When I started as partner at Sales For Life in 2012, I’ll be honest – I didn’t know much about content marketing. I came from the traditional sales world (translation: cold calling), and had just started experimenting with social selling via LinkedIn and Twitter. In short, the idea of content creation was pretty foreign to me.
Then we met a gentleman in Toronto who showed us the concept of a demand generation waterfall – or an inbound marketing machine – where you create a blog a day, and begin to drive your blogs towards calls to action.
These calls to action became very popular tools for both e-books and webinars, and we had great success with this approach! From 2012 to 2018, we grew a multi-hundred-thousand-person database and thousands of sales-qualified leads, that primarily came out of people consuming our content. People would read our blog, watch the few videos we created, and would see a call to action that would drive them to a gated piece of intellectual property such as an upcoming webinar, e-book, or case study that they would download. We would then capture their information into a marketing automation software (we currently use Hubspot), which generates a lead score and allows us to start monitoring buying intent.
However, I’m seeing the world change before my eyes – and here at Sales For Life, we’ve decided we are going to be on the forefront of this, rather than allowing it to become standard operating procedure. I’m seeing that the whole model of customers reading a blog, downloading an e-book, and expecting a phone call, is being blown up. Instead, in the age of the influencer, and the “CEO of your own territory” – whether you’re an influencer in a professional services firm like myself, or an individual seller in a geographic or vertical territory – what’s changed is the creation of content at such a hyper-scale and with rich media like video that provide 15-second soundbites and snackable insights that are highly consumable –without a call to action.
Let me give you a bit of a backstory. Of course, anyone in my community is familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, who wrote the book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.” A lot of people took this book verbatim, and applied it to traditional marketing content, and thought that “jab, jab, jab, right hook” meant “blog, blog, blog, e-book!” The translation was actually “Give a little, give a little, then I’m going to ask for the big call to action.”
Gary’s methodology has always been about extreme, radical transparency, and hyper-creation of content to which there is no defined call to action – it was about building a community.
Suddenly, Russell Brunson created Click Funnels – which begins a process where you give away enormous value, but in giving it away, it naturally funnels people towards a larger giveaway. You’re giving away small, snack bites of intellectual property, which ultimately leads to a bigger giveaway. In my world, this could be free training, free videos, or free guides.
With this approach, you’re intentionally losing at the cost of customer acquisition – you’re paying solid amounts of money to get people to buy a product for free, but knowing that now they’ll be part of your community. You then start to build an exponentially larger community, and then very infrequently present them with bigger opportunities – all this is powered through massive amounts of video and snackable insights.
Very few people – in fact, only .0001% of the world – are actually executing on this type of plan.
Here at Sales For Life, in recent months we’ve analyzed our own industry and ecosystem, and If you deep dive into the analysis, web traffic, the size of your social community, and the engagement and assumed convertibility of sales-qualified leads, there is no question that the marketing that I came to know and love that we built and executed on at Sales For Life for the last six years is absolutely dead.
You can expect us to be building a machine now so that in early 2020, our marketing will look radically different than you’ve known in the history of this business. We hope we’ll be on the forefront of being able to experiment, and present these new insights, pitfalls, and challenges back to our customers.
So stay tuned.