Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Clicks and Pageviews Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg: How Engagement Metrics, Particularly from Social Interaction and Sharing, Are Enhancing the Data Publishers Are Presenting to Marketers

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Clicks and Pageviews Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg: How Engagement Metrics, Particularly from Social Interaction and Sharing, Are Enhancing the Data Publishers Are Presenting to Marketers

Article excerpt

Online and across various digital products, publishers have long touted their audience volume as the primary success metric--CPM rates are based on these numbers, after all. But engagement and performance metrics are also valued, especially via social media, which can greatly increase engagement counts for an online brand.

"Engagement metrics are tremendously important," says Mark Howard, Forbes Media's SVP of digital advertising strategy. "Everyone's got the impressions and the clicks, but for us, and for so many others, there's a lot more to the story than just the clicks."

Howard says that the ability to track, report and optimize engagement metrics presents Forbes with a huge differentiator in the marketplace since social strength is an important factor for the brand.

TRANSPARENT NUMBERS

"We have the pageview counts in addition to social share counts readily available on every page," he says. "We have a 'Most Popular' section--it's based off of an algorithm we created. It's a combination of total views, outbound shares and comments. In this area, some stories make it in off of the views and others often make it in because of a high volume of commenting or distribution through one of the different social platforms. We're elevating content so people can discover it more easily based off the fact that is has this social activity taking place and not just off of the popularity contest that is pageviews."

Howard says more savvy buyers already ask for this type of data but the company is also tracking campaigns across the "core-four" engagement metrics the brand tallies: percentage viewed, time in view, interaction rates and interaction times of ads. …

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