3 Things You Need to Know About Impressions

From high atop Marketing Mountain, impressions once reigned as king. As long as someone looked, then your job as a marketer was done. As has been said in a million blogs before, “The internet changed that.”

New metrics have risen to prominence. Rather than being satisfied with impressions, the modern marketer must pay heed to engagement, clicks, and the new king of marketing, conversions.

What happened to the impression?

Is the impression still important?

If an impression doesn’t result in a click, is it still a good thing?


Impressions matter. All these fancy new metrics still begin with an impression. In fact, all marketing begins with an impression. Whether that impression results from a print ad or video view on YouTube, without knowing your brand exists no other metrics can follow.

That being said, things have changed. You still have to gain impressions. But if those impressions aren’t garnering the appropriate amount of conversions, you are doing it wrong. Here are 3 things to consider about the impression in modern day marketing.

3 Things You Need to Know About Impressions

1. Mass Impressions Won’t Cut It

Are you just paying for the lowest cost-per-impression out there? That is probably okay if you are giving away free candy. If you are a B2B company, mass impressions won’t work for you. Targeted impressions are the name of the game. Even if you have to pay a little more for impressions, ensuring you hit the right audience is imperative.

Check the audit numbers! If a brand boasts a circulation of 200,000 but only audits a small portion of that number, they probably aren’t the brand for your B2B marketing. Before you buy ad space on an industry website, check out their traffic numbers. You have to be hitting the right audience, and know you are hitting them.

2. Impressions For the Assist

Earlier we asked about the impression that doesn’t result in a direct click, call, or conversion. As long as you are hitting the right audience, that impression still can drive conversions down the road. Let me give you an example. One client in the trucking industry ran a campaign utilizing banner ads on our brand websites and newsletters. The campaign received a solid click-rate.

A close look at some analytics revealed something very interesting. Organic search spiked during the run time of the campaign. The impressions didn’t all result in direct clicks, but had increased organic search dramatically. If you’re hitting the right audience, impressions will drive conversions down the road. An online ad can cause a print ad to generate a phone call. A print ad can cause someone to search for your website.

3. Make Every Impression Count

How long does it take to make an impression? How long does it take to make an impression count? It depends on your creative. You want your impression to be a lasting impression, right? The faster your ad communicates the correct message, the better. A good example of this is YouTube’s In-Stream feature. If you are not familiar with it, YouTube allows you to show your video as a pre-roll to prospects’ chosen video. This feature allows the viewer to skip the ad within the first 5 seconds. 5 seconds is plenty of time to make a lasting impression, the kind that affects organic search. Don’t waste that portion of the video

Make every impression count. If a prospect doesn’t know what you want him to know in the first 3 seconds, you’re doing it wrong. Every ad needs to communicate the value you are offering the client and accomplish branding. It needs to do this fast.

It all starts with an impression. That impression needs to affect your bottom line at some point. Keep them targeted, check secondary metrics, and make every impression count.


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