The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on Instagram in 2020

Making money on Instagram can be tough and no individual or company does it in exactly the same way, but what is the best way?

How to make money on Instagram in 2019

What are the benefits?

One of the more obvious reason would be the money, however there are a variety of other reasons as to why you’d do this; a key one being its’ longevity. Unless you stop posting and engaging with your audience all together, it’s very unlikely that people will stop engaging with it completely. It’s also great because it’s another channel for you to push new products to your consumers!

A key to being on Instagram and using hashtags is that it allows you to inspire organic conversation; word of mouth is undoubtedly by far the best form of advertising, and native social media content is a great way to generate conversation around your brand. Using hashtags will allow you to better target niche’s and sell your product/service directly to the people who’d want to buy it!

How do I do it in 2020?

A fairly common way to make money off of Instagram is brand deals; Influencers will approach a brand (or vice versa depending on the size of their following/engagement and the brand) and they will negotiate the terms by which a promotion takes place!

This process also varies depending on what platform you’re looking at e.g. it’s easier to set loose requirements for a photo than for a live stream/video! Bar this, the underlying theme is that an influencer is being paid to post about something specific, or make content associated with a specific topic!

The amount you can ask for is usually dictated by the level of engagement you have, so as long as you can keep this us and your following is growing, you’re on to a winner!

Another way this can be done is through affiliate links; these are where a brand will give an influencer/influential account a code/link where people can get a reduction in price for goods. This is great for both the account and the Business as it will drive sales, but also when chosen accurately, heightens the influencers’ standing in their niche.

Company side, a slightly less direct approach but nevertheless successful, is just to drive engagement, this’ll bring attention to your brand and as we stated previously, it’ll drive word of mouth promotion.

The secret way to generate engagement

You can use hashtags in a variety of ways in the processes mentioned above; you can use them to analyze what your ideal customer is talking about/engaging with online. There are a few ways by which you can do this; one being going on the most popular hashtag relevant to you which you can find in feed or in the explore page, and then look at the top 9 posts and make note of the hashtags on those posts, and then do that for each hashtag you come across until you’re satisfied you have enough!

You can also make your own hashtags to help you understand how people are reacting to a product/campaign, and can help to measure ROI depending on the purpose of the campaign! As with anything in Marketing, calculating ROI is nothing more than an estimation, albeit a calculated one, but more so with influencer as it’s still a relatively new form of communicating with consumers! But with the right tools, there’s no reason why your brand can’t run a successful influencer campaign using hashtags!

So i think it’s safe to say we’ve established that hashtags are a handy tool when marketing a brand, but it’s important to establish which one’s best match your target audience!

How do I find out what they are?

We narrowed it down to 3 methods. We will be exploring the two current methods for hashtag research before introducing our time saving solution.

Method 1 – Competitor analysis

This is by far the most time consuming hashtag research method. Go through your direct competitors and establish what hashtags they use. You should evaluate which posts you’re analyzing have the highest level of engagement, and look at the hashtags for the posts where the engagement may not be as high; are they the same/different?

Engagement is really important when looking at all this content because although reach is important as is audience it’s important to make sure people are interacting with it and it’s also a good metric for calculating ROI. Once you’ve done this, click on those hashtags and review the top 9 posts for the hashtag. Look at who likes the photos; are these people your current audience? Are they the people you want to be targeting? If the answer is yes then you have found a good hashtag for you to use. Repeat this process over until you have a large library of hashtags you can refer to for your different posts.

Method review:
Time: 2/10
Results: 6/10
Scalability: 3/10

Method 2 – The staircase strategy

Another method when going through which hashtags to choose, is to use the “staircase strategy”. Start by picking 10 hashtags that have a lower average amount of likes then you do, and then 10 hashtags that have a similar amount of engagement to you on their top performing posts. Finally pick 10 hashtags that have much higher engagement than you on their top performing posts.

This method works by making you easily rank on the smaller hashtags. This sends positive signals about your post to the Instagram algorithm. Often, you will “Climb the staircase” and soon rank on the medium sized hashtags before eventually climbing that final step and ranking on the hashtags that have a much higher engagement than you on their top performing posts.

Method review:
Time: 6/10
Results: 4-7/10 (depending on how relevant the hashtags you choose are)
Scalability: 6/10

How we do our hashtags research?

We initially where using a mixture of the two methods developed above. This problem was that it was too time consuming and although we could make educated guesses, we never truly knew wether or not we were reaching our target audience.

We hired data scientists to develop a hashtag research tool that outputs the most relevant hashtags for your posts by analyzing:

  1. What hashtags are often used together in top performing posts
  2. What hashtags share the same audience and engagers

On top of that, we wanted to be able to filter the searches so we could still apply the stair case method. When searching we are able to filter by size of hashtags and average engagement on their top posts.

Method review
Time: 10/10
Results: 8/10
Scalability: 9/10

Conclusion

Instagram can without a doubt be a very lucrative channel of making money online. What you need to focus on first is on the strategy that you are going to employ in order to kick off your Instagram business. Then it’s time to put in the work and time to build the audience and reach the levels of engagement that will ultimately earn you a living, by doing what you want – being on Instagram!

A 11 Step-Guide to Running a Successful Instagram Contest

Instagram is one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms out there today — with more than 800 million monthly active users. Compared to just two years ago, that’s more than double their active user growth.

But what’s better than a massive user base is that Instagram has higher engagement rates and overall, less competition compared to other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Running an Instagram contest is a great way to increase your follower account and brand awareness.

Step 1: Consider Goals and Objectives

As tempting as it may be to get a contest idea and run with it, if you want it to be truly successful, you must take time to plan, which means thinking about goals and objectives. Your contest should align with business goals, and fall in line with audience interest and behaviors. The most common Instagram contest goals are growing brand presence and awareness, and increasing your follower count and engagement.

Planning your goals ahead of time ensures you’ll be able to measure how successful the contest was, so you can make adjustments for the next one. In this stage, you’ll determine the metrics you’ll track, and how often you’ll track them – which generally depends on how long you decide to run the contest. Some metrics you may wish to track include:

  • Number of entrants and comments
  • Follower count
  • Engagement levels
  • Website/Landing page traffic
  • Number of purchases
  • Number of mail list signups
  • Feedback – both positive and negative

No matter what your goal, having specifics in mind makes it easier for you to determine how well your contest worked to help you reach the goal.

Step 2: Choosing the Type of Contest You’ll Run

Instagram easily facilitates multiple types of contests, and it’s easy to combine elements from multiple types to create your own. All that really matters is you keep the barrier to entry low because if people have to do too much to enter, they just won’t. That is unless the prize is huge and they perceive the work they have to do to enter worth it.

  • Like contests: Post a picture of your product on Instagram and invite users to like an share the photo. When it closes, choose a winner at random and notify the winner by email. Send the winner free product. Combine this with follows to increase both follower count and engagement.
  • Comment contests: Ask your followers to comment on one your brand’s photos for a chance at winning the prize. You can also vary this one by asking them to answer a question, and choose the best answer to win the prize. This is a good one if getting feedback is one of the goals.
  • Photo challenge contests: This one helps you get user-generated content to use all throughout your social media and marketing. Ask your followers to post a photo with your products and your hashtag on their personal profile. This can also be a selfies contest.
  • Tag-a-Friend contests: Ask your followers to tag one of their friends in the comments of one of your brand photos for a chance to win a prize.
  • Reposting contests: This one helps with brand awareness and increase reach because you ask your followers to repost your Instagram photo on their personal profiles.
  • Voting contests: Let your followers vote on their favorite photos and get a free product or a gift that’s related to the photo contest.

Step 3: Entry Methods

Depending on the contest type, the entry methods may vary. Simply following your account or commenting on a post could be an entry, but you could give participants additional ways to enter, such as joining your email list, re-gramming your post to their followers, or tagging a friend.

Step 4: Deciding Contest Rules and Duration

When it comes to running any contest, but especially those on Instagram and other social media platforms, it’s critical to ensure you have clearly defined contest rules. Plus, you need to know how long the contest will run, so everyone has a fair chance of winning.

It’s entirely up to you how long the contest runs, but the longer it runs, the more effective it will be. Ideally, you should run it at least a week. But, if you want to run several shorter ones, or always keep one running, you can do that, too. Whatever you choose, all that really matters is that everything is clear to your audience.

Step 5: Creating a Unique Hashtag

You want to create a unique (branded) hashtag so you can track entries. If you use something too generic that others are likely to use, then those posts will get mixed in and could mess up your entry counts and analytics as you try to measure the success of the contest. You want the hashtag to be easy to remember and avoid complex or difficult spelling. Keep the hashtag applicable to your brand, services, or products.

Step 6: Selecting a Prize

For best results, choose a prize that your ideal customer would want. This way, you work toward building targeted followers – not just any followers. The more effort the contest requires, the bigger the prize should be. Options include:

  • Gift cards
  • Coupons
  • Giveaways
  • Free services
  • Goodie bags

Step 7: Deciding the Theme

If there’s a theme around the contest, it will be easier to market. Remember, the people participating in the contest are working for you – and if you’re asking them to post content you can use in your marketing, then it helps if they know what kind of content to post.

For best results, choose a theme that aligns with your market, products, or services. Launch a contest around events, holidays, or seasons that align with your band.

Step 8: Determine How Winners Will Be Chosen

Will you use a random number generator? Will the followers vote on the best entries? Will a special team of people you choose on your staff determine the winner? However it happens is fine, just make sure you’re clear when you’re creating the rules and promoting the contest.

Step 9: Promote the Heck Out of It

You won’t get participation in the contest if people don’t know about it. Promote the contest before it starts, when it starts, and periodically while it’s running so people know what’s going on. You may want to consider using paid advertising to promote it if your audience is fairly small at the beginning.

Write a blog post about the contest. Talk about it on your other social media channels. Post it on your Instagram Story. If you have an email list, send out a message to those people to let them know you’re running the promotion.

Step 10: Monitor Submissions and Participation Level

Keep track of all the submissions to make sure they’re following along with the rules. Track participation to see if you need to continue promoting it, or if others are doing a good job promoting it for you.

Step 11: Follow Up, Rinse, and Repeat

Follow up with the winner to make sure they receive your prize. Announce the winner and thank everyone for their participation in the contest. Take a look at the contest entries and all the other metrics you choose to track and compare everything to what it was before the contest started to determine how successful it was. When you’re ready, launch another contest and repeat the entire process again.

Instagram’s promotion guidelines are fairly broad so you have more freedom to get creative with your contests and its guidelines. To improve your chances of success, get creative with the types of contests you use so you always keep your audience guessing. Make sure you’re offering the right prize and using targeted hashtags so you’re building the best possible audience for your brand.

Want to Be an Instagram Influencer? Here’s What You Need to Know

Influencers on Instagram are users with a particular niche and, generally, a large audience. These individuals are popular because they offer unique content and they connect with their Instagram followers. They’re also making big money because brands are taking notice.

Companies want to work with these social media rock stars in order to get their products in front of influencer audiences. If you want to be an Instagram influencer, here’s what you need to know.

1. Pick a niche.

In order to succeed as an influencer, you have to have growth and stand out. After all, there are around a billion monthly users on the platform. The best way to get noticed and to maintain sustainability is to choose a niche you’re passionate about and post on that topic almost exclusively. A niche is a specialized area of interest, and it should be specific. For example, fashion is a popular topic.

However, it’s a bit broad. It would be easy to get lost in a sea of fashion posts. On the other hand, maybe you’re a passionate advocate for body positivity. It might make sense for you to specialize in plus size fashion.

You can take that niche even further by focusing that niche on sexy plus size fashion. You might post about outfits for going out on date night or for on vacation. Whatever you choose, be sure it’s something you love. That way, you won’t get tired of posting on that topic.

2. Let your personality shine.

Because social media is all about building relationships, you want to find your tribe. Getting people to follow and engage with you depends on them liking you. People want to see authenticity.

They’ll know if you’re faking it. Influencers often work with brands. By not consistently showing your true self, you risk being viewed as a shill who promotes items only to make money.

On the other hand, if you regularly make posts that demonstrate your true nature and show your vulnerability, your audience will be more apt to believe you when you share great products with them.

In addition, being authentic allows you to stand out from the crowd. No two people are alike. Audiences get bored with the same old thing, so take risks. Share your expertise and what makes you different.

3. Create a signature look.

As an influencer, you’re essentially selling yourself. You are the product. Therefore, you are your own brand. Branding is an important concept in business. By sharing your passion and expertise in exchange for sponsorship and other monetization methods, you are a business. Your brand is what people think of when they hear your name.

So take the time to craft your message and aesthetic prior to launching your Instagram feed if you haven’t done so already. Decide what type of vibe you want to give your visitors. Think of some adjectives that describe your brand and consider ways to convey that message. For instance, if you want to be seen as fun and daring, it might make sense to use bright, jeweled toned colors.

Someone going for a sophisticated tone might choose black and white photography with graphic accents of gold or silver. You can also incorporate filters to brighten or subdue your photography. Stick with the same filter for every image you post in order to maintain a cohesive aesthetic. Branding for Instagram can be an extensive process, but it’s definitely worth it.

4. Make sure your posts look professional.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer, but you won’t go far as an Instagram influencer if your photos don’t look sharp and beautiful. Don’t worry. You can do this yourself.

Lots of people do. It’s also possible to hire a pro if you have the budget. However, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of tutorials online with advice on how to take professional looking photos. In fact, you can do it with just your smartphone.

You simply have to learn some photography basics and follow those rules to get started. As mentioned in the last point, there are photography editing apps to help you polish the end result with filters, cropping and other tools.

5. Post regularly.

An influencer needs to cultivate a fairly sizable and engaged audience. As you develop your following, they will expect to hear from you on a regular basis. Posting regularly is actually an important part of building that audience in the first place.

Instagram’s algorithm favors those who post frequently, and you’ll soon see your content begin to rise to the top of the feed for more people to see. A good rule of thumb is to post at least once a day, shooting for seven times a week or more.

6. Get social.

Yes, Instagram is a social media app. You have to be social if you want to build a dedicated audience to influence. That means answering every question that comes your way through DM and replying to your comments regularly. There are lots of ways to invite engagement. Post polls in your Instagram Stories.

Give a shout out by sharing someone else’s content and tagging them to be sure to give them credit. There are plenty of opportunities to create engagement. It just takes some creativity and an outgoing nature.

You also need to put yourself out there and engage on the accounts of others. This doesn’t have to be scary, though. Think of it as having a conversation. In order to build relationships, you must talk to people. Reach out to users in your niche.

Don’t be afraid to approach some of your favorite companies, either. Even as a new influencer, it’s smart to get on the radar of brands you’d like to work with in the future.

There are tons more advanced tips to help you become an Instagram influencer, but these should give you a good start as you begin to research the ins and outs of the platform. Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

10 Tips for Photographers on Instagram

Instagram is one of the best social networks for photographers because it’s visual and you’ve already got the skill and knowhow to take wonderful photos. If you want to use it to promote your photography business – regardless of which niche you serve – follow these 10 tips.

1. Use a real camera.

You’ll be able to get better quality images this way, and then you can edit them according to your preference and needs, then save that version for upload to Instagram. Business profiles can add new
photos from a computer or mobile phone.

2. Experiment with various editing techniques.

Try different editing techniques with your original photo to see what you like best. You can even post multiple versions of the photo and ask your audience to tell you which one they like best so you know what to use again in the future.

In addition to experimenting with your editing techniques, you can use a variety of different Instagram filters to change the appearance of your photo.

3. Share a story with each of the photos.

Tell your followers something about each one of the photos. Describe the shoot and what led you to take the photos. Share details of the venue, the couple/family in the photo, etc. Use hashtags where appropriate – more on that later.

4. Don’t treat Instagram as your portfolio.

It’s not where you should post all your photos – you should use it as a platform to drive traffic back to your website. Instead, use it to show your latest work or as a daily journal. You can add it quickly to your Instagram while you work on uploading the entire project to your portfolio.

Use it to post images you wouldn’t normally put in your portfolio, such as a single photo, rather than a series of work. Use Instagram as business card, and give people your Instagram handle if you ever find yourself out and about without cards, or without cards while you wait on another round to be delivered.

5. Use hashtags strategically.

Whatever you do, avoid hashtag mistakes, such as using banned hashtags or using ones that aren’t relevant to your brand or niche. Depending on what kind of photos you take, there are specific hashtags you should consider using to help people find your work.

For instance, wedding photographers can use: #weddingphotography #weddingphotographer #weddingphoto #weddingday #weddingmoments #weddingceremony #weddingstyle #weddingfashion #bridalfashion #weddinginspirations #weddingdetails #weddingideas #weddinginspo #weddingrings
#weddingblog #weddingblogger #weddingplanning #loveauthentic #junebugweddings

#destinationweddingphotographer (if of course, you shoot destination weddings!) #bridalphotographer
#couplesphotography #engagementphotos #engagmentphotography #engagementsession #bridebook

Landscape shots can use: #landscapephotography #landscapelover #landscape_captures #landscapes #landscape_photography #pixel_ig #landscape_hunter #landscape_lovers #landscapecaptures
#landscapestyles_gf #landscape_specialist #landscapeporn #getlost #landscapephotomag #ig_landscape #trapping_tones #ig_masterpiece #ig_podium #splendid_earth #gramslayers #agameoftones #optoutside #discoverearth #exploretheglobe #nakedplanet #places_wow #earthfocus #ourplanetdaily #earthofficial #natgeo #nationalgeographic #awesome_earthpix

Portraits can use: #portraits #portrait #portraits_ig #pixel_ig #portraiture #expofilm3k #portrait_perfection
#portraitstyles_gf #snowisblack #portraits_universe #featurepalette #bleachmyfilm #portraitmood #featurepalette #rsa_portraits #makeportraits #profile_vision #top_portraits #life_portraits #postthepeople #quietthechaos #2instagood #way2ill #justgoshoot #artofvisuals #l0tsabraids #ftwotw #igPodium_portraits #ftmedd

There are even hashtags specifically for black and white photos and general photography, too. No matter what you’re photographing, there are hashtags you can use to target the right kind of followers – all just a quick search away.

6. Show behind the scenes.

Beyond showing your killer photos – give your followers a glimpse into the life of a photographer. Have someone take photos of you while you’re working on a shoot, so you can show people what goes into planning the photos you take.

Share screenshots of your editing process, that you can use as sneak peeks before uploading a full project to your portfolio. Encourage people to visit your portfolio to see the rest of the shoot.

7. Test your post timing.

Posting content at various times of day will affect how your audience sees and responds to it. You want to post your content at a time when most of your audience is online to engage with it so the Instagram algorithm picks it up as popular.

This way it will have a better shot at landing on the explore tab where you can get a bunch of new followers. Once you know the time that works best for your audience, schedule all future posts around that time.

8. Engage with your followers.

Take the time to respond to their comments when they say something on one of your photos. Check out some your followers profiles and like their photos and leave comments.

When they see you as an active participant in the community, they will be more likely to continue engaging with you, and even recommend your account to their friends and followers.

9. Follow the KISS Principle.

KISS stands for “Keep it simple, sweetie.” That’s exactly what you want to do with Instagram. Don’t post long descriptions on all your images because people won’t read them. Use Instagram automation to help foster account growth while you’re working on your photoshoots.

It’ll help you get more followers, while also give you a way to schedule your posts so you can keep content fresh even when you’re so busy with shoots and editing photos you come home and collapse into bed.

10. Don’t forget to have fun.

Instagram is a social network, so you should be social with it. Have fun with your followers and the shots you post. If it’s all work and no play, you likely won’t see the return on investment you’re hoping for.

Treat Instagram as a community where you can meet new friends and promote your work. You’ll get real feedback that you can use to make yourself a better photographer, and you may even find that you land
a few new gigs, too.

Top 5 Tips for Instagram Automation Growth

It is well known that when it comes to Instagram marketing strategies, automation is by far one of the best options to grow an audience organically. This is what makes Instagram such a powerful marketing tool when used properly. Here are 5 tips to maximize your growth when using automation.

Choose photos wisely.

Use photos that reflect your product, service or business This means limiting your posts to photos of products, promos, sales and discount info, BTS posts, or shout-outs to loyal or celebrity customers. Be creative with what and how you post, but keep it all things business. If you are an avid IG user, it is best to keep a separate personal account where you can make unrelated posts.

Use the right Instagram automation platform.

Needless to say that choosing the right Instagram automation platform is what will ultimately set you up for success when it comes to follower growth. That’s the reason why we’ve developed SocialCaptain into the smartest automation solution on the market. You can start your free 3-day trial and start getting followers from day 1!

Post on a schedule.

Regular activity on your feed is the secret to having a loyal following as you are building your brand. People easily lose interest with inactivity. Avoid having a stale gallery by updating your feed once or twice every week.

Engage, engage, engage

Make sure you have time to engage with likes and comments on your posts. Follow and like back, and reply to comments. It is also helpful to structure each post to encourage engagement. For example, ask questions, take a poll, or ask your audience to share similar experiences These can help you generate activity for every post you put out there. 

Keep it light and breezy.

Posts should be positive images put your product in the best light. Photos that are positive and light tend to get more likes and followers and are essential for creating a gallery that offers a positive, light and breezy influence.

Make hashtags your friend.

The one thing to remember with hashtags is that they must be relevant. Think of what people would type if they were looking for your photo, or what comes to mind when one is looking at the photo. Add these tags to brand or product-specific hashtags to make it easier for people to find your account. A great tip would be to include the hashtag in the description itself to increase visibility. We recommend using a tool like Keyhole to identify hashtags within your target audience.

Instagram is a useful and incredibly effective tool for any business. Whether you are a creative with your own small business or a local mom-and-pop enterprise looking to update your marketing with a new and modern twist, Instagram can be that vehicle. Take full advantage over this medium starting with the tips above.

I Analyzed 250 Instagram Accounts — Here’s What I Found

400 million people use Instagram Stories every day.

Let that sink in.

The entire population of the United States (plus some) is logging into the ‘gram and tapping on Stories from their friends, celebrities AND businesses.

It’s a golden opportunity to attract your ideal customer and start making sales.

And it won’t cost you a cent.

(Unlike on Facebook, where your reach is limited to the size of your pockets. Yeah, Instagram is the real MVP.)

instagram stories elise darma analytics insights pin.png

Instagram Stories is one of the best ways to grow your account, engage your followers and boost your business’s bottom line.

But before you can start making it rain with dolla’ dolla’ bills, you need a solid Instagram Stories strategy.

Not sure where to start? The answer lies in your analytics.

I know numbers aren’t the most exciting part of Instagram, but reviewing your efforts will pay off.

By carving out time each week to drill down into your performance, you’ll have a clear idea of what’s working and what has to go.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram Stories analytics so you can craft a winning strategy.

Where to Find Your Instagram Stories Analytics

If you want to tap into the power of Instagram Stories analytics, you’ll need to switch to a business account.

I know there are a lot of rumors out there that doing so will hurt your reach, but there is no actual proof that this happens.

And Instagram confirmed that there is zero impact on biz accounts.

If you’re still concerned, here are two questions to ask yourself:

  1. Would you rather suffer a slight drop in engagement (worst case scenario) and in return, receive juicy details on your audience that can skyrocket your growth and sales?
  2. Or would you prefer to keep using guesswork when it comes to understanding what your followers really want?

Once you’ve made the switch, you’ll be able to find your Instagram Stories analytics in two places.

1. THE INSIGHTS BUTTON

Go to your profile page and tap on the Insights button at the top right corner. Tap on the Content tab, and you’ll see data for your Instagram Stories from the past 14 days and data on your regular Instagram posts from the last year.

instagram analytics stories insights elise darma.png

2. INSIDE YOUR STORIES

If you want a more in-depth look at what makes your audience tick, open up a story before it vanishes and swipe up for its insights. It’s here where you’ll find the Instagram Stories analytics that will help shape your strategy.

Pro tip: Did you miss checking out your Story’s insights before it vanished? No worries!

Tap on the Archive button (located in the upper-left corner of your profile page) and view all your saved Stories.

Swipe up on any one of your saved Stories to see its data.

instagram analytics stories insights elise darma swipe up.png

What Do Your Instagram Stories Analytics Mean?

Have you ever opened up your Google Analytics account for your website and felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of information available?

Luckily, Instagram isn’t as complicated, but that doesn’t mean their analytics lack a punch.

Here’s a quick rundown on what the metrics mean and how you can use them to your advantage.

IMPRESSIONS

Impressions are the total number of views for that particular story.

Had great impressions on my Stories while I was in L.A… perhaps it’s time to consider a move? (Y’know – for the sake of my Instagram Stories and business, of course.)

This metric will tell you if someone has watched your Instagram Story multiple times.

It’s a good indicator to see if your audience is finding your content valuable and engaging.

REACH

Reach is the number of unique accounts that have viewed each story. This data tells you how many individuals are watching each piece of content you upload.

If your reach is declining, it’s a sign that you need to rethink your content strategy.

Take a look at what you enjoy watching on Stories, do some competitor research and try new things to keep your audience engaged.

Here are some engaging story ideas that you can try:

  1. Experiment. Play around with different apps that ~beautify~ your Instagram Stories. (My faves: Canva and Unfold!)
  2. Use the features available at your fingertips. Luckily for you, I’ve written a guide on the best Instagram Stories features that can drive traffic and increase your sales!
  3. Create high-quality video content. Instead of just uploading footage from the app or your phone, invest time into shooting and editing your videos. You might find that your audience prefers more cinematic content, and it could give you a competitive edge.

TAPS FORWARD

Taps forward are the number of times someone has tapped right to view your next story.

This metric can mean that users skipped to the next piece of media or finished reading/watching the story before the time was up (typically 15 seconds).

TAPS BACKWARD

Taps backward are the number of times someone has tapped left to rewatch your previous story.

This metric gives you an excellent idea of what content your audience finds useful.

If you notice a post has a lot of taps back, this is a great sign to keep this type of content in the mix.

NEXT STORY & EXITS

Next Story is the number of times users tapped to view the next account’s story.

Exits, on the other hand, are the number of times someone swiped out of your story.

sticker taps instagram elise darma analytics insights taps back next exits.png

If a viewer is speed-tapping through your content, and hopping to the next account in their queue, it means they are not that engaged with your content.

It can indicate that you might need to reassess what you post or how long your Stories should be to capture a user’s attention.

Similarly, exits can mean your audience is bored with your content.

But it can also be that users may have run out of time to watch all of your Stories, or they have swiped up on a clickable link (yay!).

Use these two metrics to fine-tune your content strategy.

By keeping a close eye on your exits and next story taps, you can weed out your underperforming content, improve your engagement rate and turn casual tappers into paying customers.

How to Calculate Your Instagram Stories Engagement Rate

There are no likes, comments or saves on Instagram Story analytics.

But you can use interactions like swipe ups, replies, and sticker taps to calculate your engagement rate.

SWIPE UPS

“Swipe ups” are the reason everyone wants to hit 10K followers on Instagram.

Why?

Because it’s the only place other than your bio or in the description of an IGTV video where you can add a link.

But the “swipe up” feature is only available to Instagram business profiles who have hit that 10K follower milestone.

If you’re struggling to unlock the swipe up feature, I’ve written a foolproof guide to help your account grow to that coveted 10K followers. I go through my top Instagram strategies that have helped me and my InstaGrowth Boss students increase engagement, followers, and land paying clients (hello, sweet revenue).

Once you have the swipe up feature, your Instagram Stories analytics will track the number of times someone has swiped up on a story. This metric is a great way to see what content is the best for driving traffic to your website.

If you’re curious to see what everyone’s clicking over to, it was this blog post!

REPLIES

Instagram is all about creating a community.

If you want to build a successful one, you need to have conversations with your audience.

By posting Stories that encourage people to tap that reply button and send you a message, you’ll boost your overall engagement.

This Instagram Story featured me *totally casually* showing off my piano skills, and I ended up getting a few DMs from people who were surprised and loved the mini concert I put on. 🎹

Make sure you keep track of what kind of content encourages your audience to reach out to you.

It’s a powerful way to find out more about their problems, how your products or services can help them, and to form a community that appreciates how much you care.

STICKER TAPS

A sticker is a location tag, a hashtag or a tag mentioning another Instagram account.

In your Instagram Stories analytics, you will see the number of times users tapped on the stickers you used.

It’s a quick way to see how good you are at directing your audience to take action.

All these sticker taps actually led to @contentsupply booking in new clients! This ‘proof of return’ is perfect for anyone wanting to build up their IG cred as an influencer.

For example, if a brand pays you to mention them in an Insta Story, you can see how effective you are at driving traffic to their page. You can then use this data to show potential clients or brands the kind of results they can expect if they choose to work with you.

How to Boost Your Discoverability on Instagram Stories

Your Instagram Stories aren’t just for your current followers. When done right, you can use the feature to attract new people to your account.

The best way to boost your Story discoverability is to use the hashtag and location stickers.

Yes, these are very attractive screengrabs from my Stories, I know.

➡️ When you add a location to your Story or use a hashtag, other users will find it if they search for it.

➡️ When someone watches your Story from one of these sources, you’ll be able to see how many views you got in your analytics.

It’s an easy way to reach new users with your content and once you’ve got their attention, turn them into new followers.

Spend time on Instagram’s explore page and see which popular hashtags you can use in your Stories. Or simply add in your general location to your next Story (“Toronto, ON” location tag versus the exact cafe you’re working from at this moment).

It’s also a good idea to take advantage of any “timely” trends.

For example: if a huge football match is taking place and you can create relevant content around it, add the hashtag to your Instagram Story – and you’ll get a boost in traffic.

How to Fine-Tune Your Instagram Stories Strategy

Woohoo! You made it through Instagram Story Analytics 101!

Now that you have a better understanding of what all the metrics mean, you can start working on your strategy.

I want you to open up a blank spreadsheet and start tracking your data over the next week. Keep a lookout for any trends, experiment with different content, and assess your performance.

  • Did your reach go up?
  • How many people sent you a private DM message?
  • What type of content kept your audience most engaged?

Once you’ve analyzed your content, start tweaking it and set benchmarks for yourself.

As the weeks go on, your Instagram Stories strategy will grow, and you’ll have a better understanding of what makes your followers tap, swipe, and chat.


Let’s Increase Your Business Revenue Through Instagram

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When was the last time you earned money from uploading a picture to Instagram?

If the answer is never, I have three secret strategies that will help you find followers AND paying customers.

Sign up for my free Instagram masterclass, where I teach how to gain 1,000 new and engaged followers in just 30 days!

Yes… it’s totally possible.

Check out the results that @moms_stash achieved *just* by watching this free masterclass:

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