Unfortunately, posting regularly on Instagram simply isn’t enough if you want to seriously market your brand to a healthy number of its 1 billion plus users.
For that, you’ll need to create a clever Instagram marketing strategy. To do this, and succeed, you’ll need to fully grasp the ins and outs of Instagram analytics.
However, mastering Instagram insights can certainly be time consuming – and costly – if they aren’t actioned correctly. One option is to receive support from a digital marketing agency, which can save you the hassle and expense of trying to understand Instagram analytics yourself.
For more information and to receive quotes from some of the UK’s top digital marketing agencies, simply take a few minutes to complete our free cost comparison tool.
Or read on to discover our easy-to-follow, step-by-step Instagram analytics guide that will help you gain that sought-after verified account tick in no time.
Before we delve into the specifics of Instagram insights, let’s take a look at precisely why your business needs to use them:
Using analytics helps you to understand how your Instagram account is performing week on week, month on month. This, in turn, will make it easier to analyse the overall marketing performance, and measure your success on any KPIs that have been set.
Analytics makes this easy by providing insights into growth ‘rates’. For example, Instagram insights will calculate the % increase in the number of followers you have this month compared to the month prior. “Did I gain more followers this month, or fewer?”
Instagram analytics allows you to delve into the personas of the users who are following you. You can pinpoint the demographics of the accounts that consistently engage with your posts, helping you build a ‘buyer persona’, and enabling you to create more relatable content and rewarding marketing campaigns moving forward.
It’s all well and good reading articles from marketing experts about the best times to post. Petra Smith the marketing consultant at Squirrels and Bears, argues that generic advice just doesn’t cut it.
“Every brand has a different audience and the strategy needs to be tailored to that audience. Whilst hacks are a great short-term fix, they are not a strategy. A long-term successful strategy is created through understanding and implementing your analytics so that you can create content that your audience will enjoy and act upon.”
The Instagram Insight section of the app gives you a more detailed breakdown of that all-important data. It gives you access to information that includes:
It is your first port of call when analysing the performance of your content on Instagram, be that a post, story, or reel.
But how do you access it? And how exactly does it work? Simply open up the Instagram app, and follow our instructions below to find out.
One particularly great benefit of using Instagram analytics is the sheer number of metrics you can delve into. Benefit from insights concerning:
As well as enabling you to anaylse content channel data, you can also delve deeper into the three most important performance metrics for Instagram business users.
These are reach, engagement, and followers. Without exploring these metrics in-depth, you will seriously struggle to market successfully on Instagram.
This is because these benchmarks give you vital data concerning your audience, growth, and the success of all your marketing campaigns.
To examine these metrics in detail:
Other data available includes:
Receiving support from a digital marketing agency may help you fully grasp the mechanics of social media insights. Check out our review of the top digital marketing agencies to find out more.
Or, if you are based in London, why not take a look at the top London-based marketing companies that could help you.
Discussing the importance of using Instagram analytics, Dan Davis, a social media strategist at Love Energy Savings, says:
“Instagram Analytics is an incredibly useful tool in that it enables you to understand the success of your posting strategy on many levels. On the micro level, or per post, you can see how your content is received.
“This gives you the ability to test and optimise the content that you’re putting out on your account so that you have the best chance of achieving your Instagram goals.
“Further to that, you have the ability to plan content to suit your audience as it grows and evolves, as you can see the demographics within your audience and tailor your content to suit. It has everything you need to start planning your Instagram takeover.”
Instagram analytics is an incredible tool, particularly seeing as it doesn’t cost you a single penny to use.
However, it isn’t the only social media management tool at your disposal, and there are plenty of excellent alternatives to ensure your Instagram marketing strategy is a success.
Some of the best Instagram analytics tools on the market include:
Given the diversity of the platform, Gerard Murnaghan, VP of Sprout Social EMEA, notes that it makes sense to use multiple tools for Instagram based on your priorities.
“Whether you’re an individual just starting out, or a larger organisation running multiple accounts, it pays to use the right tools to analyse and improve your campaigns.
“Instagram’s native tools can help you scratch the surface, but if you want to benchmark, define and reconfigure campaigns third-party tools will be able to provide a deeper dive.”
There are many other bonuses to using management tools to support your brand’s marketing strategy. To find out more, visit our dedicated review of the best social media management tools for small businesses.
It’s all well and good mastering the art of interpreting Instagram analytics, but do you know how to act upon them?
This is vital if your brand is to stand out among the noise of Instagram’s 25 million odd business accounts, vying for user attention.
To help you, we’ve put together some suggestions of how you can capitalise on the insights you gather.
One of the best things about Instagram analytics is that it tells you when your audience is most active. You need to use this to your advantage – but be aware that optimal posting times might be the same for other brands competing with you in the space.
Don’t just assume there is a one-size-fits-all approach because this could impact engagement rates. Check active times carefully, and then schedule your content accordingly.
Petra Smith, marketing consultant at Squirrels and Bears, agrees.
“Look at the times when your audience is most active, and then post 1-2 hours before the peak times to ensure your content is already there waiting for them.”
Whilst Dan Davis argues you can be even more calculated with your posting strategy.
“Be mindful of the “active times” feature on insights. Sure, that’s when your audience is most active, but all the other accounts they follow can see that too, and will likely be posting in that window.
“Instead look at the second or third most busy times and post then, so you’re not getting lost amongst the noise.”
Gathering insight from the channel section of Instagram insights is an incredibly useful way to delve into follower trends.
If you carefully analyse the stories you have posted in the last six months, for example, you will be able to identify common trends in the stories that had high levels of engagement and interaction, and the ones that didn’t.
From here you can paint a confident picture of what content works for your target audience, and plan your Instagram campaigns accordingly.
Social media marketing agencies are experts at identifying and acting on trends. Check out our review of the best agencies in the UK to see how they could help support you with your marketing strategy.
Although reach is important, when it comes to Instagram it doesn’t really do much for the growth of your brand. In fact, many marketers argue that it is more of a vanity metric.
What is really important is interactions and engagement. So, when measuring the success of campaigns, focus on these metrics first before analysing the reach. Thousands of people could see your post, but it doesn’t mean they will interact with it.
When we asked Sprout Social’s Gerard Murnaghan for his top tips, the VP advised that brands should use A/B testing when posting content, and measure the insights closely.
“If you’re not yet sure what will strike a chord with your community, running more than one post side-by-side can help you determine which copy and creative combinations best support your goals.
“For conclusive results, try to design it around specific metrics and track performance. Have a clear winner? Then put more resources behind that post and watch it fly.”
Keeping up with the latest digital marketing trends will help you act on any insights you gather on Instagram. Read our definitive guide to 2022’s top trends to find out everything you need to know.
To recap, the importance of using Instagram analytics to enhance your social media marketing strategy cannot be overstated.
Your brand needs them:
However, as you may have gathered, collecting insights and turning them into actions isn’t the quickest, or easiest, thing to do.
And as running a business is already incredibly hands-on, you may not have the time that is required to dedicate to Instagram analytics.
You do, however, have other options. This includes hiring a digital marketing agency to support you – even if it’s just with your Instagram social strategy. Agencies have social media marketing experts who understand the ins and outs of Instagram analytics like the back of their hands.
To find the right agency for you, we recommend you use our quick and free digital marketing service cost comparison tool to get an idea of what this would cost your business.
Spend a minute or two filling out a few basic details, and we will put you in touch with services that can help you. It really is that simple!
Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website.
Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism.
Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter – @startupsross for helpful business tips.
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