Metrics that matter: The truth about impressions, reach, and clicks


In: digital marketing,

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A little known fact about how people understand numbers is that they don’t really understand them at all. In fact, famed Nobel laureate , Daniel Kahneman, said

“human beings cannot comprehend very large or very small numbers. It would be useful for us to acknowledge that fact.”

Much digital marketing takes advantage of this simple human trait with a focus on enormous numbers for data-points like impressions, engagement, and reach.

I was talking with a customer last week who said, “I would have thought we should have 5,000 views by now”. He was talking about a video promoting his business to a highly targeted local audience and focused inbound generating leads. The truth was that his video had been viewed 200 times in 24 hours, and the campaign was positioned well to generate leads and achieve its objective.

What do the large portals mean when they report on engagement metrics – saves, favourites, shares? Does this mean anything?

The first thing to be clear about is that having some data is better than having no data. The list of metrics below represents what is important and what is essential. It is a representation of the marketing funnel – Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation, and Purchase.

Image result for attention consideration purchase

Reach and Impressions

Impressions are the number of times that content is displayed regardless of how many times, and reach is the number of people who ’see’ the content.

This doesn’t mean that the content was engaged with, or even actively observed. It merely means that the content appeared in a feed one or more times.

Both reach and impressions are an indicator of potential brand awareness because it means your brand and your content are appearing to people and allowing them to engage with your brand.

With reach, it’s essential to know the difference between 100,000 people who don’t care about your brand or product, and 1,000 people who are passionate about your brand and product. if the message is ignored, there is no benefit to large impressions or reach.

Reach, and impressions are the first step to driving people to take action.

Engagement – Clicks

Clicks are the number of people who interacted with your content, message, or ad. This could be clicking or tapping on the ad to go to your website or landing page, filling in a lead form, or watching a video.

Clicks are reported as an aggregate number which includes all clicks even if some people clicked more than once, and Unique Clicks, which counts the number of people who clicked.

Clicks are an essential measure of how well an advertisement or message is performing. It demonstrates that people are interacting with your advertisement, content, or message.

The number of clicks is reported as Click Through Rate. This is the number of people who click divided by the number of people who saw the ad or impressions.

The Click Through Rate is an important indicator of how useful some content is. The higher the click-through-rate, the more effective an advertisement.

Clicks and click through rate are the second step to driving people to take action.

Engagement – Conversions

A conversion is the money maker – leads, calls, purchases.

A conversion is when someone takes action in response to viewing and clicking on an advertisement or some content. It could be filling in a form, searching for a product, or making a purchase. In industries like real estate, a conversion could be completing an online enquiry form, calling the agent, or something as simple as watching a virtual tour of the property.

Conversions don’t just happen online; they happen offline. If someone sees or interacts with an advertisement and then visits a store and makes a purchase that is a conversion. If they see an advertisement for a property, visit the landing page, and then attend an open home on the weekend that is a conversion.

Tracking online and offline conversions is important to understanding the effectiveness of both organic and paid campaigns.

Summing up

Understanding the truth to metrics is simply about understanding your business and your objectives. Impressions are important. The right impressions are even more critical. Clicks and conversions is what matters to deliver your business a return on investment.

Do you need help understanding how to get the most from your digital marketing? Talk to the Plezzel team.

By – CEO