Insights for Instagram Ads are Finally Here

Insights for Instagram Ads are Finally Here

Insta Insights Phones

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As an online marketer, one of the questions I continually ask clients is, “How do you know if your efforts are succeeding or not if you’re not tracking your progress?”

Actually, now that I think of it, that’s not really a favourite question because I’m a marketer. It’s a favourite because I simply don’t like losing. If there’s no scorecard in the game I’m playing or no stats for the blog I’m writing, how do I know if I’m doing well? How am I supposed to re-strategize my game plan so I can adjust and do better if I don’t even know I’m losing the game?

This lack of direction has long been one of my biggest pet peeves about Instagram ads. Paid Search Marketers spend days on each campaign, curating visual assets that compliment both their brand's tone and their social media efforts, writing ad copy with the perfect call-to-action, and scheduling them to be seen by the right audience at the right time, but after posting they all but sit back and simply hope for the best.

But where’s the data!? Of course total views and likes give some insight, but that peek is minimal at best.

Insta Insights Buzzfeed

For example, I’ve seen the above Buzzfeed ad on Instagram at least a dozen times this week. That’s 12 views from me alone. Let’s assume that the ad was shown the same amount of times to each person that it’s targeted towards. That ultra-impressive 80,714 views suddenly becomes 6,726 unique views, with the potential for 73,988 views to be re-watches from people who have already seen it.

So how successful was that ad? Did anyone actually click through to learn more about the cat events? How many people did it reach? How many more people interacted with the ad this week compared to last week? What time of the day was it seen the most? What’s the demographic of the people who watched it? WHAT ARE LITERALLY ANY OF THE ANSWERS I’M LOOKING FOR????

Sorry for the outburst, but like I said, this is one of my biggest pet peeves.

Luckily a long-rumored Instagram feature seems to finally be rolling out, and it’s a dream come true for me: Insights are here. And they’re magnificent.

In May, a geek with a good eye (as a geek myself, I can call fellow geeks out for being geeks) noticed new features in Instagram’s coding that suggested they were implementing Insights sooner rather than later, and they were right. AdWeek confirmed that they are indeed giving users a more in-depth look at ad analytics with a testing phase available in America, Australia and New Zealand, and a worldwide introduction to the platform after the beta phase concludes.

So what do the insights tell you? Here are some features at a glance:

  • Amount of impressions per ad
  • Increase of impressions from the previous week
  • Your overall reach
  • Increase of reach from the previous week
  • A look at your top posts and top followers
  • Traction of your ads for each hour of the day and each day of the week
  • How many people clicked through to your website
  • Increase of click-throughs from the previous week
  • A quick view option for impressions (total number of times your post has been seen), reach (number of accounts that saw your post), and engagement (number of accounts that liked or commented) for each post
  • A breakdown of your followers based on gender, age, and location (which can be viewed by country or city)
  • When your followers are actively online (which can be viewed by hours of the day or days of the week)

With the platform still in its testing stages, it’s safe to assume that there will be slight changes or modifications to the metrics they’re tracking, but having even this basic knowledge of your ad’s performance will allow you to see what you’re doing right so you can continue doing it, and what you're doing wrong so you can see where to change.

This is an absolutely invaluable chunk of information from an otherwise completely closed off social network (I mean, have you ever tried scheduling posts on Instagram? The API makes it a nightmare for those of us who thrive on Hootsuite!).


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1 Comment

  • avatar

    Great piece. I’ve been looking into getting another social media account to use in my traffic generation strategy and I was wondering if instagram would be the perfect one for that. It seems like there might be a bit of a learning curve, but it might be worth it in the end.

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