Do you want to learn how to calculate engagement rate for all of your marketing channels?
Understanding how your audience engages with your content is an important aspect of building more profitable marketing strategies. After all, once you know what your audience loves, you can create content that gets them hooked on your brand.
But how can you calculate something like “engagement,” especially since you’re working with a variety of channels where the term “engagement” means different things?
That’s exactly what we’ll cover in today’s post. We’ll break down how to calculate engagement rates for:
- Blog posts
- Social Media
We’ll also include the main KPIs that you need to track to make sense of your engagement rates.
Finally, we’ll share the best way to make sure you’re implementing this data rather than letting it gather dust on some digital shelf in your server. Ready to get started? Let’s dive right in!
Put simply, engagement rate is a metric used to assess the average number of interactions your social media or website receives.
For social media, it’s a formula that measures the interaction your content receives relative to your audience. So let’s say we were in a marketing vacuum. And in this vacuum, you had 100 followers on Instagram. Then, one of your followers “liked” your post. Your engagement rate would be 1%.
That said, things get more complicated fast. That’s because engagement also takes other metrics into account like shares, new followers, comments, and so on.
And for websites, the data is just as available, though the calculation for engagement is still unclear. You can use Google Analytics’ audience engagement metric tools that help you monitor and analyze your website traffic. That said, it can be hard to understand how your audience engages with your site when you don’t know what to look for.
But that leads to the starting question: “Why bother calculating engagement at all?” Let’s take a look at that in more detail.
Keeping an eye on your engagement rates is super important for many reasons. Firstly, tracking engagement rates give you an indication of your “audience health” which looks at how responsive your audience is.
It also helps you inform your content strategy across your social media and website.
Your engagement rates show how much your content and marketing strategies are resonating with your audience. If you know what people are responding to, you know where you need to focus your efforts. And the same goes for your overall marketing strategy.
Your brand’s blog has a vital role to play in attracting visitors to your site, showcasing your expertise, and building your relationship with existing and prospective customers. That said, there’s no formula for tracking engagement rate for blog posts (at least not in the same way as there is for social media).
Instead, you need to look at key metrics to get a sense of how your audience interacts with your content. The following KPIs will help you judge how engaging your posts are and discover which topics your audience responds to best.
1) Time on page
With such a vast amount of content available on the internet, it’s no surprise that most people just quickly skim through your blog posts. Write something engaging enough, however, and they might slow down and spend a little longer on the page to absorb your message more thoroughly.
The average time on page for each blog post is a useful metric to discover which posts do the best job of capturing visitors’ attention and holding it.
2) New vs. Returning Visitors
All businesses need to attract new customers so that they can grow. But your brand also needs to retain and engage existing customers or leads – and one way to do that is through entertaining and relevant blog posts.
A high proportion of returning visitors is a great sign that your blog content is engaging enough for people to want to come back for more.
3) Bounce Rate
The bounce rate for a blog post is the percentage of website visitors who only went to that page before leaving your website. It means they didn’t click through to any other content.
We like to consider bounce rate and the average time on page together. A high bounce rate and a low time on page is a worrying sign – it tells you that people are quickly leaving your post without reading more, suggesting the content isn’t what they are looking for.
But a high bounce rate combined with a high time on page just means you need to look at your calls to action and your internal linking strategy to encourage engaged visitors to click onto new pages once they’ve read the blog post.
Think your bounce rate is too high? Don’t worry. Most bounce rates for sites that run organic content marketing run high (70 - 90% shouldn’t be too worrying if you run a blog that ranks on search engines like Google).
One of the best signs that your blog is engaging is that it has a high conversion rate. To measure this, you need to set up some conversion goals in Google Analytics.
Conversion goals can be a whole range of things. Purchases are obviously a major one. But you might also want to track email newsletter sign-ups, downloads, contact form submissions – whatever shows someone is interested in taking the next step towards becoming a customer.
Once you have these goals set up, you can track which blog posts drive the most conversions, letting you know what content your audience finds most engaging.
Done right, email is a valuable marketing tool that helps you keep in touch with your customers and drives sales. But like blogs, email can be hard when it comes to tracking engagement. That’s because there’s no direct formula like in social media.
These KPIs will help you analyze how engaging your audience finds your emails and where there is room for improvement.
5) Open Rate
The open rate is the percentage of the people who received your email who actually opened it.
If your emails are useful, interesting, and relevant, your subscribers are much more likely to open them again in the future. So, the open rate is a great metric to help you calculate how engaged your mailing list is.
The open rate also gives you a way to test your subject lines, since this is all your audience will see before they decide whether to open an email from you or not.
6) Click-through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who received your email and then clicked one (or more) of the links in that email.
This is a valuable metric for assessing how effective your email content is at persuading your reader to visit your website to find out more. Most email providers will calculate it automatically. Or you can simply divide the number of unique clicks by the number of people on your mailing list, then multiply by 100.
Once your email subscribers click a link in your email, you want them to take the next step and complete the action you intended them to take, whether that is making a purchase, booking an appointment, or downloading a lead magnet.
A high conversion rate shows that your emails are engaging enough to move readers onto the next stage of the customer journey, whatever that might be for your brand.
For many brands, social media plays an increasingly significant role in building a loyal audience. But with so much competition out there, your content needs to be strong to cut through the noise and catch people’s attention. These 5 KPIs will help you monitor how engaging your social media content is.
We’ll start with the formula everyone wants to know: engagement rates.
8) Engagement Rate
Not all forms of engagement are equal, and it is worth diving deeper into the different types, which we’ll look at below. However, tracking the overall engagement rate for your social media content gives you a quick starting point to assess how effective it is in catching your audience’s attention.
There are a few ways to calculate the engagement rate for a social media post.
First, add up the total number of interactions with your post, including likes, comments, shares, saves, and clicks. Then, divide this by the post’s reach OR by how many followers you had at the time of the post OR by how many impressions the post had.
The method you choose will depend on your aims, how much your reach fluctuates, and which platforms you use (Twitter doesn’t give a reach metric, for example). Whatever method you pick, make sure you’re consistent.
When your audience shares your content, it is usually a great sign that they are highly engaged with your social media posts. It also helps you to grow your brand awareness organically – the digital version of word of mouth.
Monitoring how many shares (or retweets) a post has will help you analyze what your target audience responds to best.
When someone goes to the trouble of saving one of your posts, it indicates that they found it engaging enough to want to revisit it later.
You’ll usually see far fewer saves than you do likes, comments, and shares. However, it is still an important indicator of engagement that is worth keeping an eye on.
While engagement on the social media platform itself is great to see, you also want your posts to inspire plenty of people to click through to your website.
When you are paying to advertise on social media, the click-through rate is a vital indicator of the success of your ad campaign. But it is also significant for organic posts since it shows that your audience found your content engaging enough to want to know more.
Social media marketing is all about growing your brand’s voice and keeping your customers connected. To do that, you need people to follow your page so that they’ll continue to see your content in the future.
If your social media posts are engaging enough, they should inspire new followers to join your audience. You also want to keep an eye on how many people unfollow you – if the number is high, this can suggest that your content is missing the mark.
Before wrapping this post up, I wanted to share one last thought about tracking engagement rates for your brand.
It might seem counterintuitive for a software that specificalizes in building data-based marketing reports to say “most data is useless.” Let me explain:
Even the best, most detailed, and most reliable data in the world won’t do you any good if you never use it. And the sad reality is that most marketers never actually do.
Why? It’s usually because other things pop up that distract them from analyzing the data and implementing better strategies based on that information. That’s why I always recommend creating automated reports for any KPIs you’re tracking with a tool like Metrics Watch:
Metrics Watch is an incredibly user-friendly report building tool that allows you to connect to your favorite channels, like:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Ads
- Facebook (paid and organic)
- Instagram (paid and organic)
- LinkedIn (paid and organic)
Then you can send these reports automatically (with YOUR branding) on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. And the best part is that the data comes straight to your inbox. Not as a PDF attachment and not as a link to a 3rd-party user dashboard. Instead, your reports go straight to your recipient’s inbox giving them the data they need in a format they already use.
How does this ensure you’ll actually get around to using that data? Because it will automatically come to your inbox as a gentle reminder to do so.
See, data tracking isn’t necessarily hard, but it is tedious. As such, many marketers simply have too many tasks in the air to concentrate on spreadsheets, tables, and graphs. But when that information is delivered to your inbox on a daily basis, it takes hold at the forefront of your planning as that data remains closer to your fingertips than ever before.
But hey, why not see for yourself? Click below to start your 100% risk-free Metrics Watch trial today:
And that’s all for now! These have been 12 KPIs to help you learn how to calculate engagement rate across all your marketing channels.
For more valuable information, we recommend checking out the following resources:
- How to Create a Social Media Audit (& the KPIs You Should Track)
- Digital Marketing KPIs You Need to Track Today!
- How to Finish First With Google’s Top 2 Tools
These articles have even more information that you can use to create smarter, more profitable marketing reports.