Is what you know about marketing on the web compromised by common myths? It’s highly likely. Especially of concern to brands and marketers is that clicks don’t mean what we think they do.

Back in 1994, a direct response specialist, Ken McCarthy,  introduced the idea that if they counted how many clicked on their landing page they would have a good indicator of how well the marketing piece did.

Marketing Myth #1 Clicks equal reads

Over 25 years and lots of major changes later, businesses are still counting clicks as a measurement of success.  There’s just one problem…it doesn’t mean they read anything.  It only means they clicked on something.

Clicks do NOT mean sales or response to a call-to-action, (CTA).  The market became flooded with spam click-bait trying to see how many clicks they could get. Consumers became guinea-pigs. People became frustrated with junk and many quit clicking at all.

Marketers focused so much on clicks they became tied to spam, linkbait, poor design, and trickery. Even so, counting clicks is still the gold standard.

Engagement is the secret

There is something far more important than clicks…It’s what happens between and after a click.  What did the person do?  Did they go away? Did they share without reading, (happens a lot,) or read just part of the message? Maybe they got distracted. Perhaps there were family or work interruptions.

Our real goal is to keep the visitor on the page and engage them.  We want to keep them there and focused. Engagement time is of much higher value than clicking.

Studies actually showed content is what makes the difference.

For an average click, less than 55% stay on the page for more than 15 seconds.  If it is an article they engage longer.  Only 33% leave in under 15 seconds.

Engagement is higher for actual news… new information, useful, relevant.

The more generic it is the less engagement there is.  In the best-case scenario, the engagement levels can be five times higher in the first case…useful news.

For marketing success, the goal should be to keep your audience on your page and returning back again. That takes fresh, content, targeted, and relevant to the viewer.

Social media marketing myths

The same type of myth has also hung around in the social media marketing world.  The reality is that shares don’t mean the recipient read it or even that the person who sent it read it.

Chartbeat conducted a study of 10,000 articles shared via social media,. They discovered there was no relationship between sharing and engagement.

Social is just being social, not that you have their attention and engagement. That makes the job a bit tougher.

Native Ads

Native ads look like a page’s editorial content. However, it is paid content designed to promote a product or service. 

Fewer people read native ads than other content.  In an average article two-thirds of the readers will spend over 15 seconds.  In a native ad, this drops to less than one-third.  Only 24% of readers scrolled down the page. The normal content rate is 71%. Less than one-third of visitors read more than one-third of the native ad.

Banner ads also get poor positive statistics. In part, this is due to placement. To get optimum results they need to be below the fold…not the common above the fold positioning.

The Good News

For both Native Ads and Social Media, the landscape is changing quickly.  There are ways to get information read using special tools. Apps like Gizmodo or Refinery 29 help with the problem. 

Newly devised techniques work within social media systems like Facebook and Instagram to generate leads, conversions, and more loyal customers. This employs systems like remarketing, lookalike audiences, Facebook AI, as well as Messenger, and paid marketing.  Facebook also owns Instagram. That means the two can be coordinated to work together.

However for this to work,  if you want the viewer to read and take action, there must be real value. It must be current, relevant, and free of gimmicks or tricks. 

This style of marketing takes more effort and may cost a little more however the rewards are more loyal repeat customers. ROI and lifetime value are heightened.  We aren’t just trying to get clicks, we are trying to engage and keep the reader’s attention longer. Longer attention increased sales opportunities.

Right Now is the Perfect Time to Engage!

During an economic upheaval, people either contract and wait for it to blow over or dive in and take advantage of the opportunities.  It’s time to take action.

Giants like Walmart, Target, Amazon, and many, many others are doing the second and seeing massive increases in sales.

Have you asked yourself these questions? What would an increase in sales do for you?  What would it look like? What would the outcome be?  

Can you really afford to sit on the sidelines and let the missed opportunities leave your business struggling?  

There’s an alternative. We can talk and look at how focusing on client engagement via web and email plus using the power of social media can not only help you survive but thrive…become stronger and more recession-proof.  Message me or visit my website to schedule a call. www.jculpcreativecopy.com.

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