Your Digital Advertising Campaign has Clicks. Now what?

 In Advertising

With the money being spent on mobile and digital advertising campaigns these days you would think that we would have an easy way to just turn on a campaign, let it run and see the sales add up. I mean that’s supposed to be how all of this digital stuff works right? Get some clicks and off we go? Well no. Not actually. The truth is clicks don’t mean, squat. Yep, you read that right. While a click signifies that you have an audience, it does not mean that you have gained a buyer.  A digital advertising campaign is actually more about branding than anything else.

While a click can be attributed to an action, it doesn’t actually mean the same thing as a sale. In fact there is no real way to correlate a “ click” to an in-store purchase or even one that is made online. While typically it can be possible to deduce these things, that still doesn’t actually mean sales.  For most people this may be a real bummer because clicks are very easy to track.  We also know from experience, that if an advertisement does not align with our own interests and values, most likely it will be ignored all together.

Getting people to interact with an ad and ultimately buy, is mostly about providing a trustworthy brand and an easy user experience. However, if you are only measuring clicks then most likely you are only able to see a partially painted picture of the amount of activity that your campaign produced. The truth is not all people interact the same way with the ads that they see.

Most often, banner ads are not clicked on at all,  and instead people who view them end up going to the website directly and not through the ad at all.  In other cases a person may go directly to  internet shopping giant Amazon where they will  read reviews, and possibly make their purchase decision there.  Others might begin scouring online, reading blogs and product descriptions for information about the best retailer or manufacturer of the product, comparing features and prices before making a decision of where and what to finally buy.

The true value of a digital advertising campaign is then not the number of clicks but instead the benefits that the campaign can provide to the brand itself in creating engagement and also imprinting in the viewers memory.

So how do advertisers track digital advertising campaign if clicks are not a big deal? As with most types of advertising there is no single metric that can be measured to view a campaign’s success. First, it is important to consider the ultimate goal of the campaign.  To determine this it is important to ask several questions. Is the goal to influence sales, share the content, or to create a bigger audience?

So which metrics do you look at for which results?

Clicks are a measurement of activity or engagement. Whereas impressions are an indicator of the size of the audience.  With an email campaign an “open” represents whether or not the subject line was compelling and mainly whether it informed them properly; that what was in the email could fulfill a want or need that they have. If you are looking to generate leads then ultimately you are looking for whether or not people are successfully filling out and submitting their contact information, and for sales, well, you must measure sales.

While this sounds like a lot of work, especially, when you really just want an easy way to see what you are doing, this might leave you wondering, what’s the point, and how do you even keep up with all the tracking details? In a study done by comscore they concluded that “ At four weeks, ‘contextual’ and ‘premium’ placements are more effective at increasing visitation to a marketer’s site than ‘RON’ and ‘efficiency’. Using traditional CTR measures of effectiveness, these placements would appear to perform poorly because their click rates are so low. However, when evaluated over time using more relevant behavioral metrics, they can be seen to be quite effective in building interest in a brand.” Overall they recommend that it is important to understand the effectiveness of each aspect of your campaign to determine  a sensible plan to productively track each of your metrics and to create an omni-channel campaign that effectively encompasses your ROI.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of  clicks and engagement with a mobile or digital advertising campaign. So, while clicks most certainly should not be ignored, they are definitely  not the only thing to be aware of  in your campaign. Unfortunately, there is not one size fits all metric that tells us that a campaign is working  but there are still the same indicators that let us know we are on the right track.

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