I was trying to read an article on my phone the other day and kept accidentally hitting a banner ad.

I did this about 5 times, my frustration growing along with the boosted stats.

After finally managing to extricate myself from this digital maze, I did some reflection.

Now I might not have the deftest touch, but I’m not some kind of Inspector Clouseau-esque phone user, bumbling over the touchscreen like a fat-fingered buffoon. So I thought: I can’t be the only one. Just how many banner clicks are accidental?

After some fairly competent googling, in which I managed to avoid misclicking on some eager but unsuitable search suggestions while steering clear of irrelevant adwords results, I managed to locate an article stating that around 60 per cent of mobile banner ad clicks are unintentional.

60 per cent! If you’re counting on your hands, that’s the equivalent of six clumsy fingers.

Do marketers know that fat fingers are causing such a massive amount of advertising interactions? Do publishers know that users are artificially inflating engagement statistics with their digital slippery? Do they care?

Or do they think that as long as they get their ads in front of people they’ve done their jobs and can wash their hands of the whole dirty business?

But you don’t need a diploma in palmistry to divine that if your business is tricking people into clicking on ads then you won’t be seeing any significant returns in terms of sales.

If they didn’t want to click on it, then all they will do is close the ad or click back. They certainly won’t be sticking their fat fingers into a piece of your sneakily-placed pie.

Now, well-placed banner ads can be an important part of marketing strategy. But how does tricking or forcing people to view your content help you market better?

It doesn’t. But here’s a thought: what if they clicked because they wanted to? What if once they did they were interested in what they saw? Imagine the results you could get then. Rather than clicking back, they would start coming back.

If your strategy is to force your content on people, stop. Instead, make them come to you by creating gripping content that addresses their main points, speaks their language, solves their problems, and gives them value.

So stop thumbing your nose at people and get cracking on making great content that people want. Or if you want to keep forcing content on people, then you’ll just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best.

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