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Engagement VS Impressions

To those on the outside looking in, buying and placing media probably seems like a simple, easy thing. You just look at what’s available, buy and place. Simple, right?


Not so much. Well, at least not when you’re legitimately working to deliver and exceed your clients’ business goals. Regardless of your approach, you should start by asking some simple questions:


1. Who are you talking to?

2. What are you saying?

3. What’s the best way to engage your target audience?

4. What’s the best way to keep them engaged?


For decades, media agencies have started and stopped with the first question. Even as our industry has greatly evolved, they’re still stopping there. Because media agencies aren’t thinking about it from a brand and messaging perspective. And they’re not spending much time on it beyond their periodic dashboard checks tracking clicks and impressions. Which, just isn’t enough.


Impressions shouldn’t drive your thinking; engagement should.

Once you’ve identified who you’re talking to, it’s time to dive deeper. Map out the consumer journey, asking yourself at every point, how you can best engage them? Next, dive deep into understanding the message and story you’re trying to tell. You have to look at both of these to determine the best platform(s) and ad size/shape that speaks best to your audience.


If done properly—and with the right content—your consumer will get a deeper understanding of your brand, allowing for that emotional connection to happen. Kind of like Facebook Instant Experiences. It’s a vehicle that, with strong creative, draws you deeper into the brand experience (hence the name). You can view a quick video, swipe through carousels, tilt to pan, and explore lifestyle images with tagged products—all in a single ad. Each avenue allows you to become more and more immersed in different aspects of the brand.


Impressions and clicks should really be thought of as the first step in the engagement process. The hard work really comes next … how are we going to keep them engaged?


Well, that’s another blog post.


By Jeff Montgomery

Jeff Montgomery is a founding partner of The Ampersand Agency.

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