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:
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.
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 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) 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.
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.
Instagram evolved from an exclusive photo-sharing platform to one that now includes video formats. From 15-second Instagram Stories to long-format in-feed videos, marketers can leverage these powerful marketing tools.
Video ads on Instagram, in particular, are an attention-grabbing way to showcase your product or service. According to Meta’s Q3 2022 earnings release, production and consumption of Instagram Reels grew by 50% to 140 billion shares across Facebook, Instagram, and DMs. So, now is the best time to capitalize on Instagram video advertisements.
In this guide, you’ll learn how video ads on Instagram can help you achieve business objectives and best practices.
But let’s back up a bit. What are the different types of videos on Instagram in the first place? Here are four:
These videos appear on users’ feeds the same way image posts do. They can run up to 60 minutes long. This gives businesses leeway to create different types of content – from behind-the-scenes videos to promotions. It’s a surefire way to get Instagram likes. Plus, you can engage customers in the comment section.
This in-feed ad looks like a regular post with the like, comment, and caption section. The call to action button (CTA) sits between the video and the engagement features.
These posts use a full-screen, vertical video format, appearing in the Stories section. They run for up to 15 seconds and ‘disappear’ after 24 hours (Note that Instagram Stories ads are different from regular Stories; they allow you to customize ad length). Interactive elements like tagging and stickers give Instagram Stories content an organic feel. It’s one of the few places you can post a direct link on the app.
This Instagram Story doesn’t have like or comment features, but viewers can share the ad with their followers. The CTA button sits at the bottom of the screen, and users swipe up to go to a converting landing page.
These 90-second videos are the newest video format on the app. They appear on the Instagram Explore page, followers’ feeds, and the Reels section of your profile. Customers engage with them by liking, commenting, and sharing.
This Reels ad looks like a cross between Instagram Stories and In-Feed posts. The video is a vertical full-screen. The caption, engagement, and CTA buttons are onscreen and not separate from the video.
Instagram Live allows users to stream videos for up to four hours. Live streams appear in the Stories panel and only your followers can view them. Even though Meta is phasing out the Live Shopping feature, it is a great marketing format to interact with followers. You can also share exclusive content like tutorials or events.
Whatever format you choose, well-designed Instagram ads should feel like organic posts.
The statistics on video marketing are compelling – demand for video content is 91%. However, it would help if you had a well-thought-out content marketing plan to capitalize on the trend. Your marketing strategy should identify the marketing or business goals you wish to achieve with video ad content.
These goals can be one or more of the following:
Brand awareness is the degree to which target audiences recognize a brand, product, or service by name. Customers are more likely to buy products they know than those they don’t. Therefore, businesses with high brand awareness rates generate more sales and create economic moats that protect their market share from competitors.
Some ways to measure brand awareness on Instagram are mentions and engagement.
It refers to creating meaningful customer interactions and building customer loyalty. According to Forbes, people are exposed to almost 8,000 ads a day. If you want customers to remember you, you should create engaging and organic content for every step of the customer journey.
You track your engagement rate by how many likes, video views, comments, and shares your video post gets.
This objective falls under the category of increasing brand audience. SaaS brands don’t sell physical products; they sell subscriptions. These companies use video ads on Instagram to demonstrate their software value and drive app installs. So, instead of a ‘Buy Now’ CTA, you may see an ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download’ CTA. The more downloads you get, the bigger your audience.
The goal of every marketing campaign is to turn prospects into customers. It is difficult to justify the budget spend on video marketing with low conversion rates. Fortunately, 92% of marketers believe that videos give them a good return on investment (ROI), with increased leads, traffic, and sales.
If you’re considering video ads on Instagram, study the various video feeds to understand features, engagement capabilities, and content trends. The best ones usually blend into followers’ feeds. Here are five tips to optimize your Instagram video ads.
According to a study, you should deliver value in the first three to ten seconds to ensure viewers keep watching your video.
So, you need to make your ad visually appealing.
Start by minimizing the number of visual elements in the ad. Mobile screens don’t have a lot of space. You want to reduce the visual clutter and direct the viewers’ gaze to the product.
Also, use bright colors to capture attention. Check out this great example from Apple. The yellow green and pink colors stand out:
Use your brand colors, too, to improve recognition.
Also, place your product front and center in your video. You only have a few seconds to leave an impression; the viewers should know what the product is even if they don’t watch the full video.
There are technical requirements to making video clips appealing. We recommend vertical videos to fit the natural orientation of smartphones. Instagram Stories and Reels are full-screen formats and look better in portrait orientation. Other technical guidelines include video size, resolution, MP4 or MOV format, and 4:5 aspect ratio video settings.
As important as ad visuals are, you mustn’t underestimate the power of captions. Videos on Instagram automatically play without sound. That means viewers must tap the sound icon to hear the marketing message.
Again, you have a short time to grab customers’ attention. If your ad relies on sound, you must convince viewers to switch on the video sound. Onscreen captions help audiences hook into ad storylines and increase view time by 12%. They allow you to communicate your marketing message with or without sound and are browsing-friendly for people with hearing disabilities.
The video captions of this Nike reel (this isn’t a video ad, but just want to prove a point) are timed with the audio narration. The font color stands out for easy reading. So, whether the video sound is off or on, the audience receives a cohesive experience. You can do this with your Instagram video ads, too.
Remember, ad copy can clutter your ad, so keep your message concise.
The call to action turns prospects into leads and leads into customers. If you want users to download an app, sign up for a newsletter, or buy a product, the CTA directs them to the right place.
Instagram doesn’t provide many opportunities for direct links to drive conversions. There is the link in the bio and the link sticker in Stories. However, Stories are short-lived. If you send leads from your video to your bio to a landing page, you might lose them.
A third option is available to business/professional accounts to run ads. The CTA button appears at the bottom of the screen. Check out the Learn More CTA in the screenshot of Velocity Black’s video ad above.
To catch viewers when they are most interested, ensure your CTAs appear in the middle of the video. If you wait until the end, you will miss the chance to convert the people who didn’t watch the entire video. If CTAs appear at the beginning, you might seem pushy.
Hashtags are keywords or phrases that help people find content around searched topics. But if you’re using a pay-per-click strategy to amplify your ads, do you need them?
The short answer is yes.
Hashtags give context to your ads, allowing Instagram to understand and categorize your content. Instagram uses hashtags as signals to determine which content gets in front of which audience, affecting your rank on the Explore page and content delivery to your followers' Instagram feed.
Even if you create an ad you think customers would like, it’s best to test different ad formats to find the one your audience responds to. Customer viewing preferences change. A/B testing helps you learn what they want to see.
A/B or split testing compares two or more versions of the same ad. This helps you determine which version leaves the most impact and drives conversions. Test each element individually, i.e., CTA buttons, color schemes, or caption copy, to find the best combination. For instance, the only variable between two ads could be the caption text color or video length.
Split testing adds another step to your video ad campaign. However, with A/B testing tools, you save time and money by running ads that bring results. When you sign up for Meta Ads Manager, you can use the same tools that optimize Facebook ads for your Instagram A/B testing.
Instagram recognizes the value of video. Savvy marketers are capitalizing on the social channel’s video formats to reach audiences and drive sales. They use the platform to demonstrate product uses, highlight unique features, or tell their brand story. This guide showed you how Instagram video ads could help you meet your business goals. You learned five best practices to optimize your video ad campaigns. As a final tip, remember that your Instagram videos must be authentic, entertaining, and high-quality. Otherwise, customers will just swipe or scroll past them. Good luck!
Harry Flynn is a guest contributor to Marin Software.