How To Use Instagram Insights To Boost Your Content Strategy

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 16, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

It’s a lot of fun watching plenty of likes and comments roll in after you post something new on Instagram. There’s a sense of satisfaction there because people naturally equate more content interactions to high-performing posts. But have you ever tried looking at the hard numbers and big data behind your content? Today, we’re diving into how to use Instagram Insights and its valuable learnings to improve your overall content strategy.

Social media analytics may be scary. Luckily, Instagram makes it easy to digest and understand, even for people with no background in analytics and performance metrics. Do you want to learn more about this cool feature? Keep scrolling to see how it can benefit you and your Instagram business.

Someone holding a phone that shows the main Insights dashboard on Instagram.

What Is the Insights Feature on Instagram?

The Insights feature is Instagram’s in-app analytics dashboard that allows brands to see their content’s performance metrics. It shows data about a brand’s overall page, as well as the performance and content interactions of individual posts. It’s a fantastic, easy-to-use statistics dashboard that allows you to measure how well your brand is faring on Instagram.

These metrics and data points help paint a picture of your brand’s health on Instagram. What’s awesome is that you don’t have to subscribe to a third-party analytics service to get this data. You can see it straight from the app, making the data very precise and accurate.

Right now, the Insights page is only available for professional accounts. That means you can only see your page’s metrics if you have an Instagram business or creator account. Personal accounts don’t get access to their post metrics unless they use a third-party analytics tool for it.

A laptop on a desk showing a social media account’s performance metrics.

How to See Instagram Insights

Do you want to see insightful data about your professional account’s posts? Accessing the Insights dashboard is super easy! Here’s how to see Instagram Insights on your IG app, step by step:

1. Open your Instagram app and head to your profile.

2. Click the blue Insights button right below your bio to head to the dashboard.

3. Alternatively, you can click the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the upper right of the screen. Then, click Insights from there.

4. Explore the dashboard to see metrics for your entire page or individual posts.

The dashboard initially shows you your recent page highlights for the past 90 days. The highlights summary portion will include data points like your number of followers, total reach, and accounts engaged by your page. You can further break down these populations according to their location and demographic information.

To see data on individual posts, check out the content interactions section. You’ll see how each of your posts performed, whether they’re feed posts, Instagram Stories, or Reels. Just select a post in the media library to see info like its views, reach, likes, comments, saves, and more.

Note that you’ll only see data for posts published after you switch from a personal account to a professional one.

Someone holding up a phone displaying an Instagram account’s number of accounts reached on Insights.

How to Use Instagram Post Insights

With Insights, you can dive into your content’s performance on a per-post level. You can do it for regular feed posts, Stories, and Reels.

As mentioned earlier, you can find the metrics and content interactions for individual posts in the Insights dashboard’s media library. But you can also access valuable insights straight from the post. Here’s how to use Instagram post insights for each of these types of content:

For regular feed posts: 

1. Head to your Instagram profile.

2. Scroll through your feed and select the post you want to analyze.

3. Underneath the post, click on the View Insights button. From there, you’ll see all the post interactions and engagement metrics about that post, such as likes, comments, and shares.

For Instagram Stories: 

1. Go to your Instagram profile and hit the Insights button underneath your bio.

2. Head to the Content You Shared section and look for the Story post on which you want to see data. Click on it to see its key metrics.

If you want to see insights on Instagram Stories that are currently up, just open them and swipe up. You’ll immediately see key metrics there. Note that while Stories are up for only 24 hours, you can check a Story post’s metrics for seven days.

For Instagram Reels:

1. Go to your profile and click on the Reels tab.

2. Scroll through your Reels to find the one you want to see insights on. Click it to open the Reel post.

3. Click the three dots on the lower-right portion of the Reel.

4. Select View Insights. The Insights dashboard will lead you to the Reel’s content interactions, views, replays, and average watch time. You can even see the number of new followers you gained as a result of that post. 

What Does the Trophy Mean on Instagram Insights?

While exploring Insights, you’ll notice a gray trophy icon pop up from time to time in different dashboard sections. You might wonder, “What does the trophy mean on Instagram Insights?”

The trophy icon is the symbol of Instagram Achievements. The platform rewards you with points for specific goals and milestones, such as reaching 1,000 video views, 10,000 followers, etc. You can also earn achievements through tasks like collaborating with another creator and using trending audio clips in your Reels. The trophy icon usually has a number below or next to it indicating how many of these goals you’ve achieved.

According to Social Media Today, the platform rolled out this feature to incentivize creators and encourage them to meet milestones. It’s also a terrific way to gamify the app and encourage brands to make more content.

You can check on all your achievements (and those you’ve yet to finish) on your Instagram business professional dashboard. Goals you’ve met will appear in color, while those you haven’t achieved yet will be grayed out. Keep posting engaging content to collect all of the available achievements!

A trophy with ribbons against a red background.

How to Use Instagram Insights to Your Advantage: Turn Data Into Better Content

Now, you know how to access and read the metrics provided on the Insights dashboard. But what are the next steps? How do you use these analytics reports to improve your Instagram marketing strategies and creative executions?

Here’s how to use Instagram Insights to your advantage to let your brand shine on the platform:

Assess Your Overall Reach and Engagement

Reach and engagement are two of the most telling metrics about one’s Instagram page. Reach accounts for how many people are seeing your posts, while engagement refers to how many interactions they gain. High scores for both mean that you’re performing well in terms of your promotional marketing strategies and creative content.

Total reach is a whole number that the Insights page will give you right away. Meanwhile, for engagement, you’ll need to calculate your engagement rate. You can do this by getting the total engagements per post (likes, comments, shares, and saves). Then, divide it by your total followers and multiply by 100%.

It’s important to check your reach and engagement scores because they affect your overall visibility on the platform. See, the more people you reach, the more interactions you can potentially get on your content. This increases your engagement rate, which signals to the algorithm that your content resonates with others.

The algorithm then pushes your content out to more people’s feeds, allowing more people to discover your brand. And when you have more exposure to people, you can boost brand awareness and grow your business. 

See Which Themes and Content Pillars Drive the Most Content Interactions

Because you can see insights about individual posts, you can assess which content themes perform best for your brand. You may notice that content surrounding a specific topic always performs better than another. Watch out for these patterns and see how you can apply them to your content strategy to optimize it.

For example, let’s say you’re an influencer who works on plenty of brand collabs. You notice that when you post unboxing videos of a brand’s products, you get stellar engagement rates. But when you only post regular photos featuring those products, you don’t get as many likes and comments. This suggests that moving forward, it’s best to do unboxing videos for future collabs to maximize engagement for partner brands.

Take a look at your top-performing content and see if there are any trends or patterns among them. Do they have to do with a specific topic? Is there an aesthetic style they all follow? Make a mental note of these similarities and incorporate more of them in future content!

A man recording a video of a woman doing an unboxing a present.

Learn More About Your Current Followers

Aside from content, the Insights dashboard also provides valuable data on your current fanbase. It shows you a detailed breakdown of your followers’ demographic data. These include their age range, gender split, and even which city they live in. That way, you know exactly who is seeing your content.

This is a terrific way to assess whether you’re actually reaching your brand’s intended target audience. If the demographics align with your target market, great! If not, maybe it’s time to revisit your marketing strategy to see how you can drive targeted reach and engagement.

The dashboard will also show you the times of the day your followers are most active on Instagram. Use this as your guide as to when you publish content on the platform. When more people are online when you post, you can drive way more engagement than usual.

You’ll also see trends in your follower growth to see whether you’re meeting your growth goals. If you see that you haven’t been gaining that many new followers recently, it’s time to refresh your growth strategy. It’s also a quick and easy way to see if your current content strategy is attracting new fans.

Three women in activewear looking at their phones.

Discover Which Type of Content Is Your Biggest Strength

You can also get indications of what type of content your audience prefers. Everyone on Instagram has different tastes when it comes to the media they consume. Some audiences prefer scrolling through Reels all day, while others like admiring photo after photo in carousel posts.

Check on which content formats drive you the most engagement on the Insights dashboard. If there’s a huge difference in the engagement rates for certain formats, include more of them in your content plan.

A female holding a tripod with a phone in it to film a vertical video of herself and a friend.

See if You’re Getting a Return on Investment on Your Paid Ads

The Insights dashboard also shows you data on your paid activity, aka your brand’s Instagram ads. By evaluating how your ads are doing, you can know if you’re getting a return on investment on these campaigns. That way, you can rest assured that the money you spent on a big project was worth it.

Major ad campaigns can be very pricey, so it’s important to see if these marketing efforts really do their job. Assess metrics related to your marketing campaign’s main goals. For example, for brand awareness ads, look at your total reach and impressions. For campaigns meant to drive conversions, assess website traffic, affiliate link clicks, sales, and more.

Seeing how well ads perform allows you to make an informed decision about launching new campaigns in the future. It also gives you an idea of what to change, from the creative execution to the types of content used.

Someone putting a coin into a piggy bank with piles of other coins around it.

Instagram Insights Not Working: Common Problems and Quick, Easy Solutions

Is Instagram Insights not working for you? There are many reasons why the dashboard might be glitching out or not showing the data you expect to see. But don’t worry, there’s almost always an easy solution to the cause of the problem. Here are some common issues with the Insights dashboard:

  • You’re using the wrong account type. If you can’t find the Insights dashboard in your settings, it might be because you don’t have a professional account. Remember, only business and creator accounts have access to this. If you run a brand and want to see your post’s insights, switch to a professional page.
  • Delayed real-time data. Sometimes, you may look at an individual post’s metrics, expecting to see stellar numbers. Then, you’ll be disappointed because of the low reach and engagement scores. Don’t worry, though. Instagram usually needs some time to update the data in your dashboard, especially for viral posts with lots of activity. If the numbers you see are lower than what reflects on the post, wait patiently and refresh your dashboard regularly.
  • You’re looking for data on posts from before you switched to a professional page. Instagram only shows you insights on posts published after you became a business or creator account. The posts you created from your time as a personal page won’t appear on the dashboard. If you’ve just recently created a professional account, there might be insufficient data to work with—hence, an empty dashboard. 
  • You’re using an outdated version of the Instagram app. Some features—including new metrics on the Insight dashboard—only appear in the latest version of the app. Old versions might also have some bugs preventing you from seeing some parts of the dashboard. Ensure your app is always up to date for access to new Insights features!

A smartphone screen flashing the word “ERROR.”

Use Valuable Insights To Shape Your Content—Then, Promote It!

The Insights feature for Instagram business and creator accounts is an awesome way to see how your content is faring. Numbers don’t lie, and these insights will tell you what you need to work on to let your brand shine. Use what you learn from them to tweak and improve your content and make it resonate with your audience even more.

Now that you know how to use Instagram Insights, it’s time to focus on promoting your content. You can do that by working closely with Path Social!

Our AI-driven algorithm reviews your profile to help you identify the target audience that engages most with your content. Then, we promote the rest of your content to ensure people under that audience see it on their feed. That way, you’ll have more eyeballs on your posts, boosting not just brand awareness but significant follower growth, too. Just like that, you’ll have plenty of new, highly engaged followers in your community. Gain more followers with us today!