Written by Arbela Capas

Before embarking on any kind of influencer campaign, it’s important to learn an influencer’s potential and actual reach on their accounts to learn what audience is most drawn to their pages and what kind of content can make the biggest impression.

What is the definition of reach?

The overarching definition of reach is the audience you’re trying to target in terms of followers, audience or customer base. But there’s a very important difference between potential reach and actual reach that you should know before you start taking any steps to target increased reach. Potential reach is your total number of followers — the base that have clicked the follow button. That’s it. Actual reach is how many unique accounts viewed your content.

Both of these you can view on your account by checking your follower count and reach in your analytics section. Actual reach is also different from impressions, which is data that Instagram provides each user as well. Impressions is a measurement of how many times a post of yours was shown to your followers based on Instagram’s algorithm. What you want to focus on is actual reach and how to heighten it.

Why is reach important?

Improving your reach is extremely crucial to expanding on brand awareness, as well as bringing in new eyes on your posts, campaigns and products. It’s important for your actual reach to be high in numbers but also diverse and have an audience that also engages and interacts with your content; i.e. commenting, liking, etc. Analyzing and knowing what your reach is and how to use it to your advantage with influencer marketing is important, because it can help you learn more about your audience, which posts are doing well and which are simply causing people to scroll past.

In addition, when it comes to promoting a product or campaign, you want it for your reach to lead to more engagement. Engagement on your posts goes beyond reach —  it refers to your content being interacted by an audience, through reposts, likes, mentions and so on. Ultimately, this creates a more authentic connection with the target audience and slowly helps steadily a follower base.

How to measure reach

Okay, we know what reach is, now how do we quantify it? Instagram does the handy work of documenting most of this information for you through the Analytics or Insights tabs. If you’re working with different influencers for a campaign or product launch, it could be a good idea to see how many impressions they’re getting on each account. Each post will be different, so it’s a good idea to analyze each of the posts separately as well as seeing your overall impressions.  

You can view your data from your insights through your main page as well to see how your posts have done.  It will give you a number of how many accounts that post reached, as well as a percentage of how many of those accounts weren’t following you. This not only shows you how many people saw your post, but how many could be potential future followers as well.

Now this is where it gets really specific, you can actually view your impressions as well as see what the source is from those impressions. Specifically when working with influencers, this can be different depending on their type of content and follower base. Some may have more impressions coming from specific hashtags they have, and some might be coming through their profile, the home page or other sources. After you learn what is helping bring in more unique visitors, you can use that when crafting your influencer campaign, such as using a specific hashtag to bring in followers from a different audience.

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