How to Use Instagram Insights to Create Better Content
So how do you grow your following on Instagram? Having high quality content that gets better engagement is going to be the key to success. But how do you do that? You need to know what works, and that’s where Insights come in.
In this article, we’re going to show you the gold mine that is Instagram Insights and how to use it to create better content. You don’t have time to waste creating content that doesn’t work on Instagram. Fortunately for us, Insights give us information we didn’t have in the past in order to make sure. we know what is working. So, we’re going to walk through where to find the data on Instagram Insights, how to interpret that data that actually makes sense, and then we’re going to talk about the difference between Instagram business profiles and Instagram creator profiles. And stick around till the very end, where I’m going to help you decide which account is best for you.
On Instagram, we call it Insights, that’s your data, your analytics, the information that’s available to you about how your content and your account is performing. The Insights are available to anybody with a business profile or a creator profile. It is not available to personal profiles. In order to access them, you’re going to go ahead to your profile, and in the top right corner there’s a three-line button. When you tap on that, it’s going to open up a side menu, where you’re going to see Insights clearly labelled for you. Click on Insights and now you’re going to be in to all the different information that we’re going to go through. You’re going to see three tabs. The one to look at your content is quite simply labelled Content. This is going to be for all of your individual posts. And if you scroll down, you’ll see Posts, and you will also see Stories. If you have any ads or promotions running, you would see that option there, as well. Now even if you don’t have any current stories or any currently available posts, if you click on Posts, see all, it’s going to open up all of your feed content that you’ve ever uploaded, and you can now sort that content for various different criteria.
So, in the Feed Posts tab, there are three areas listed at the top that are in blue. And these are the searchable criteria. So, you can actually look for your content based on engagement, based on impressions, based on likes, various different items. Then you can also search by a duration. So you can actually look for content in the last week, the last month, or up to two years ago. Some of the criteria I like to look at are impressions, and I like to look at things for at least usually six months to a year. Then I also like to look at engagement. Which pieces of content actually drove the most likes, comments, bookmarks? We also want to look at what content generated the most clicks. You can actually sort that, as well, which ones actually sent the most clicks to your website based on the URL in your profile. You can also search for profile visits. Why these criteria matter depend on what your outcomes are. If you’re looking for brand awareness and exposure, you’re going to want pieces of content that have really high rankings for impressions and for engagement. When you’re looking to drive traffic or push conversions or signups and get all that information over to your website, we’re looking for website clicks. But it’s important to note that what works really well for website clicks may not work as well for something like engagement posts. Additionally, if you want to see how any individual post is performing for various insights, in that search result for those feed posts that you filtered, you can tap on any post and then below that, you’ll see View Insights, and you can tap on that to open up the insights for that individual post.
A shortcut to this is just to go to your profile and you can actually click on any post in your feed and then click again on the View Insights and open up the insights for that post. On the lower portion of the screen, you’re going to get a quick snapshot of that post’s performance. You will see how many likes, comments, shares, and bookmarks, or saves, that you received on that post, as well as how many profile visits that post generated and the reach for that individual post. What you may not realize is you can actually swipe up at this point and open up a whole new data set of information for that post. Within this new data set, you can actually see how many websites click or action button clicks you generated from that post. So, if somebody went to your profile immediately from that post and then clicked on your website link, that’s going to count as a website click as a result of that individual post. You’re also going to see what they call Discovery, how that post was found on Instagram. And this will give you insights into whether it was seen by followers or non-followers. It’s going to give you insights into where that content was seen in the feed, on your profile, or even from hashtags.
So, you can actually determine how well your posts are performing in different areas of Instagram. One of the sorts of confusing data points for people is Reach and Impressions. Reach is going to be how many people saw that post. Impressions is how many times the post was seen, meaning one person could see the post two or three times. So, your Impressions will generally be higher than your Reach, assuming that some people or many people have seen that post multiple times. In that data set, you will be able to see how many shares your post got. Shares are when somebody sees your post and they then click on that paper airplane looking icon and they can share it to a story, they can share it via direct message. This is great when you have educational content, tutorials, something that maybe is hugely entertaining that people want to share. And that’s a good metric to keep an eye on. Another data set is the Bookmark or the Save icon, it’s that little ribbon looking icon. And this means someone actually saved your content to be able to come back and reference again later. We will typically see this with, again, very educational content, tutorials, how-to videos, and those sorts of things, that people want to be able to reference and come back to. They can create collections in their saved area, where they can save your content and be able to come back and watch it multiple times at their convenience. Back on the Content tab for the Insights page, you can also tap on See All Posts for the Stories option. This will take you into your archive of all the stories that you’ve uploaded to your profile. And again, you’re going to get the sort option, just like we saw with the content feed posts. Some of the criteria I like to look at most are impressions and view count, just to see how well posts are performing overall in terms of views. I also like to see the tap forwards and the tap backs, meaning do they see something and they wanted to skip through it because it wasn’t that interesting? Which posts got the most Tap forwards or tap backs, meaning they wanted to go back, they wanted more information or to rewatch that clip. It can be very insightful in terms of what pieces of content people are ingesting more of.
Additionally, I’m always interested in the Exited option. If you have a story series that is seven posts long, did a lot of people drop off at post number four? Why? Was there something about that individual piece that either lost their attention, confused them, overwhelmed them? It’s really good to know when you have those drop-offs, so you can make sure to better structure your story sequences in the future. So, when it comes to stories insights, not all of the information is available from the actual Insights tab. You lose some of that information the moment the story expires. You want to head over to your live story before it expires at the 24-hour mark. On the eyeball, you can see who has viewed that post, including if you ranked for any views in hashtag searches or location searches. And the little bar graph icon in that result will show you similar things that you saw in the Insights tab, which has your reach and discoverability information. So, the Content tab was specifically for individual post performance.
Now if you go to the Activity tab from the Insights page, it’s going to give you information about your performance in general. This is going to amalgamate all of your content, both stories and feed posts, into your overall post performance. You will see Reach and Impressions, profile visits, and actions taken off of any of your content. So, one of the caveats to the Activity tab is that the data in there is only available for the last seven days. Meaning if you’re looking at data on a Tuesday, it’s pulling the information from last Tuesday to yesterday, Monday. So, you want to pull your data on the same day each and every week for consistency. So either screen grab that information or go in and pull the information and put it into either a spreadsheet, a Google Doc, something like that where you can track all of that data and even put it into bar graphs and charts.
You can easily recognize trends going forward. So, in the Audience tab on the Insights page, this is where you get all the information about your actual account growth and your follower demographic. When it comes to the account growth, there is two different accounts with two different pieces of information. Business profiles, you will see if your account went up or down in followers, but you won’t see any specifics, you’ll just see a total count. On a creator profile, you actually get a graph that shows you how many follows and unfollows you got on each and every day, making it easier to track how your content is performing for growth. Additionally, you get demographic insight into your followers, so you can see information about their age ranges, male or female, location-based information, as well as days or even hours of which days they’re most active on Instagram, helping you determine the best times to post content that appeals to your audience. Go and find out what pieces of content are performing best for you and for your audience. What are they most engaging with? What are they most responsive to? Figure out what that key component is and create more of that type of content to keep your engagement and your conversions high. All right, it is bonus time. I told you I was going to give you more information about the difference between business profiles and creator profiles. Creator profiles have a couple of advantages to additional insights and, in the future, will have more functionality for creating branded partnerships and hopefully shopping capabilities that business profiles don’t currently have. But there is a big limitation to creator profiles, and that is that they don’t currently support third-party tools that rely on an API. Meaning, if you use a scheduling dashboard tool, if you use an external insights tool, those don’t work with creator profiles. The API only allows that for business profiles. So, which one should you use, a business profile or a creator profile? It’s really going to come down to you and what’s of best interest to you. If you’re not using a third-party tool for dashboard management or scheduling or insights, you may very well prefer the creator profile and the options that come with the additional insights and branded partnerships. But if you rely on things like third-party tools, you’re going to want to stay as a business profile. So understanding the types of content that work well for you and your audience is obviously key, but in order to create that high-quality content that drives engagement and conversions, you need to be strategic with your Instagram efforts.