It’s About Branding, Not Clicking

Everyone loves a good click. It gives you something tangible, something finite. A number to hang your efforts on. A result. Problem is, clicks aren’t the whole story. Correct that – clicks are only a very small part of the story. Maybe 1-5%. That’s it. But there’s a whole world of marketing and branding taking place outside of your click rate you should be aware of.

Say you run a Facebook ad. Maybe one day you get 100,000 impressions and 22 clicks. Maybe 1 or 2 of those complete the call to action – liking the page or signing up. You fixate on those clicks. How can we get more? How can we convert more? Why aren’t there more? It makes sense since you are trying to achieve a goal (your call to action). But in trying to achieve that small, singular goal, it’s easy to forget that you are actually working toward a larger goal – marketing your brand.

Why concentrating on clicks is limiting

People love results. They like being able to say “we did x, and the result was y”. But in marketing, things are rarely that simple. This is especially true of the Web.  The thing about click rates – whether for ads, social media or on your website – is that so much is unknown. Sometimes you think you’re getting solid results, but the reality is that you are just seeing a number. You’re not watching a person at their computer and seeing how they act and react.

Seeing ONLY digits can skew your perception of reality. People can click accidentally. Sure you can take that to account by adjusting your results, but that’s not the only variable out there. People can click with no intention of completing; people can click and then get distracted; a cat can jump on a keyboard and click through your entire site. Fact is, you have no real idea what the story is behind a click. The numbers do not tell all.

The “invisible impact” you may be missing

On the flip side of that coin, while many organizations may have a single minded approach about clicks, they tend to miss out on something bigger. That’s the impact of your marketing on the 99% of people who see your online ad or a search engine result – without actually clicking. Even without taking the action of pushing down a button, your marketing can still have a positive effect on people. Think about it. Maybe a person sees your Facebook ad 10 times, each time noticing it more and more before they actually click. Or maybe they don’t click the ad at all, but they remember your company name from the ad and seek out your company website later.

Maybe an individual sees your company name turn up time and time again in Google searches – they see your blog posts, web pages, social media pages – and even though they don’t click, they make a mental note. Every time they see your company name, it registers subconsciously. Maybe they never click the ad, but they go to your store and purchase a product instead. Maybe they respond to an entirely different marketing effort, like a direct mail piece, based on the exposure they’ve had to your organization on the Web. The point is, much like with clicks, you can never truly know the whole story of your online marketing efforts. But you should be aware of their potential “invisible impact” – the positive brand equity you’re building with potential customers.

Think long term and remember the big picture

In the end, you should always remember the big picture: it’s about your brand. Everything you do, all your marketing efforts, should support and promote your brand. It’s easy to get caught up in individual efforts and their results. But you should always remember there is more to it than that. There’s a larger goal you are working to towards, and every marketing effort should be designed to a have a positive, long-term impact on your brand (whether it shows in the results or not). Think of your individual marketing efforts like puzzle pieces; your brand is the picture you ultimately create when you put them all together.

Remember, a click is just a number we read into as marketers. Leaders obviously want hard numbers and results. And while assumptions about clicks and web traffic can give you insight to the mindset of your customers, it’s not always as accurate as you might think. In marketing, often times the best results cannot be gauged easily. They are the result of your overall marketing efforts and the bigger picture you’ve created for your customers.