Fivemetrics that can help you answer the question, “how is Instagram helping mybusiness?”
Advertising on Instagram has become a necessary tactic formarketers who want to incorporate paid social ads into their digital strategy. Instagram reported it hadmore than 2 million monthly advertisers and 1 billion active daily users.
But measuring the effectiveness of a paid campaign onInstagram can be tricky, particularly when it comes to figuring out the bottomline—are your ads truly helping your business?
The answer is not necessarily straightforward. In this post,we’ll review five metrics that can help you get to the bottom of this mysteryincluding.
- Follower Growth
- Post Engagement
- Website Traffic
- Conversions (including sales)
- Return on Ad Spend
A quick word about viewingInstagram performance metrics for paid ads
Instagram ad metrics are accessed in the Facebook Ads Manager (Facebook owns Instagram). To view your Instagram metrics, do the following:
- Log into Facebook Ads Manager
- Select the campaign you want to review
- Click “View Charts”
- Click “Placement” to compare performance by placement (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Messenger)
- You can also view Instagram performance by customizing the view in the Campaign, Ad Group or Ad Set the Ads Manager. To do this, click “Breakdown,” then select “Platform.”
The above view demonstrates performance metrics (e.g.,impressions, results (clicks), and cost per result. But you can view engagementmetrics (reactions, comments, and shares) by selecting “Columns” and choosingengagement.
Now that you know how to view Instagram performance, it’stime to narrow down the key five metrics to review when evaluating the impactof Instagram ads on your business.
Metric #1: InstagramFollower Growth (e.g., Page Likes)
The most important metric (from an engagement perspective)is “Page Likes.” Unfortunately, the “Page Likes” metric as reported in theFacebook Ads Manager doesn’t show this number (it refers to the Facebook pagerather than the Instagram page of the advertiser.) It’s always going to be zeroin the report (as shown above).
That’s okay—there are a number of third-party tools such as Iconosquarethat can help you keep track of your follower growth both for paid and unpaidcampaigns.
These tools track tags and mentions on Instagram and otherplatforms, which can help businesses understand if their ads and organic postsare contributing to increased brand awareness and reach.
Metric #2: PostEngagement
More than 70% of Instagram posts don’t get seen…ever. Ifyou’re paying for Instagram ads (and this includes the time involved increating and deploying them), then you’ll want them seen.
Some rudimentary post engagement metrics are available inFacebook’s Ad Manager and include post reactions (likes), comments, saves andshares. Monitoring engagement can help businesses fine tune their messaging andlearn more about their target audience’s preferences.
Metric #3: WebsiteTraffic
Instagram advertisers can link to a website or landing pagevia a call-to-action button at the bottom of the featured photo (e.g., “ShopNow”) or via a link embedded in their Stories ad. Organic posts are a bittrickier, but businesses can feature links within their Instagram bio or viaInstagram Stories.
Businesses can then monitor the impact of Instagram trafficusing a website analytics tool such as Google Analytics.
Important stats to review include bounce rate, time on siteand pages per visitor. You should also monitor what content Instagram visitorsview on your website, mobile versus desktop traffic, top platforms thatvisitors use, and more. This can help businesses create ad copy and websitecontent that better meets their customers’ needs.
Pro tip: Social traffic tends to have lower websiteengagement than other forms of traffic (e.g., organic and paid search) becausepeople like to stay within the native environment of whatever platform they’reon. Even so, it can be very useful to see how Instagram traffic performs comparedwith other types of traffic.
Metric #4:Conversions (including sales)
The most direct way to gauge the value of your Instagram adsis by measuring performance from direct response campaigns (e.g., leads,newsletter signups, app downloads, etc.) and, if possible, sales.
In the area of sales, Instagram can be a true workhorse. Roughly 60% of users discover products on the platform and75% of users take action after viewing a brand’s post. Instagram users tend tobe young, comprised of Millennials and Generation Z, an audience more likely tomake a purchase on their mobile phones than the average user.
It’s easy to set up conversion goals in Google Analytics to measure the performance of your Instagram campaigns. Facebook also provides detailed information to advertisers who want to set up conversion tracking for their campaigns (the performance can then be monitored in the Facebook Ad Manager). For startups and young companies that do not know how to manage Facebook Advertising, companies like Pressfarm are there to help.
Pro tip: Set up conversion tracking directly with Facebookso you can measure cross-device conversions and create custom audiences (e.g.,remarketing).
Metric #5: Return onad spend (ROAS)
ROAS is the ultimate metric to track when trying todetermine the impact of paid ads on Instagram (or any other paid media vendor).
The formula for ROAS is revenue divided by cost (Revenue /Cost = ROAS). A positive ROAS means that you’re earning money from your ads. Anegative ROAS means that your ads cost more than the revenue it’s bringing in.
This can be straightforward if you’re selling something likeshoes or pet supplies, but it’s more difficult to measure ROAS for B2Badvertisers or companies with long, complex sales cycles.
B2B companies can still measure ROAS from Instagram andother social media ads by monitoring leads and tracking them to see if theybecome new customers.
This takes some coordination between marketing and sales andmay also require a lead nurturing and tracking tool such as HubSpot in order toappropriately attribute the lead source to Instagram.
As with any marketing initiative, establishing goals upfront prior to launching an in-depth marketing initiative will help you setrealistic expectations for your campaigns.
Instagram can be a great platform to advertise your brand,product, or service, but it takes some careful planning and monitoring to makesure it’s having an impact on your bottom line.
About the author: Ryan Gould is the Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing
From legacy Fortune 100institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with awide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery ofintegrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics,that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.