Instagram Insights, explained: Everything you need to know about the new IG Analytics

How do you know your Instagram marketing strategy is working? What kind of content works best for your audience? What types of people are actually interested in your business?

Understanding the definitions and rationale behind Instagram analytics is a big part of knowing how your content is performing and the types of content to which audiences best react to and engage with. 

By 2022, the number of total monthly Instagram users will reach a whopping 877,5 million. To keep up with its growth—and increasing demand from marketers—the social media platform is now looking to provide even more data, with a recent update to its Insights element for business and creator profiles. 

Along with the existing, steadfast Instagram metrics, these new data points will help guide posting decisions and provide more opportunity to optimize your approach based on more specific information.

Here’s a ready reckoner of what you need to know about all the different Instagram insights, explained.

Why tracking Instagram Insights matters

If you’re here, you’re likely already using Instagram for your business. As the social media network gets more and more saturated with users, brands, and content creators, if you want to keep growing organically, you’ll need to pay close attention to analytics.

The Instagram analytics interface has changed a lot over the years. Knowing how to keep up with these changes and interpret new Instagram insights in real time can help you find out what content performs best and adjust your marketing efforts while maximizing the undeniable potential of Instagram.

new Instagram insights
The new features highlighted in the Instagram analytics interface in December 2021
Image Source

Whether you’re monitoring the success of your brand’s own Instagram account or that of an influencer program, understanding these insight numbers will help you create content that resonates and set informed KPIs. 

What’s new in Instagram Insights?

Back in May 2021, Instagram updated its Accounts Reached data, adding in more specifics about the types of accounts you’re reaching (followers vs. non-followers) and the content formats that are driving the best performance for your profile.

Now, these three new metrics will give you more specific info on who’s engaging with your content—whether they follow your profile or not—as well as the total reach of your posts:

  • Accounts Engaged – This metric will tell you how many accounts, in total, have interacted with your Instagram content over a period of time.
  • Engaged Audience – This metric collects demographic data (including cities, countries, age, and gender) relating to users who engage with your account and content, regardless of whether they’re your followers or not.
  • Reached Audience – This metric provides demographic insights (cities, countries, age, gender) into all the people you’ve reached over a period of time.

Instagram also mentioned that these new demographic insights will be incorporated into the data, in order to provide you with a more comprehensive view of who you’re reaching with your different IG posts, and how, specifically, they’re engaging.

💡Pro tip: Use the location data to optimize your posting schedule based on when these users are more likely to be online. Then, use the age and gender data to build more accurate audience personas for your targeting.

For marketers, these additional data points could be a huge bonus to the overall Instagram marketing strategy. It provides brands with increased capacity to drive specific performance notes, as well as optimize content approach based on what’s working. 

Next, let’s take a look at all the existing analytics on this channel that marketers need to know and understand—and how to use them.

Understanding Basic Metrics on Instagram Insights

You’ll find your Instagram Insights by tapping on the menu icon in the top right corner of your Instagram profile, or directly on your profile page if you have the most recent update. Click on the “Insights” tab to see the overall analytics for your business profile.

💡Pro tip: If you’ve recently switched to a business account, it will only show you the analytics for posts and stories you published after the switch.

When you get to the Insights section of the app, you’ll see analytics for:

  • Overview – Instagram Insights is made out of 3 main sections: Reach, Interactions, and Audience. These insights display your account’s reach, engaged accounts, total follower count, and content you shared.
  • Content You Shared – Statistics about the number of posts, stories, reels, videos, and live videos you shared for the selected time period, including the current date.

Here’s a closer look at each of these, and how they’re relevant for your Instagram account’s growth.

Overview

Overview is the main tab within Instagram Insights. You’ll be able to access the main metrics from the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days. If you click on any one of these three basic metrics, you’ll be able to see some more detailed statistics that we’ll cover below.

Instagram Insights Overview
  • Accounts Reached – The number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts, stories (including promoted ones), videos, reels, and live videos at least once.
  • Content Interactions – The number of accounts that have interacted with your content, including promoted content. Content includes posts, stories, reels, videos, and live videos. Interactions can include actions such as likes, saves, comments, shares, or replies. 
  • Total Followers – This is your total number of followers on Instagram.
💡Pro tip: Use these insights to make informed decisions that deliver steady organic growth. Perform a thorough analysis of each of these to better understand what kind of posts your audience is engaging more with. Then, replicate similar ones in the future to get more traction. 

Accounts reached

The Reach tab is where you will find some basic information about your content’s reach from up to the past 90 days. You’ll see the number of impressions, profile visits, website taps, and call-to-action button taps. 

Top performing content is also based on the number of unique accounts that have seen your content. Instagram mentions that this metric is estimated and in development.

  • Reach – The number of unique accounts that have seen your content, at least once, including promoted content. Content includes posts, stories, reels, videos, and live videos. Reach is different from impressions, which may include multiple views of your posts by the same accounts.
  • Reached Audience – The number of followers vs. non-followers who have seen your content.
  • Content Reach – These insights help you understand which types of content are reaching your audience and which specific content is being seen most. 
  • Top Posts – Top performing posts, based on the number of unique accounts that have seen your content. If you click on “See All”, you’ll find all of your posts from the last 2 years.
  • Top Stories – Top performing stories, based on the number of unique accounts that have seen your content. Top stories are shown by default, but you can filter the list by the type of audience activity, and time period. 
  • Impressions – The number of times your posts, stories, reels, videos or live videos were on screen, including when your content was promoted, for the selected time period.
  • Profile Activity – These insights measure the number of actions people take when they engage with your profile. Includes profile visits, website taps, business address taps, call button taps, email button taps, and text button taps.

Accounts engaged

When you access the second tab, you’ll see some very basic metrics from up to the last 90 days:

  • Total Accounts Engaged – The number of accounts that have interacted with your content, including promoted content. Content includes posts, stories, reels, videos and live videos. Interactions can include actions such as likes, saves, comments, shares or replies.
  • Engaged Audience – The number of followers vs. non-followers who have engaged with your content.
  • Audience demographics – Metrics about your audience include top countries and cities, gender, top age ranges, as well as followers and non-followers that have interacted with your content.
  • Content Interactions – The number of actions people take when engaging with your content, including post, story, reel, live video, video, and promoted content interactions. Interactions can include actions such as likes, saves, comments, shares or replies.
Instagram engaged audiences insights

Below these metrics, you’ll also be able to access Top Posts, Top Stories, Top Reels, Top Videos, and Top Live Videos (same as inside the Reach tab).

Total followers

The Audience tab provides the most user demographic data on your account. Remember that this section only analyzes your own followers. If you want to keep an eye on other public accounts—like your competition—you’ll have to use a more advanced software solution. 

ProductLead Analytics lets you analyze real-time stats about your competitors’ social media activity, from the number of followers to engagement rate and reach. We’ll talk about that later on in the article.

Back to Instagram analytics. Apart from the overall number of followers, you will also see how many users followed and unfollowed your profile within the previous week. You’ll also find the overall age range and gender distribution of your followers, as well as age distribution for men and women separately. At the bottom of this section, you can find out when your followers are most often online.

  • Follower Count – These insights show information about the accounts that follow you. 
  • Growth – The number of accounts that followed you minus the number of accounts that unfollowed you or left Instagram in the selected time period.
  • Top Locations – The places where your followers are concentrated.
  • Age – The age distribution of your followers.
  • Gender – The gender distribution of your followers.
  • Active Times – Hours/Days – Average times your followers are on Instagram. Average times when your followers are on Instagram on a typical day, as well as the days of the week when your followers are most active.
Instagram follower insights
💡Pro tip: Look for patterns in the times and days that your followers are online and post content accordingly in order to maximize your organic reach and engagement rates.

Content You Shared

Posts

Aside from the overview, you can dig deeper by clicking on a post’s thumbnail and on “View Insights”. Your goal is to leverage the data and deduce which types of posts performed well. Recreate similar posts and monitor engagement. You can access detailed statistics for every individual post:

Instagram posts engagement insights
  • Engagement – Total numbers of likes, comments, shares, and saves for that post.
  • Overview – This is a summary of several key insights about your post. It includes:
    • Accounts Reached – The number of unique accounts that have seen this post,
    • at least once.
    • Content Interactions – The number of actions people take when they engage with your post, such as shares, likes, comments or replies.
    • Profile Activity – The number of actions people take when they visit your profile after engaging with your post.
  • Reach – This set of insights shows how many people see your content and where they find it. It also includes Impressions, aka the number of times your post was on screen, from various sources like Home screen, hashtags, your profile, or others.
  • Content Interactions – This set of insights shows the actions that your audience takes when they engage with your content, such as likes, saves, comments or shares.
  • Profile Activity – This shows the actions people take when they engage with your posts, including profile visits and follows resulting from that post.
  • Promotion – If you promoted this post, this would be where you could see stats regarding its performance.
💡Pro tip: Reach vs. Impressions. Reach is the total number of unique accounts who have seen your content. Impressions is the total number of times your content was displayed. One person could count as multiple impressions for only one piece of content. 

Stories

In this section, you’ll be able to see insights related to your Stories, like the number of times a particular photo or video has been seen in your story, the number of unique accounts that saw a particular photo or video on your stories, and how many people replied to a particular photo or video on your story.

The Exited metric also tells you the number of times someone left your story and this section also takes into account when someone clicks on a link.

Instagram post insights

You can filter the list by audience activity and time period: 

  • Back
  • Call Button Taps
  • Email Button Taps
  • Exited
  • Follows
  • Next Story
  • Business Address Taps
  • Impressions
  • Link Clicks
  • Forward
  • Profile Visits
  • Reach
  • Text Button Taps
  • Website Taps
💡Pro tip: Here are some of the most important metrics from this section to take into account: 
Number of exits – If you see that 100 people have seen your story, but 70 have exited, this is an indicator that people aren’t into those types of stories.Completion rate – Calculate this metric on your own by comparing the number of viewers of the first and the last slide.Peoples insight – This is a list of all the accounts that have seen a particular photo or video in your story. You can also check out their Instagram accounts by simply clicking on their handle on the list.

Reels

As a short video format that appears in Instagram users’ feeds, Instagram Reels replaced IGTV, which became a separate app for those who enjoy that format. You can see and filter through reels using data related to users’ engagement with your Reels.

  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Plays
  • Reels Interactions – Likes, comments, shares, and saves
💡Pro tip: Here are some of the most important metrics from this section to take into account:  
Number of plays – The number of plays shows how entertaining and engaging your video is. If the number exceeds the number of accounts reached, it means that some people have viewed the video multiple times and you should repeat creating this type of content.Accounts reached – This figure shows the number of unique viewers of your video. Use the data to see which kinds of videos received positive feedback from your audience.

Videos

The Video section is where insights tell a story about your video content strategy. You can analyze stats such as percentage of videos watched, likes, comments, shares, views, and other video metrics. 

  • Average Percentage Watched
  • Website Taps
  • Call Button Taps
  • Comments
  • Email Button Taps
  • Follows
  • Business Address Taps
  • Impressions
  • Link Clicks
  • Likes
  • Profile Visits
  • Reach
  • Saves
  • Text Button Taps
  • Video Views
  • Video Interactions – total number of likes, comments, shares, saves
💡Pro tip: You can go back up to two years and examine your video performance. Look for growth trends over time and examine the most successful videos. Use them as a reference for your next piece of content to increase its chances of getting more views and growing organically.

Live videos

The Live Videos analytics became available when the Reels feature launched in May 2021 and shows the following metrics:

  • Comments
  • Reach
  • Peak concurrent viewers
  • Live video interactions
💡Pro tip: Here are some of the most important metrics from this section to take into account:  
Peak concurrent viewers – The maximum number of viewers watching you live simultaneously. This should steadily grow, as your follower count keeps going up.Live video interactions – If your content is engaging, you should have a decent amount of comments from your viewers. If you notice low numbers here, adjust your content to make it more inviting.

Promotions

The main Content You Shared tab will also give you insights on any currently running ads. This is the number of active promotions you have for the selected time period. 

Using this information, you’ll be able to assess your paid campaign results and check whether they lived up to their initial expectations.

How can I use Instagram Insights to improve my Instagram marketing strategy?

Analyzing Instagram analytics will help you better understand who your followers are and what they’re expecting from you. As a result, you’ll be able to assess whether you’re actually reaching your target audience or not

Once you have a handle on these Instagram insights, you can begin tracking important metrics like:

  • Growth – see the change in any metric you choose: followers, impressions, reach, replies, clicks, engagement, etc.
  • Rate – calculate the rate of engagement, clicks, and completion to understand your return on investment or organic content.
  • Average – get a benchmark of the performance of posts in a particular time period (for example, if you were running a campaign or discount).
  • Top Performing – identify your top-performing posts to know what is working for your audience.
  • Decision Making – by correlating these insights with ProductLead influencer-generated content insights, you can make strategic decisions based on real data and level up your social media strategy.
ProductLead Campaign Analytics Dashboard
Influencer Campaign Insights on ProductLead’s Dashboard
Instagram content insights on ProductLead's dashboard
Content Insights on ProductLead’s Dashboard
Instagram posts engagement insight on ProductLead's Dashboard
ProductLead’s Dashboard for Post Engagement Insights

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’re just starting your Instagram marketing adventure, it’s mandatory to know all these metrics. While Instagram Insights is a free tool, you can always expand your analytical skills by using different social media software.

Measuring Effectiveness: How to take your Instagram Insights to the next level using ProductLead Analytics

ProductLead Analytics allows you to generate monthly reports on in-depth insights, competitor tracking, user-generated content, brand ambassador discovery, and more.

A one-stop shop dashboard for data that matters, the Analytics module offers detailed analytics, and comes in really handy if you have to:

  • Access more in-depth analytics
  • Check worldwide demographics for up to 10 locations
  • Analyze your competitors on Instagram, making it much easier to catch up and outrun them
  • See a heatmap with online availability of this profile’s followers in the last 30 days
  • Plan and deliver your content calendar, starting from actionable statistics that show you what are the winning approaches
  • Analyze data for embedded posts (shoppable galleries) and information about the pieces of content within those embeds
  • Generate or schedule automatic reports within seconds, for your own profiles, as well as for competitors’.
ProductLead's Competitor tracking feature
ProductLead's competitor tracking feature

Using ProductLead, you can measure your social media reach and engagement, identify top posts and the best times to post, learn about your audience demographics, and analyze your competitors. Plus, you get the added benefit of up-to-date campaign insights and performance measurement for your influencer collaborations—all from one intuitive dashboard.

Ready to grow your digital presence with competitive benchmarking and standardize how you measure success based on data? Book a free demo and get acquainted with the ProductLead platform and its features or get started right away.

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