What does coverage mean?

Coverage can be defined as the number of people reached with an advertising message or through a particular medium. It can be expressed both as a percentage (%) and by an absolute value. Various criteria must be defined to determine coverage accurately: the medium, of course, but also the target group and the time period in which coverage is measured.

What is coverage in online marketing and how is it measured?

Coverage in the online sector is increasing rapidly and steadily, since every person with Internet access is a potential contact. It is fundamentally easier to measure than, for example, in print media. The fact that someone buys a newspaper does not ultimately tell you whether the person has read the ad, whereas in online advertising there are many more ways to determine and evaluate coverage. In fact, nowadays you have various analysis and tracking tools that can check the exact surfing behavior of users, from the duration of visits to the type of usage. One of the best-known tools for this purpose is Google Analytics.

What are the different forms of coverage?

When determining coverage, a distinction is made first and foremost between gross coverage and net coverage. While gross coverage includes all contacts made with the advertising message, regardless of whether the contact was made only once or via several media, net coverage records the exact number of people reached at least once by the advertising message. Each person is also counted only once, even if the person came into contact with the advertising several times.

Gross coverage

Net coverage

Figure 1: Formula net reach %

Contact Average

On the basis of the gross and net coverage, it is also possible to determine the average number of contacts per person, which indicates how often a person reached (at least once) was reached on average with the advertising message. For this purpose, gross reach (absolute) is divided by the net reach (absolute).

Figure 2: Formula average number of contacts per person

In addition to gross and net coverage, coverage can also be determined in relation to location and provide information on the places where consumers are reached. In this context, not only the location, but also the time or period can be interesting for the reach measurement. For example, the coverage achieved on a day, in a week or in a specific month can be calculated.

How can coverage be increased?

Especially in the online sector, there are many levers to increase coverage. Targeted OffPage and OnPage SEO measures can be used to achieve greater coverage. In doing so, it is particularly important to pay attention to the right timing and the right placement in the search engines. However, in order to address different target groups and attract the attention of many people, it is just as important to be present via different channels and offer your content there.

Tips for more online coverage:

What is coverage on social media?

The easiest way to determine coverage is on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. This is because most social networks give an indication of how many people have seen posts on a page at least once. The coverage in that case is the number of those who have seen a post. With social media, it’s also especially important to note that the number of followers does not equal the coverage for a post. Let’s take as an example an Instagram reel or a tweet whose lifespan is limited, and we have to realize that not all followers will be online within that short period of time and will see the post in time. In this respect, the follower count always represents only the maximum potential visibility. The decisive factor for coverage is then exclusively the number of people actually reached. The most important key figure for analyzing social media coverage is the so-called interaction rate. It is calculated as follows:

Figure 3: Formula interaction rate

So if there are 30 likes, 2 comments and 8 shares per 1,000 followers, this corresponds to an interaction rate of (30+2+8) / 1,000 x 100 = 4 percent.

Social channels such as Facebook also offer the possibility of sponsoring through marked or advertised posts. Organic coverage is also achieved through the number of people who view unpaid posts.

So for more online coverage, you use ….

  1. targeted campaigns
  2. in the right channels
  3. at the right time
  4. with the right content!

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