Why All Impressions are Not the Same

Robin Kahn

Robin Kahn About The Author

November 29, 2021 at 10:37 AM

Why All Impressions are Not the Same

Regardless of the quality of your product, people won’t buy it if they’re not aware of it. Launching relevant, engaging ad campaigns is a crucial component of success since it’s the vehicle you use to inform customers of your offerings. You can spread awareness, increase sales, and develop your loyal following.  

But how do you know if your ads successfully reach your audience? You use metrics to show how many people saw your ads or interacted with them. Using those and your sales rates, you can determine how well your ads resonate with your audience and drive action. 

However, not all metrics provide the same level of detail, and different metrics match better with specific campaign types. Below, we cover which metrics and offer insight into how you can match the best method with your campaign.  

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What Ads Track with Impressions  

Impressions indicate the number of people exposed to your ads. Different marketing channels track impressions in their unique ways, which also impacts its cost to measure. As a baseline, impressions primarily track overall awareness of your brand by showing the volume of people who have seen your ads and generally do not show rates of interaction.   

For instance, if someone comes across your ad while browsing social media, that will count as an impression. It doesn’t indicate how much attention they paid to your ads. Impressions are an excellent metric for top-of-the-funnel marketing when you are spreading awareness. 

Some of the ads you can track with impressions include:  

  • TV Commercials: This type of ad is great for targeting specific demographics. Since some people prefer some shows over others, you can place your ads around shows your target audience is probably watching. The number of people watching the TV channel as your ad airs make up your impressions.  
  • OTT/CTV Ads: These entertainment channels are an extension of conventional TV. Streaming services like Hulu and Netflix provide an excellent option for marketers targeting tech-savvy and younger generations. You can attach your ads to shows or streams that your audience is bound to watch. The fact that CTV ads are mostly non-skippable makes the impressions they generate valuable, especially since they provide additional analytics about who you’re reaching.  
  • Display Ads like Pop-Ups and Banner Ads: These are great for spreading brand awareness among screen users. These ads appear on social media sites and websites, and your impressions equal the number of people exposed to your ads. 
  • Video Ads: Video is all the rage right now, with more people interacting with video content than ever before. The content is easily consumed and engaging. Creating video ads placed on websites or sites like YouTube can increase your reach in a video-hungry world. Your impressions will depend on the number of people exposed to your videos. 
  • Opened Emails: Email marketing campaigns represent the number of people who have read your emails and seen your marketing copy. Email impressions are additionally valuable since impressions represent consumer interest in your web content. 

Understanding How Impressions Are Measured  

Digital advertising channels tend to be more granular than conventional media since they provide detailed insight into your audience. Conventional media like TV and radio calculate impressions through cost-per-million, which also makes up the baseline for pricing. 

Digital channels provide information like clickthrough and email open rates, which indicates interest from the recipient. It offers many insights, including bounce rates and average time on the page to determine your campaign success. You can use these metrics to tweak and improve your marketing campaigns. 

How Impressions Differ by Platform 

Impressions are a single metric for measuring the success of your ad campaign. When combined with other metrics, you can draw more insights to inform your marketing program further. For instance, pairing impressions with clickthrough rates for display ads will help you assess the number of quality impressions you draw from your marketing channel. 

Using multiple platforms for campaigns helps strengthen your advertising and provides multiple viewpoints into your campaign performance. Digital marketing channels like OTT and email come connected with marketing tools, often providing the most in-depth insight and letting you track performance in real-time. It allows you to optimize your campaigns quickly to improve results and offers insight into how other campaign elements succeed. If your web traffic increases with the launching of a TV commercial, it’s a good indication that people are looking up your brand because of it.   

Key Takeaway 

Learning how to measure impressions, the right platforms to use, and optimize the ads isn't always straightforward. If you feel overwhelmed with the task at hand, you can work with a media partner to have them handle it for you. Their expertise will provide trusted insight into your advertising and help you set up successful campaigns while giving you back the crucial time needed to run your business.  

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