How To Calculate Impressions

Impressions can be a useful marker to help you understand the level of engagement you could be getting from your advert. 

However, they are also a great way to help you predict the outcomes that you want to get from advertising campaigns that you are looking to run. 

How To Calculate Impressions

Once you have calculated your impressions you can begin to build a successful advertising campaign that can really help to boost your business and be beneficial in multiple ways. 

In this article, we will look at how you can calculate impressions and why it is important to do so. 

What Are Impressions?

The first step in learning how to calculate impressions is to understand exactly what they are in the first place.  To put it plainly, impressions are the total number of times your content has been viewed. 

On some platforms, the impressions are compiled from lifetime views, on others impressions are made up of views by unique users.  

How Are Impressions Calculated?

On the majority of platforms, impressions are counted every time a piece of your content appears on someone’s feed, notifications, or search results. 

If you are using a platform that doesn’t have a feed, such as some social media such as Snapchat, a view would count as an impression.  

When calculating impressions for an advertisement campaign that hasn’t started yet, the process is a little more complicated. 

As a general rule, the more that you spend on an ad campaign, the higher number of impressions you should expect. The impressions calculation below is based on Google Ads. 

Pricing Options

Pricing Options

The first step in beginning an ad campaign is to select your pricing option.  If you are using Google Ads, you will be able to choose from three options. 

You can either pay a cost per thousand impressions, cost per click, or cost per action which includes purchases, subscriptions, follows, and more.  

According to Google, the cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) option is the best choice for branding goals.  This will bring in the most amount of views regardless of the amount of traffic.  

Calculating impressions with CPM

Calculating impressions with CPM

Calculating the number of impressions that you are expecting to achieve with your campaign is easy when you opt for the cost-per-thousand impressions payment option. 

Simply divide your budget by the cost per thousand impressions. This will give you the number of thousand impressions. 

To get the actual number of impressions that you can expect for your budget, simply multiply this number by 1,000.  This will be the number of impressions you should get from your campaign.  

As an example, if you have a budget of $200 and the average cost per thousand impressions is $2.80, you will follow the formula below.  

200 divided by 2.8 equals 71.42857.  71.42857 multiplied by 1000 equals 71,428.  This means that your budget would bring you an estimated 71,428 impressions

It is important to note that you are unlikely to be able to calculate an exact figure for your end result impressions. 

This is mostly because the cost per thousand impressions model is run on a bidding system and the prices vary depending on multiple factors, including competition. 

The formula outlined above is just a simple way to help you determine whether your ad campaign will be worth it or not based on your needs

To create a more accurate or up-to-date estimate, you can search for the current average price of Google Ads on a CPM price plan.  Google Ads will also run its own calculations if you already use the platform which can help you achieve more accurate estimates. 

Why Should You Track Impressions?

If you are trying to grow your business’s online presence, there are many statistics and figures that are interesting and useful in helping you to reach your goals.  Impressions are one of those figures. 

Because impressions let you know how many times your content has been viewed it can be a very interesting number to look at. 

One of the most important things that should be clarified with the platform that you are using is whether the impressions statistics that you receive are for unique users only or for lifetime views. 

This distinction in itself can be extremely important.  There is a huge difference between having 1,000 individual users viewing your content, and having 200 users viewing your content.

How To Measure Impressions

If you are measuring impressions on social media posts rather than advertising campaigns, most platforms will present you with impressions data and insights directly on posts. 

For example, if you are using Instagram, you can view a post’s insights by clicking the button at the base of the picture which will give you information about impressions and reach.  

There are also third-party apps that have been designed to be able to measure and track your impressions across multiple platforms and mediums. 

Many of these apps are able to not only show you the raw data, but they can also help you to form a successful strategy by identifying content that is likely to gain you more impressions than others. 

Once you have created a few posts on your various platforms, these apps can use an algorithm that can tell you whether the content is likely to generate a lot of impressions before you post it. 

These types of third-party apps can help you work out which strategies are likely to result in increased engagement and viewership. 

This can help boost your online presence in less time than if you didn’t use the apps.  It can also be a great way to help you design future advertising campaigns that will increase your reach and impressions rate.

Final Thoughts

Calculating impressions can be done with a simple formula, however, it is important to remember that such calculations only generate estimates.  The charge for advertising campaigns paid CPM varies according to various factors which estimates cannot account for. 

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