The Importance of Impressions

Published 6/4/13
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Next week will be my first series of meetings presenting our reporting tools to inaugural advertisers on VisitPhilly.com. Our conversions look strong, but this is not my first rodeo selling online advertising. I want to take a step back, prepare. Especially in a world that wants instant gratification.

“How many clicks did I get?” “What’s my click-through rate?” These are important questions to address, but it’s important not to overlook the importance of impressions. Impressions get a bum rap, yet they are the first numbers on our reports. We have forgotten the basics. It’s Advertising 101: whether it is on TV, radio, online or print advertising, the steps are Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action—and you can only get to Action if the message is seen, if the impressions are there. Do not discount the importance of these ad impressions in online advertising.

It is not just the “click”—it is the “eyeballs,” too.

The next time you review monthly online advertising reports, take a step back and recognize the importance of the impressions. Ask yourself (or your client) when was the last time you clicked on an ad? If someone sees the ad for “The Porch” on VisitPhilly.com, but didn’t click on it, does that mean the ad didn’t work? Not at all; if the ad piques someone’s interest, it’s very likely that they will come back to your site or another site and click on it while they are at home watching Game of Thrones or Mad Men on Sunday night, and then come to the monthly event two months later. Or maybe they will mention something in conversation to a friend or post something on a social media channel. It is not just the “click”—it is the “eyeballs,” too.

Be proud of every single impression. Talk about them. The relevance of how your message is seen while people are planning their trips shouldn’t be undervalued. It’ll knock your socks off when you see how strong the conversions are each month!