Comparing your Instagram Stories KPIs to your historical performance is a place to start, but to give you a leg up, we’re dishing out Instagram Stories benchmarks for the beauty industry. Understand how your performance compares across the industry to craft a flawless strategy for 2020.
You can always count on Instagram to keep us on our toes with new features, innovative functionalities, and ways for brands to engage followers. And in this case, Instagram Stories is certainly one that stuck. With over 500 million users watching stories daily, the opportunities for brands to convert followers into customers are endless.
The addicting feature catches your attention the moment you tap on the home page. Stories not only helps you keep up with your co-worker’s Italian vacay or creep what your friend had for brunch on Saturday, it’s also a key medium for brands to storytell through dynamic photos and videos. Always the leaders of the pack when it comes to social, beauty brands have been investing in stories in a big way since the feature first launched in 2016. Beauty brands use the channel to showcase their products in action with user-generated content (UGC), swatches, and tutorials. The feature offers an opportunity for brands to go beyond what they feature on their feed and offer a glimpse at how their products are developed, take the viewer on office tours, share interviews, and BTS content at photoshoots and events. Many brands’ approach to Instagram Stories has evolved since its inception—it’s become less about the quality of the content and more about how brands are creating a compelling story—whether it be educational, clickbait, or an extension of a campaign.
The swipeable format inspires action from users through the swipe-up functionality that can take your audience directly to your website creating a conversion gold mine. The challenge? Measuring success. With little insight into long-term trends offered in app on your performance, brands can often only understand performance by measuring their own historical performance over time. While it's one thing to know how your own brand is doing, it's another to understand if your KPIs are going to move the needle in the competitive beauty space. And you can't do that if you have nothing to measure your performance against. Enter: Instagram Stories metrics for the beauty industry.
First things first, let’s review the Instagram Stories terms and metrics that you should know and what they mean to your brand’s performance.
Story Card: an individual video or image posted in a story.
Stories: represents the total number of story cards that have been posted by an individual brand or user in a day.
Reach: the number of unique times a story card or story sequence is viewed.
Impressions: the total number of times a story card or sequence is viewed.
Exit Rate: the percentage of people who exited a story card.
Tap Forward: the total number of times a user taps forward on a story card to view the next story card.
Tap Back: the total number of times a user taps back on a story card to view the story card again or the story card before it.
We analyzed 25 leading beauty brands’ stories data from 2019 to uncover the benchmarks for the KPIs that matter most on Instagram Stories. We looked at average daily story card engagement, which represents all story cards posted on a per-day basis. Daily story card engagement is based on average daily stories impressions, average daily stories reach, and average daily exit rate. This gives insight into the impressions and reach that the leading beauty brands are generating. Average daily exit rate is especially one to watch. This shows the percent of users that dropped off during your posted story card. Exit rate is helpful for brands that post a high number of story cards to understand where and why your audience might be dropping off to refine your strategy going forward.
Next, we looked at average monthly story card engagement, which looked at story cards posted on a per-day basis. This way brands can take a step back to understand how they’re performing on Instagram Stories month-over-month. We included tap forward and tap back per story to help dive deeper into how your photos and videos are capturing attention with your followers compared to the industry average.
It goes without saying that finding the perfect balance between the quantity and quality of the content you’re posting is how the leading brands are outperforming the competition. One of the biggest challenges in crafting a winning strategy for Instagram Stories is determining how often, and how many story cards you should be posting. The wait is over.
Now that you’re armed with the industry benchmarks, you have the framework you need to keep a pulse on your brand’s performance across the KPIs that matter most. With Dash Hudson’s content segmentation tool Story Boards, you can dive deep in your performance and understand which campaigns, series, and content styles are keeping your audience engaged and coming back for more. You can view your stories by individual posts or by day, fine-tune time periods to reflect your content calendar, and filter stories by performance to gain insights in seconds. It’s the sidekick you need to outperform those trusty industry KPIs.