One of the most common questions heard by PR firms is, “What is the value of an impression?” If your media placement is seen by zero people than the impact to your business will also be zero. However, an impression can have an impact when it leads to awareness or a change in perception. Therefore, impressions vary greatly; poor quality impressions never change awareness and perception. This leads to the following question – How do we assign a value to impressions as they relate to the work we do in media?
The first step is to measure how often people search by your name. Once you observe the value of the impressions from a particular ad, you can then see the direct impact in terms of search volume from this specific piece of media. If the search volume leads to website traffic, you can measure traffic goals and values in Google Analytics. Ultimately, you can reverse engineer the value of the impressions and the perception they created.
You can also measure awareness by creating a brand lift survey by asking users their intent to purchase products or services. Be sure to measure before and after your earned media initiatives. In instances where your audience’s intent to purchase changes when a new product is released, you can then correlate purchase intent with actual sales. This will determine how impactful the campaigns have been.
Since all impressions are not created equal, do not assign a universal value to the impression. Instead, measure awareness and perception and then assign values to these outcomes.