Impressions and engagements are both critical to a brand’s success in the digital world. The first gets you seen, and the other gets you noticed. However, nobody can notice your brilliance or creativity if your content remains behind the curtains. That’s why some marketers think impressions are better than engagements.
However, even though the reach is vital. No business can keep the mill running merely by getting seen. They have to get noticed and engage the audience to act. That’s what other marketers believe who claim engagements are more significant.
In this article, we’ll discuss both in detail, share how to measure the two metrics, and attempt to answer the million-dollar question ‘Are impressions better than engagements?’ In addition, we’ll also share some tips to increase your impressions and engagement on social media and explore how the two metrics affect your social success.
WHAT ARE ENGAGEMENTS AND IMPRESSIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Simply put, impressions are the number of times the content or posts get displayed on a social feed. In contrast, engagement is the number of times the post stopped the scroll, captured attention, and triggered a response or interaction such as like, dislike, comment, share, or save.
Traditionally, there weren’t many ways to interact with an advert or marketing campaign except pick up the phone or dial the number. Thus, the only way to track success was through reach or impressions. Reach is nothing complex but falls in between the two terms; impression and engagement. It amounts to the times the content gets viewed by the audience.
Nowadays, social media marketing tools enable marketers to do more than merely track how many people it reaches. It tells a lot about the content quality and whether it is apt for the target audience or not.
MEASURING IMPRESSIONS AND ENGAGEMENTS
Measuring impressions and engagements helps you understand how well your content performs on the internet. Fortunately, both metrics are measurable. However, one gives more conclusive results than the other.
Nowadays, Facebook, Instagram, and top social media platforms analytics enable marketers and content creators to assess both metrics through a few clicks. But, not all numbers are alike. Impressions and engagement count by no means stand on equal footing.
As it goes, people say the more the impression, the better the campaign. However, is there any way to know for sure? No, and Yes! Though assessing an advert’s success on impression alone is hard, it is trackable by tossing it up with another metric, like engagement.
By telling you precisely the number of times your content stopped the scroll and earned a response, you can determine what the audience thinks about your content. Whether they like it, dislike it, or ignore it. These insights go a long way in helping you devise a winning social media strategy.
Impressions are generally measured through Cost-Per-Mille (CPM), while Cost-Per-Click (CTC) measures the return on engagement.
ARE IMPRESSIONS BETTER THAN ENGAGEMENTS?
To settle this once and for all, we created eight decisive questions to understand whether impressions are king or engagements are the real deal.
- Which of the two attracts more eyeballs?
It may come as a surprise to some, but impressions get the crown in this one. The reason is simple: the content must reach more people to attract more eyeballs. The best way to do so is by boosting impressions.
Yes, engaging content indeed gets more attention. However, attention is mainly a byproduct of reaching more people or improving the impression counts.
(Impressions 1: Engagement 0)
- Which triggers a response?
There is only one winner in this; engagement. Building attention is key to triggering a response or persuading the viewers to act. Reaching a global audience is not good enough. The only way to trigger response is either by creating exceptional visual content or by having an epic call-to-action (CTA).
Moreover, brands also use influencers to boost engagement. However, the underlying theme is the quality, and the push it gets from influencers are the two top things that trigger a response. Neither is related to impressions.
(Impressions 1: Engagement 1)
- Which boosts conversation?
Like the previous one, engagement also takes the crown in this one. Conversations are about turning prospective clients into clients, and it is hard to do so with mundane, dull, and uninspired campaigns. The best way to boost conversion is to improve engagement. So here, engagement bags another win.
(Impressions 1: Engagement 2)
- Which drives brand awareness?
Brand awareness is not much different to reach. It is about connecting to a global audience and building awareness. The word, in itself, doesn’t lead directly to conversions or sales, but it helps. Those who cross your posts or brand online are more likely to respond to a physical advert, engage, and become a client.
So, here the victory goes to impressions. Reach lies at the core of brand awareness. Remember, impressions only boost awareness. To capture attention and earn recognition, you need engagement.
(Impressions 2: Engagement 2)
- Which is easy to measure?
Facebook and Instagram analytics have made both the metrics incredibly easy to measure. However, here we will focus on which metrics make brand success easy to measure. Without a doubt, it is another win for engagement.
Although it is possible to see how many people reached, it is futile, as compared to the other metric. Engagement not only helps you reach the audience but gets you a response from them. Be it good or bad, it helps deliver better experiences and improve the brand.
(Impressions 2: Engagement 3)
- Which makes the brand go viral?
Yes, virality relates to the number of people reached. However, until the content is engaging, no matter the number reached, your content will always underperform. Engagement plays a key role in making the post go viral and helps it reach a global audience.
As it goes, engagement gives the post a natural push, enabling it to expand its reach and attract more eyeballs.
(Impression 2: Engagement 4)
- Which builds a brand identity?
A brand identity is your unique brand image, voice, or style. It is what makes you different from your competitor. Building a brand identity takes time and requires high-engagement content aligned with the brand’s vision and philosophy.
Pushing tons of content out to a global audience helps little in building a brand identity – so, impressions won’t work. To do so, you need to engage the audience and make your brand recognizable – That requires engagement.
(Impressions 2: Engagement 5)
- Which is more cost-friendly?
Pushing your content to a global audience costs less than marketing it to a targeted group that is more likely to engage. However, if your visuals and content are engaging, it is bound to ultimately reach its target audience, sooner or later. So, in terms of cost, impressions get the win.
(Impressions 3: Engagement 5)
How to increase your engagement and impressions on social media?
There are many tips to increase your social media engagement and impressions. The most important one is to understand your brand needs a personality. Here are some other tips to boost your brand engagement and impressions:
- Focus on results, less on products
- Join Q&A sessions
- Reshare user-generated content
- Team up with influencers
- Integrate guest posting
- Use eye-catching visuals
- Incorporate polls & surveys
- Host giveaways
- Be mindful of posting time
- Factor audience fatigue
HOW DO ENGAGEMENTS AND IMPRESSIONS AFFECT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AIMS?
Engagement and impressions lie at the core of social media marketing strategy. If your goal is to build brand awareness, you must focus on impressions. In contrast, if you aim to drive more traffic and generate sales, the best way is to focus on engagement.
Think less about the number of people reached and more about the clients gained. You don’t necessarily have to reach a billion users to make your business successful. A few loyal clients are all you need.
So, you have picked our brains. Yes, we think engagement is more important than impressions. However, it varies from case to case and business to business. Whether you aim to boost awareness or sales dictates which metric is the perfect fit.
Remember, you can also incorporate the two in tandem if you aim to go the neutral way. Try different strategies and pick the one that works the best for you.
Karina Gandola was born and raised outside the city of Charleston, in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia. Karina loves writing about the influencer marketing space and an area she is passionate about. She considers her faith and family to be most important to her. If she isn’t spending time with her friends and family, you can almost always find her around her sweet yellow Labrador retriever, Poshna.