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  • Writer's pictureNick Marsh

Are you chasing clicks instead of conversions?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

This post is about a firm devoting resources to the wrong cause, probably making their success harder to achieve than their product deserves.

This company is one I'd really like to work with: innovative, a genuinely interesting product and in a part of the world I’d happily trot off to when meetings arise. Scrolling through their website I found the team bios and positions.

Who they are is not the issue and that is why I will not name them here. What is important is that the observations that follow are far from isolated. Quite the contrary: they are rife. This unnamed company has a marketing/social manager: a young guy (younger than me, at any rate). The interesting thing here is that his job is labeled as Marketing and Social.

Why the distinction? Why even mention social media? Why not mention Email or Cold Calling instead?

Social media isn’t a discipline, it is simply another means of communicating

Right off the bat, I’ll confess: I’ve never met these people and I don’t think the following observations are through a lack of effort on their part but rather misguided priorities.

As a start-up, the website should be there to attract and inform members of two groups of people (the priority on which depends on the business aims): potential investors or potential customers. Sadly, there’s not a lot to start building a queue of either group. For example, there are many videos from YouTube and the like. But they lack organisation so the website feels more like a video library than a sales funnel, channeling visitors to a call to action. Long before reaching the sole email harvester (assuming they’ve kept you reading that far) there is a proud display of exactly how many followers this project has on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on as well as a grand total.

Elsewhere too in their blog section, posts have a running total of how many times it’s been shared, liked, even printed off. Engagement on social media appears to be a goal in and of itself, when the goal should be investor or leads on sales.

What useful things do follower totals tell us? Whilst there is nothing wrong per se with sharing this information, you have to ask yourself: what does it do for the visitor? You see, not only am I a prospective service provider, I’m also a potential customer. And so I’ve been looking at that site in terms of how I could help them but also how they can help me.

With that focus I realise there’s precious little there to foster the customer side of the equation, but, as a marketer with solutions to offer, it gives me a fair bit to digest. Add to all this that the FAQs are almost 3 years out of date, the news and media page is bare. The one place that shows the public is important is in the comments section of the blog: there you can find a lot of interaction. The point of all this is there seems to be too little attention paid to what will get actual known prospects on their lists so that they have a ready and primed group of prospects to approach when they actually do reach commercialisation.

Clicks and Likes don’t pay for anything. They’re a worthless currency.

Focus needs to be redirected

All this attention on how many clicks and likes there are in circulation mean nothing in terms of sales. What does it actually tell the company about their market? For example, there is no way of knowing how many of the 70K followers are actually interested in buying or just fans of that tech.

There’s also no indication of whether they are the same 14000 people subscribing across all the platforms. Realistically some of them probably are multi-channel subscribers so already that 70K is worthless as an indicator.

An email harvester asking “Want to be one of our customers? Sign up here and be among the first” would be far more useful. Now that I would subscribe to.

But the rest of it? Why should I care? Why should anyone care? (apart from the Marketing and Social Manager)

I get it, though: when you’re working toward something it’s rewarding to see immediate and positive responses to your work in the clicks, likes and shares you elicit. But never let that become a goal in and of itself.

Sure, enjoy that instant gratification, but never forget that’s all it is. But don’t fall into the same trap as this company: don’t waste time and resources broadcasting what you’re proud of, unless it is actually useful to your prospects. Broadcast only what is useful, regardless of how excited or bored it makes you. Their excitement counts more than yours and for that, you need to understand your audience.

If you want help understanding what your prospects value and need when it’s time to decide to buy, and how to communicate it in a way that they respond to, then give us a call. And perhaps your company and the one I’ve described will be ones we’re helping do better.



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