If you work in Influencer Marketing, or if you use social media to promote your brand (i.e. pretty much everyone in business), you hear the terms “engagement”, “reach”, and “impressions” on a daily basis. But what exactly do those terms mean and, more importantly, how do they affect the success of an Influencer Marketing campaign?

In this article we’re going to cut through the social media industry jargon and explain clearly and effectively what each of the terms “engagement”, “reach”, and “impressions” mean, and how each of them affects your campaign ROI.

On the most basic level, these terms are defined as follows:

Engagement: The number of interactions your content received from users (likes, comments, shares, saves, etc.)

Impressions: The number of times your content is displayed

Reach: The number of people who see your content

Let’s dive a little deeper into the definition of these terms and how they all affect the success of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Engagement

Engagement is, arguably, the most important of the three metrics to pay attention to when you’re measuring social media success. This is because engagement is the only one of the three terms to involve the user directly. Having someone simply see your content is one thing, but involving them and moving them to take action is another.

When your content inspires a user to take an action, that moves them leaps and bounds ahead in your brand’s “funnel of awareness”. You are much more likely to convert viewers that engage with your content into viable sales leads.

Want to know how to maximize engagement with regards to Influencer Marketing success? Plan ahead what actions you’re hoping viewers will take when they see your content. For example, if an influencer knows you’re hoping for direct product sales, they can drive to your website and encourage clicks. If you’re looking for brand awareness, they can use the caption to influence viewers to save the post in their archives.

Impressions vs. Reach

The terms that get confused most often are impressions and reach. This could be because both of these metrics have to do with how many times your content was seen.

But there are key differences that make each metric uniquely important to pay attention to when looking at influencer marketing analytics.

Impressions

An “impression” means that a piece of content was delivered to someone’s feed. Whether they saw it or not is a different matter (see: reach). Impressions measure how many times a post was displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not.

Reach

It’s helpful to think of “reach” as the number of unique people who actually see your content. First, a piece of content must be delivered to a feed (impressions), then a user has to interact with the platform to actually see the piece of content in their feed (reach).

Your ROI Impact

Ultimately, tracking these metrics over time will help your brand develop a foolproof content and influencer marketing strategy. Understanding what kind of content moves your target audience to engage is key to campaign success! That’s why it’s of paramount importance you have a platform that keeps track of your data and allows you to report what’s most relevant.