Socialmediatoday.com’s Andrew Smith has written an interesting article about ‘Reach versus engagement: The new online battleground for PR and media’ .
For decades, PR has been seen by many marketeers as “cheap reach via editorial” – in other words, the goal of PR was to gain editorial coverage that provided the greatest number of opportunities to see – at a significantly lower cost than advertising.
Because the means of providing a verifiable link between editorial coverage and business impact was either prohibitively expensive or just not possible, there has been a largely accepted assumption that positive press coverage is valuable – period.
In the past, the notion of measuring engagement with editorial content was largely theoretical. Circulation and readership figures were treated as proxies for engagement (if a newspaper has a readership of 2 million, then we assume that a large proportion must be in some way engaged with some or all of the content – we just aren’t sure which content and to what degree. Or whether this engagement results in a meaningful business outcome).
However, you could argue that Google data now provides for a much deeper understanding of editorial engagement. At least online.
For example, by using the Google search “site” command, you can easily see how many pages of a site the search giant has indexed (ie are likely to be found). And with Google’s Doubleclick Ad Planner tool, you can get a fix on a specific engagement metric – namely, time spent on page. The more time someone spends reading content, the more likely they are to be engaged with – and influenced by – that content (of course, it could mean that people are having difficulty understanding the content – but if that extended to all of a site’s content, you would presume its readership figures would tail off rapidly).
So what kind of engagement do people have with leading online news sources? (*Full detail and slide presentation of joint Realwire/Escherman analysis here).
For example, the average UK visitor to The Economist site spends around 122 seconds per page. While the average UK visitor to the Reuters site spends around 214 seconds per page.
To read full article CLICK HERE
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