Instagram Analytics: Ultimate Guide to Posts, Stories, and Reels

John Beaton
March 4, 2022
Last Updated On
December 21, 2022
Instagram Analytics

Instagram insights are key to unlock the channel’s power as a driver of brand awareness, web traffic, and e-commerce success. Learn how to take charge of your Instagram analytics and performance with Dash Hudson’s guide to all things metrics.

What are Instagram Analytics?

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social media network owned by Meta. Instagram’s focus on visuals and user base of over 2 billion monthly active users has helped it become an essential marketing channel for brands to connect with target audiences and create compelling campaigns.

Recently, the channel has expanded into the world of social entertainment, using algorithms to serve video content to users based on what they’ve enjoyed in the past. Content has never been more discoverable on Instagram, which makes it all the more important for brands to get a handle on their performance with Instagram video analytics in order to experiment, optimize, and grow their accounts.

There are three types of accounts that can be created on Instagram:

All three types of accounts can post to Instagram, but only Creator and Business accounts can access Instagram analytics to measure post and account performance. Creators and businesses rely on professional Instagram accounts to measure their account performance and audience growth. In order to use Instagram management tools such as Dash Hudson, brands must have a Business account. In most cases, brands will not have to worry about Creator accounts at all, however as the world of creator marketing expands, it will become a crucial Instagram analytics destination for the creators you partner with.

When setting up a marketing or campaign strategy, brands should set objectives to determine which metrics will measure success. For example, key performance indicators (KPIs) such as reach, engagement rate, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate could be metrics tied to a strategy that prioritizes conversions.

How Instagram Analytics Help You Measure Success

When running any marketing initiative for your brand, it is essential to measure your performance to understand which efforts resonate with your audience, and where to pivot your strategy if needed. Marketing teams should set goals and KPIs by channel, as well as key objectives, before creating and publishing content. Once your content is published, the data is analyzed to see which types of content captured your audience’s attention and inspired action, as well as what simply did not work.

Another use of analytics for Instagram is understanding how effective the channel is as an e-commerce driver, and its attribution to the overall performance of your campaigns. By placing a website link in your Instagram bio, Instagram can be used as a website traffic driver. Brands that rely on their website traffic for success can use this feature as a complement to their Instagram Feed, Instagram shopping and product tags for Reels.

By setting up a unique, shoppable Instagram link in bio, brands can provide customers with a seamless way to discover and shop products featured on Instagram posts. UTM codes can then be added to each link, giving each shoppable post additional tracking capabilities for brands that use solutions such as Google Analytics. Leveraging UTM codes help to maintain consistent analytics for multichannel digital marketing measurement.

Instagram Analytics Tools

In order to successfully track Instagram analytics, using the proper tools and platforms will highly impact your performance. Some tools may be accessible to you as an Instagram user, and some are paid tools that can truly change the results of your Instagram analytics reporting. We’ve created a list of some great tools to assist you with understanding Instagram analytics and will greatly improve your Instagram marketing strategy

Instagram Insights 

Instagram insights is an instagram analytics tracking tool that is available to all Instagram users that are business or creator accounts through the Instagram analytics app. This Instagram tool allows you to track various metrics of your Instagram account such as reach, engagement, followers, and instagram ads. This free tool is a great way for brands who are new to Instagram analytics to get a better understanding on the basics of their accounts performance.

Dash Hudson Competitive Insights

Brands can outperform competition with Dash Hudson’s Instagram competitive insights and benchmarking tools. Compare your performance against your highest competitors in any industry to gain a better understanding of your social strategy. With the ability to customize your reporting, you can ensure that your stakeholders are viewing your competitors and Instagram analytics that matter the most. Our intuitive tool that provides the best Instagram analytics and competitive insights for any brand will change the way you do competitive research and will ensure your brand's Instagram can outperform competitors. 

Creator Studio

Instagram Creator Studio is another Instagram analytics tool that is available to Instagram users that works on your computer rather than the app. Creator studio provides many of the same insights as the Instagram Insights tool, but is only for a 7-day time frame. A star feature of this tool is the calendar view that allows you to view all of your content that you've posted and exactly what time they were posted at which is helpful in determining the perfect time to post on Instagram for your audience. This is another very beneficial tool offered by Instagram for brands who are wanting to dig deeper into their Instagram analytics and performance. 

Which Instagram Metrics Are Measurable?

Instagram analytics data is available for Instagram Feed posts and Instagram Reels. Instagram Stories analytics are also available to brands. Additionally, Live Instagram analytics allow you to view the performance of your live streams. The metrics available for Feed posts fall under four main categories: Post Visibility, Post Engagement, Content Interest, and Brand Consideration.

Post Visibility

Post Visibility metrics display how many users viewed your post and the number of times your post was viewed. These Instagram analytics include:

  • Reach: The unique amount of people who viewed your post.
  • Impressions: The number of times users have viewed your post, broken down by where the post was seen. This includes the home Feed, location tags, hashtags, and other sources.

Post Visibility metrics fall under the awareness section of the marketing funnel and provide a baseline metric for how you’re doing across audience demographics.

Post Engagement

Post Engagement metrics display how engaged users were with a specific piece of content. These metrics include:

  • Likes: The number of users that have clicked the like button on your post
  • Comments: The number of individual comments that were left on your post
  • Shares: The number of times users have shared your content with another user
  • Saves: The number of times users have saved your content
  • Video Views: The number of times your video has been viewed.  A “view” is considered 3 or more seconds.

These Instagram analytics fall under the interest section of the marketing funnel. Strategic brands are now measuring how customers share and save their content on Instagram in order to determine which products garner the most customer purchasing intent. To see performance KPIs for shares and saves in your industry, check out Dash Hudson’s Instagram benchmarks.

Brand Content Interest

Brand Content Interest determines how interested users are in keeping up with your content after viewing your post. These metrics include:

  • Profile Visits: The number of times users visited your profile from your post.
  • Follows: The number of users who followed your brand’s account after viewing your post.
  • Shares: The number of times other Instagram users shared your post.

These Instagram analytics can be categorized under the marketing funnel’s interest or consideration section, depending on your unique strategy. 

Brand Consideration

Brand Consideration metrics show how interested users are in learning more about your brand or considering purchasing a specific product from you. These metrics include:

  • Website Taps: The number of times people clicked on the link on your Instagram profile after viewing your post.
  • Profile Actions: The number of actions taken after viewing your post. These actions include the calls, texts, emails, and get directions profile buttons.

These Instagram analytics can be categorized under the consideration or intent section of the marketing funnel, depending on your unique strategy. 

Important Instagram Metrics to Track

Instagram analytics can be an overwhelming topic to wrap your head around because it holds so much value to your social success on Instagram. When starting to work with Instagram analytics, it can be a difficult process trying to pinpoint exactly where you should start, so we highlighted some of the most important metrics you should try and focus on when starting to work with Instagram insights

Engagement Rates

Engagement rates provide real life feedback on how much your audience enjoys your content. High engagement rates indicate that you are serving your audience content that they want to see and you are positively increasing brand awareness. Engagement rates are calculated using likes, comments, shares, views, reach, and impressions.  

Engagement rates are highly linked to the Instagram algorithm, meaning that positive engagement rates will alert the algorithm that your content is performing well. When the algorithm sees that you are performing well, your posts will rank higher and be distributed more highly throughout the platform to reach a bigger audience. 

So, tracking social engagements can highly impact the success and growth of your brand and is a very important metric to start working with if you are new to instagram analytics. 

Follower Growth Rate 

Follower growth rate does not necessarily tell you that your instagram analytics strategy is working or not, but it can give you a good report on whether your brand is growing and if it is trending to grow more as time goes on. Having a high following on your brand's Instagram account is great, but what is more important is that you are continuing to expand your audience no matter how high your following is. 

If your brand started the month with 2K followers, and ended the month with 2.5K followers, your monthly follower growth rate would be 5%, showing that your brand is catching people's attention and is growing. Determining your followers' growth trends can affect how you plan your marketing strategy for the future to ensure there is growth to come. 

Website Traffic 

Instagram is a great tool to drive traffic to your website via story links, link in bio, and more. Tracking your website traffic is a key driver to improving your Instagram ROI. Instagram has various options that allow you to link your website to your account. Some of the easiest ways to do so is through Instagram stories - you can link your website on your story posts and users can be easily directed to your site by simply sliding up on the post. Another way to attach your website to your Instagram account, and the most common way, is in your account bio. Link your website in the link section of your bio or through a tool like Likeshop, so users can be sent to the site by clicking on it. 

Competitive Benchmarking

Competitive benchmarking can be an extremely valuable tool for the success of your marketing strategy. Competitive benchmarking allows you to analyze competitor performance and what you need to do in order to perform better. You can evaluate your competitors' engagements, impressions, and reach and apply what you learn to your marketing strategy. Analyzing competitors also allows you to possibly shift your content strategy depending on how competitors content performs and how it differs from your content. 

Once you are able to get a firm grasp on your competitors marketing strategy, you can then improve your brands Instagram performance and will differentiate your brand from others.

Connecting Instagram Analytics and Insights to Marketing Objectives

Measuring the performance of the content you shared is the secret to conceptualizing posts that do well. What viewers respond to differs for each brand, so it’s important to make the most out of these data points to come up with an Instagram strategy that is unique to you.

Setting unique goals and objectives is crucial for each individual post and campaign you put forward. As all social media channels differ in audience and communication methods, so setting a channel objective ensures that each channel’s tone and messaging is authentic and aligns with your team’s goals.

For example, a brand’s overall goal for the Instagram Feed could be to drive sales with beautiful, catalog-style, or lifestyle product photos. Still, the same brand’s Instagram Stories objective could be to build community and customer loyalty with engaging behind-the-scenes or educational images and videos. These objectives work toward different parts of the marketing funnel.

When it comes to measuring specific posts and campaigns, the determined KPIs should give you insight into how your marketing efforts are laddering up to your business goals and driving customers further down the marketing and sales funnel. It’s essential to think of Instagram Stories and Reels as part of a holistic brand strategy, rather than a siloed effort.

How to Access Your Instagram Analytics with Dash Hudson

Understanding your performance in real-time across key social media channels is critical to perfecting your strategy and making a real impact on your Instagram growth. Instagram analytics tools are essential to keeping up with the fast pace of the channel, and only Dash Hudson provides full content lifecycle insights for Instagram and Instagram Reels so your brand can hit your goals and stay agile. Our Instagram analytics provide the trusted data you need to drive account growth, understand and improve performance, source top-performing user-generated content, and discover how your brand’s Instagram efforts contribute to e-commerce sales. Reporting is made simple with custom and intuitive reports, sent straight to your inbox.

Girlfriend Collective used Dash Hudson insights to grow its follower base on Instagram by +75%. Tapping into the right performance metrics enabled the brand to focus on its content pillars that perform best (user-generated content in particular). Your brand will be able to make equally valuable strategic decisions with the right insights. Read the case study to learn how to make an impact on the channel.

Girlfriend Collective Reels

Image credit: @girlfriend, @geneticboi, and @eryn__danielle

FAQs

Which Instagram analytics metrics are most important?

While every metric can be considered valuable, the most important metrics are those that align with your objectives. If your brand is heavily invested in Stories, then analytics for Instagram Stories may be most important. If your brand is more concerned with growing engagement, then Instagram engagement analytics may be most important. These KPIs should provide you and your team insight into true performance and actionable next steps across your entire marketing strategy.

What is the difference between Instagram analytics and insights?

‘Analytics’ and ‘insights’ are often used interchangeably but have different definitions. The term analytics means understanding all of the numerical data collected under individual metrics. Users uncover insights after understanding the analytical data and are used to determine or pivot content strategy.

What is the difference between the Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories?

While users can share photos and videos to both, the Instagram Feed and Stories look very different. The Feed can contain different formats of content, including photo or video posts, IGTV, and Reels previews. Feed posts can often feel highly polished and curated. Stories are vertical-only content that can be pre-produced or shot on-the-fly, giving a more “in the moment” feel. Stories disappear after 24 hours, whereas Feed posts have no expiration date.


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