Understanding Marketing Touchpoints: Reach vs. Impressions vs. Engagement


When you begin to develop your marketing campaign, you’ll start with your objective of the campaign.

  • Are you looking primarily to create brand awareness?
  • Are you launching a new product? Trying to improves sales?
  • Are you targeting a new customer? Trying to improve your relationship with your current customers?

Whatever your objective is of your campaign will determine how you handle each marketing touchpoint.

A marketing touchpoint is any point of interaction along a customer journey. In our seemingly ever-adapting digital age, our marketing touchpoints are increasingly digital.

Digital touchpoints include everything from your website to email campaigns to social media and ads.

Tracking the interaction of your customers at each touchpoint will provide insight into the success of the campaign. It’s important, however, to understand what these interactions mean and what types of communications resonate success or progression towards your objective.

Reach, Impressions and Engagement

As you look at what’s happening at your marketing touchpoints, you’re likely looking at your reach, impressions, and engagement.

Let’s say your ad is a person walking around. An example of high reach would translate that person walked in front of a lot of DIFFERENT people.

An impression would mean that person would be seen a bunch of times by both different people and the same people repeatedly. Like a person you’ve not met yet but seem to keep seeing everywhere. And then perhaps noticing something you like about the person each time you see them.

This then leads to engagement. Your ad person walks by, and people come up and shake your hand, talk to you, ask you questions, and otherwise engage with you. This may be because they keep seeing you around and are finally intrigued enough to get to know you. Or because upon seeing you, they’re so intrigued that they want to say hi right away.

Cue the cute new guy or girl at school that everyone wants to get to know.

If your digital touchpoint is a social media post, your reach is how many unique viewers see the post. The impressions are how many times the post has been seen. Then engagement would clicks, likes, shares, or comments on the post.

Which is the Most Important?

Whether reach, impressions or engagement are the most important type of interaction for your marketing touchpoint depends largely on the objective of that touchpoint. However, each plays a vital role in the success of your strategies.

Reach and impressions begin the engagement cycle. These are your biggest numbers in paid marketing, getting your brand message in front of thousands of people. Having a high impression rate is going to be important if your main objective is increasing brand awareness.

However, if your impressions don’t lead to engagement, you’ll have a problem because, in the end, you need your customers to take action. You need them to go to your website, to visit your shop, to make a purchase or hire your services.

How to Get Engagement at Every Touchpoint

Different platforms have different strategies that work best to take an impression to an engagement.


With Twitter, for example, you’ll want not just to make sure the content is engaging but look at length too. Keeping your tweet at 120 characters or less makes it much more shareable. Plus, those that retweet have room to add their own comments and hashtags.


Then, blogs get a lot more clicks, comments, and shares when there are visuals. This includes everything from relevant pictures to infographics and videos. These visuals help make an in-depth article – while more successful over time – more immediately shareable and easy to engage with.


And then for ad’s keeping your call to action concrete and clear is much more likely to get a click. The key here is to focus on a single audience with a single message and a single goal.

Marketing Touchpoints for the Whole Picture

Your marketing touchpoints are pieces of a greater whole. They both build upon each other and are focused in their own right. When planned accordingly, this is how you can build a successful integrated marketing strategy.

See Also:

What’s an Integrated Marketing Strategy?

Fill’er Up! High-Octane Content Increases Prospect Engagement

5 Marketing Resolutions to Make for 2020

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