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The Data-Driven Marketer's Guide to Instagram


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A one stop guide for brands, publishers, and retailers to all 12 metrics you should track to be successful on Instagram.

See case studies on how to measure your own content, understand your audience, see how your brand story is being told, and measure your marketing ROI.

Featuring Vanity Fair, NARS, Glossier, Revolve and many other top brands.

Published in: Marketing, Social Media, Business
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The Data-Driven Marketer's Guide to Instagram

  1. T H E D ATA - D R I V E N M A R K E T E R ’ S O N E S T O P G U I D E T O I N S TA G R A M insta: @blairbadge
  2. If you are a brand, retailer, or publisher, Instagram should be on the top of your priority list.
  3. insta: @madewell It is your key channel for building awareness with highly engaged customers ..
  4. .. and for driving sales. insta: @masterdynamic
  5. Yes, look and feel matter to your audience.
  6. But the smartest marketers know that DATA is the key to success.
  7. Beautiful, fucking data.
  8. insta: @edgyellis But there’s a massive problem with marketing on Instagram. The data sucks, and this makes data-driven marketers grumpy.
  9. insta: @collagevintage What Do Marketers Need? • Deep insights on content performance • Audience insights • Owned and organic reach metrics • Full visibility into all fan content • Brand influencer insights • ROI of influencer marketing • ROI of owned content • To chill, and trust the data
  10. Your Content Engagement rate Owned reach Theme performance Previously, it was impossible to efficiently measure the most important things you need to know to be successful. Your Audience Growth rate Engagement rate Key influencers Your Brand Story See all tagged content Most influential content Earned / organic reach Marketing ROI Influencer ROI Native ad ROI Audience conversion
  11. You need robust, reliable data to let you understand your own content, fan content, and audience engagement. NBD. We got you.
  12. At Dash Hudson, we go deep on Instagram data. 1B photos analyzed daily 80% of all interactions END TO END insights
  13. A N D P R O U D LY H E L P R A D C O M P A N I E S L I K E T H I S T O G R O W
  14. Here are the 4 areas (and 12 metrics) that the smartest Instagram marketers focus on.
  15. Focus Area #1: Your Content Performance
  16. M E T R I C # 1 Engagement Rate insta: @lacoste
  17. W H Y ? Engagement rate (likes and comments divided by total followers) is a KPI for brands. It ensures that the content you create resonates with your audience. It also lets you track, overall, how your audience reacts as you grow.
  18. E X A M P L E : L A C O S T E Lacoste invests in creating original content that speaks directly to its audience. Engagement rate is a KPI that is tracked for every photo to ensure the brand is hitting its mark. They crush it.
  19. M E T R I C # 2 Owned Reach insta: @glossier
  20. W H Y ? Owned reach (the number of followers who see your content) lets you monitor how many people have the opportunity to engage with your content over time.
  21. E X A M P L E : G L O S S I E R Glossier knows that Instagram is a key channel for communicating its brand story. Glossier uses Dash Hudson to monitor how many fans it is reaching through its content, and track how that relates to engagement over time.
  22. M E T R I C # 3 Campaign/Theme Performance insta: @cntraveler
  23. W H Y ? You want to track how your campaigns (ex: holiday content) and content themes (ex. dogs vs cats) perform so you can optimize and improve. Track the performance of groups of photos.
  24. E X A M P L E : C O N D E N A S T T R AV E L E R Conde Nast Traveler has a dynamic approach to content, using a combination of editorialized destination content, and traveler take-overs. Understanding how these ‘campaigns’ perform is incredibly important.
  25. S U M M A R Y O F F O C U S A R E A # 1 : O W N E D C O N T E N T • Track the performance of your owned content like your life depends on it. • Engagement rate is a KPI. Monitor this closely over time as it is the ‘heartbeat’ of your brand story. • Owned reach lets you track how many people are seeing your content, and getting the opportunity to engage. • Campaign and theme performance monitoring gives you the insights to see what is truly resonating and driving engagement and growth.
  26. Focus Area #2: Your Audience
  27. M E T R I C # 1 Growth Rate insta: @narsissist
  28. W H Y ? Audience growth rate (how many followers you are adding relative to your base) is a KPI you should track. It ensures that, as you grow, you continue to add new followers at a substantive pace. Compare against strategy changes to measure results.
  29. E X A M P L E : N A R S NARS is a high end beauty brand with a sophisticated Instagram presence. They combine a high weekly growth rate (1.95%) with a large audience (2.3m). The best brands keep this rate up, even as they head into the millions of followers.
  30. insta: @urbanoutfitters M E T R I C # 2 Average Engagement Rate
  31. W H Y ? Average engagement rate (likes plus comments divided by follower base, over time) allows you to track the health of your audience. Remember, engagement is the ultimate heartbeat of your brand.
  32. E X A M P L E : U R B A N O U T F I T T E R S Urban Outfitters pretty much crushes it on Instagram. They have killer UGC (more to come on that) and an amazingly engaged audience, at a 2.70% average rate of engagement. Boom.
  33. M E T R I C # 3 Key Followers insta: @vanityfair
  34. W H Y ? You want to understand how influential your audience is, and who your key followers and brand fans are. Finding them is tough, but Dash Hudson tells you who you need to know.
  35. E X A M P L E : VA N I T Y F A I R Vanity Fair is one of the world’s premier publications, and has an affluent audience to match. For publications, this is important knowledge for advertisers. Dash Hudson surfaces your most influential followers, and shows you who is engaging with the brand through mentions.
  36. S U M M A R Y O F F O C U S A R E A # 2 : Y O U R A U D I E N C E • Treat your audience like precious, precious gold. • The growth rate of your audience is a KPI. The best brands keep a growth rate of above 1.5%, even as they grow into the millions. • Your average engagement rate lets you track the health of your audience over time. Keep close tabs. Anything above 2% is stellar. • Your key followers and brand influencers are critical to how potential customers perceive you, to growing your reach, and your audience. Know them.
  37. Focus Area #3: Your Brand Story
  38. M E T R I C # 1 All Tagged Content (# and photos) insta: @negin_mirsalehi
  39. W H Y ? You need to see the impact of every piece of content featuring your brand, be it a photo tag, comment mention, or hashtag. Only Dash Hudson surfaces all of this content, bringing you the most important images featuring your brand.
  40. E X A M P L E : R E V O LV E Revolve wanted to see ALL of the most influential content in which they had been featured, and relied on Dash Hudson to surface all photo tags, comment mentions, and key hashtag content. Just look at all that goodness.
  41. insta: @victoriajustice M E T R I C # 2 Most Influential Content
  42. W H Y ? Great content, as we know, is king. By finding out which fan content is most influential (by reach), you can gauge what is important to your audience, and leverage that content to drive further growth.
  43. E X A M P L E : R E B E C C A M I N K O F F Rebecca Minkoff opened her new store in LA in October. They wanted to know the total reach of the opening event, and which content was most influential on the night. Victoria Justice stole the show, and the total reach was over 13.5m.
  44. M E T R I C # 3 Earned / Organic Reach insta: @victoriassecret
  45. W H Y ? Organic (or earned) reach is critical to brand awareness and audience growth on Instagram. Organic reach is the number of people who see content featuring your brand. It’s a KPI, friends.
  46. E X A M P L E : V I C T O R I A’ S S E C R E T Victoria’s Secret. No introduction necessary. Each year, the brand hosts its iconic fashion show which has become a global cultural event. They hit 233m organic impressions on Instagram on the night of the show. Silky smooth.
  47. S U M M A R Y O F F O C U S A R E A # 3 : Y O U R B R A N D S T O R Y • Success lies in letting your fans tell your brand story. • Surfacing all of your user content (photo tags, comment mentions, hashtags) is hard, but you need to know this to truly understand story and reach. • Your influential fans are the ones that lead the charge, setting the tone for how your story is told. Get to know them well. • Organic (or earned) reach is a KPI. It is what drives awareness and the growth of your audience on Instagram. Watch it closely.
  48. Focus Area #4: Instagram Marketing ROI
  49. M E T R I C # 1 Influencer ROI insta: @classisinternal
  50. W H Y ? Smart marketers invest in influencers (ambassadors, gifting, paid posts) to help tell the brand story. The goal is to stay organic, but you need to measure reach, engagement, and the number of new followers your account acquires as a result of these relationships.
  51. E X A M P L E : O N I A Onia does influencer marketing right. On their recent activation in Vietnam, they worked with some high profile influencers, including Sonya Esman. Her posts had crazy engagement, and she sent almost 100 new followers to Onia.
  52. insta: @marieclairemag M E T R I C # 2 Native Ad ROI
  53. W H Y ? Publishing is now distributed, and authoritative content creators have the ability to sell branded content on their Instagram feeds. Dash Hudson lets you track how branded content creates value for your advertiser (engagement, new followers, page views).
  54. E X A M P L E : M A R I E C L A I R E Marie Claire was all over the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. Here is an example of a post where Marie Claire tagged VS in a post on its feed. The post on Dec 8 reached over 400k fans, had an engagement rate of 0.83% and sent the VS account 46 new followers.
  55. M E T R I C # 3 Audience Conversion to Page Views insta: @nicolemillernyc
  56. W H Y ? Your Instagram followers want to dive deeper into your brand world. Maybe it’s to view content on your site, or check out one of your products. You need the ability to convert your Insta audience to page views, and track the impact (CTR, time on site, conversion).
  57. E X A M P L E : B O N A P P E T I T Publishers use Dash Hudson’s LikeShop technology to bring their Instagram audiences deeper into their brand world, and grow organic traffic. This post by Bon Appetit resulted in over 1,500 organic page views. We would show you the rest of the data but then we would need to kill you.
  58. S U M M A R Y O F F O C U S A R E A # 4 : M A R K E T I N G R O I • Measuring Insta ROI is rough. But do it. • You’re probably working with influencers and ambassadors. If you aren’t measuring more than CPM, you’re doing it wrong. • If you’re a publisher, there’s a huge opportunity to extend branded content to Instagram. Make it happen, make dollars. Measure the value for your advertisers. • Your followers want to dive deeper into your brand world. Give them the opportunity, track results.
  59. Your Content Engagement rate Owned reach Theme performance Use this as a guide to ensure you are measuring the right things. Your Audience Growth rate Engagement rate Key influencers Your Brand Story See all tagged content Most influential content Earned / organic reach Marketing ROI Influencer ROI Native ad ROI Audience conversion
  60. You can do it. Yes, it’s a science. The smartest marketers know that powerful insights combined with beautiful content drives incredible results.
  61. W E W O U L D B E H A P P Y T O S H A R E S O M E F R E E I N S I G H T S O N Y O U R B R A N D ’ S I N S TA G R A M A C C O U N T. T H AT ’ S H O W W E R O L L . Just email with the subject line INSIGHTS.
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