Digital Dash: Instagram gets Analytics & more

1. Move over Instagram Insights, here comes Instagram Analytics

Anyone who’s serious about social media knows the importance of measuring, monitoring and analysing performance metrics.

Put simply, the more data you can get your hands on, the better. Well, provided you have the time and knowhow to go through it all.

Up until now, Instagram has only provided Insights: pretty limited stats on things like posts, Stories and engagement.

Facebook has Insights too – a much more comprehensive version actually – and also offers Analytics, which is where most advanced advertisers like to spend a good chunk of their time.

Analytics allows businesses to get a deeper understanding of where and how people interact, across devices and channels, and in relation to overall business performance.

And Facebook is currently beta testing adding Instagram to the party.

This will give you access to a much broader range of insights and some really useful tools including funnels, segments and omni-channel groups.

Photo: Facebook

You will be able to find out things like whether people who interact with Instagram posts have higher retention rates or lifetime value.

But it’s not just Instagram getting an upgrade – Facebook is also beta testing Advanced Analytics for pages, which will give a broader view of the impact of your Page by including even more valuable events.


2. More pins for your ad, Pinterest launches carousel format

While the announcement of a new ad unit always gets our attention, it’s always more exciting when you know you could use it right away.

Case in point: Pinterest’s new Promoted Carousels, announced late last week.

Just like Facebook and Instagram’s versions, these new ad units let users swipe through a series of images.

Aside from giving users an easier way to enjoy more content, this is great news from a business perspective. The ability to include multiple images means you can create a more immersive experience.

It essentially ads more points of interest for the potential customer, making it more likely they’ll connect with the brand/product.

You can include up to 5 images in your Promoted Carousel, and it’s available under both brand awareness and performance objectives.

Each card in the carousel has its own image, title, description and URL fields. You can view the pin and landing page by tapping on any of the images.


3. Instagram is testing a “Boost Post” equivalent for Stories

I’ve got mixed feelings about this one.

I’ll get to the reasons why in a second, but first let’s take a closer look at the headlines.

Instagram has been spotted testing a “Promote” button within Stories, which allows you to quickly turn a story into an ad.

As you can see in screenshots shared by Tech Crunch’s Matt Navarra, the new option appears among “Send to…” and “Story Settings” in the standard menu.

When tapped it lets you choose where to direct users to and specify who you want to see your ads.

Essentially, this is the Instagram Stories version of Facebook’s “Boost Post” button. And that leads nicely back to my mixed feelings comment.

Here at SMSW, we spend a good proportion of our time warning people to never use that dreaded “Boost Post” button. The main reasons being these:

  1. Facebook automatically creates a new campaign in Ads Manager for every post you boost from the front end. This not only completely messes up your carefully curated sales-funnel set-up (you have that, right? If not, call us right now please) but it also makes analysing and reporting a nightmare.
  2. Targeting options are super limited – you can do the basics but not much more. No custom audiences, no lookalike audiences, no behavioural data etc.

Now, I’m not 100% sure that we’re going to have the same issues with the Promote button for Stories. And those who aren’t interesting/investing in advanced advertising might not even care either way.

But what we do know is that the new option is designed to give businesses a quick and easy way to get their Stories seen by more people. Which does, unfortunately, suggest it’s fast but less sophisticated.

The longer-winded (but far better!) way of doing things is, of course, to go through Ads Manager.


4. Heard it here first: Amazon tests search data retargeting

If you read Digital Dash often, you’ll know that from time to time I talk about the huge (and largely unexplored) potential Amazon has to disrupt the digital ad industry.

With a goldmine of purchase/genuine intent data to tap into, the opportunities for advertisers are powerful and endless.

And this week brings exciting news – or more accurately an exciting rumour courtesy of Ad Exchanger: Amazon is reportedly testing a new option that would let you use Amazon search queries to retarget across the web.

Only available through Amazon’s demand side platform (DSP), the new program would mark the first time the retail giant’s search-based retargeting is used off-platform.

We’ll bring you an update on this when more info comes to light.


5. Guess what? You can share IGTV videos to Stories now

Well, we’re not short of Instagram updates this week are we?!

Having already covered Analytics integration and the Promote button for Stories, here’s your third IG-related news bite.

IGTV is Instagram’s new baby – a home for longer-form, higher-quality video content. And now, users watching and enjoying your IGTV content have a great new way to share it with all their followers: Stories.

It’s super easy to do. People watching a video can simply tap on the paper airplane at the bottom of the screen and select the “Add video to your story” option.

Here’s a quick run-through of the new feature from Instagram… via Twitter…

When the story is published, friends see a preview and can tap to be redirected to IGTV and watch the video in full.

This is all great news for brands investing in IGTV. Instagram Stories is such an insanely popular domain, and bound to drive tons of traffic to the platform’s latest project.