Oct 29, 2018

How to troubleshoot your Instagram promotions and make them perform better

Looking at the statistics of Instagram promotions, you can be bombarded with figures and numbers that are hard to translate into meaningful learnings. This article aims to decode those statistics, so you can understand how to change your Instagram promotions to be more effective.

Starting with first sighting of your ad, the end goal we want for the user is either to follow your Instagram, or make a purchase if linking to your website. For this article, we will be using the end goal of following the Instagram page.

After your first Instagram promotion, you should gather and review some statistics. The important ones to take note of are:

  • Reach. The total number of unique viewers who have viewed your promotion.

  • Promotion Clicks. The number of people who have clicked your promotion.

  • Follows. The number of people who have followed after viewing your promotion.

Using these data points, we can compile 2 useful statistics:

  • % of Users captured. Calculated by (Promotion Clicks)/(Reach) and expressed as a percentage. This tells us what percent of users who have seen the ad, then go on to clicking it.

  • % of Users converted. Calculated by (Follows)/(Promotion clicks) and expressed as a percentage. This tells us what percent of users who have clicked into your ad, and then end up following.

If you are using your promotions to funnel viewers to your website for sales, simply change “promotion clicks” for “link clicks”, and “follows” for “sales”, or whatever end goal you have in mind for your website.

To fully understand these statistics, we must also consider the user journey:

First, the users see the ad on their Instagram feed. If they are intrigued by it, they will click the ad to view the profile. When looking at the profile, if they like it, they will then click to follow.

If your ad has a low % of users captured, this means that many users are viewing your ad, but they aren’t clicking into it. The average % for ads should be around 6%-8%. To increase the % of users captured, try to make the visual more appealing, and more awe inspiring. With a more captivating photo, you will get more clicks into the ad.

If your ad has a low % of users converted, this means that users are clicking into your profile after viewing your ad, but not following. This could be for a multitude of reasons:

  1. They clicked the ad thinking you were offering something different from your current content, and therefore did not want to follow. For example, say you are an Instagram page which offers content on car modifications. You place an ad with the image of a tuned-up race car with a bikini model posing next to it. A user may click into your ad thinking that they will see a page with more pictures of the bikini model, but once he enters your profile and notices it is only about cars, he loses interest.

  2. Your profile page was too generic. Much like needing a captivating photo to entice audiences to click into the ad in the first place, if your profile page is too boring, users will lose interest. Try to entice users about other photos they can expect to see in the future.

  3. Your profile’s content is not focused enough. This is the hardest problem to fix. If you have not decided on a solid content offering, your profile page may look like a mess. You want a consistent theme, with images that look similar to each other. Take a look at any professional Instagram page, like @elleusa, and you will find that all the photos have a similar tone and style. In the case of Elle, this would be glamour and model shots of celebrities. When users like one thing, they will love many more of the same thing. Pick one content offering and stick to it.

  4. They didn’t realize it was an ad. This is the most unavoidable reason for a low follower conversion. If they click into the ad when they actually meant to just “like” it, they are most likely not going to follow.

What if my ad has a high % of users captured, but low % of users converted?

The most likely reason for this is a combination of the profile page not being enticing enough and the ad image attracting users with different interest to what you are offering. Going back to the example of the car modifications Instagram with the picture of the bikini model, one may think

“The picture still had a car in it, even if they like the bikini model, they must still be interested in cars at least a little. Besides, I do also occasionally put up a picture with a model in it for the precise reason that it gets good engagement! That’s why I thought it would make a good ad!”

The fix for this is rather simple. Tailor your profile page to the ad that you have currently running. If you are just starting out with promotional campaigns, most likely over 90% of the users that visit your profile page come directly from your ad campaign. It makes sense to tailor the description of your profile page to match the user journey of those coming in from the ad. If they have clicked into your profile through a picture of a bikini model standing next to a car, make sure that your profile page mentions that though this might be a page devoted to tuned cars, there will still be bikini models to come.

Once they have followed, this changes the status quo and now requires effort on their part to unfollow if they think that it is too much car and not enough bikini model for the taste. In the meantime however, you still have gained one follower who likes some aspects of your content.

What if my ad has a low % of users captured, but a high % of users converted?

This means that the users your ad picture is attracting are interested in your overall content, it is just that either the picture of the ad itself is too bland and easily missed, or your target audience is too broad.

Look at the picture of your ad and try to find the aspect of it that is most interesting to the users you did manage to capture. Users only stop to click on an ad when something jumps out at them, when you have a low % of users captured, it is usually because what does grab someone’s attention in the picture is not highlighted , not the focus of the pictures, not bright and colorful enough or being crowded out by a loud background. Find the aspect of the photo that sparks interest and make it the focus of your next ad. If it is more noticeable, more users will stop and click the ad. As a rule of thumb, pictures with large text, heavily photoshopped graphics have lower % users captured. Try to stick to photos with minimal editing and include a human figure in it somewhere.

Another reason is that you have too broad a target audience. Your photo might actually be interesting enough, it is just that it is being shown to all the wrong audiences. Be sure that your age demographics and the interests you chose for your ad’s target audience fit in with your content. You should have at least 5 interests listed in your target audience. Always avoid the Instagram auto-generated audience. It is in Instagram’s best interest for many users to click your ad so that you have a high % of users captured. This is usually the statistic that many use to judge an ad’s effectiveness. As Instagram knows if you are putting out good ads, you are more likely to purchase more ads from them, Instagram will push your ad to users that habitually click ads, regardless of whether it fits your target audience. You are always better off defining your own audience.

When in doubt about creating your ad campaign, always work backwards from the end point of the user journey. Think, “Why would have someone clicked to follow?” Make your profile something that someone would visit and would want to follow. “Why would someone have found my profile interesting?” Make sure that your ad picture is the answer to that question. “Why would someone have clicked on my ad?” Make the spark of interest in your picture the focus. As long as you can clearly follow the user journey from first seeing the ad to following you on Instagram (or sales on your webpage) you will see the performance of your ads improve.

For more social media insights, musings and stories, follow my Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haroldmollison/

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Originally posted on: www.benchwrite.com/blog