Definition: What is Reach on the Internet? - Bernhard Jodeleit
Symbol graphic: reach

Definition: What is Reach on the Internet?

The “Reach” indicator describes how many people see a communication measure. If the same person sees your content several times, this adds to the imprecise gross range. The net range does not count this. It reflects how many different people saw your content. The terms Reach (gross range) and Unique Reach (net range) are often used in marketing. The time frame also counts. Different temporal classifications exist for the net reach (Unique Reach). For example, “Daily Unique Reach” describes how many people saw your stuff within one given day. “Monthly Unique Reach” defines how many people saw it within one month.

Of course, inaccuracies come into play here. Measurement systems may not be accurate. They might be unable to detect if different recipients saw your content. These inaccuracies are becoming more important. Restrictive data protection regulations are causing them. Measures are necessary to know if it’s the same person or if it are different people. One possibility is, for example, the setting of cookies. According to the more recent legal opinion e.g. in Europe, the latter is subject to approval. You cannot identify users who do not consent to the setting of cookies. They are perceived as different people by analysis tools. This effect is particularly important when measuring reach on websites. As for reach measurement for a campaign on a social media platform, these inaccuracies should not exist. Take Facebook, for example. The social network knows exactly which user accesses which content at what time. Users have granted extensive tracking rights to Facebook. This is why advertisers from Facebook can expect that the information on the net reach is correct.

Let’s take a look at the distinction between “Reach” and “Impressions”:

  • Impressions describe how often your content showed. Whenever your content displays, the number of impressions goes up.
  • Reach describes how many people have seen your content. That means: If five people see your content ten times, that is ten impressions, but only a reach of five.
  • The frequency is two in the above example. This key figure describes how often your content showed on average to one and the same person. People remember your offer and your brand better as the frequency increases. The brand awareness is increasing. But people tend to react with disapproval if they see the same content too often. So watch to see if your ads work worse as the frequency increases. In one of the following chapters I will explain what criteria you can use to assess this.
Graphic shows people who achieve high goals. This symbolizes reach: one of the most important parameters in online marketing.
Reach: one of the most important metrics in online marketing.
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