Instagram Ads can be a powerful tool for driving business growth. Its 2.35 billion users make it easy for you to reach different audiences, including specific niches.
“But where there is great power, there is great responsibility” – as Winston Churchill said.
To stay profitable and optimize your ad campaigns, you need proper analytics.
In this article, we go over the main Instagram Ads analytics options and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each. We’ll also cover key metrics you should be tracking in order to maximize your results.
Let’s get started!
What are Instagram Ads analytics?
Instagram Ads analytics are data insights used for reporting on your Instagram paid social media campaigns. You can analyze ad performance data on your ad sets, CPC, ad spend, and more.
With this information, you can see which campaign has the best engagement rate or generates the highest return on ad spent. Then, you can easily adjust your social media marketing strategy.
Why should you track Instagram Ads metrics?
For every marketing campaign, tracking analytics is crucial. Otherwise, how would you know whether you are achieving your goals?
The same applies to Instagram marketing campaigns. Here are the top three benefits of tracking your Instagram Ads performance consistently:
- Get an accurate view of how your budget is spent. Every paid campaign can easily go off track and spend your budget without delivering the desired results. Keeping an eye on how the budget is spent across different campaigns can show you which one is worth investing in further.
- Understand the best-performing campaign type. Like tracking budget spend, looking at performance metrics across different Instagram campaigns will help you understand which is driving the best conversion rate. Spot trends in your data and learn what type of content your target audience resonates with. For example, are your video ads performing better than Carousel ads? Analyze Instagram Ads and get these insights so you can optimize your content strategy.
- Optimize campaigns based on real data: Each Instagram ad campaign has specific goals. For example, drive engagement, increase the number of Instagram followers, or generate conversions. As you collect more data, you’ll be able to benchmark what a good CTR or ROAS is for a specific campaign type. By monitoring key metrics while your campaigns are running, you can get an in-depth understanding of what you should be optimizing.
We’ll cover top metrics in a later section. First, let’s go over the best ways of tracking Instagram ad performance.
How to analyze Instagram Ads performance
There are two native ways of checking Instagram Ads performance data.
For a simplified version of analytics, you can check the Instagram insights. You can then use the Facebook Ads Manager (rebranded Meta Ads Manager) for more insights. This is a free tool that lets you set up and analyze Instagram Ads.
If you want to go a step further and analyze ad campaign data across multiple platforms, you can use more customizable solutions in the form of automated reports and dashboards. We’ll cover these in more detail later.
Let’s review the main differences between these two native Instagram Ads analytics tools.
Check Instagram insights
Note: To have access to Instagram Insights, you need a business account or a creator account on Instagram.
Instagram Insights is the quickest way to access data on your ads through your Instagram account. The feature is only available in the mobile app, and it’s unsuitable for analyzing Instagram Ads as a standalone solution.
Since it’s not designed for advanced reporting, we’ll not focus on it too much.
To access Instagram Insights, go to your Instagram profile and click on the profile menu on the top right corner, then click on Insights.
Alternatively, you can click View Insights on the specific post, video, or reel you want to analyze.
This is more of an on-the-go solution that gives you a glance of your ads performance.
For more insights, you should use the second option to analyze Instagram Ads, the native Facebook Ads Manager.
Use Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager (Meta Ads Manager) is the main tool you can access to understand your ad performance. This is an all-in-one tool for setting and analyzing Facebook and Instagram campaigns.
To access Instagram Ads analytics, you need to go to your ads manager and click on Ads Reporting on the left side menu. This will give you an overview of all your campaigns, ad sets, and ads in your account.
If you have campaigns running, you can see them in a list with quick performance data displayed in the main dashboard. This gives you an overview of your settings, like the bid strategy, budget, and attribution, as well as top results and reach.
The same data views apply at the Ad sets and Ads levels, so you can quickly analyze Instagram Ads in one view.
Depending on the ad objective you choose when creating the ad, you’ll have different metrics available. For example, in an engagement ad, your top metrics will be Engagement and Cost per result.
For more ad data insights, you can access standard report breakdowns by clicking on Reports in the top right corner.
This will take you to the custom reporting dashboard where you can personalize pivot tables to show you the data you are interested in:
- Analyze multiple ad accounts across your business and compare results in one single table.
- Create a breakdown of your ad creatives to compare images, videos, and text from different ads to see which performs best.
- See breakdowns of conversion metrics by different demographics, placement, and more.
All custom reports can be saved and exported if you need to share the data with your team.
Is Facebook Ads Manager enough for analyzing Instagram ad metrics?
With all these reports, you might think that the native analytics solution provided by Meta is enough.
If you’re only running a few occasional ads, then the Facebook Ads Manager should be good enough for you. You can manage both Instagram and Facebook Ads inside it.
Keep in mind that there are some delays in updating the data, so you won’t have access to real-time results. As you start scaling and investing more budget into your digital marketing strategy, your paid campaigns will diversify.
Soon, if you’re only using Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll start drowning in ongoing campaigns that must be monitored closely for optimizations.
On top of that, if you’re running campaigns on different channels, your data will be spread across different tools. You might be using Google Analytics to track your Search ads, LinkedIn for brand campaigns, and Facebook Ads Manager for other campaigns.
It’s hard to understand which platform is driving the best results when you don’t have all your data in one place. With these limitations, it is no wonder that most performance marketers opt for dedicated analytics and reporting tools to create custom dashboards.
In the next section, we’ll go over these options.
Instagram analytics tools for better reporting
Using marketing and automation tools outside of Facebook Ads Manager will give you better insights into how your Instagram Ads are performing. For example, using a tool like AdEspresso by Hootsuite will unlock more custom analytics dashboards. You will be able to both create and analyze your Google, Facebook, and Instagram campaigns in one place.
The downside is that as you grow, so does your monthly price. The starter plan includes tracking ad campaigns up to $1,000 monthly spend, which can be very limited.
An alternative solution to analyze Instagram Ads is to use a custom Looker Studio Social Media Management Dashboard. You can start with a PPC dashboard template or build one from scratch for multi-channel reports.
Let’s see how you can use a tool like Coupler.io to automate all the hard work and easily track Instagram Ads analytics with a custom Looker Studio dashboard.
Coupler.io for automated Instagram Ads analytics dashboards
Coupler.io can help you automate your cross-channel ad reporting, including Instagram Ads. It is an automation platform that allows you to collect data from 70+ sources, including several ad platforms, making it a widely used platform by marketing professionals. Once you’ve collected your data, you can use Coupler.io to transfer it to a Google Sheet, Excel, BigQuery, or data visualization tools like Looker Studio or Power BI.
The main advantage of using Coupler.io is that you can set up automatic data refreshes. When this is on, you can rest assured that your reports are continuously being updated automatically. Coupler.io is a marketer-friendly tool. You don’t need to understand coding to use it.
As an example, let’s look over how you can easily transfer your Instagram Ads data to Looker Studio for in-depth analytics.
To get started, sign up for Coupler.io (14 free trial available, no card needed).
Next, use the Importer and select Instagram Ads as the data source and Looker Studio as the destination.
You will have to connect your Instagram account then your data will be exported automatically.
Before sending the data to Looker Studio, you can combine and transform data from other platforms too. This step is optional, but if you want to understand how your campaign is performing on Instagram vs. Facebook, this can help.
You can combine data from two or multiple sources and then filter, sort, and rearrange columns for each.
Once you are happy with your data, the last step is to connect your Looker Studio account. This is an easy process, just follow the quick setup wizard.
You’re all set. The whole process can be completed in a few minutes.
Creating all the graphs and visualization in Looker Studio can take a bit longer, but you can skip this step and get started with a template. Check our Coupler.io free dashboard template for PPC reporting and get started in minutes.
Important Instagram Ads KPIs to track campaign performance
We’ve covered different ways to track your Instagram Ads analytics and create insightful and actionable reports.
To avoid getting lost in a sea of data, let’s review the key metrics you should be tracking to properly analyze Instagram Ads.
Impressions measure how often your Instagram Ads are displayed in front of a user. Instagram Impressions directly correlate with your audience size and budget. With a larger ad spent, your impressions will be higher as the algorithm will deliver the ad more often to try to reach the ad objective. Same for your audience size.
The only thing to remember is that if one user sees your ad multiple times, it will count as an impression every time.
This leads us to “reach”, which is a similar metric to impressions.
Reach measures the unique number of users your ads have been displayed to. In other words, how many unique users have your campaigns reached?
Reach and impressions are often confused as they are quite similar. Here’s a quick way to understand the difference:
If you see one ad five times, that would be counted as five impressions, while reach would be one.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate, CTR for short, is a metric that counts the percentage of users that clicked on your ad after seeing it.
CTR is a good indicator of how well your message resonated with your targeted audience. A high CTR means your ad was highly relevant for the people it reached, or a compelling element made them check out your offer.
Following Instagram Ads best practices will help you maximize your CTR and, ultimately, conversions.
To calculate CTR, divide the total number of clicks by impressions.
Cost per click (CPC)
The cost per click, CPC for short, is a metric that measures how much you have to pay for a click. The lower your CPC is, the better.
A high CPC means that not enough people are clicking on your ad for several reasons. These could be that you are targeting the wrong audience, your visuals need more work, or your offer is not attractive enough.
To calculate the cost per click, divide the total cost of your Instagram Ads by the number of clicks.
Cost per mile (CPM)
Similar to CPC, the CPM metric measures the cost per 1,000 impressions.
When setting up Instagram Ads, depending on your objective, you can choose to pay either per click (CPC) or based on the number of impressions (CPM).
When you are trying to generate awareness of your brand or drive video views, this option can be beneficial as you are not looking to drive specific conversions on your website. The downside of using CPM is that the Instagram algorithm will optimize displaying your ads in order to maximize your goal. In the case of awareness, you might end up generating a lot of impressions for the same users and paying for it.
To calculate CPM in Instagram, divide the spend by impressions, then multiply the result by 1000.
Custom conversion is an important metric that tracks the number of people who converted after engaging with your Instagram ad.
There can be different types of conversions based on your ad objective. While you might have different campaigns running in parallel, each will focus on one specific conversion goal using a clear call to action.
You can track people who converted to customers on your website, the number of leads generated, e-book downloads, app installs, etc.
Cost per conversion
Cost per conversion measures how much you have to pay for one conversion generated by your Instagram Ad.
The lower the number, the better. You will always want to look at optimizing your campaigns in order to minimize this cost.
To calculate cost per conversion, divide your total Instagram ad spent by the number of conversions they generated.
Return on ad spend (ROAS)
The ROAS metric measures the return on investment for your Instagram Ads. In other words, it tells you how profitable your campaigns are in a specific timeframe.
To calculate ROAS, divide the total revenue your campaigns have generated by the total ad spend that led to conversions.
A positive ROAS means that your Instagram Ads are successful in generating more revenue than what they cost.
If your ROAS is negative, this means you should look at your Instagram Ads analytics and tweak them as they are costing you more money than they are generating for your business.
Getting started with Instagram analytics
As we’ve seen above, there are several metrics you should be tracking when running Instagram ad campaigns and different ways to monitor them.
If you have just started dipping your feet into the world of paid advertising, using native tools like Facebook Ads Manager is a good solution for tracking your ad performance.
However, professional PPC managers and marketers who need to track several campaigns and closely monitor their metrics should use a tool for automating reporting. Coupler.io helps you to get started with this. You can build automated reports using real-time data from different sources, not just Instagram. This makes it really easy to get a 360 view of how your money is spent and act on data to maximize your ROAS.
Streamline your data analytics & reporting with Coupler.io!
Coupler.io is an all-in-one data analytics and automation platform designed to close the gap between getting data and using its full potential. Gather, transform, understand, and act on data to make better decisions and drive your business forward!
- Save hours of your time on data analytics by integrating business applications with data warehouses, data visualization tools, or spreadsheets. Enjoy 200+ available integrations!
- Preview, transform, and filter your data before sending it to the destination. Get excited about how easy data analytics can be.
- Access data that is always up to date by enabling refreshing data on a schedule as often as every 15 minutes.
- Visualize your data by loading it to BI tools or exporting it directly to Looker Studio. Making data-driven decisions has never been easier.
- Easily track and improve your business metrics by creating live dashboards on your own or with the help of our experts.
Try Coupler.io today at no cost with a 14-day free trial (no credit card required), and join 700,000+ happy users to accelerate growth with data-driven decisions.Start 14-day free trial