Those who use Instagram for any sort of branding purpose, be it personal or for business, know how important it is to measure results. You can’t be putting in all this hard work into creating and executing a strategy, and not track your performance. But for the longest time the only insights available were limited to your profile, Instagram Stories and feed posts. However in an update introduced this past spring, Instagram Reels and Live insights were rolled out. And it was then that creators and businesses alike rejoiced. Not understanding how some Instagram’s most popular forms of content were contributing to campaigns and overall strategies wasn’t ideal.
This couldn’t have been more true for a certain type of Instagram user. TikTok creators who have moved over to Instagram as a way to grow an even bigger audience tend to use Reels as their primary form of content. Not being able to get the same insights that you would on a traditional post especially made it hard when it came to monetization and partnerships. Businesses who were using Instagram Live as a way to connect with their customers ran into similar issues. Not being able to understand how and who they’ve reached with this time invested created blind spots. So finally Instagram decided to change all that.
Do Instagram Reels and Live Insights Matter?
Knowing and understanding your Instagram Reels and Live insights only matters if you want it to. You only have access to these features when you convert to a business or creator profile. Generally speaking if you’re doing that it means you’re using your Instagram for a branding purpose. This could be you’re trying to build your brand as a blogger, fitness professional or an artist. Or maybe you’ve created an Instagram account for your barber shop, bakery or consulting business. In any case if you’re using Instagram for social media marketing, an important part of that is your Instagram insights.
Instagram Reels Insights
Having insights for Instagram Reels is a huge deal for a percentage of Instagram creators. Now Reels have analytics like plays, accounts reached, likes, comments, saves and shares. And like for traditional feed posts, these insights can be accessed from the post itself and your insights tab with the rest of your content.
Instagram Live Insights
Instagram Live users will now be able to access important insights like number of accounts reached, comments, shares and peak concurrent viewers. Just like with Reels, these insights can be accessed from the post itself and your insights tab with the rest of your content.
3 Tips for Using Instagram Reels and Live Insights in Your Strategy
1. Try Different Broadcasts or Posting Times
Everyone is always trying to nail the best time to post on Instagram, the same goes for Reels. Similar to classic posts your reach improves based on the initial engagement and impressions you get within the first moments of it being published. This is one indicator Instagram looks at in considering your content “interesting”. In social media terms, it what helps your content go viral. Sharing a new Reel when your followers are using Instagram is your best shot at them seeing it ASAP.
And while this is important for Reels, it’s even more important when it comes to broadcasting on Instagram Live. The last thing you want is to put effort into a session, or line up a special guest, only to air to a handful of people. Now you can certainly put effort into promoting your Instagram Live broadcast, but that only works to a certain point. If your scheduling doesn’t align with your audience’s usage habits it’s all for nothing. If you’re planning a long or important Live session, try hosting a few smaller “test” sessions before hand to gauge when you’re audience is most active. From there you can analyze the insights and take them into consideration.
2. Try Different Types of Content
Something that you should be doing with all your insights is to try different types of content with your audience. You might notice that some content performs better when it comes to engagement. Usually this means that the topic or theme is of interest to your followers. And while it might be the combination of hashtags you used that boosted your reach, that only plays a part of it. Even if your content makes it to the top of searches, feeds or the explore page, if it’s not interesting people won’t pay it attention. This means that even if your Reel or post reached a large audience, you missed out reaching an even wider one due to low engagement.
When it comes to your Reels and Live content, it’s not a bad idea to test out different types of content. For Instagram Live this can be specific topics of discussion or trying a Q&A session. This is a great way to especially try out ideas you’re turning into a weekly broadcast. Taking the time to go on Instagram Live is obviously an investment in your schedule, so you want to make sure it pays off. Instagram Reels are the same situation. In some cases the content can take you hours to create, only to be a 15 to 30 second piece of content. So understanding what content resonates better with you audience by leveraging your insights is one of the best ways to do that.
3. Try Different Content Lengths
Not every audience has the same attention span. And no matter how great your content is, if it’s too long you might bore people. This is why taking the time to test out different Instagram Reel and Live lengths is a great way to use your insights. Reels are a little easier to do this with. Recently Instagram extended the maximum length to a full minute This means you can try playing around with shorter 15 second clips, or going up to a full minute to see what lengths get more attention. A minute in the world of content can seem like an eternity to some. So just because it’s available to you doesn’t mean you have to use it. It’s never a bad thing if you can relay your idea in a shorter amount of time.
Instagram Live on the other hand can be a little tricky when it comes to length. Instagram allows up to 4 hours maximum per broadcast which is a huge chunk of time. This is great for brands who are looking to broadcast summits or host virtual events. But like we mentioned above attentions spans in the digital world aren’t long. You want to be sure that you test the waters with your own audience when it comes to Live broadcast lengths. The sweet spot for Instagram Live seems to be in the 10 to 15 minute range. So for those looking to broadcast say a skincare tutorial, shopping haul or product launch, we’d recommend you keep it within that time frame. Especially if what you consider what you’re sharing important to your online brand.