Your Ads Aren’t As Important As You Think. Here’s why.

Getting someone to click on an ad is only half the battle. So, what comes next?

Josh Nelson
Jun 25, 2019 · 4 min read
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Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Picture this, you’re a fisherman. You just got a fish on the line. They’re hooked on your bait. Everyone should know what happens next — you reel the fish in.

Marketing is the same thing. Your brand is the fisherman, your bait & hook are your advertisements. But what happens far too often in marketing is that we forget to reel the customer in.

The objective of the usual digital advertisement is to interest the viewer in the product, service, or brand so that they click to see more. And hopefully, buy something.

Getting someone to click the ad is only half the game, the first half. In this article, I’m going to focus on the second half, the overlooked half.

Congrats! Someone just clicked on your ad. Now what?

You can’t just hope they buy something solely from seeing the ad. The ad is the bait & hook. You never get a fish from just getting it on the line, do you?

What comes after the ad is just as important as the ad itself. You might accidentally hook a fish with a poor ad, but you’ll never pull one to shore without reeling. The reeling is what matters.

Here’s a couple of scenarios of what happens once someone clicks an ad:

The consumer clicks on an ad for a T-shirt and is directed right to the product page.

You’re probably thinking that there’s no way you can get this wrong. But, you can. If the product pictures aren’t good, the website looks mediocre, there’s a ton of distractions, then your brand is weak. And for that reason, you won’t be able to reel in a sale.

The consumer clicks on an awareness ad taking them to the company website where they hope to sell a product or service.

This has a lot of room for error but can also lead to a high-profit margin. If your brand isn’t strong, this method will seem like a joke to the consumer. They’ll get to your average website and instantly look for the product elsewhere.

Both of these types of ads can lead to sales and ultimately catch the fish. But the most important factor for turning that lead to a sale is branding. How strong is your brand?

Brand alignment and trust will be your best friends. If you lack either, you’ll lack sales too.

Sorry, but I have to stick with the fishing analogy.

You could be the best person in the world at getting fish hooked on your bait, but if you are too weak to reel any in, you’ll never have any proof — or fish.

This is the same for your brand. If your brand is not strong enough to reel any customers in, your ads will all go to waste. And odds are you’ll blame your ad agency, not your brand.

Branding is the factor that makes or breaks the sale. It also answers the 3 main questions a customer has before they buy a product that they just clicked the ad for.

  1. Who the heck is selling this?
  2. Is this company credible?
  3. Is the product quality? Worth the money?

A strong brand image will provide the who. An established brand presence will provide the trust, and along with trust comes the belief in quality.

Put simply, if your brand sucks, so will your ad.

How to land the fish?

If you haven’t yet noticed, branding is the key to any success in marketing. I will live and die by that statement. A strong brand is always more credible, reliable, and quality than a brand who only cares about sales.

The first step in landing the fish is to hit the gym. Start strengthening your brand. As I said, if your brand is too weak to reel the fish in once they’re on the hook, then you need to cancel your campaign and focus on the back-end.

Hint: you can tell if your brand is lacking if your campaigns show high engagement with your ads, but low click-through rates, time on site, or sales.

To make it easy, here are the top 5 things you need to focus on to land any size fish.

Who are you trying to become? What do you want the customer to think when they see you?

Where is your brand located? What makes your brand credible?

Is your brand image properly displayed across all of your digital media platforms? Does everything align?

Who is the ideal customer you want to sell to? Where and how can you find them?

How can you best reach your target customer? What is the best way to appeal to their wants and needs?

Doing these in order should leave you in the best place for success with number five. You will have built the foundation for your brand for years to come and hopefully, you did it well enough to where you don’t struggle to reel the fish in.

The Startup

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Josh Nelson

Written by

Product Designer at CBS Sports | Passionate about designing and building delightful experiences | DM me on Twitter — @jnelly2

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

Josh Nelson

Written by

Product Designer at CBS Sports | Passionate about designing and building delightful experiences | DM me on Twitter — @jnelly2

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

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