Impressions Are Out, Engagement Is In


In the age of content-driven advertising, consumer engagement with your digital campaign is key

Impressions vs. engagement: what’s the difference, you ask? Impressions measure the number of people who potentially, maybe, for some brief moment could have been exposed to a piece of content. And that measurement is kind of out of control, if you think about it. It’s literally measuring what could have been; maybe the consumer saw it, maybe they engaged with your digital campaign for about two seconds before they closed it, but measuring “impressions” means measuring non-concrete data.

Impressions are useful in their own way, which is mainly reporting circulation numbers after you’ve launched your campaign, and then Instagrammed and tweeted about it to your millions of followers. So yes, seeing how many people were exposed to your campaign is useful. But what’s more useful is measuring what actually comes of these impressions. Engagement with  a digital campaign is when a consumer is interested, relating to content, and really digesting what it is your company is trying to say.

Here are three metrics that AdAge says marketers should consider when looking at a digital campaign:

  1. Shares On the marketing side, measuring shares means measuring actual engagement. If someone is sharing something, they’re probably interested or connected in some way with the content.
  2. Sentiment Look at what commenters are saying about your digital content. Sure, maybe you’re getting a ton of impressions on the surface. But if you look into the data and see everyone is bashing your company, those impressions are negative anyway.
  3. Quality of reach You can do as much marketing and outreach as you’d like, but if you’re not reaching the right audiences, there’s no quality in it.

Marketing practices in digital marketing and communication are behind the times. It’s important to keep up with the ever-changing climate of digital campaigns, if you want your efforts to be successful.