As of September 2017, Instagram has 800 Million active monthly users, making it the 3rd largest social platform after Facebook and YouTube. For bloggers, Instagram allows a place to offer a window into their daily life by providing pictures of everyday activities, the behind the scenes of their blog content, or just great pics of them looking good and having fun! Instagram is a common advertising spot for brands, especially influencer advertising as it allows users to show off your product or brand in a natural setting. It could be as simple as a fashion blogger wearing one of your brand’s pieces and giving you a shout out in the caption, or a large scale influencer specifically and exclusively talking about your brand in all of their posts.
Before committing to any Instagram marketing, it is important to verify that your influencer will provide the kind of reach you are looking for to ensure a strong advertising campaign. Instagram analytics provides in depth analysis of where these accounts are drawing traffic from and how much of it is unique. I will give you a breakdown of how to analyze this data to make sure you are getting the most out of your campaign below.
Instagram analytics is a feature that you need to manually activate within your account settings. To do so, you need to set up your Instagram business profile. This can be done by going into the settings on your account and choosing “Switch to business profile”:
You will be guided through several steps to set up your account. The first step is to connect your account to a Facebook page. If you do not have a Facebook page for your business/blog/self, then don’t worry! You can skip through this step and it will not affect your access to analytics. After connecting to your Facebook page, you will be prompted to enter your businesses contact information. Once again, it is not mandatory for you to give this information if you do not want to, and this step can be skipped if you would rather not include any personal contact information on your Instagram page. After this, you will need to choose what kind of profile you are running. I chose “Public Figure” when setting up my analytics account, but there are a number of different options to help specify what type of service you provide. This will show up under your name on Instagram when people view your page:
Once you set up Analytics on your account, you will have access to the insights on each post you have made. This provides a number of different statistics on how your content is reaching your followers. To access the insights on your posts, choose any post you have made and click on the “View Insights” option. Below I have provided an example pulled from one of my most recent Instagram posts of me holding a large supply of Atlantic Canada’s favourite regional treat, donair sauce. The section to insights feature is circled in red:
Once you have access to your insights, you are able to delve into the world of Instagram analytics. Your insights will look something like this:
You can understand a lot about how your page works, and how you gain traffic through these numbers. First, I am going to focus on the impressions section of your insights. The impressions data gives you a breakdown of how your post is seen. It is split into five sections: overall impressions, Traffic from Instagram explore, traffic from people visiting your profile, traffic from people scrolling through their home feed, and traffic from mysterious, other places:
The Instagram explore page is a feature that allows users to discover posts based on Instagram’s algorithm suggesting them posts they might like. This feature is unique to every user’s account, and uses a number of different methods for pulling content it deems relevant to the user. Posts with a high volume of likes and interaction are more likely to appear in a larger number of explore sections, especially posts receiving interaction from large accounts. Also, posts can be suggested in your feed based on other accounts you follow, or if they are relevant to a hashtag you have used in this past. I once made the mistake of using the hashtag “#wrestling” in a post as a joke, and was suggested nothing but WWE wrestling videos in my Instagram explore feed for months.
The Instagram algorithm takes everything you do into account, in an attempt to tailor your explore content to your tastes. For a brand trying to bring in new followers and awareness to their product, traffic from the explore page is the best way to bring in new followers. Make sure you are building your campaigns around user engagement, use hashtags that are popular and relevant to your brand, and you will be featured on the explore page in no time. When working with bloggers, ask how much traffic they draw from explore; it’s a great way to decide whether or not they are visible enough to users who don’t follow them on the platform to justify featuring them in your campaign.
The next two sections of the impressions section are fairly straight forward. Impressions from page are the impressions your posts are receiving from people visiting your profile and creeping through your pictures, and the impressions from home feature is used to tell how many impressions are being drawn from your followers viewing your content on their home feed. What is this mysterious “other” category, though? Impressions gained from “Other” sources are gained when people view your content because it was sent to them through Instagram direct messaging, it is a post that has been saved and has been viewed through their “saved” tab (I will get into how post saving works below), or if the post has been liked by an account and someone has discovered it through the “following” tab, where they can view posts that their other followers have liked. Essentially, if the person was brought to the post through a means that wasn’t you profile, their home feed, or the explore page, it falls into the “Other” category.
Now that you have a grasp of how the impression system works, there are a number of other ways that Instagram analytics can help you understand how people are engaging with your content. At the top of your insight feed, you will be provided with this set of data:
The number next to the heart represents the number of likes your post has received. The number next to the word bubble indicates how many comments have been made on the post. The final number displays how many times people have saved this picture into their “Saved Posts” tab. Every profile is able to save posts for later, and this feature works similarly to Pinterest. This can be used to gauge whether or not your followers are interested in your content enough to revisit it later. This is a great indicator of whether or not you are making an impact with your campaign: did it stick out enough that they want to make sure they do not forget about your product or service? When setting up an influencer campaign, you can also use this to judge how many people are frequently saving their posts to view later. Will your campaign have staying power? Will it be revisited later by this influencers followers? With these insights, you will be able to judge all of these things.
Setting up your Instagram analytics is essential to any business looking to run a successful online marketing campaign. The insights provided by Analytics provide you with the information you need to help fine tune your campaigns, and figure out what is working for your brand. When working with influencers, asking for their insight statistics can help judge their Instagram pages’ value before preparing for a campaign. Instagram analytics is an in depth tool with many features, but understanding these basics will start you on your way to becoming an insta-master.