How to Measure Performance of Your Instagram Ads

October 12, 2023

Utilizing the different ad formats available on Instagram as part of your social media strategy is a good way to grow your brand. However, it's crucial to measure the effectiveness of your Instagram ads to ensure you’re getting a decent return on your investment.

By tracking and analyzing key Instagram ad metrics, you'll gain insights into the performance of your ads and make informed decisions to optimize your social media marketing strategy. However, it might not always be obvious what Instagram metrics you need to look at.

This article will explore key Instagram ad metrics that can help you assess the effectiveness of your IG ads.


Reach refers to the number of unique users that saw your ads. This metric estimates the number of active users in a specific demographic that were exposed to your ads, whether or not they engaged with it.

Tracking the reach of your Instagram ads allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your paid advertising. When combined with impressions, you can determine the effectiveness of your Instagram ads in promoting brand awareness. 

A high reach means your ad was viewed by a large audience, which increases the likelihood of increasing conversion rates.

To measure the reach of your Instagram ads, analyze the Insights provided by Instagram. Simply:

  • Visit your profile.
  • Tap on the “Ad Tools” tab.
  • Click on “Insight” 

Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

Optimizing your reach allows you to measure your ad campaign targeting options and determine if you need to make changes to your content strategy. 

There are several ways you can optimize your ad reach on Instagram. You can, for instance, advertise using Reels. Reels are a relatively new ad option so fewer people are using this ad placement. That means your sponsored Reel is more likely to stand out and be seen by Instagram users.

You can also retarget your high-value audiences on Instagram. These include people who have already expressed an interest in your brand by engaging with your other Instagram content. Just go to Ads manager and choose to create a custom audience option.


Impression is a key measure indicating the number of times your ad content is displayed for people to see. According to a SmallbizGenius report, it takes five to seven impressions for people to remember a brand.

Tracking your impressions metric is vital if you are looking to raise brand awareness. 

To track your impressions on Instagram, go to your profile and tap the button in the right-hand corner. Once the menu opens, click on insights, then navigate to the bottom of the page, where you'll see impressions.

Here's an example of what you'll see:

Although impressions and reach seem similar, they are different. Instagram reach indicates how many times your ad was viewed by unique users. Conversely, impressions are how many times your ad was displayed to be seen.

This implies that if your ad shows up three times within a certain time frame, it will count as three impressions. However, you would only have a single reach for the viewer who actually saw the ad.

You can increase your Instagram ad impressions by utilizing relevant and trending hashtags. Knowing the best time to publish your ads based on your analytics can help as well. You can use tools like Marin Software for this.


Engagement is an Instagram ad metric that tracks the actions users take after viewing your ad. It includes actions such as comments and likes.

Analyzing your engagement rate data regularly will ensure you run relevant Instagram marketing campaigns. 

Since Instagram is a dynamic social media platform, user preferences and trends keep changing. Consistent analysis of your post engagement will ensure you stay up-to-date with your marketing efforts. It can also help you identify relevant content that will resonate with your target audience and boost Instagram followers.

If you're looking to enhance your marketing efforts to increase engagement and also to ensure accurate translations of your marketing materials for different target audiences is taken care of. Do consider professional translation services, where you can translate marketing materials to reach a broader international audience and maintain the same level of engagement across cultures and languages.

You can track your engagement metrics using Instagram insights. Go to your profile and scroll to insights. Here you can view your past promotion for the period you wish to monitor.

The next step is to record the reach, comments, and likes for each post in a spreadsheet. Add up the engagement for your tracking period and calculate your engagement rate.

To calculate your engagement rate, divide your total number of engagements per post by the total reach per post and multiply it by 100. A good engagement rate on Instagram is between 1% and 5%. However, this figure varies between industries. When comparing your brand's engagement rate to the average, compare using the average for your industry.

You can boost your engagement rate by using high-quality, eye-catching visuals and compelling captions that resonate with your target audience. 

Click-through Rate (CTR)

Clickthrough rate (CTR) is a key metric that measures the percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it. This Instagram ad metric gives you an idea of how compelling your ad is and whether it drives users to take action.

Clickthrough rate can be calculated by dividing the number of link clicks by the total number of impressions your Instagram ad received within a certain period of time.

You can use several analytics tools to track your CTR, such as Google Analytics. You'll need to add Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) tags to your Instagram ads to use Google Analytics to track your CTR.

Check out the example:


UTM tagging lets you segment your data in Google Analytics so you can view the link clicks for a particular URL.

To optimize your CTR, test different ad formats, headlines, visuals, and call-to-action buttons to find the most compelling combination for users. 

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Return on ad spend helps you determine the profitability of your Instagram ads. It measures the revenue generated in relation to the amount spent on advertising.

To calculate ROAS, divide the revenue generated from your ads by the total ad spend and multiply by 100.

A high ROAS indicates your ads generate a positive return and meet your marketing goals. On the other hand, a negative ROAS shows your advertisements are costing you money and may require some adjustments to your content strategy.

To ensure your ROAS remains positive, you can enhance your targeting to reach your ideal customer profiles. You’ll also need to optimize your ad creatives and landing pages.

Leverage generative AI technology to come up with different content types for your ads and landing pages. 

Then use A/B testing again to identify the most optimal elements that ensure maximum conversion. For example, you can split-test different headlines, descriptions, and value propositions.

To use ROAS for decision-making, you must first determine what an acceptable ROAS is. According to several marketing experts, a good ROAS for most brands is 4:1. This means a return of $4 for every $1 you spend on ads.

Knowing if your Instagram ROAS is good or bad will depend on the type of industry you are in and the size of your business. In some cases, businesses require a ROAS of 10:1 to remain profitable, while others can thrive with 3:1.

To estimate the ideal ROAS for your brand, you need to have a clearly defined budget and a firm grasp of your profit margin. A larger margin means your company can operate with a low ROAS. Smaller margins mean you must operate with minimal advertising costs.

Cost per Click (CPC)

Cost per click (CPC) measures the average cost you incur for each click on your Instagram ad. It helps you understand the financial efficiency of your ad campaign and compare costs across different campaigns.

Calculate your cost per click by dividing the total cost of the ad campaign by the number of clicks received. It’s important to note that a high CPC indicates you are not generating enough clicks from your ads which means your ad spending is inefficient and you are actually losing money.

If your CPC is low, it means you’re generating clicks at a lower cost, resulting in more efficient ad spending. The average CPC on Instagram hovers around $0.20 and $2.00. However, your CPC will depend on your product or service. For instance, airline ads will have a higher average CPC than the maximum during holidays.

By optimizing your CPC, you can maximize your ad budget and ensure you are getting the most value out of your Instagram ads.

To optimize your CPC, try experimenting with different ad formats like Instagram Stories, videos, and images to see which yields a better result at a lower cost. Also, refine your ad targeting to reach a more specific audience that’s likely to be interested in your product or service. This will result in higher click-through rates and lower costs.

In Closing

Advertising your business on Instagram is a great way to acquire customers. However, if you want to improve the performance of your ads and increase your ROI, you’ll need a way to measure the effectiveness of your Instagram ads.

To measure the performance of your Instagram ads, monitor key Instagram ad metrics such as reach, impressions, engagement, click-through rates, return on ads spend, and cost per click. This will help you gain valuable insights into the trajectory of your ads and make data-driven decisions to optimize your marketing campaigns.

Regularly analyzing these key metrics will help you refine your Instagram ad strategy and achieve greater success in reaching and engaging your target audience.

Harry Flynn

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