Not All Views Are Made (and Valued) Alike

With so many different platforms and so many different marketing channels to consider on the Internet, it can quickly become a very dizzying and overwhelming experience. This is especially true if you start to wear yourself too thin and try to be hugely successful on every social network and every possible way to reach your audience.

It’s far more effective if you are absolutely stellar on Instagram, as a hypothetical example, than if you are merely mediocre on Periscope, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. It just becomes a part of your brand. That being said, no one can blame you when you want to experiment on a number of platforms and it does pay to have a presence in multiple parts of the web.

Beyond the Numbers Game

That being said, one of the first things you need to learn and recognize is that having a view on one channel is not going to hold exactly the same value as having a view on another channel. They’re not made alike and should not be valued as such.

A prime example of this is the concept of Facebook reach. You might think it’s great to see that your Facebook post is reaching hundreds or thousands of people, but the truth is that if your post appears anywhere in their feed, that counts toward the “reach” total. As you imagine, a lot of people scroll through their feeds without reading every post and, as such, they could very easily miss what you have to say or promote.

Video Killed the Radio Star?

By extension, you may also get an extra spring in your step when you see the number of views that your Facebook video is getting, but those “views” work in exactly the same fashion as Facebook reach. One “view” might not be a real “view” in this sense.

Compare that to when you get an equivalent view on exactly the same video, except this time posted on YouTube. The difference here is that the person had to actively click on something in order to start watching your video, so it’s much more likely to be a “true” view in this sense. They may or may not have watched the video all the way through — check your YouTube analytics for views vs. minutes watched — but they definitely did watch something.

The Live Experience

Another big thing that seems only to be getting bigger is live video. This is a great, authentic way to connect with your audience in an entirely different kind of way. And again, the notion of “views” here is going to vary considerably. A view of your Facebook Live video is probably worth more than a view of your regular Facebook video. And how the number of viewers you get on Instagram vs. Periscope may not be the same either.

It’s hard to say at this point if one platform is necessarily more valuable than the other, but it’s clear enough that the demographics and audience aren’t the same.

Open Rates and an Engaged Audience

We’ve been talking about “views” in the context of social media and online video, but the same paradigm can be extended to all of your Internet marketing and content marketing efforts. Does having someone see your article on Medium or Huffington Post provide the same value to you as if they read the article on your own website? Does getting a page view and new visitor on your blog have the same value as having someone receive and open one of your email newsletters?

Again, it’s hard to say. But these are the questions you need to ask yourself as you figure out how you want to distribute your resources — both time and money — with what you want to accomplish online. These stats do not align on a 1:1 basis. Sometimes, a smaller number of highly engaged Instagram followers is far more valuable than having a much larger number of passive followers on Twitter.

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