Introducing...the new Return on Impression (ROI)

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An increasing number of organisations are investing more time in developing and generating content capable of driving business leads.

However, in their haste to deliver content, many businesses run the risk of falling into the trap of committing random acts of content development without having a cohesive content strategy in place.

To ensure they produce content that ultimately converts, companies need to ensure their approach is not only underpinned by a structured content plan, but that they actually take the time to track the performance of their content.

In order to monitor the impact of their words, organisations need to understand the new ROI that applies to social media and content marketing.

ROI no longer stands for Return on Investment

Today, ROI also stands for Return on Impression, which encompasses two fundamental values:

  1. One is a hard metric (views)
  2. The other, a soft metric (perceptions)


In a nutshell, this metric recognises that impressions can be quantifiable metric, relating to how often an online audience views your content and conversations.

The term ‘impressions’ is similar to how it is used in impression-based online advertising. However, impression-based online advertising is limited to the site where the advertiser paid for ad placement, whereas content marketing impressions can happen across the web as people share and discuss the content.

Views – in practice

Let’s take a piece of content that may have been published on your blog. It can be widely shared using platforms ranging from Twitter and LinkedIn to online forums.

By being shared, your content can spread and in turn, boost impressions. When measuring content marketing results, you can calculate this form of return on impression by counting the actual number of people who view, share and discuss your content.

However, not all eyeball impressions are the same.

For example, eyeball impressions can widely vary from person-to-person. They can range from somebody, who simply skim reads your content in just a couple of seconds, to a person, who not only engages with your content, but chooses to also share it among their friends, family, colleagues and other acquaintances.

It is at this point that the perceptions aspect of return on impression comes into force.


Impressions represent added value relating to how your content is received by the online audience and how it then affects their perceptions of your brand.

How your content makes people actually feel about your brand and the emotional involvement that develops with your brand has a direct impact on your content marketing success.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to directly measure these feelings, but by listening to conversations and monitoring your online reputation, you can form a clearer picture of how your audience perceives your business.

Positive brand perceptions and emotional involvement in a brand lead to brand loyalty and advocacy, which typically lead to increased business.




Contact the team at Cognition Agency for all your digital marketing requirements.