Reach vs Impressions: What is the difference?

Reach vs Impressions: What is the difference?

vector illustration showing the difference between reach and impressions in digital advertising

Reach, and impressions are two essential metrics in your brand’s digital strategies. But do they measure the same parameters? Not quite. Find out in this BMT Agency blog post the main differences between reach and impressions and achieve your goals on social media.

What is Reach?

Reach is the number of people who see your content. In other words, what is measured is how much your content expands. Unfortunately, not every single one of your followers sees your content. So with the reach, what you can know is what is your effective audience.

This means that you are measuring the number of users that have been effectively impacted by a publication. For example, on Instagram, this metric is usually basic in campaigns because it allows us to understand the potential impacts.

Published content can generate more impressions than the total number of followers of the brand that uploads it; this is because it can also reach users who are not its followers by sharing the content, having specific hashtags, or matching the type of content that you like. Now, even if the same user sees a publication more than once, these views are not counted because, as we said, this metric focuses on the number of users who see the content and not the times they see it in their feed or reproduce it.

Also, keep in mind that there are two types of scope organic and paid reach:

  • What is Organic Reach

Organic reach refers to the impacts achieved by an account or a profile in a natural way through the content that reaches the user on the recommendation of the algorithm or another user.

Organic reach can be generated in two ways: virally, every time it is shared. And in a non-viral way, when it is obtained through channels without human intervention.

  • What is Paid Reach

This is the reach achieved thanks to the use of Ads campaigns, in Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads, for example.

What are Impressions?

Impressions are the number of times your content appears on the screen. This includes all times the content is displayed in a user’s News Feed, but not necessarily the viewer has interacted. This is because impressions account for all ads, even those that may appear behind a window or when the user leaves the site.

However, impressions can also be of different types:

  • What are Organic Impressions?

Organic impressions are number of times unpromoted content is shown to network users.

  • What are Paid Impressions?

Paid impressions are the number of times promoted content is displayed as an ad to users.

Making a brief summary, reach means the number of people to whom your content has appeared, while impressions are the total number of times your content has appeared even if they have not seen it.

Why do you have to measure reach and impressions?

Reach and impressions are key metrics for analyzing the performance of your work. The important thing is to know what your objective is to know what you are most interested in measuring.

Reach vs. impressions on Instagram

For example, a post with a lot of impressions on Instagram means that it was well-received and reached your audience. Therefore, if you are going to run an Ads campaign on Instagram or Facebook, you will be interested in knowing the impressions since it will indicate if the segmentation carried out is the most appropriate for your campaign.

If, on the contrary, you look at the reach, you will reach a greater number of users, expanding the image and knowledge of your brand. So the scope will interest you if you want to get brand awareness.

You can also use both metrics to get an excellent perspective on how your engagement is doing since you can measure both the interactions and the attention your content is receiving.

Trust BMT Agency to give your brand the website it deserves

We hope we have clarified the subject of metrics in social networks a little more. It is important to know them in order to determine if your objectives are being achieved, taking into account the results of the appropriate metrics.

At BMT Agency, you will find a team made up of professionals in various areas of Digital Marketing who will help you give your strategy the right focus to achieve your business goals in an environment as changing as it is necessary for today’s companies. Contact us and a group of experts will become your best ally in the digital world. Take the first step to take your business to a new level!


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