This is Part Six in a blog series for the How to Leverage Social Shoppers to Tell Stories That Matter Whitepaper.
To put today’s marketing metrics into perspective, let’s start with a little history lesson. Impressions began as a way to estimate audience size across different types of mass media. The metric gave marketers a way to judge potential viewership and evaluate media spends. Simple impression numbers, however, say nothing about consumer engagement. We knew the ad ran when Mean Joe Greene finished his Coke and tossed his jersey to the generous kid. We never knew, however, if a particular viewer saw that ad or happened to be in the kitchen grabbing snacks for their family.
As one of few tools available to them, advertisers incorporated the impression into other marketing metrics such as ratings, share, and gross rating point, all the while profiting from the possibility that something might have happened without ever having to prove that anything did happen. The early days of the Internet offered little to advertisers beyond the empty impressions of past media. Loading a page with a banner ad never guaranteed a reader even saw the ad. Early social media metrics started with Impressions = Followers x Content. This meant a single tweet by a user with a following of 1,000 resulted in 1,000 impressions, even though all 1,000 people likely did not see the tweet.
As social media has evolved, so have the standards to measure it by. Social measurement in the past amounted to interns manually counting likes and comments, but the days of self-reporting and manual tabulation have passed. Technology now allows us to track not only how many people saw a piece of content, but also an average of how long a viewer spends with said piece of content. Much like engagements, this metric gives the marketer a much clearer picture of what their audience did with their content than impressions or views. On average, was your content digested or glanced over completely?
There are two major keys to today’s metrics in influencer marketing:
Interested in learning more about modern marketing metrics? Click here to download our How to Leverage Social Shoppers to Tell Stories That Matter Whitepaper.