What’s the difference between reach and impressions on Instagram?

We know you have heard the terms “reach” and “impressions” when discussing Instagram and Facebook marketing, but what do they actually mean? More importantly, what’s the difference between the two? And finally, which one should you be paying more attention to? Let’s take a look.

Reach vs. impressions

A big part of Instagram marketing is understanding the difference between reach and impressions. You’ll get both pieces of data on every ad campaign you run, and both will be different numbers. So, here’s the scoop:

Reach is the total number of people who see your content.
Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, whether it was clicked or not.

So, for example, if you post a photo and 100 people see it, that’s the reach. But if that same photo is displayed 500 times to those 100 people, that’s 500 impressions. So that means your content was seen on average 5 times by 100 people. 

The main difference between reach and impressions is that reach is a measure of how many unique people see your content (even if they don’t engage with it), while impressions are a measure of how many times they see it. Hopefully, this clears things up a bit!

Why is reach important?

Reach is a valuable metric to track your success in creating brand awareness. Generally, you want your brand to be visible to as many people as possible (people that ideally fit your target audience profile) when it comes to top-of-the-funnel marketing. 

Reach is also a more important metric than reactions because likes are becoming increasingly meaningless – people are double-tapping to express approval or out of a habit, and often not because they particularly like the content. The number of likes, in reality, does not necessarily reflect the overall impact of a post anymore.
Tracking reach will also give you insight into how effective your contentis. For example, if people only see your posts but do not engage with them, you should refine your content strategy. 

Why are impressions important?

Just because a lot of people saw your content doesn’t mean that it actually reached your target audience. Impressions are a good indicator of how well your content performs among your target audience and if it was displayed to the right people at the right time – your buyer personas

Impressions are a great way to measure the true impact of your posts, stories, and videos. Tracking impressions can help you understand what your followers care about and include these patterns in future content decisions. This means that impressions can help you create Instagram content that users will love!

On average, a person needs to see a piece of content somewhere between 7 to 13 times before they make a purchasing decision – so impressions matter in e-commerce too! Partner impressions with frequency (how often a person saw this particular content) to understand if you’re hitting the sweet spot with your content.

Ultimately, it’s on you to decide what metric works best for your business. Remember that reach and impressions are complementary and can help you work towards your business goals. 

How to boost reach and impressions using Instagram Reels

Have you utilised the power of Instagram Reels already? This video feature has become immensely popular on Instagram. Using it is a clever move to boost the overall reach and impressions. It’s a clone of TikTok’s fun videos that lets your brand engage with the community in short clips of up to 90 seconds. A great thing about Instagram Reels is that it encourages brands to have fun with their content. They can participate in the latest trends, or they can come up with their own unique ideas. 

Short and engaging videos are rocking the social media world right now. That is a format most customers want and are most likely to respond to. That said, Reels are currently favoured by Instagram algorithm, making them more likely to be recommended to people who don’t follow you yet, thus increasing your reach.

When creating Instagram Reels, you should be paying attention to the following:

Current trends: although creating Reels already means that you’ve jumped on a trend train, you should take one step further and see what’s popular among users and content creators right now. Identifying patterns in video formats, background music, or editing techniques can help you get more engagement, so it’s worth spending some time exploring. 

Authenticity: being aware of the trends does not mean you should just copy-paste what others have already created. Your content should be entertaining, educational, and appealing to your audience. At AirVu, we produce expertly crafted, award-winning content for big and small brands across different industries. 

Consistency: the more you post, the more you’ll learn about your audience and what they like. Keeping things fresh will also help the algorithm recognize you and will increase your chances of going viral. 

How to level up your Reels

If you want to stand out from the crowd with super engaging Reels, we’re here for you! Drop us a line, and we can share our Instagram Reel Packages.

Or learn more about growing your brand on social media and creating unbeatable video content today.