Years ago I worked at a little agency. We did tons of work for this local hospital. They had a large marketing team and every year they’d get a big budget to spend that money however they pleased. And they spent every dime…

My company made these creative testimonial videos for them that were pretty decent from a ‘production’ standpoint. It looked professional, the stories were touching, but they weren’t cheap to create. And the biggest issue was the marketing team really didn’t have plans for these videos outside showing their CEO how “cool they were.”

They spent this huge budget on all these videos, but they had NO IDEA if they made a single dollar off these videos. They didn’t have a plan beyond “throw them up on YouTube.” They had 0 goals, 0 tracking, and 0 systems in place to drive traffic, leads, and sales.

Sure, they dropped huge money into the creative, but they entirely missed the WHY behind marketing. GET SALES.

Are you wasting time and energy on content?

Some of you may do this. You spend so much time and energy putting together an Instagram, a podcast, a cool website.

Maybe you even get a YouTube channel up and spend big money on a video guy to create cool content for you.

But consider the possibility that you are WASTING your time, energy, and money.

If you’re honest with yourself and even take a look at the numbers- those blog posts you spent weeks putting together haven’t made you a dime. That Instagram account you’ve obsessively spend every waking moment in hasn’t made you a dollar…

And trust me. I’ve been there…

The reason we do it is because it gives the illusion of productivity. Don’t get me wrong, making cool videos, blog posts, and podcasts is AWESOME. I’m the biggest fan of crafting emotionally compelling content.

However, a lot of us miss the end goal, and we get so obsessed with the creative, we end up helping no one (including ourselves).

Consider the possibility that you’re chasing vanity metrics.

“Whoah, you have 10,000 Instagram followers!?”

How many sales have you made? How much money have you made? How many leads have you generated.

Now let’s chat with the direct response folks. You’re missing out too.

After leaving this job I jumped aboard an online education company handling direct response paid ads for them.

We spent millions of dollars and tracked every penny to every lead and every sale.

I whipped up entire pieces of content just for the leads.

We know how to write copy that drives people to buy. We know how to build video sales letters, and funnels that convert.

But consider the possibility that you’re leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table because of one thing…

You have AWFUL creative.

The direct response world is my favorite, but can I be honest?

Why does everything look and feel so CHEAP. I get it, you want to get the sale. But your website looks like a crappy template. Your videos feel scammy and dry. The selfie videos you put on Instagram ads aren’t working as well as they once did.

“But it works Chris, I’m crushing it in sales.”

I get it! Trust me. That’s why I love the world of direct response. But consider the possibility he possibility that if you leveled up your creative inside your marketing and sales, you could 10x what your currently doing?

If you improve your positing and packaging. You can charge 10x the price of what your currently charging.

Fashion brands do this all the time. Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent. They’re premium, and the packaging of their sales and marketing live into that.

A huge issue that I have with direct response marketers, is you see the ad on Facebook. “Let me show you how I made 7 figures in 3 months,” while the guy is standing by his Ferrari. But… he is shooting it on an iPhone? He’s using cheesy royalty free music? And it looks like the past 10 ads you’ve already scrolled through?

Yeah, it seems like something is off here. If your making 7-figures in your business, but you can’t afford to hire an actual filmmaker to craft an ad?

And ultimately you’re marketing and sales don’t reflect just your business. They reflect YOU. As the owner. The mark YOU.

What do your ads say about you?

Would you show them to your friends and family?

You should view ads like art. Does this ad represent you and what you’re business stands for? Are you proud to showcase it?

This is route to more profitability NOW and it’s going to put you ahead of everyone in your industry. Advertising is changing. People are sniffing out these direct response tricks.

You have two options. Keep adjusting your messaging every month to play catch up while your ads sway unpredictably in the wind. Or plant an emotionally compelling ad strategy, that’s meaningful and represents YOU.

Start creating ads that you’re proud to put out in the market.

At CHALK agency that’s what we harmonize- deep meaningful creative with direct response principles.

If you want to learn more about how to improve the quality of your ads and craft emotionally compelling content, I’ve put together a list of websites and resources that can LEVEL UP your ad game today (we personally use these to get the most bang for our buck with our clients).

Let’s dive into how to make these ads happen.

Sell more with this forgotten tactic

You need to ‘up’ your ad ideas before you even think about picking up a camera or writing copy. You need to find a ‘hook’ or ‘big idea’ that sticks and draws potential customers in. The best type of ‘idea’ or ‘hook’ is something that hits the benefit your product or service offers and mixes in a bit of intrigue or mystery to pull the viewer in. If you had to pick one – go with the BENEFIT.

An easy way to hit the benefit and intrigue is to brainstorm polarizing ideas. Ideas that push your product / service benefits to the EXTREME. Lighting things on fire and bungee jumping work.

Let’s use cars as an example. How do you polarize selling a car service? Maybe you put some grandma’s in a car driving 120 mph. Or maybe you race a car with a cheetah. The crazier the better! It doesn’t have to be humorous. Dove put out an amazing advertisement with woman describing themselves to a sketch artist years back.

Start by writing out a long list of ideas. Then sort them by what’s going to have the biggest potential impact along with being the easiest to accomplish resource wise. Next take your top 5 ideas and run them by your customers / friends / mom and see which they would want to watch the most. Once you have your idea it’s time to write your message. The easiest route to go is using a voice over or a talking head video.

Don’t worry about making it ‘too scripted’ – use talking points to make it sound natural. If folks think your reading a teleprompter they are going to move onto the next ad. A simple script formula is the following:

Problem: What’s the problem your customer is experiencing?

Pain: What pain does that cause your customer in the other areas of their life?

Solution: What are the benefits that your customers experience through your product / service.

CTA: Call to action. Tell them why to sign up or purchase?

Now it’s time for the emotional secret sauce.

Music is what will separate your ad from everything else in your customer’s day to day. It can instantly create and level up feelings of excitement, joy, fear, drama, and every other emotion under the sun.

Before you start picking out a score make sure you identify the emotions you want your viewers to experience when they watch or see your ad. Then find music that matches those emotions. Collect a few different songs (use songs without lyrics, that you can put under a video – called music beds because they are a bed for the visuals).

Do not use royalty free music. Most of it is cheesy. So unless your marketing string cheese or your a used car salesmen – don’t use ‘royalty free.’ Music is becoming more and more accessible to license for videos. A quick good search for ‘music license’ will land you some pretty quality options to represent your brand.

Last, visuals lead to sales.

We’re all window shoppers. You’re customers are no different. You need to show them the benefits that they’ll experience when using your product or service. Is it a better night sleep? Or maybe it’s increased confidence. Find the why under the why behind them purchasing.

Start by brainstorming a list of visuals that show and reveal the benefit of your product or service. You can also find visuals that reinforce you’re general brand. Keep these images ‘polarizing’ – find visuals that spark emotion and make you feel something. This can images that are ironic or just shocking. Things you wouldn’t see everyday. Something that stands out in the newsfeed.

Now comes the capturing of these images. If you’re going to film your own ad, I’d recommend using a newer iPhone or a DSLR camera to capture footage. A quick tip is to film at sunset or sunrise – this will up the visual quality by 10x (even if you have a cheap camera). Then when you’ve captured all your visuals, take your music and put it under you talking. Cut over the visuals on top of you communicating your message – or just use a voiceover!

Spend money on quality. If you don’t invest in your business, why do you expect others to?

If you have done your work upfront and thought through your ad it’s important to invest in the ad. Spend money on making it. 90% of people shouldn’t be doing their own ads unless you have video production skills. You wouldn’t do your own tattoo, you’d hire someone to do it for you. And you also wouldn’t hire a cheap tattoo artist to put something on your body.

Why do you skimp on creative for your company? You should spend money on a production company or filmmaker to handle the ads for you. Keep in mind these ads are going to represent YOU and YOUR company. You want them to be quality and showcase your product / service in it’s truest light!


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