Impressions on Instagram: Making Every View Count

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Karen Lin

Uncategorized | May 30, 2024

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If you’re a content creator or run an Instagram business, you probably look at the same old post metrics every time. You count the comments on each piece of content you upload and cross your fingers for more likes and shares. You might also check your reach if you know how to read Instagram analytics. But did you know that impressions on Instagram also give you tons of key insights about your posts?

Most people on Instagram focus on content interactions and other surface-level metrics in their posts. But people in digital marketing know that impressions matter too.

Impressions give you an idea of whether your target audiences are looking at your brand even if they don’t engage with it. They also provide key insights about the type of creative content you post and whether it’s working.

How do you find and interpret Instagram impressions? We’ve got you. Keep scrolling to learn more about this metric that is underrated yet highly telling of your performance on Instagram.

Instagram Insights shows you how many impressions your post garnered.

Instagram Metrics Are Great for Tracking Content Performance

Your average Instagram user might consider their post successful if it has plenty of content interactions, like likes and comments. But if you’re a content creator or Instagram business, you’ll know the best way to track your performance is by using Instagram metrics.

Professional Instagram accounts have access to specific metrics that measure how well their content is performing. This is excellent for checking how your target audiences respond to your campaigns. It also gives you an idea of your project’s effectiveness from a digital marketing perspective.

There are different metrics available on Instagram that give you key insights about how your content is faring. Some common ones are reach (how many people see your content) and engagement (how much do people interact with it). Tech brands might also look at app installs as a metric. Retail brands probably look at conversions.

But one Instagram metric some people outside of digital marketing might not know of is Instagram impressions. What are impressions in the first place? Why are they important? Let’s find out.

The Lowdown: What Does “Impression” Mean?

Before we dive deep into what Instagram impressions tell you about your content, what does “impression” mean in the first place?

In digital marketing, an “impression” refers to a “view” of a piece of content. The user doesn’t have to look at the post for too long or hit “like” on it. As long as the post technically comes up on a user’s screen, it counts as an impression.

Impressions have different definitions depending on the digital platform. YouTube videos, for example, count an impression if at least half of the thumbnail is visible on the screen. On Twitter, an impression is when a tweet appears on someone’s screen. Even if you scroll past the tweet so fast that you can’t read it, it still counts as a tweet.

Specific to IG: What Are Impressions on Instagram?

But what are impressions on Instagram specifically? IG impressions can mean views on feed posts, Stories, Reels and even your Instagram profile. Impressions aren’t unique in viewers. So, if one person sees your Reel 500 times, they will count as 500 different impressions.

Impressions also count even if you see the same content through different devices. If you see an influencer’s post on your phone app and later on your laptop, it counts as two impressions.

Even if someone doesn’t lurk too long on these posts, if they see it, consider it an impression. And if they go back and look at your post again, even just seconds after the first time, it’s considered another impression.

A big number of impressions are usually a sign that your target audiences liked your content. It means that people who saw it probably revisited it to see it again. Take it as a sign that your followers love the content type you posted.

However, they’re not always good. An impression count that is too high might mean a single viewer has repeatedly seen your post. This can sometimes result in content fatigue.

Seeing a piece of content on your phone and your laptop counts as two impressions.

Reach vs. Impressions: What’s the Difference?

Some may ask, what’s the difference between Instagram reach and impressions?

It’s easy to confuse these two metrics. Both of them are awareness metrics that measure the visibility of your content. However, there is a huge difference between the two.

Impressions on Instagram count the total number of times people see your post. Unique viewership doesn’t matter to this metric. Meanwhile, Instagram reach counts the total number of people who have come across your content. That means if one person sees your post 50 times, they will contribute 50 impressions but only one account in reach.

A post will always have more impressions than reach. If the number is the same, it means that every person who saw your post has only seen it exactly one time. It’s impossible to have more reach than impressions.

So, reach vs. impressions—what should your campaign’s main success metric be?

The answer depends on your digital marketing campaign’s goals. If you want to drive awareness about a new brand or get new followers, reach might be your best KPI. But if you aim to retarget potential customers or drive a key message home, you should aim for more impressions.

Instagram Reach counts how many people have seen your content, not how much they’ve seen it.

In What Situations Should a Brand Focus on Impressions Marketing?

It’s easy to hone in on the comments and likes you get after posting a piece of content you worked hard on. But Instagram impressions should be the main metric you look at if your campaign falls under the following:

·   Reinforcing a story: If you’re trying to make a key message stick to your target audiences about your brand, impression marketing is key. For people to associate a specific story with your brand, you need to tell it repeatedly.

·   Driving purchase interest: Sometimes, it takes a couple of tries to talk to a consumer to finally sell them a product. If someone sees your post a couple of times, it’s easier to get them to buy from your Instagram business. Impressions are also key here.

·   Testing a piece of content: If you’re testing how effective a specific Instagram aesthetic or brand look is, impressions might be a good metric. When you compare it with reach, it can tell you how often people go back to look at it. This can help you optimize and tweak your brand’s look and content strategy for future campaigns.

Exploring Insights: How To Find Impressions on Instagram

Now that you know what Instagram impressions are, it’s time to find out how many of them your posts have garnered.

Right now, there’s only one way to see impressions straight from the app—Instagram Insights. Some third-party apps and services also allow you to see your impressions. However, using Instagram Insights is by far the safest and most accurate way to find them.

Note that you need a professional account to access Instagram Insights. That means you must be an Instagram business or influencer to do so. If you have a professional account, here’s how to find impressions on Instagram, step by step:

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

2. Click on the Professional dashboard.

3. Look for Account Insights and then click on the “See all” option under it.

4. On the next screen, you’ll see all the available Instagram metrics, from reach to impressions. Note that you may have to scroll further to see the impression count for your profile and posts.

You’ll see three types of impressions on the Instagram Insights page:

·   Profile impressions: The number of times people visited your main Instagram profile.

·   Content impressions: The number of times others viewed specific content. You can see your total content impressions for the day or week. You can also track how much your impressions have increased or decreased from the previous week.

·   Audience impressions: Pertinent data about people who contributed to your total impressions. Here you’ll see their age, gender, location and more.

Check your Instagram Insights page to see your total impressions.

How to Track Impressions on Instagram Posts and Reels

But you don’t always need to see an overview of your Instagram impressions. Sometimes, you just want to see how one of your posts is faring with your target audiences.

Luckily, it’s super easy to check on the impressions of a post you have up. Here’s how to track impressions on Instagram for a specific piece of content:

1. Open Instagram and head to your profile.

2. Click on the post on your feed you’d like to see insights about.

3. Tap “View Insights” at the bottom of the post, right above the comments section. From there, you’ll see the total impressions on that post.

How to Find Impressions on Instagram Stories

Swiping up on Instagram Stories will show how many people have seen your content while it’s up. However, this only provides the total reach, not impressions.

You may be wondering how to find impressions on Instagram Stories. Unlike feed posts, you won’t see a “View Insights” button on your Stories. Fortunately, viewing the impressions and other insights for Stories is a breeze, too. Here’s how to do it:

1. Go back to your Professional dashboard and go to Instagram Insights.

2. Select the “Content” tab and tap on “Stories.”

3. Choose the specific Story you want to see metrics for and click on it.

4. The next page will show you the total impressions, reach and engagement on that Story.

If you have a lot more impressions than reach for a Story, it means some viewers watched it repeatedly. That’s a terrific sign as far as creative, engaging content goes. Keep it up!

Where They’re Coming From: What Are “Impressions From Profile” Instagram?

You may notice that the Insights page breaks down your Instagram impressions into different types. Some are labeled “from Home” or “from Explore,” along with many others.

These classifications indicate where the impressions are coming from. If they’re “from Home,” people saw your post on their main feed. “From Explore” means they stumbled upon it from the Explore page.

Perhaps you’ll notice that impressions “from profile” are always high up on that breakdown. So, what are the “Impressions from profile” Instagram displays on the Insights board?

These impressions came from people who visited your profile to view your content. Impressions you get from the feed, Explore page, locations and hashtags are probably only because people stumbled upon your content. However, impressions from your profile mean that people went out of their way to visit your page. That means you’ve piqued their interest as a creator!

Impressions “from profile” means people intentionally visited your page to look at your content.

How To Get More Instagram Impressions on Your Posts

Now that you understand what impressions on Instagram are, you probably want your posts to get more of them. They’re amazing for driving a brand story or key message. Plus, getting people to see your posts multiple times allows you to maximize your content.

Want to increase the number of impressions you rake in per piece of content? Here are our top three tips to get people to view your content more often!

1. Relatable, Beautiful, Shareable Content Get More IG Impressions

The easiest way to get more impressions on Instagram content is by making them shareable. Instagram Reels should be funny and relatable, while feed posts and Stories should be visually breathtaking and intriguing. That way, people will want to rewatch your content. They might even share them with friends or on Instagram Stories. And when their followers see your post, you’ll get even more views and impressions.

People rewatch and share relatable and visually stunning content with friends, which increases impressions.

2. Post at Peak Times for More Impressions on Instagram

If you want to increase your IG impressions, try and increase your reach first. One way to do that is by posting your content at peak times. If you post while your target audiences and followers are online, you’ll reach more people. That means you have a high chance of getting more impressions, too.

To see the peak times your audience is online, go to Instagram Insights again. Click on the “Audience” tab and scroll down until you see the times of the week most of your followers are online. Use these key insights to schedule when to post your content.

3. Set up Ads With a Frequency Cap for More Instagram Impressions

If you’re an Instagram business running ads, your campaigns might benefit from driving multiple impressions from the same viewer. This makes sense if you want to retarget them or reinforce a specific key message.

A great way to boost impressions on Instagram ads is by setting a frequency cap for them. When setting a frequency cap on Instagram ads on Meta, you choose how often a viewer might see the same ad. This helps ensure that each person your ad reaches has a chance to see it again, thus adding to your total impressions.

More Followers Equals More Impressions on Instagram

Aside from optimizing your content, you can also focus on growing your follower count to boost impressions on Instagram. The more followers you have, the more people are likely to see your posts. And when many people see your content, chances are some will want to revisit it later. This will give you a bump in impressions. Path Social has an awesome targeting tool that can help you increase your follower count. Our proprietary system serves your content to your target audiences most likely to enjoy it. This can result in more content interactions, followers and impressions for your content. Start growing your Instagram community with us today!