Reach is the total number of people who see your content. It’s a metric that tells you how far and wide your message is spreading. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to measure reach and how to use it to measure success.
What Is Reach and Why Is It Important?
As we mentioned above, reach is the total number of people who see your content. It’s a metric that tells you how far and wide your message is spreading. Why is reach important? Because the more people who see your content, the more likely it is that you’ll achieve your desired outcome—whether that’s building awareness, generating leads, or making sales. In other words, reach is a key indicator of whether your content marketing efforts are successful.
So, How to Measure Reach?
Reach can be measured in two ways: absolute reach and relative reach. Absolute reach is the total number of people who have seen your content. Relative reach is the percentage of people who have seen your content in relation to the total number of people who could have seen it (aka your target audience).
What Are Some Common Methods for Measuring Reach?
There are a few common methods for measuring reach: surveys, focus groups, social media analytics, web analytics, and marketing mix modeling.
- Surveys: Surveys are one of the most common methods for measuring reach. They’re relatively easy to administer, and they provide valuable data that can be used to improve future marketing efforts. However, surveys can be time-consuming and expensive to administer if they’re not done online. In addition, surveys only provide data about those who choose to respond—which means there’s always the potential for bias.
- Focus Groups: Focus groups are similar to surveys in that they’re relatively easy to administer and they provide valuable data that can help improve future marketing efforts. However, focus groups tend to be more expensive than surveys because they require in-person administration by a trained moderator. In addition, focus groups only provide data about those who decide to participate—which means there’s always the potential for bias.
- Social Media Analytics: Social media analytics tools like Hootsuite Insights or Facebook Insights can be used to measure reach on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. These tools provide valuable data about the performance of your social media posts in terms of likes, comments, shares, etc.—which can be used to improve future social media campaigns. However, social media analytics tools only provide data about those who use social media platforms—which means there’s always the potential for bias (e.g., younger generations are more likely to use social media than older generations).
- Web Analytics: Web analytics tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics can be used to measure reach on websites and blogs. These tools track things like pageviews and unique visitors—which can be used to gauge how well your website or blog is performing in terms of reach. However, web analytics tools only provide data about those who use websites and blogs—which means there’s always the potential for bias (e.g., younger generations are more likely to use websites than older generations).
- Marketing Mix Modeling: Marketing mix modeling (MMM) is a statistical technique that can be used to measure the impact of marketing initiatives on business outcomes (e.g., revenue). MMM takes into account factors like brand awareness, advertising spend, price changes, etc.— which makes it an effective tool for measuring reach. However, MMM can be complex and time-consuming to implement— which makes it less than ideal for small businesses or businesses with limited resources.
How Can Reach Be Improved?
We know now how to measure reach, but how can we improve it? Here are a few methods for improving reach:
- Increase brand awareness: Brand awareness is the degree to which consumers are familiar with a brand and its products or services. Increasing brand awareness can be done through various marketing initiatives, such as advertising, public relations, and social media.
- Increase exposure to your content: Exposure is the number of times people see your content. Increasing exposure can be done by optimizing your content for search engines, promoting your content on social media, and using paid advertising.
- Increase the likelihood that people will see your content: The likelihood that people will see your content can be increased by segmenting your audience, tailoring your content to their needs, and using effective distribution channels.
How Can Reach Be Used to Measure Success?
Now that we know how to measure reach, let’s take a look at how reach can be used to measure success. There are a few different ways to do this:
- Compare reach to other marketing metrics: You can compare reach to other marketing metrics, such as engagement or conversion rate, to get a better understanding of how effective your content is.
- Set goals for reach: You can set goals for reach and track your progress over time to see if you’re meeting your targets.
- Use benchmarks: You can compare your reach to industry benchmarks to see how you stack up against your competitors.