Reach in marketing is the measurement of the size of the audience that has seen your ads or campaign content. Reach measures your actual audience, and marketing reach measures the potential customers a campaign could reach. These can refer to specific audience segments or to a broader percentage of the population.
Incremental reach is the reach of over-the-top (OTT) video campaigns, in addition to the reach of linear campaigns. Reach is also closely related to uniques (the number of viewers who have seen ads) and impressions (the number of times your ads appear on screens).
Marketing reach is important not only because it measures the audience of your ads, but it can also help you analyze the effectiveness of the ads. For example, a high reach with low conversions can lead you to question why customers aren’t engaging with your ads. By knowing first the size of your audience, you can then determine what your goals for conversions and sales should be.
Also, there are several other kinds of reach, including paid reach (the reach of paid ads) and organic reach (the number of viewers who have naturally encountered your ads).
While reach is the measure of the audience for your ads, impressions measure how often your ads have been displayed. This also means that impressions can be, and often are, much higher than your reach, since an ad can be displayed multiple times to consumers. At that point, consider audience fatigue: Seeing the same ad over and over again is not the best customer experience.
To help prevent this, consider frequency capping to limit the number of times each of your ads is shown to customers. Frequency is the number of times your ad is shown, or its number of impressions, per individual. Since you don’t want to inundate your customers with repetitive ads within a short time frame, frequency capping allows you to create a cutoff for your ad impressions.
Reach is often calculated as the number of customers who have seen your ad at least once. Marketing reach refers to the potential audience of your ads. The number of customers who have seen your ads is also often called audience reach, or used interchangeably with marketing reach, so ensure the metric is clarified in your digital analytics reporting whether it’s the actual reach or anticipated reach.
There isn’t a single number for good reach and frequency. It’s highly dependent on your goals for your brand and marketing campaigns. For example, a new brand may seek to raise awareness and expand their audience size of new customers, while a more established brand may want to focus on increasing engagement and sales within their existing audience. Consider all the analytics available, and use them to inspire your strategy adjustments and goals.
One way to improve your marketing reach is to use audience segmentation, or looking at the various types of audiences for your ads, and create customized ads for specific audience segments. This could also help you determine where you have areas of opportunity to expand your reach and create ads specifically for those audiences.
Another way is to consider reach across your entire omnichannel marketing strategy. Consider how reach can differ or be optimized in different ways within the sectors of your audience, campaigns, and marketing channels.
One approach of expanding reach is creating a connected home strategy. Consider the ways to reach your customers where they are, for instance, with digital marketing via streaming TVs. Integrating your brand into at-home channels is a way to expand your reach.
Another way to reach customers is with product targeting. By using Sponsored Display or Sponsored Products, you can get your ads in front of customers who are shopping for similar products and categories. This is one way you can be smarter with your reach, by focusing on customers who may already be interested in your offerings.
Reach is one of many metrics that can help you with the optimization of your ad campaigns, so consider it in conjunction with other factors and analytics, and keep experimenting with ways to improve it.