in this interview besides everything?
his lead generation tactics via cold emails
how he handles his own version of the marketing audit
how he’d build a website if he started over as a new marketing consultant
how Rob structures his deals
Want a step-by-step 30-day training course on getting your first 4-figure client? INCLUDING: a proven cold email lead generation strategy & template?
After I published this interview, Rob got hit with a ton of questions from Cartel members. They all LOVED his cold email lead generation strategy & his marketing audit tactics.
Rob felt like he could go deeper and teach more about what he does… so like any good enterprising entrepreneur… he’s going into product creation mode!
Rob is currently creating a 30 day, step-by-step autoresponder training course on how to start with nothing & get your first four figure client. The emails will be sequential, each building on the last, and each containing an assignment that you’ll need to complete before moving to the next day. This will add an extra bit of accountability and structure that the training materials within the Cartel doesn’t have.
You can think of Rob’s training as an accountability add-on to the Cartel.
The 30 days of emails will cover:
Finding your niche to consult to
Finding a personal positioning for that niche
Finding potential target customers in said niche
Creating information that benefits/educates those potential target customers
Contacting potential target customers (Rob’s cold email strategy with example swipes)
Getting Scrilla ($)
The training will have short, simple missions that push you closer to your goal.
Does this sound like something you’d be interested in?
If so, jump on the early-bird list below. When the materials are ready, 1) you’ll be the first to know & 2) you’ll get a big discount.
Interview Ed did with marketing consultant Jonathan Taylor.
What’s awesome in this interview?
how he picked his consulting niche
how he generates his leads
how he uses Meetup groups to build authority and generate leads
and how he outsources all his work
Quick bio from his podcast site:
Jonathan Taylor is the founder and president of Buzz Mountain Media and Marketing and the author of the book The Official Small Business Guide to Marketing 2.0. He’s done online marketing consulting work for years helping numerous small, medium and large businesses establish and implement strategic marketing plans.
This is a fascinating guest post from CopyHour member Samuel Gentoku McCree of MindFitMove.
“Imitation is the first instinct of the awakening mind.” – Maria Montessori
What if I told you Jeff Bezos and a dead Italian woman convinced me to sign up for CopyHour? You’d probably think I was crazy, right? Except that’s exactly what happened. Let me explain.
I started my company MindFitMove, a mindfulness based fitness and self improvement business, back in September. As I got things going I had the same problem so many small business have. How do I get people to check out my services?
I had lived 2.5 years at a Zen Monastery and have trained as an endurance racer so I knew I could help people get in shape in a sane and balanced way.
Mindfulness had helped me go from a pack a day roadie pothead to a business owner and tri-athlete. But how could I convince other people I could help them?
If I could talk to them, I could convince them. But I knew if I couldn’t find leads, I couldn’t get clients. And then I heard about CopyHour through the blog Hack the System.
The Curse of Cursive
At first, the idea seemed crazy. I mean learning to write copy by handwriting old letters seems a little like detention. Not to mention, I hate writing things out by hand. I had to have handwriting tutor in middle school, because my cursive was so bad.
But just as I was about to dismiss it, I remembered my time working at a Montessori pre-school.
I didn’t teach there long, but the kids blew me away. They were independent, cleaned up after themselves, and learned crazy fast.
In that moment, I realized that the idea behind CopyHour was very similar to the basis for the Montessori method. Once I figured that out, I couldn’t wait to give Derek my money. (Derek’s note: Smart man.)
Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori started the first school back in the early 1900’s. And her approach was based on the idea that children had naturally absorbent minds.
The job of teachers – or “guides” – was to support these young minds using observation and gentle instruction that honored their independence and own desire to learn.
Dr. Montessori first developed her techniques when she was working with mentally handicapped children.
One day she noticed some young patients playing with their food. She realized that despite their condition, these kids exhibited the same curiosity that all children do.
She thought that perhaps she could harness this curiosity. And teach these children to learn in a new way. She developed new methods and using her techniques achieved amazing results. Many of these children were able to pass tests similar to ones given to normal children.
She could have stopped there but instead she realized that if these techniques could help handicapped kids, maybe they could help other kids as well.
Based on this belief she started her first school in 1907 called the Casa. And much of modern Montessori education is based on what she learned during this time.
Coming to America
The results at her schools were so remarkable that news of her work spread worldwide.
Ever since, Montessori schools have educated thousands of children and some of the world’s brightest minds.
Some Famous Montessori Students are:
Larry Page and Sergey Brin – founders of Google
Jeff Bezos – founder of Amazon.com
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis – former first lady (John F. Kennedy)
Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs – singer
Prince William and Prince Harry
T. Berry Brazelton – pediatrician and author
Julia Child – author, chef, TV cooking shows
Elizabeth Berridge – actress
Kami Cotler – actress
Melissa and Sarah Gilbert – actors
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Nobel Prize winner for Literature
Katherine Graham – ex-owner of the Washington Post
Anne Frank – author, diarist from World War II
Connect the Dots
Now that you know a little bit about Maria Montessori. You’re probably wondering what it has to do with CopyHour.
It relates via a technique that Dr. Montessori used to help children learn to read and write language. Specifically sand paper letters.
Montessori Language Learning
In the fall of 1907, Dr. Montessori began experimenting with cursive letters cut out of sandpaper, moveable letters, and labeled picture cards.
The children would use the sandpaper letters to trace each letter as a way to integrate language into their minds.
This process was so effective kids as young as four and five learned to read and write far beyond others their age.
“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” – Dr. Montessori
Why it works
Though spoken language and written language are connected, they are also fundamentally different.
Spoken language is learned by human interaction, but reading and writing must be learned intentionally.
Studies have revealed that when we first learn to read we use two distinct parts of the brain. One part takes the letters and turns them into sounds. Then another part takes the sounds and turns them into words.
This is why young children often read slowly sounding out each letter as they go along.
Eventually a third part of the brain takes over that begins to recognize meaning in whole words. When this happens the ability to read accelerates quickly.
Write First and Ask Questions Later
What Dr. Montessori discovered is that writing actually precedes reading. For a child to write they only need to turn sounds into letters.
Which is much less complicated then breaking the letters apart into sounds. And then translating those sounds into words.
By teaching children to write first using kinetic exercises she improved their ability to process complex information and thus accelerated their ability to read and write.
The theory behind CopyHour functions in very much the same way.
When we read great copy, we know it’s great, but we don’t understand why. One reason is that much like children learning to read, we break apart the ideas slowly and clumsily.
But the CopyHour technique forces us to write these ideas out before we read them. As we write them out, we see how the ideas are put together.
By recreating the process of each line, we see each piece without having to understand the whole. As each piece becomes clear, we are able to learn how to use those pieces to construct new brilliant pieces of copy.
Go Your Own Way
Another advantage of this technique, is that person learns at their own pace and ability.
If we all took a class on great copy letters, we might be asked to draw certain conclusions. Some conclusions would make sense but some wouldn’t. Because we all learn differently.
But when we write the letters by hand, we can focus on what interests us the most. We learn to draw our own conclusions and to use the pieces that come easiest first.
In this way CopyHour adapts to whomever is copying the letters. Because the process meets each student, where they are.
“Growth comes from activity, not from intellectual understanding.” – Maria Montessori
This has certainly been my experience of CopyHour. At first, I found the process challenging, but as I’ve gone along more and more has become clear to me.
I started to see how my own mind stuck to certain parts of each letter. I was able to feel what was happening long before I understood it.
The more I wrote, the more of it came into focus. And eventually I was able to generate better and better copy.
Using the techniques I’ve created a new subscribe link for my blog that far out performed previous versions. And I learned to create great headlines that increase my clickthroughs from Twitter and my email list.
Even though I’ve only been doing the program for a few weeks and I write slow as hell, I’m sticking with copy hour to the end.
Dr. Montessori revolutionized they way that children learn and CopyHour is changing the way most people learn to write copy. Both techniques rely on the absorbent power of the mind and provide an amazing opportunity for growth and the realization of hidden talent.
Samuel Gentoku McCree is a Mindfulness Based personal trainer and life coach in Portland, OR. He is a writer, blogger, and thought leader in the Mindfulness Based Fitness and Self Improvement Industry. Toku received intensive mindfulness training as a resident and staff member at Great Vow Zen Monastery where he lived for over 2 years. During that time he studied under Zen Master Jan Chozen Bays MD (Author of ‘Mindful Eating’) and Zen Teacher Hogen Bays and attended many classes and retreats on subjects like non-violent communication, mindful eating, voice dialogue and meditation.
His philosophy is based on the understanding that awareness alone is the most powerful catalyst for change. All diets, exercise plans, and self help systems work because they make you pay attention, but they all fail to some extent because they focus on rules instead of awareness. While rules can help you be more aware, they often mask the power of your own mind. He works with clients locally and over the Internet to achieve their goals of life long transformation using the tools of mindfulness and movement.
When developing your PPC Adcopy, using creativity, focusing on creating compelling copy, and developing high quality CTA’s (call to action) ads, is far more important than the quantity of ads that you pump out. When developing your Adcopy, keep in mind that all the high converting ads have several similar traits in common. When it comes to creating these ads, the tips listed below will help in developing successful ad campaigns, in getting searches to click on your ads thus increasing your ad CTR and eventually begin churning these clicks into high quality leads or sales.
1. Writing At The Adgroup Level
When creating your ads, write your Adcopy at the Adgroup level. So let’s say you have an Adgroup selling high top sneakers, all of your keywords under that Adgroup should be about high top sneakers and your Adcopy should be as well. Maybe another Adgroup is about low top sneakers, same goes for that, keywords about low top sneakers and Adcopy about low top sneakers for that particular Adgroup.
I can’t tell you how many people just write the exact same ads for every Adgroup. That’s a big no, no. Google is all about relevance and high quality content. Keep that in mind for every ad that you write! The more Adgroup/keyword specific the ads are, the more they will reach the most commonly searched and relevant people, the more focused they will be and the higher the likelihood that a conversion will occur.
2. Know Your Buyers
Catering to the buyers’ needs’, is critical when developing Adcopy for any marketing campaign. Buyers are motivated by all kinds of different factors, so as a copy writer, you have to focus on these factors. There are price sensitive buyers; when developing these ads, try to include prices and dollar signs, as they are more likely to click and eventually convert. Some buyers like the reassurance. So, mention 24/7 support, emergency services, or similar key phrases. This will attract the needy buyer out there.
Special offers are good for those who want to find the best deals. When dealing with the buyer who likes to pay less and always find the best deal, make sure to mention sales dates, percentage discount, and similar styles of copy. Limited time offers are also pushers and will encourage these buyers to take the plunge and convert.
You have to know your audience and who the specific buyer is, in order to create the ad copy which is truly going to call to them, and will eventually get them to convert rather than simply clicking on the ad and wasting $x.xx of your money. Make sure you are continually testing your Adcopy and dropping the losing ad once a week. It’s important to optimize weekly.
3. The Buying Cycle
Certain products or services go through different buying stages or cycles; when developing your Adcopy, keep this in mind. Early on a searcher is looking for reviews or general information about the product; return policies or other sales information is what the buyer is looking for towards the end of the typical buying cycle.
In order to streamline your conversions, use the appropriate keywords which correlate to which stage the buyer is in, during the buying cycle. By knowing where the buyer is in the process, and where they are in the buying cycle, you are more likely to get the conversion rates to go up! Aren’t keywords cool!?
4. Keep Everything In Sync
In terms of the Adcopy, Adgroups, keywords and landing pages, you have to make sure that all of these things are in sync. So what do I mean by that? Simple, make sure each Adgroup has relevant keywords inside it, has a keyword relevant ad and that that ad goes to a keyword relevant landing page. Everything must be in sync and lined up correctly.
The keywords which drew them in from the Adcopy, should appear on the landing page, as these words are the reason why they clicked on your ad in the first place. Don’t sell them short, because doing that will result in you losing potential buyers rather than increasing your conversion rates. Conversion rates tend to be higher when your Adcopy and the landing page are similar, and have the same words or phrases which are targeted in the ads. If you don’t have this continuity, consider developing specific landing pages at the Adgroup level. It will pay off in the end, and you will see the higher conversion rates.
5. Don’t Rush Your Campaigns Or Ads
Anything worth doing is worth doing right. I know it can be exciting the thought of tossing some ads up and having a flood of hot, ready to buy people land on your website, but make sure you take your time! Taking the time to create killer copy, rather than putting something together in 5 minutes just to get your ad out there, is truly going to make a world of difference, and is going to result in those higher conversion rates you want!
What always helps me if I’m stuck, go on Yahoo or Bing and see what some competitors are doing. Browse around and look at some of the different calls to action in the ads. Brainstorm ideas, in order to come up with those which are the most targeted to your audience. Write in different tones, and come up with various copies, prior to deciding which one will go live.
There is no way to tell if the searcher is eventually going to convert when they click on your ads; even when you do everything right. Once they reach your landing page (assuming everything is targeted correctly) it’s up to your landing page copy to churn that visit into a lead. The best advice I can give anyone reading this post, is always remember to test and optimize. That is the biggest difference between the winners and the losers who market with Adwords PPC.
BIO: Clicks Geek is an AdWords PPC management service and consulting firm based in New York City. They have over a decade of experience in paid search marketing. They work with B2B, B2C, eCommerce and offer white label PPC management for agencies and consultants.