The best marketing campaign in the world will lead nowhere if it leads nowhere.
Imagine seeing an internet ad, maybe on Google, maybe a banner on one of your favorite websites, for an offer so intriguing you’re instantly hooked.
40% off of a must-have item. Reduced membership fees for an organization you’ve always wanted to join. Even an ad for a free newsletter on a topic you’re passionate about. You click through, and suddenly you’re confused. Where is the offer you thought you were looking for? This site looks nothing like the ad.
That fast, your campaign can fail. When your target audience loses the feeling that they’re on the right track, most of them will immediately bail. One hundred click-throughs have no value at all, if none of the users take the action you want them to. The internet is a wide, wild place, full of distractions and other things to do, read, and learn. If someone catches sight of your ad, either by chance or as a result of a deliberate search, they expect you to deliver what’s promised on that single click – no extra work, no extra searching. If it’s difficult, they simply won’t bother.
When handled correctly, your website can be a huge driver for your organization, be it through sales, memberships, subscriptions, reservations, etc.
Any ad that is intended to lead your audience to the website should be carefully integrated into the site itself. To maintain consistency, consider the following:
- Does your ad contain branding consistent with the rest of the website (and any offline presence, for that matter?) This may mean a logo, a color scheme, or something else entirely.
- Do you have a landing page for the ad campaign? (A special page that users are directed to when they click on the ad or whose URL viewers are given in a print or TV ad) Is that landing page specific enough?
- It should contain the same information as the ad, possibly more. It should also have a similar feel, using consistent colors, graphics, and offers.
- Is it clear what the visitors should do once they hit your site? The call to action should be very visible. Is the button to buy/sign up/redeem offer obvious? By which I mean very obvious?
- After the user follows the call to action, is it still obvious what you want them to do? This could mean a banner of some sort on every page from landing to thank you reminding the visitor why they came. It may seem like overkill to you – who presumably already knows what goal is intended. Keep in mind that Internet users quickly forget things, and the internet can be very distracting.
Every ad or special offer should not just lead somewhere, it should lead users down an obvious path to a goal. Consistency in marketing and site design can be crucial to the success of a campaign or website.