If you think Instagram is just for posting pictures of Sunday brunch & artsy shots from your last vacation, think again.
With over 800 million active users each month, the platform is currently one of the fastest growing social media sites today.
This presents a huge opportunity for brands. Plus, with the platform’s increase focus on analytics with Insights for business profiles, Instagram marketing can be more effective than ever.
Read on to find out how!
But First, Why Use Instagram for Marketing?
As your customer’s online behavior changes, so should your marketing strategy.
Right now, more people are actively engaging with Instagram than with Twitter and for the first time ever, Facebook reported a fall in daily active users.
With this in mind, Instagram is now one of the most attractive options for marketers trying to reach their target audience on social media.
Beyond just being “there,” Instagram offers many unique benefits you can’t get elsewhere in the social media marketing space.
Less User Distraction
Instagram’s clean, mobile-friendly layout has far fewer distractions than other social media platforms.
On this platform, one post is likely to take up an entire screen, so users can really focus on the content you post, and your post won’t get lost in the clutter of sidebars, or other posts getting in the way.
Add in the platform’s algorithm and access to Facebook Ads, and as a brand, you have far greater opportunity to get seen on Instagram than many other platforms.
Visual Brand Identity
Since a lot of consumer-brand engagement today takes place online, you’ll want to be sure you have a strong, consistent visual brand identity that people can easily recognize.
In this case, the phrase “a picture’s worth a thousand words” is completely accurate.
Instagram allows you to build the visual side of your brand, and what emotions you want your user to feel when they interact with you. This can help you build your brand’s voice, story, and more with just a quick glance at your profile.
Showcase Human Side of Brand
For some industries, specifically for those that are very technical or B2B, it can be hard to show the “fun” side of your company. Instagram is a great way to do that, and users can see that just by a simple glance.
Not only is this good for marketing to prospective clients to see who they’d actually be working with, it can be a great recruitment tool to showcase your culture to potential new hires.
Hello, Instagram Insights
If you’re anything like me, I bet you’re thinking If you’re anything like me, I bet you’re thinking “That’s all great, but how can I tell if it’s working?”
Because Instagram knows brands and marketers rely on data to make decisions and adapt their strategy, they’ve provided Instagram business accounts (yes, just business accounts) the Insights tool.
There marketers can find a comprehensive look at their follower demographics and how users are engaging with their content.
What Types of Insights Does Instagram Offer?
Instagram offers a slew of valuable metrics to look at, which can be broken up into four categories:
- Account-Based Metrics – These metrics surround your specific Instagram account.For example, metrics such as page views, total likes, or comments in a period of time, number of followers, and even the number of clicks back to your website from your profile page.
- Audience-Based Metrics – This shows stats about who is following, viewing, or engaging with your posts. Because many users have their Instagram linked up with their Facebook account, Insights can pull these specific qualities about your users including age, geographical location, gender, etc.
- Post-Based Metrics – You can also see how each individual post is performing through Impressions (how many times your post was seen), reach (how many people have seen it), how many likes & comments it’s received, and how many people have saved your posts to reference back to.
- Stories & Live – See how many people viewed your stories & live videos, how many people you reached over time, and how many dropped off.
How to Leverage Instagram Insights
In all honestly, I could probably write an entire blog post dedicated to this topic.
The reality is, the metrics provided could be used in so many different ways and situations, depending on your specific audience, company, and your goals in using the platform.
Each set of metrics helps marketers answer a unique question about their performance, strategy, and more at a quick glance.
Using Account-Based Metrics
These metrics can help you answer the overarching question: Is my current strategy working? How is it all coming together?
For example, if your page views/number of likes is consistently low, it’s a sign you’re not actively engaging the right people, and might need to try different strategies to start getting your posts in front of your audience. (i.e. different content or incorporating hashtags)
Furthermore, if you’re finding you have a large following, but aren’t getting a lot of clicks back to your website it could be a good indicator that you need to do a better job of guiding people or possibly even invest in ads.
In other words, this set of metrics can help you answer the big-picture questions about how your efforts are paying off. To dive deeper into the “why,” you can look to the metrics below.
Using Audience-Based Metrics
Audience metrics help you answer the question: Who am I attracting? Are they the right people?
A lot of engagement and followers is great, but if you’re not attracting people who are actually interested in your brand, company, or service offerings, it won’t help generate new business.
These audience metrics can help you determine if your current strategy is actually engaging the people you want, and can help you make sense of all the other metrics.
For example, if your buyer persona is 25-45 in Connecticut, but the majority of your engagement is from are 13-17 year olds in California, this is a red flag that you need to pivot your strategy, even if you’re seeing high engagement rates.
Using Post-Based Metrics
Metrics on your individual posts answer the question: What should I be posting? What’s currently working?
While account-based metrics help you determine overall performance, post-based metrics can help you figure out the how each post is affecting the bottom line.
Furthermore, marketers can use these metrics to improve their strategy over time and adapt how they post to how users are interacting with their content.
For example, if you find that one individual post is performing higher than all other posts on your profile, try to replicate that strategy with posts moving forward to see if you can get the same result.
Using Stories & Live Metrics
These metrics can be used in a variety of ways, but one of the most useful is to determine if your audience pays attention to these features on the platform. Because both stories & live videos are relatively new to Instagram, you’ll want to see if it’s worth the effort of posting here and if your audience is actually engaging.
As mentioned earlier, Instagram Insights are only available to Business Profiles, so if you haven’t converted your account, make sure to do so by following these instructions. Once complete, you’ll find Insights by clicking the little bar graph icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
Once you’ve begun posting, use those insights to help you gauge your performance and improve overtime. As with any new marketing strategy, it might take some time to detemine your brand’s place on the platform, but by making data-driven decisions, you’ll unlock the key to engaging your personas in no time.