Regardless of the mode of delivery, every campaign must be measurable. But the influx of data brought in by online campaigns can convolute the data and what’s important. From likes to comments, views to followers, there is no shortage of metrics to consider. But what metrics are most important, and how do you gauge a successful online campaign?

Consider the Reach
The reach of any given post is referring to the number of people who have seen the post. It is different that the term impressions – which measures how many times each post has been seen. For example, is 5 people saw your ad appear twice on Instagram, the reach would be 5 and the impressions would be 10. The reach ultimately refers to how many users your campaign has potentially impacted. Furthermore, social reach tells us how many social media users have seen your content.

Do You Want to Engage?
Engagement is a popular buzzword amongst marketers, but it is the key to a successful campaign. In this context, engagement refers to an individual’s behavior towards a campaign you have deployed. Perhaps you are measuring likes, retweets or posts with a certain hashtag, but the common thread is your campaign has managed to evoke a behavior from audiences who have encountered your campaign. It is proof that people are listening, and that you have provoked their emotions.

Measuring engagement is specifically important on social media, as therein lies the entire point of engaging on this platform. Folks are most prone to engage on social media and if your engagement is low, you may want to rethink your approach.

You could also consider engagement a measurement of the audience’s emotional response to your campaign. Did people retweet or leave a negative comment? The best (and worst) thing about the internet is people will tell you what they’re thinking, so you’ll never have to wonder if your campaign was a hit or a miss.

Campaign engagement rates are generally calculated by the following standard equation:

interaction [divided by] reach [multiplied by] 100 = engagement %

Reach vs Engagement
It’s tough to truly achieve reach and engagement simultaneously. Reach is focused on achieving numbers en masse and reaching the widest audience possible, while engagement is a tighter focus on quality over quantity, creating a targeted approach to secure the attention and ultimately engagement of the audience.

Pick a Lane
There are positive and productive aspects to both sets of goals. Focusing on reach is a proven way to heighten visibility and awareness of your brand or campaign, while engagement is a strong way to draw in a select group of folks who have shown strong signs that they would eventually become a client or user of whatever it is your campaign is promoting. Transitioning from reach to engagement is always an option, and a good way to increase conversion rates.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you will be doing your entire campaign a disservice if you try to incorporate reach and engagement as opposed to focusing on one. Decide the objective of your campaign, and determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that would be best suited.

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