Zero Click Digital Marketing, Is It The End Of The Click?

Zero Click Marketing

Zero-click marketing has seemingly just snuck up on us but as we break it down it’s actually nothing new.  Zero-click marketing is marketing in which there is not necessarily a click to your website involved when performing this type of marketing. We have marketed for a long time before the click existed but it seems foreign to us. 

It’s hard to process for those digital marketers who have lived and died for the last several decades on “how do I drive more clicks to the website?”  It essentially has been the main focus and quite frankly digital marketers have been obsessed with driving traffic.  After all the website is the hub of digital marketing.  Any type of digital marketing almost seemingly had KPIs of how much traffic it drove and did it convert from that exact marketing? 

The truth is though there are many forms of digital marketing that do not cause direct traffic and clicks to a website and they work quite well! They mayZero Click Marketing eventually get to the website after absorbing this content online but they don’t take immediate action.  That is because zero-click marketing often sits at the top of the funnel.  It’s where influence is created and when someone is ready to buy they will know who you are and why to choose you.  From search engines to social media platform algorithms we have in fact been moving back toward zero-click marketing.  

The internet used to be a less crowded place and so types of marketing like direct marketing and lead generation were more popular.  They worked well because we had fewer options for information to click on. Don’t get us wrong they still exist but if you have that upstream marketing called zero click marketing you are more likely to convert downstream in the funnel. 

Consumers often visit many many forms of online marketing before they make those decisions.  Business owners and some marketers though for years have pushed that you can break down digital marketing success to clicks of traffic from one source of marketing such as ads, organic social media, email marketing, and more.  This is very far from the actual journey of a consumer online to purchase. 

Zero click marketing might be the new term we have coined in marketing to describe marketing that does not directly drive clicks to a website but in fact, it is nothing new. 

Before the internet, all marketing was zero-click marketing.  We had TV ads, Radio ads, billboards, magazines, yellow pages, and the list goes on and on.  There would not be the click to a website and yet we trusted and saw with an increase in actual business pricing that it worked.

As time evolved, systems to track this time of marketing started to evolve such as call tracking.  You would place a unique phone number in a yellow page ad and/or magazine ad and you could tie that back that this type of marketing proving that it did in fact drive business.

Then the internet happened and we developed this cocaine-type feel to drive traffic and that only marketing that you could directly tie driving traffic to a website was deemed as superior.  

We suddenly tainted any marketing that existed up the funnel of the buyer’s journal and simply disregarded it as no longer working.  This was so far from the actual truth.  

What we developed as marketers was an obsession with “lead generation”, we tried to simply break marketing down to we can just generate leads and shorten the actual psychology buying process of consumers. 

This is where we saw the invention of Google ads marketing because of the actual nature that a consumer was directly searching for what they wanted, it was essentially “lead generation” marketing. Google ads marketing dominated as it took over what previously was yellow page marketing.  

To fully understand how much zero-click marketing exists in digital marketing today let’s break down all the different types.

SEO

In 2020 it was noted by Sparktoro that ⅔ of internet searches resulted in no click. This is where the term gained traction and was used to talk specifically about how search engine traffic was moving away from clicks. But as we have explained it was inevitable as history always repeats itself. There are lots of ways that search engine results in no clicks with one of them being Google’s featured snippets. Google is essentially scraping content and giving the answers to your questions right in the search results without ever having to click on the source of content it came from.  That’s stealing, isn’t it? Google would say they are being helpful, they do it for flight information, hotels, what time is it, and on and on. You would never know if you optimize your content to show in featured snippets the true impact of that type of marketing. 

Organic Social Media

Organic social media platforms want to keep you scrolling for as long as possible so that they can sell more ads to place and profit.  For this reason, it’s getting harder and harder to make organic social media post with links.  Do social media post with links get reach, yes and no.  If you can’t get engagement first then the post with a link is less likely to get any reach.  This just means that you can’t make your end goal with organic social media to drive traffic.  Organic social media can be placed high up the marketing funnel for this reason. Notably, Instagram doesn’t even allow links at all. 

Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts

For the most part, this form of marketing has no click at all and you are purely scrolling video after video.  You can direct someone to make click from your bio or physically leave the app to go to your website.  This makes for a harder ability to get that click. In fact, the whole type of social media post is getting more reach as social media algorithms like the fact it keeps you on their platforms for hours at a time. 

Live Videos and Webinars on Social Media

When you go live or produce a webinar on social media, they are there to listen to you and not necessarily visit your website right then. You can drop links in the broadcast for your viewers to go to your website afterward. The main draw though is to listen to what you have to say often resulting in no clicks. 

Newsletters on social media

These have gained popularity lately with social media platforms like Linkedin. The algorithms are once again favoring this type of content because it keeps someone on their platform.  It’s not exactly zero-click marketing as you can embed clicks in the newsletter to tease someone back to your website. 

Audio Rooms

This type of marketing broke out first with platforms such as clubhouse but now is making its way back with Twitter and Linkedin audio rooms. Much like going live or doing webinars your consumer is there to listen and not go to your website. 

Podcasting

Podcasting has been around for a very long time in the digital marketing space. In fact, we have been podcasting since 2004.  With podcasting, you are listening to a show and so therefore there are no direct clicks that are happening, therefore putting it into the “zero-click type marketing”.  For this reason many struggle with giving credit to the fact that podcasting led to actual business.

Zero-click marketing is not something new and will not end the click.  It’s simply going back and recognizing marketing that has worked for centuries.  We ourselves are obsessed with the data that digital marketing can tell you about your content. But we understand that not all marketing is a linear path from seeing the marketing to a click to the website.  In fact, having zero-click marketing puts let’s pressure on always selling and more on the education piece of your marketing.  There is a time and place for zero-click marketing.