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Instagram insights take you out of the dark and illuminate what works and what doesn’t. This is the material businesses need to create content that resonates with their target audiences, where they not only click the “like” button but choose to click through to the profile and follow through on a desired call to action (CTA).
Here, we offer our guide on what Instagram insights mean and how you can use that understanding to amplify the power of Instagram marketing.
What are Instagram insights?
Instagram insights constitute the data metrics which measure digital performance on the social platform as well as the understanding that can be drawn from the metrics to inform an Instagram content strategy.
This data allows you to see which content your audience engages with the most. It also provides insight into how successful your Instagram profile is at directing traffic to your website and other lead generation touchpoints. When businesses are armed with Instagram insights, they have the tools they need to supercharge their performance by way of building customer rapport and greater brand awareness.
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Key benefits of Instagram insights
- Allows businesses to be more strategic with resource allocation
- Enables easy access to top-performing content (and content that is underperforming)
- Equips you with a tangible measure of value that you can show to your boss, team, client and/or other stakeholders
- Exposes trends and downtrends
- Illuminates whether the right people are being reached
- Informs the path to becoming an industry thought leader
- Provides a baseline to experiment, tweak and grow
- Reduces long-term expenses
- Reduces the need for reworks
Types of Instagram insights
In this blog, we will categorize Instagram insights according to the three main types of media: Paid, owned and earned.
Paid media metrics
Paid media follows a traditional advertising model (e.g. TV ads, billboard, etc) where the business (or the advertiser) pays to distribute their content through the advertising medium. In the digital world, this involves ads on social platforms as well as display ads on websites and search engines.
In the Instagram ad inventory, there are an array of advanced targeting options to help you reach your desired audience. According to Statista, the most popular age group on Instagram is 25-34 (31.7%), with 18-24 (30.2%) as a close second. Instagram marketing unlocks a lucrative opportunity for brands to tap into the millennial and generation Z markets.
The following metrics are what brands should focus on to assess whether paid marketing efforts are generating desired outcomes:
- Conversion rate – measures the number of people who become a paying customer as a percentage of total leads. Because conversion is the end-goal of a paid campaign, knowing this metric allows brands to ascertain the effectiveness of their ad campaign.
- Impressions – refers to the number of times a post has been viewed (including repeat views from the same user). This metric is important to study in tandem with total leads. Brands need to see the amount of people that their ads are reaching in comparison to the amount of people that click the CTA link in the ad to determine if their marketing inspires action.
- Return on advertising spend (ROAS) – this, as the name suggests, is the profit you earn from your ads (once the ad expenditure has been deducted from the gross figure). This metric is vital for brands to pay attention to as it ultimately determines whether paid marketing is growing or reducing overall business revenue.
- Total leads – measures the number of people who clicked on the CTA link within the ad. This is important in determining whether the marketing messaging is inspiring people to proceed throughout the digital sales funnel.
- Website referral traffic – shows how many visitors Instagram drives to your website. This metric helps brands assess whether off-platform goals are being met. As a result, it’s essential to be clear on where Instagram fits in your overall marketing and business strategy before launching a paid campaign.
Owned media metrics
Owned media encompasses any online content that is owned and managed by a brand, including blogs, websites, email marketing and social content (just not paid ads).
In the case of Instagram, owned media generally involves the posting of in-grid photos and videos, Stories, Reels and live streams.
To determine whether your owned media is delivering optimal results, concentrate on these metrics:
- Content reach – shows the types of posts (e.g. Reels, Stories, etc) that have reached the majority of people. This Instagram insight is imperative to a brand’s ability to recreate high-performing content.
- Engagement rate – measures the number of engagements as a percentage of followers or reach. It provides insight into how motivated the audience is to interact with the content.
- Impressions – as with paid media, impressions refer to the number of times a post has been viewed (including repeat views from the same user). This is a key metric in revealing whether your content is successfully reaching people and is being favored by the algorithm as a result.
- Peak activity times – refers to the hours and days that your followers are most active on Instagram. Posting during times of peak activity enables brands to reap optimal reach and engagement.
- Total followers – encapsulates the number of people who follow you. This is a critical Instagram metric as it represents the amount of people who overtly express an interest to keep up-to-date with your brand’s posting.
Earned media metrics
Earned media involves any content where other people talk about you, be it PR, people sharing your social posts or product and business reviews.
In the context of Instagram, earned media usually consists of other accounts tagging you in their own post (or Story) or mentioning your brand handle in the comments section of another account’s post.
The process of keeping track of your earned media is known as social listening. This is an important process for brands to engage in. People mentioning and endorsing your brand helps build a credible front, where prospective customers are positioned to believe that you and your products are genuinely effective.
The key metrics to focus on for earned media include:
- Mentions/tags – refers to comments and/or posts where other users have hyperlinked your Instagram profile. This is important to be mindful of as it provides insight into how the broader industry perceives your brand.
- Top posters – refers to the accounts who mention/tag your brand the greatest number of times. This Instagram metric can reveal who your most loyal customers and brand advocates are and provide reason to offer special loyalty packages to those individuals. Doing this only seeks to further the sense of rapport you have with your customer base.
Understanding Instagram insights across paid, owned and earned media allows brands to identify the most effective elements of their Instagram strategy as well diagnose areas for improvement. Instagram insights can also be compared against a brand’s performance on other social platforms (e.g. Reels vs TikTok for business).
Unfortunately, social performance data is notoriously difficult to source. Marketers and social analysts need to dig deep into the individual platforms to harvest the data they need and then arrange it in a way that’s easy to visualize by others.
You can take the headache out of this process by connecting all your accounts into the Digivizer platform. It allows you to see all your digital performance metrics in one place and easily check how your performance delivers over time.
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