Hey there Rainmaker, let’s talk about how to access an almost unlimited stream of customers online…
This is something being adopted by many of the largest direct response publishers out there…
And it’s not Facebook advertising…
And it’s not Google — either search or display network…
It’s a relatively new form of advertising that took the internet by storm, and is now being used as one of the primary tools of the best direct marketers I know.
It’s called “Content Network Advertising.”
You’ve probably been to whatever news website recently, and found yourself at the end of the article being confronted with a grid of six pictures, with news headlines under each.
Something like this…
Basically, they look a lot like links to other news articles.
And… They are. In a sense.
For the most part, they’re advertorial-based ads. That is, when you click any of the pictures, they usually don’t take you to a sales letter, VSL, or squeeze page.
Instead, they take you to something that looks like an article.
This is really important, as it’s a rule of most of these content networks…
They don’t want to be seen as just another ad network, driving clicks to over-the-top sales pages.
In fact, they differentiate themselves from other ad networks on that premise — they specifically tell the sites that they run on that they WON’T be sending their visitors off to a high-pressure sales pitch.
And so to advertise on these networks, the first page that a visitor lands on within your website has to look and feel like content — like news.
And because they have this requirement, they’re able to put your ads on some pretty high-profile websites.
AdBlade, whose ads are pictured here (incidentally, with an ad for AdBlade itself because I’d just been on their site)… Puts your ads on Fox News, the Hearst Corporation sites, Yahoo!, ABC News, and more… (Also the hugely-trafficked ZeroHedge.com, where I got my screen shot.)
Now here’s what you really need to know about this…
You can use this to get a bunch of page views for your content site, or you can use it to drive traffic to direct response offers…
What these content networks would love most is that you simply appeal to the clickers. So if you have a content site that thrives on clicks and eyeballs, you run ads in their system that bounce visitors over to your site, and the most commercial message they’re going to get there is another ad, to another website.
But direct response advertisers are doing things a little differently.
What works best, from a direct response perspective, is to land someone on an “advertorial” page that looks like editorial content, but that really functions like a big ad to get people to click through to your real ad.
And here’s the thing…
The more this looks like a regular content site, the better.
And so, ideally, you’re going to have links all over the page, things that look like sidebar navigation, and so on.
But here’s what makes this different from a normal page on your site…
What you’re going to do is make nearly every single link — in the sidebars, in the content, etc. — all point to your sales letter, VSL, whatever.
So that once someone lands on your “content” page, there’s the overwhelming chance that if they click anything, they’re going to end up clicking through to your sales message.
Financial publisher Stansberry & Associates does a stunningly-effective job of this here, in a page worth modeling if you’re going to be doing this.
Here’s what happens when you do this well…
When you are able to create one of these “news” pages that…
— Works for the ad networks, in that they’re willing to let you run it (which can be easier or harder, depending on the network)…
— AND works to get click-throughs to your promotions…
You have the potential to “enter the jet stream,” as Perry Marshall described a similar phenomenon on the Google Display Network.
That is, with your system working correctly, you campaign can give you economics that let you roll out your ads across practically the entire internet.
And the content networks do active targeting, which means they’ll put your ads in front of anyone they have reason to believe is a great fit. (And trust me, they know better than you do.)
When the pieces fall into place, suddenly your ads are showing up in the news stream — meaning hundreds of thousands of people can see them every day. AND they click on the ads, because the ads are a natural extension of content they’re interested in.
You may have heard that “One good sales letter can change your life…”
The part of that quote — attributed to the late, great Gary Halbert — that’s seldom given enough attention, is that it’s all about distribution.
If you write an incredibly powerful sales letter (if not letter, video script, etc.), but nobody sees it, it won’t change your life.
But if you write a good sales letter and you’re able to get massive distribution for your message, then your life is about to be completely transformed. Doesn’t even have to be great.
The key is getting eyeballs on your message, at economics that allow you to reach massive scale.
It used to be that happened in print media — magazines, newspapers, direct mail, and so on.
Now, it can happen much faster on the internet.
And yes, Facebook can be good, and so can Google.
But these content networks that make your news-like advertising appear alongside news on major websites… Well, if you can make the economics work out, this is huge.
Here are some of the major content networks for your ads…
These are three of the top ones I know of, each with their own challenges and opportunities for direct marketers…
You can do a Google search for competitors of these, and find many more.
You can also hire an online media buying agency to work with you on these, usually paying a percentage of ad buy, and have someone hold your hand in setting up campaigns on all the best platforms for you.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets