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Data is nowadays more important than ever. For the first time, we can rely on it as the clear indicator of growth in the digital field and is a key to understanding the demographics, optimizing your content and evaluating your overall performance. If you are struggling to grow your brand on Instagram, you now need more data than ever.

Let’s translate the word data to a more specific trend related to Instagram – the Instagram Analytics tool set. This set is a mixture of many different metrics and terms that ideally show the progress of your profile or the downfall that you are experiencing and the metrics behind it.

In other words, the Instagram Analytics tool set shows you every bit and piece of this content and lets you know how you can sue this knowledge to improve your brand online.

Why Rely On Instagram Analytics?

If you are wondering why relying on the Instagram Analytics toolset is important, let’s just say that the entire mix is more than just finding about who liked you, who followed you or which one of your photos or stories performed best. The truth is, Instagram Analytics give you a better shot on how tracking key metrics works and how can you develop a robust content strategy for Instagram once you know how to understand them.

For example, if you are running an Instagram account for your online apparel shop, the tracking tools will show you how different product photos perform against each other – by actually being presented to your users in different combinations. The goal is to obviously find the Instagram photo that engages most people and stick to it, repeating the same scenario in every single product case.

There are a lot of things that you can learn by using engagement data such as likes, clicks, comments and engagement – and know which of your photos perform best and how to keep up with photos of that kind. On the other hand, you will know which photos to never post again and what to skip when posting on Instagram.

Basically, the Instagram analytics toolset allows you to understand what does your audience want, improves your content and drives more traffic and sales.

How To Get To Know Your Audience Through Instagram Analytics

Before getting deep into the performance of you content and investigating why some content pieces outperform others, it is normal to expect results that are not the same. For example, if you know where your audience lives, how old is it and when is it the most frequently engaged with your content – you know your content better and the analytics definitely show it.

However, there is still a native Instagram Analytics app that connects with the app and a lot of parts in it, breaking down into demographic bits and pieces. Some of the sections include:

Gender and Age Range

This basic information tells a lot about your current audience. The gender and age breakdown is important to know and can be used for you to adjust the types of content you post and when. For example, if your audience seems to be younger, you may want to post more frequently or test how content like memes and quizzes goes.

Top Locations

Want to see which country or nation accesses your app most? Just like the age and gender stats, this chart can help you see what are the best times to post and how to schedule your content. For example, it will also show you what language is spoken in most of the countries your app is used – and what time zones most of your users are in.

Hours vs. Days

Instagram also came up with a filter that shows you when your audience is most frequently engaging with your content.

You can toggle to see which hours of the day and days of the week are most popular, presenting topline information about the highest engagement. Also, you can see the scaling and weekend engagement and have an opportunity to see whether your audience has more time to view or content.

The Difference Between Impressions, Engagements and Reach In Instagram Analytics

In case you missed it, there is a huge difference between impressions, reach, engagements and the other filters in Instagram analytics. If you are ready to dive in and create your perfect Instagram content strategy, you should be familiar with each of these meanings and see what they can do for your business.

To help you with that, we are summing up the key terms used in Instagram Analytics below:

Impressions – This is the total number of times your photo, video or story on Instagram has been seen. This number includes the users who scrolled by or clicked through your profile to view a photo or your content directly through a direct message.

Reach – Similar to impressions, reach also shows the total number of views your content has. However, it is more precise and narrows it down to unique user’s views.

Engagements – The total number of unique accounts that have somehow engaged with your post, whether they liked, commented or saved it. It is important to note that this metric won’t count the multiple comments from the same user which can happen in the case of contests or giveaways.

Engagement Rate – The percentage rate of followers or viewers that engage with your posts. To calculate your average engagement rate, just divide the number of likes and comments by your follower count, which will give you a percentage (ex. 1000 likes and comments on 10k followers is 10% engagement).

Follower Growth – This is a filter telling you how many new followers you gain per week.

However, it does not allow you to view your follower growth over time. Basically, it aims on showing you how many followers you have gained or lost in a certain amount of time so that you can understand how and if your account is growing.

Breaking The Metrics Down – Photos Vs. Videos Vs. Stories

At this point, you probably wonder which type of content performs best on Instagram. The reality is, many metrics are calculated in the same way between different types. Whether you are talking about Instagram photos, videos or stories – you should compare one type of content to another and approach to analyzing your content performance.

Photos Vs. Videos

It’s true that both photos and videos appear in a user’s feed on a daily basis, making it difficult to see which of them is actually better for engagement. For example, scrolling through the feed can let you determine if you like a photo and subsequently ‘like’ the photo. However, with video you have to take a moment for the content to load, watch it and then see if it interests you.

From the fact above, we can definitely see that video takes more time for people to be engaged. And that is exactly the difference why videos tend to receive fewer likes than photos.

Instagram Stories

If we compare it to videos and photos, we will find that Instagram Stories requires more active engagement by users. In short, a user must tap into the business story at the top of the feed to engage with the content and with this type of content, they can watch it in full, tap through or swipe out of Stories completely. So, aside from impressions and reach, Stories come with two additional filters of activity:

  • Exits – the number of times an individual swipes out of your Story, which is not necessarily a negative thing however tells that you need to improve and retain users until completion.
  • Replies – similar to engagements for photos and videos, replies are the number of times an individual directly responds to a portion of your story in your Inbox.

Selecting the right KPIs for your Instagram strategy

Now that you know all the different metrics to use in Instagram Analytics and the other free Instagram analytics tools, it’s time to see which are the right key performance indicators (KPIs) you can actually rely on.

In case you don’t know what KPI is, it is the selected metric that specifically measures the success of your content or campaign and one that depends on your business goals and what you want to achieve with Instagram. For example, if your business thrives on community, you should look to engagements as your main KPI for photos and videos. On the other hand, if you boost an individual post, you may want to switch the KPI up and focus on your reach in order to see what kind of impact your content makes on the Instagram community as a whole.

Alternatively, if you run a contest or a giveaway and require comments to enter, the comments can be the ideal KPI you are looking for if you want to compare the success of the contests moving forward in the future.

How to use Instagram Analytics and improve your content strategy?

Ready to improve your content with the knowledge of different metrics and KPIs?

Although it may seem tempting to isolate the individual pieces of content and declare it success or failure, looking at overall patterns and gaining insight from your content is very important nowadays. Not only it can prevent you from posting things you don’t need – it will also lead you to the right type of content that your audience wants.

No matter how you approach Instagram Analytics, the important thing you should keep in mind is that data is directional and will never finish. In other words, your Instagram content will always need testing and you should treat the metrics as the singular answer to a successful Instagram profile. Instead of relying on them too much, however, use the metrics to spark your creativity and confirm that you can do better with every new post or campaign.

At the end of the day, the analytics are meant to guide you with your intuition, predict your next move, help you play around with your content strategy, test out different KPIs and see what sticks.

So, are you in for shifting your Instagram Analytics game – and making those analytics actually work for your profile?

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