Engagement Rate [ER]

What is an Engagement Rate?

The Engagement Rate of a campaign is the percentage of people who saw a piece of content or ad and engaged with it.

For example if one person interacted one time with an ad after it has had 100 ad impressions, that will give you an ER of 1%.

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What does Engagement Rate mean?

Engagement is any interaction with content. For example on a video it would include pausing the video, resizing the screen or changing the volume. It is mainly used as a social media metric, but is also used with traditional online advertising.

Engagement Rate is a relatively new metric which defines how much, given the chance, users are engaging with ads. It is a helpful measure to gauge users interest in ads, as it shows that users have noticed the ad. Although this is a very small win for advertisers, it is a step in building a relationship with a user.

The number of measurable engagements is not as useful as the engagement rate. This is because different amounts of impressions give different numbers of opportunities for engagement.

For example:

Ad ONE seen 1,000 times and engaged with 30 times.
Ad TWO  – seen 10,000 times and engaged with 275 times.

Although Ad TWO has had more engagements, it has also had ten times more opportunity for engagements. If you multiply Ad ONE‘s engagements by 10, it actually has more! Hence it isn’t fair to judge ads simply by engagements. Consequently, ER tells you how ads with equal opportunities can perform.

Therefore you can use ER to compare pieces of content which have different amounts of impressions. Furthermore for comparison, consider CTR vs clicks.


Engagement Rate Formula

As this metric can be used for either ads or content, the type of impressions used in the equation below just means the view. This metric is occasionally used as number of engagements per user, in which case you would just replace impressions with users in the below equation.

To work out how to calculate engagement rate, you can use the ER equation:

Engagement Rate Equation or Formula

Click to enlarge

Engagement Rate = Engagements x 100 / Ad Impressions


Top Tip

If the only way of engaging with an ad is by clicking on it, then the CTR is effectively the ER.


Other names for Engagement Rate (synonyms)



Find out more

Engagement Definition

Engagement Rate Calculator

CPE Calculator

CPE Definition

Buying Ads on a CPE Basis

Selling Ads on a CPE Basis

Author: Justin Driskill

Justin is the founder of The Online Advertising Guide and a freelance Digital Projects Manager.

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