Do you want to make better Instagram reels? Wondering how Reels analytics and metrics can show you what's working?
In this article, you’ll learn how to use Instagram Reels Insights to improve your Reels content.
Where to Find Instagram Reels Insights
If you usually create social media reports on desktop, you might be tempted to rely on the Instagram analytics available in Meta’s browser-based tools. But you won’t find any Instagram Reels Insights in Business Suite (at least as of September 2022)—and the short-form video analytics in Creator Suite and the desktop version of Instagram are pretty basic.
If you go to your Instagram profile in a desktop browser, you can select the Reels tab and scroll through your content. You can see views on the Reels tab, which can help you find popular reels quickly. You can also tally likes and comments by selecting individual reels. But you won’t be able to access additional details about your reels.
Creator Studio doesn’t offer much more. In Creator Studio, you can go to your Instagram profile and navigate to the Posts tab in the content library. There’s no separate Reels tab but the platform does include all of your short-form content on the Video tab. For reels, you can see likes and comments but no other metrics.
To access more in-depth metrics with a native Meta tool, you have to use the Instagram app. You can find account-level analytics by tapping the Insights button on your Instagram profile. For content-level analytics, open any Instagram reel, tap the three dots, and select View Insights in the Reels menu.
How to Generate Actionable Instagram Reels Insights
Now that you’ve found your Instagram Reels analytics, what can you do with this data? Let’s walk through how to interpret these insights and how to use them to guide your short-form video strategy.
#1: Find Account-Level Instagram Reels Metrics
To see an account overview, tap the Insights button below your Instagram bio. The app automatically displays metrics for the previous 7 days, including a quick comparison to the week before.
This data is great for getting a read on your account at a glance. It shows you whether account performance has been consistent from week to week, and it alerts you to any dramatic spikes or dips.
Review Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Instagram Reels Metrics
The default 7-day overview is helpful for spotting trends and problems before they skew your data for the whole month. For example, reach is pretty consistent from week to week in the account below but Instagram engagement dropped a bit, which warrants a closer look.
If you can find patterns and identify what makes your top-performing reels stand out, you might be able to replicate your success. Yet results can vary a lot from reel to reel, with some racking up hundreds of thousands of views and others getting just a few hundred.
So it’s important not to overanalyze weekly comparisons, especially if your team only publishes a couple of reels per week. Below, we’ll walk through how to see the bigger picture with Instagram’s 30- or 90-day analytics and we’ll also cover how to process insights from individual reels.
You can access an individual reel’s metrics by scrolling down to the Content You Shared section and tapping on any reel.
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To review quarterly or monthly metrics, tap the Last 7 Days drop-down menu in the upper-left corner and choose one of the other preset timeframes like Previous Month. Note that you can set custom timeframes but you won’t be able to see a comparison to the prior period.
Analyze Instagram Reels Reach
No matter which timeframe you want to review, you can tap Accounts Reached on the Overview screen to access reach metrics. Scroll down to see how many followers vs. non-followers your content reached.
Ideally, your reels will connect with both types of users. By reaching followers, you can engage people who are aware of your brand and may already be customers. By reaching non-followers, you can expand brand awareness even further.
Then scroll down to review reach by content type and zero in on your reels metrics. How do your followers vs. non-followers metrics compare for reels? There’s no magic ratio. Instead, pay attention to whether your reels reach more newcomers to your account or more people who already know your brand. Then use your insights to shape the content you create.
If your reels are reaching a lot of people who aren’t familiar with your brand yet, it’s often helpful to focus on top-of-funnel content. That means you may want to create more reels that entertain Instagram users or that introduce your products and services.
To see which reels reached the most people, scroll down to the Top Reels section of the reach overview. Here, you can see up to five top reels in order of reach. To see reach for all reels, tap to expand the panel.
Look for patterns among the reels with the highest reach. Questions like these can guide your analysis:
- Do your top-performing reels use a similar design, template, or color scheme?
- Are they the same length and do longer or shorter reels tend to reach more people?
- Do they have a similar approach such as entertaining viewers or sharing behind-the-scenes content?
- Did you publish them at the same time of day?
You can apply what you’ve learned to continue creating reels with great reach. Factor in engagement and follower insights to make sure you check all the boxes.
Evaluate Instagram Reels Engagement
Tap the back arrow to return to the Instagram Insights overview. Then go to Accounts Engaged to review your engagement metrics. On this panel, you’ll see a similar breakdown comparing the number of followers vs. non-followers engaged.
Again, this data is helpful for seeing how successful you’ve been at connecting with people beyond your current followers. But compared to the reach breakdown, the engagement tally is more helpful for measuring higher-level interest in your content.
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For reels-specific engagement, scroll down to the Reels Interactions section. Here you can see the total number of interactions along with a comparison to the prior period, which is helpful for spotting trends.
Did your reels-related engagement increase significantly compared to the previous week? You may be onto something. Take a closer look at the engagement breakdown to see how users have interacted with your reels, from likes and comments to saves and shares.
Then take a look at the Top Reels section to see which content generated the most engagement. Instagram automatically sorts reels by likes but you can open the panel to filter by a different metric.
Use the same workflow as above to analyze your engagement metrics. Look at the top-performing reels first and identify what sets them apart:
- Did you use the same effects or filters?
- Did you include a compelling call to action?
- Did you post at a peak time of day for your audience?
It’s also helpful to review the worst-performing reels to see why they didn’t drive as much engagement. For example:
- Did you neglect to include a hook in the first few seconds?
- Was the description too long for users to read easily?
- Did you leave out the captions?
Check Instagram Followers Activity
Finally, go back to the overview and tap to view follower metrics. Scroll down to the daily chart to look for unusual patterns in follower activity. Note days when your account attracted a lot of new followers or lost a lot of existing followers. You can tap on individual days for a breakdown.
In some cases, follower activity may be from influencer partnerships, industry trends, product launches, or other outside factors. But in other cases, your reels directly drive follows and unfollows. Once you pinpoint the dates with the most follower activity, you can check the content you posted to see if you can identify the source.
#2: Access Content-Level Instagram Reels Metrics
When you’re ready to analyze your best- or worst-performing reels, you can access insights from the Overview tabs or your profile’s Reels tab. Let’s walk through the available metrics.
Assess Instagram Reels Reach and Plays
Reach reflects the number of users who saw your reel in their feed, in the Reels feed, or on the Explore tab. Plays indicates the number of users who watched at least part of your reel. In some cases, these numbers will be pretty close. But if one is much higher than the other, you may be able to draw some interesting insights.
If reach is much higher than plays, there’s a good chance that Instagram displayed your content in the Reels feed but people scrolled away before viewing your video. It may be helpful to review best practices for producing successful reels and rethink the first few frames of your short-form video.
In contrast, if plays are much higher than reach, there’s a good chance users are watching your reels multiple times before scrolling away. See if you can identify what drives the extra views.
For example, your reels may get a lot of plays because they’re entertaining and fun to watch. Or it could be because they’re filled with helpful information users want to absorb or they’re packed with dense dialog that requires multiple views to understand.
Dig Into Instagram Reels Engagement Metrics
As great as reach and plays can be, engagement is usually a better indicator of a successful reel. Reels interactions indicate a higher level of interest in your content and can help you glean much more nuanced insights.
For reels, Instagram displays:
- Likes, which reflect the number of people who expressed a basic interest in your reel
- Comments, which indicate the number of people who felt invested enough to type out their response, drop an emoji, or ask a question
- Saves, which reflect the number of people who opted to bookmark your reel to view or reference later
- Shares, which indicate the number of people who felt invested enough in your reel to send it to a friend or colleague
While any kind of engagement can be a good thing, it’s helpful to focus on the type of interactions that fit best with your marketing goals. For example, if you want to boost brand awareness, identify which of your reels have the most shares. Then you can pinpoint what drove the shares and replicate it for future reels.
You can use the same workflow to drive consideration and other marketing goals. Focus on the reels that result in the most saves, determine what prompted them, and incorporate it into your next consideration-focused content as you create reels.
View Instagram Reels Interactive Elements Results
Interactive stickers are ideal for getting your audience’s opinions and encouraging them to contribute content. But in most cases, you won’t see sticker metrics in the standard Instagram Insights panels. Instead, you can access metrics from individual reels and factor the data into your overall analysis.
For polls, quizzes, and emoji slider stickers, tap the View Results button at the bottom of the reel. Be sure to view the results before they disappear after 48 hours.
For add yours stickers, tap the sticker to view the page and see the total amount of content contributed.
#3: 5 Ways to Use Instagram Reels Insights to Improve Future Reels
After reviewing your account- and content-level Reels Insights, you should have some knowledge of what works for your audience and your goals. Test your ideas when you create new reels and review the results to see if you’re on the right track. Here are a few ideas to try:
Test different templates to find the optimal pacing for your audiences. Go to your Reels feed and find one with a cut sequence that would work well with one of your concepts. Tap to use the template and insert your video content. Find one you like? You can reuse the same template from your own reel at any time.
Use more interactive stickers or mix up the ones you already use. Get your audience to engage by adding poll, quiz, and emoji stickers to your reels. Or start a visual conversation by using the add yours sticker and prompting followers to contribute their own content.
Mix music and original audio. The vast majority of reels have sound, and most viewers watch them with the sound on. But because in-app music options for business accounts are relatively limited, it’s helpful to get creative. Consider sourcing music from third-party apps or creating your own original audio or mixing the two.
Experiment with longer and shorter reels. Entertaining reels may work best as 15- or 30-second clips, but there are plenty of use cases for longer reels. Consider using 90-second reels for in-depth tutorials, behind-the-scenes tours, or conversations with team members.
Find the best times to post reels. Review your top-performing reels and make note of when you published them. Go to your follower insights and find when your audience tends to be most active. Keep an eye out for when other brands in your space typically post. Then test some time slots that fit with these metrics.
No matter which Instagram marketing goals you want to achieve, analyzing Instagram Reels Insights can help you understand past performance and create better content going forward. Avoid getting stuck in a creative rut by continually testing new ideas. After posting reels, review your Instagram Reels Insights frequently to keep your numbers moving in the right direction.
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