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Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories Analytics

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories Analytics

Instagram Stories have become a platform pillar ever since they launched in 2016. These ephemeral photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours provide a casual, authentic look into users' lives.

Instagram Stories represent a valuable opportunity for businesses and influencers to engage with your audience. But how do you know if your Stories strategy is working? That's where Instagram Stories analytics come in.

This complete guide will teach you everything you need to know about measuring the performance of your Instagram Stories. You'll learn:

  • Why Instagram Stories analytics are important
  • How to access key Instagram Stories metrics
  • Metrics to track Stories' performance
  • Best practices for improving your Instagram Stories strategy

Plus, we'll cover extra tips and tools to take your Stories analytics to the next level. Let's dive in!

Why Are Instagram Stories Analytics Important?

Instagram Stories Guide For Marketing

With 400 million daily active Stories users, Instagram's temporary content format has become ubiquitous. And where eyeballs go, brands should follow.

But views alone don't paint a complete picture. You need to analyse your Instagram Stories performance to answer critical questions like:

  • Are my Stories resonating with my audience?
  • When do my followers view Stories?
  • Which types of Stories work best?
  • How can I improve my engagement with Instagram Stories?

Monitoring key metrics and testing different approaches is the only way to optimise your Instagram Stories. The data will show you what content strikes a chord with your audience.

Insights from Stories analytics ultimately help you build stronger relationships and prompt more conversions. But you can only improve what you can measure. So, let's look at how to access Instagram Stories metrics.

How to Access Instagram Stories Analytics

Instagram makes viewing Stories analytics easy. You can check performance right within the app.

To view analytics:

  1. Open the Instagram app and tap your profile picture or icon in the bottom right.
  2. Swipe left to view your Stories tray.
  3. Tap on the Story you want to analyse.
  4. Swipe up on the screen to reveal the Story's analytics.

The metrics you see will depend on whether your account is set to private or public:

  • Public accounts will show reach and impression metrics.
  • Private accounts will show responses from close friends and viewers.
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You can also view Instagram Stories analytics on your desktop. Go to your Instagram profile, click “Stories Archive”, select a Story, and scroll down to “Interactions.”

Now, let's explore the most critical Instagram Stories metrics to track.

Critical Instagram Stories Analytics to Measure

Instagram Stories

When you dive into the brief analytics, you'll likely feel overwhelmed by all the available data. Here are the top 5 Instagram Stories metrics to focus on when gauging performance:

1 – Impressions

Impressions show how many times your Story was viewed. This metric indicates your overall Story reach.

Benchmark: Average impressions depend heavily on your follower count. Micro-influencers with 10k to 50k followers can expect to get 500-5,000 impressions per Story.

2 – Reach

Reach reveals how many unique accounts viewed your Story. This metric gauges whether you're showing your content to new audiences.

Benchmark: Industry averages suggest reaching 10-20% of your followers with each Story.

3 – Replies

Replies count how many users responded to your Story via DM. This engagement metric helps you identify captivating content.

Benchmark: 5+ replies per Story is a solid engagement rate for smaller accounts. Popular creators often see 100+ responses per Story.

4 – Exits

Exits track how many people swiped away from your Story before it ended. This metric indicates poor content resonance.

Benchmark: An exit rate lower than 50% means most viewers watched your entire Story. Higher than 70% suggests your content missed the mark.

5 – Screenshots

The screenshot metric tells you how many users took screenshots of your Story. It's a strong signal of engaging, shareable content.

Benchmark: Just 2-3 screenshots per 100 views is considered successful. 10+ screenshots for 100 views means your content strongly resonated.

Let's dive deeper into these key Instagram Stories metrics and how to analyse them.

How to Measure and Improve Your Instagram Stories Performance

Now that you know the top Instagram Stories analytics to track, let's explore how to implement these metrics. We'll cover what each metric means and how you can use it to create better Stories.

Assessing Reach With Instagram Stories

Your Instagram Stories reach reveals how many unique accounts you expose your content to. This metric benefits growing accounts by showing if you're extending your visibility.

To increase your reach, experiment with:

  • Leveraging hashtags: Add relevant hashtags to your Stories so they appear in hashtag Story feeds.
  • Running polls and questions: Prompts entice viewers to engage, boosting your reach.
  • Posting at optimal times: Schedule Stories when most of your audience is active on Instagram.
  • Collaborating with others: Do co-marketing Stories via mentions, cross-posting, and resharing to tap into new audiences.

Growing your reach expands brand awareness. But high reach alone doesn't guarantee your Stories are captivating. Next, let's look at impressions to gauge overall viewership.

Evaluating Impressions on Instagram Stories

Impressions indicate the total Story views across all users. This metric offers a holistic picture of how often your content was seen.

Low impressions signal that your Stories aren't appearing for enough users. To expand impressions:

  • Post more frequently: Share at least one story daily to stay on top of your mind.
  • Leverage Instagram ads: Use promotions to push your Stories to new audiences.
  • Go Live: Live Stories get a visibility boost, driving more impressions.
  • Share preview images: Intriguing cover images attract more viewers.
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If impressions are high but engagement is low, your content may not resonate. Compare impressions to other metrics like replies and exits to gauge watch time.

Driving Replies With Instagram Stories

Replies offer rich qualitative data to identify your top performing Stories. This metric shows who found your content compelling enough to respond directly.

Stories with lots of replies hit the mark with resonance. Review those Stories and look for patterns you can replicate. Consider:

  • Story type: Was it educational, entertaining, or promotional?
  • Topic: Did the subject matter strongly appeal to your niche?
  • Messaging: What tone and sentiment got responses?
  • CTA: Did you use a compelling call to action prompting replies?

Then, double down on those successful approaches in future Stories. Replies demonstrate what makes your audience tick.

Reducing Exits on Instagram Stories

A high exit rate indicates viewers aren't sticking around to finish your Story. This suggests your content isn't interesting or relevant to audiences.

To reduce exits:

  • Hook viewers fast: Grab attention in the first few seconds with strong visuals or compelling text.
  • Use shorter Stories: Long Stories lead to fatigue. Break up prolonged content into multiple Stories.
  • Avoid hard-selling: Direct promotions often turn off viewers. Focus on value and entertainment instead.
  • Improve pacing: Use varied timing between images and video clips to keep viewers engaged.
  • Ask for feedback: Poll your audience on why they lost interest in improving.

Stories should feel like natural conversations, not lectures. Analysing exits helps you craft Stories that feel more authentic and human.

Driving Screenshots on Instagram Stories

Screenshots indicate your Stories made an impact with saving-worthy content. This is a stellar signal of quality that shows genuine user interest.

To spur more screenshots:

  • Share exclusive info: Give sneak peeks or access others don't have to prompt screenshots.
  • Use inspiring quotes: Uplifting or motivational messages get shared frequently.
  • Include contests: Encourage screenshots for user-generated content contests.
  • Ask for them: Directly prompt your audience to screenshot your content.

Screenshots spread your Stories beyond Instagram through user-sharing. Plus, they indicate what types of content to create more of for your audience.

Advanced Tactics to Take Your Stories Analytics Further

Measure Instagram Story Analytics

We've covered the key Instagram Stories metrics to track and how to analyse them. Now, look at some pro tips and tools to unlock even deeper analytics.

Use Instagram Insights for More In-Depth Analytics

For expanded Stories analytics beyond the app, head to Instagram Insights on the desktop. Insights reveal additional metrics like:

  • Story type performance: Compares interactions on photos vs videos.
  • Traffic sources: Shows where viewers came from, like hashtags or your profile.
  • Age and gender: Provides demographic data on who viewed your Stories.
  • Interaction location: Highlights if viewers interacted while on the Instagram app or off-platform.

Insights empower you to drill down for a comprehensive analysis of what's working. You can even export your Story metrics as a CSV file.

Consider a Social Media Analytics Platform

Third-party analytics platforms like Iconosquare offer advanced Stories analytics and cross-channel reporting. With these tools, you can:

  • Track Stories' performance over time with historical data.
  • Compare Instagram Stories to other social channels.
  • See demographic information beyond age and gender.
  • Analyse Stories engagement across multiple linked accounts.
  • Automate Stories analytics reports.
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The broader view provided by analytics platforms enables better Stories optimisation. Just ensure to choose a secure platform that won't compromise your account.

A/B Test Your Instagram Stories

The best way to validate what works with your audience is to test and experiment. Try A/B testing different versions of your Stories:

  • Post similar Stories with slightly different images, text or captions.
  • Share the same Story at varying times of day.
  • Add a question sticker to one version of a Story.
  • Use polls to ask viewers if they prefer Story A or Story B.

Then, analyse the data to determine which version performed better. Apply those lessons to craft more high-performing Stories.

Ask Your Audience for Direct Story Feedback

Your followers offer an invaluable perspective on your Stories. Proactively ask them for their opinion through:

  • Story questions like “What do you want to see more of?”
  • Quick polls asking if they found a Story helpful, engaging, entertaining, etc.
  • DM or comment requests for suggestions on improving your Stories.
  • Behind-the-scenes Stories showing your creative process and asking for input.

This qualitative feedback helps you determine what your niche responds to best. Get creative with questions to uncover insights your analytics alone can't provide.

5 FAQs About Instagram Stories Analytics

We've covered decent ground when it comes to Instagram Stories analytics. Let's wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions:

How often should I check Instagram Stories analytics?

Check your Story metrics daily to spot trends and make timely adjustments. Schedule regular weekly reviews to take a bigger picture view.

Can I check Instagram Stories analytics for other accounts?

No, you can only view analytics for Stories published from accounts you manage. You can't see performance data for other profiles.

Do Stories analytics change over time?

Yes, Story metrics can fluctuate in the first few days after posting as views accumulate. Re-check performance after 24-48 hours for complete data.

What's an excellent open rate benchmark for Instagram Stories?

The open rate measures how many people opened the Stories tray after your post. Aim for over 50%. Above 70% is excellent.

How do I calculate Instagram Stories' engagement rate?

Engagement rate = (Comments + Shares + Saves + Exits) / Impressions x 100. Benchmark: 3-5% is good, 8%+ is excellent.

Take Your Stories Strategy to the Next Level

Instagram Stories represent an exciting creative opportunity to interact with your audience. However, the ephemeral format requires consistent optimisation. Rely on Instagram Stories analytics to guide your strategy.

Now you have a complete framework to track performance, identify winning content and fine-tune your approach. As you dig into the data, you'll gain clarity on how to craft stories that truly engage your followers.

The result? Your Stories will become must-see viewing for your niche while driving tangible business results. That makes diving into Instagram Stories analytics time very well spent.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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