Instagram Stories: 16 Killer Tips to Stand Out in 2019

Instagram Stories: 16 killer tips to stand out in 2019

Want to learn how to make Instagram Stories part of your marketing strategy?

In this guide, we’ll give you 16 highly actionable tips for making Instagram Stories that will boost your business.

We’ve found tons of great examples of businesses producing great stories, and we’ve boiled them down into simple tips.

We’ll also cover how to measure the impact of your stories using social media monitoring tools and Instagram Analytics.

Let’s get started.

Jump Links:

How to use Instagram Stories
Why should you use Instagram Stories
Use hashtags
Use emojis and stickers
Use polling and questions stickers
Repost UGC (user generated content)
Use branded fonts and color
Keep it simple
Post a combination of photos and videos
Mix of sound/no-sound
Tell a story by linking post together
Use highlights to your advantages
Go behind the scene
Be authentic
Be engaging right away
Swipe Up
Collaborate with Influencers
Promote Your Stories
3 ways to track Instagram Stories
Instagram Insights
Facebook and Instagram Creator studio
Third Party Instagram Analytics tool
Conclusion

How to Use Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are full-screen vertical photos or videos with a maximum length of 15 seconds.

Instead of appearing in the main feed, stories appear as tappable circles at the top of the home screen, with a pink and orange circle outlining new stories.

Instagram story feed

Tapping a user’s story will play all of their active stories in chronological order, from oldest to newest. You can tap the right or left edge of a story to quickly cycle through them.

The biggest difference between an Instagram story and a typical post is how long it appears for—lasting for only 24 hours at a time (making them extra tempting to watch!).

There are also no likes or public comments on a story. Reactions appear as private messages.

Instagram story private message

Instagram introduced insta-stories in August 2016, later adding live stories in November 2016.

Why Should You Use Instagram Stories?

If you’re a digital marketer, you may be asking yourself why you would choose to use an Instagram story over an evergreen post that may have a better chance at making a lasting impact.

But the data shows that users are flocking to stories.

On top of that, many businesses are yet to start using stories to their advantage, presenting a big opportunity for those willing to jump on board.

Here are some stats that should convince you to hop on the bandwagon:

Instagram story statistics
  • 1 in 3 of the most-viewed stories are from businesses
  • 15-25% of Instagram story watches result in an interaction (Source: Various)

Convinced you should pay attention? We are!

Let’s jump into actionable tips for how to use them.

16 Tips for Using Instagram Stories

Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your business’s Instagram stories:

1. Use hashtags

Just like a typical Instagram post, you can use hashtags in your Instagram stories. 

By using hashtags in your stories, users will be able to click through to see other content used on that hashtag. This is a great way to bring stories into your hashtag marketing strategy.

Using hashtags in your story also lets your audience know which hashtags they can use to participate in the discussion, which drives more user generated content (more on that later).

Example: For their Pride campaign, Starbucks shared stories of LGBTQ activists, and then asked their followers to share their own stories using the #ExtraShotOfPride branded hashtag.

Starbucks instagram story hashtags

2. Use emojis and stickers

Emojis and stickers are a fun way to brighten up your Instagram stories and increase engagement. 

They’re a quick and easy way to show off your brand’s personality.

Pro tip: Did you know you can even create custom GIFs to use as stickers? If your brand is big enough, you can apply for Giphy Brand Channel, which allows you to create branded GIFs and stickers for anyone to use.

Example: In addition to creating stunning video campaigns, Airbnb uses emojis when they need to break up text-based calls to action.

AirBnb instagram story emojis and stickers

3. Use polling & questions sticker

Who can resist giving their opinion?

By adding polling or question stickers to your story, you’re opening the door to instant engagement.

Allbirds q&a  sticker instagram stories

Polls and questions also allow for quick market research—giving you direct answers from your customers in seconds.

Example: Shoe brand Allbirds uses their stories to let their customers ask questions they have about their shoes.

Allbirds polling instagram stories

4. Repost UGC (User Generated Content) 

The most efficient way to create content for your business is to have your customers do it for you.

By using calls to action like “Caption this,” “What’s your favorite…” or “Share your…” your followers won’t be able to resist responding. Then, you can repost that content on your account.

Glossiers UGC instagram stories

You can also repost or shout out mentions of your brand or people who use your hashtag.

When your audience knows there’s the chance that they’ll receive a shout out in your story, they’re way more likely to want to mention your brand in the future.

Example: The beauty brand Glossier does roundups of the best UGC of the week.

Glosiers UGC instagram stories

5. Use branded fonts & colors

Every story is a branding opportunity.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to build brand awareness by using your own fonts, colors, and logo.

If the default fonts don’t cut it, there are plenty of apps out there that let you easily brand your posts. Over is a great option.

Example: For many of their stories, Disney uses their own iconic fonts that their audience already recognizes.

Branded fonts and color use in Disney's Instagram stories

6. Or just keep it simple

Sometimes, a photo and text is enough. Don’t avoid posting Instagram stories just because it’s more time consuming to add custom imagery.

Simple instagram stories

Even if you’re tight for time, the important thing is to post stories consistently, letting your audience know you’ll always be a reliable source for content.

Example: Beardbrand often promotes its products with simple photos and text, showing the products in a real life context.

Beardbrand instagram stories

7. Post a combination of photos and videos

Experiment with your content!

While videos typically result in more engagement, by posting a variety of photos and videos, you’ll be able to keep your audience on their toes.

Posting different types of content also lets you test out which types of posts get the most engagement with your specific audience.

Example: To promote their clothing, Forever21 posts a combination of photos, videos, polls, graphics, and more. Sometimes all 4 in the same post.

8. Mix of sound/no sound

According to Likeable, 60% of Instagram story video posts are played with the sound on

And with the rising popularity of TikTok, people have proven that they love to watch videos with the sound on.

So—when putting video stories together, you should experiment with a mix of videos with or without sound.

And if you do use sound, consider using a “Sound On” sticker.

Example: To show off their supporters singing after a big win, Liverpool FC made sure to use the “Sound On” sticker.

9. Tell a story by linking posts together

Don’t feel the need to keep your stories isolated to single 15-second vignettes.

You can record videos longer than 15 seconds and they will automatically be split into several stories.

Or, use a string of stories to string a narrative together. We recommend making a single thread no longer than 7 stories, as people’s attention will start to drop off.

Example: National Geographic Channel will use strings of videos together to promote their TV shows.

10. Use Highlights to your advantage

Instagram stories may only last for 24 hours, but did you know you can pin stories to the top of your account profile?

Highlights are a useful way to preview the type of content you post on your account or to showcase your best stories.

Brands can use these Highlights to showcase their top products, upcoming events, or show off their top influencers.

Example: Realtor.com starts their Highlights with their iconic red imagery as an extra branding opportunity.

realtordotcom instagram story highlights

11. Go behind the scenes

Another easy way to generate engaging content is to give your audience a look “behind the scenes.”

Many brands use their Instagram stories to show people content that they won’t be able to find elsewhere.

That could be a quick, candid interview, a quick shot of your office, or a live-on-location video during an event.

Example: To promote their show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, HGTV posted a bunch of behind-the-scenes footage on their Instagram stories and with their hashtag #HGTVExtreme.

#HGTVExtreme instagram stories

12. Be authentic

Most importantly: be authentic.

Audiences on social media now demand relatable content with everyday people. Put real employees in front of the camera, and be your authentic selves.

Your people are what will sell your brand.

Example: In addition to clips of his TV appearances, celebrity doctor Doctor Mike posts fun videos showcasing his personality. For example, reacting to a surgery performed on the fictional TV show Grey’s Anatomy.

13. Be engaging. Right away.

Instagram users will only spend 1-2 seconds watching a story before deciding to tap on to the next one.

Don’t bury the lede. Make sure your video is engaging right from the first two seconds. 

And if you’re talking to the camera, look straight into the lens. Just like in real life, eye contact is the best way to engage people.

Example: In their ad for Doggo Ramps, Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund starts with an adorable closeup shot of Crusoe instead of leading with their ad copy (that comes at the end of the video).

Doggoramps instagram stories

14. Swipe Up

If you’re lucky enough to have a verified business account, or at least 10,000 followers, you’ll unlock the ability to post “Swipe Up” posts.

In these posts, you can prompt users to swipe up, which will send them to a targeted landing page. 

This can be a link to your blog or website, resulting in instant conversions.

Example: Apple Music promotes music releases by having artists tell you to swipe up to listen to their new songs.

Apple swipe up

15. Collaborate with influencers

Don’t forget to involve your influencers in your Instagram stories.

One popular way to incorporate influencers is to do a 24-hour Instagram takeover, where your collaborator posts “live” videos on your account for a day.

Example: Nike’s highlights showcase all of the top athletes they sponsor.

nike influencer collaboration

Related reading: Influencer Marketing: An Expert Guide On Marketing’s Next Big Thing

16. Promote your stories

If you need more reach on your Instagram stories or are looking to grow your follower base to reach that 10,000 follower threshold, you can also pay for promoted Instagram stories.

These can be set up in the Instagram ad manager, like a typical Instagram ad.

Stories offer more calls to action and engagement opportunities than typical ads, so definitely check them out if you have the budget.

Added Bonus: Use Instagram’s New Story Layouts

Jane Manchun Wong recently discovered that Instagram is about to roll out a new story camera user interface, as well as new Boomerang options.

According to Wong, Instagram will be releasing 6 new camera options and 5 (or potentially 6) new forms of Boomerang.

In the new story mode Instagram is revamping the boomerang to make it more cooler.

Instagram is also bringing layout for stories. Users will have different layout to work with. Users can add pictures from camera roll or by using story camera.

Once it rolls out you can leverage this new story mode and make your story stand out and appealing.

3 Ways to Track Your Instagram Stories

As with any part of your marketing strategy, you’ll of course want to be able to measure the success and ROI of using Instagram stories.

Here are three ways you can access your Instagram story analytics:

1. Instagram Insights

To use Instagram’s native story-tracking features, you’ll need to set up an Instagram for Business account.

Once you’ve set up your business profile, click “Insights” at the top right corner.

Instagram insights

Here, the “Content” tab will give you analytics for both stories and posts, including:

  1. Interaction metrics: Shares, replies, profile visits, or sticker taps
  2. Discovery metrics: Impressions, follows, and navigation (e.g. taps back/forward)

Bonus tip: You can also find how many re-shares you have on a story by tapping the “…” icon on the top right of your story, then tapping “View Story Re-shares.”

2. Instagram & Facebook Creator Studio

If you’re running an account on behalf of a personality or influencer that doesn’t necessarily qualify as a business Instagram has started to roll out Instagram Creator Tools to all accounts.

creator studio

This dashboard gives access to the same Insights as a business profile, but is only accessible to some accounts as of summer 2019.

Related Reading: Instagram Creator Account: Is It Worth The Switch?

3. Third-Party Instagram Analytics Tools

Unfortunately the analytics dashboards offered by the native Instagram app are extremely limited—especially because you can only access 2 weeks of data at once.

With a third-party Instagram analytics tool like Keyhole, you can access more long-term data trends from your Instagram stories.

With Keyhole, you can track impressions, follows, replies, video interactions and more over a 1-month window.

keyhole instagram analytics

And not only can you track your own account, you can track the analytics of your competitors, influencers, or key followers, unlocking key insights that aren’t available through the app.

Related Reading: 7 Important Instagram Analytics You Should Know (2019).

Dominate Instagram Analytics with Keyhole

With these tips and insights, you’re now ready to dominate the Instagram story game.

To get started with Keyhole, begin your free trial today.

The Top 15 Instagram Analytics Tools [+ Metrics that Matter]

Instagram is a huge platform so you definitely need to know how best to engage your target customers on it. And Instagram analytics tools are your best bet when it comes to doing just that.

But there’s a plethora of these tools out there, which becomes a huge problem for many social media marketers — as picking the best Instagram analytics software can be difficult.

Here’s a list that will help you out — 15 Instagram analytics tools and their different features, followed by metrics that may influence your decision: 

Jump Links:

1. Keyhole
2. AgoraPulse
3. Brandwatch
4. Hootsuite
5. Iconosquare
6. Instagram Insights
7. Minter.io
8. Quintly
9. Rival IQ
10. Social Bakers
11. Sproutsocial
12. Squarelovin
13. Synthesio
14. Unmetric
15. Union Metric

1. Keyhole

Keyhole helps you track relevant accounts and generates a visually rich report that shows you how to optimize your instagram marketing for better results.

For instance, it can show you when your users are most active so you can improve your efforts for increased engagement.

Neil Patel describes the tool this way: “This tool (Keyhole) does a lot of things others can’t. And as a bonus, it’s extremely user-friendly.” There are other great features it possesses as well.

It helps you monitor sentiments around your brand and oversee your overall brand health. Plus, you can also track web mentions.

Even more, it lets you track the influencers sharing Instagram posts with certain keywords or hashtags, the sentiments around those posts, the impressions and reach they generate, and even other keywords and hashtags users use alongside your searched terms.

This way, you can spot out the best influencers for your brand and see their engagement rates, reach, etc.

Keyhole_Dashboard_Instagram_August2019

For example, here is the Instagram dashboard generated from Keyhole that the watch brand Audemars Piguet could be tracking.

Price: Starts at $179 USD per month — custom pricing.

2. AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse isn’t just a social media management app, it also shows you Instagram metrics critical for results on the platform.

This tool shows your Instagram marketing results instantly and lets you download it as a report to share with your clients, bosses or team.

Agorapulse_screenshot_july2019

It also helps you measure engagement on your account, showing you changes in the  percentage of specific metrics during a particular time period.

Price: $89 — $459 USD per month

3. Brandwatch

Brandwatch provides you with data on conversations about your brand, competitors and industry.

This tool searches the entire Internet for reviews, comments and articles around your business. It also helps you see, particularly on Instagram, how you stack up against your competitors in terms of the volume of mentions you’re getting compared to theirs.

Brandwatch_screenshot_july2019

With Brandwatch, you can receive email alerts about critical Instagram conversations so you can quickly spring into action when needed.

Price: Contact Brandwatch to discuss a unique plan.

4. Hootsuite

Besides helping you publish Instagram content directly, Hootsuite also let’s you see critical analytics about your market on Instagram.

Hootsuite_screenshot_july2019

Like similar tools, it helps you keep track of your customers, competitor and brand performance on Instagram. You get to see visual reports of what’s working for your business on Instagram and what’s not.

Price: $29 USD per month — custom pricing.

5. Iconosquare

This tool shows you your community growth on Instagram over specific time periods — how far you’ve grown from period A to period B.

Iconosquare_screenshot_july2019


Iconosquare shows you where your Instagram users come from and the languages they use. It also reveals the number of impressions and reach you get from your Instagram posts and stories. Pretty much like most of the other tools, it tells you what works and what doesn’t for your Instagram audience.

Price: $29 per month — custom pricing.

6. Instagram Insights

Like most other social networks, Instagram has provided its own analytics feature.

It tells you in one glance how your stories and pictures perform with your audience and that lets you know what works best on the platform.

Instagram analytics shows you data in three sections: activity, content and audience — telling you the total number of engagements your account has over a specific time period, the posts that performed best and the audience data respectively.

All you need to get access to these analytics is to convert your Instagram account to a business profile.
For Influencers, there is also a new Instagram Creator Account that you should check.

Price: Free.

7. Minter.io

As shown in the image below, Minter.io provides you with Instagram metrics like most of the other tools mentioned in this list.

Minter_screenshot_aug2019

The tool gives you a bird’s-eye view of how your hashtags and keywords are faring on Instagram, the best performing content types, the most engaging photo filters and even the best times to post.

You also get to track how much Instagram traffic is sent to your website and the engagement levels your stories get. You can also export your data in a visually appealing format that allows you to easily keep other stakeholders informed about your Instagram marketing performance.

Price: $99 to $399 USD per year per account

8. Quintly

Quintly offers you an Instagram analytics feature that helps you measure the follower growth of your Instagram account and that of your competitors. This indicates how many unique consumers are finding your brand on the platform, compared to your competitors.

Quintly_screenshot_july2019

The software also provides an Instagram content analysis feature, where you can see which content types perform best so you can always replicate success.

Price: from 300 USD per month.

9. Rival IQ

With Rival IQ, you can run your Instagram competitive analysis in minutes.

You’ll see the speed at which your competitors are gaining followers, how often they post, what their engagement rates look like, and their most engaging Instagram content.

RivalIQ_screenshot_july2019

The tool also alerts you when a main competitor starts spending ad money on a post. Brands mostly boost posts that are already gaining success organically so this feature tells you what content performs great for your fellow industry players.

Price: $199 — $499 USD per month.

10. Socialbakers

Socialbakers helps you monitor and listen to conversations and topics your audience care about. This lets you know which content to create and how best to engage your audience and spike the right actions from them.

SocialBakers_screenshot_july2019

Like many other Instagram analytics tools mentioned here, this tool also helps you identify positive or negative sentiments around the posts on your searched keywords, hashtags or accounts. You can categorize posts by sentiments as well so you always understand where to look and respond to first.

Price: Starts at $200 per month – custom pricing.

11. Sprout Social

Sprout Social provides an Instagram analytics tool that gives you quality insights about your market and audience.

SproutSocial_screenshot_july2019

This tool lets you compare follower and engagement stats between brands on Instagram.

You get unlimited reports and data about specific posts, hashtags, keywords, audience and competitors.

With all this information, you can better create and execute Instagram marketing strategies that really move the needle for your business.

Price: $99 — $249 USD per month. Listening Suite as an Add-on.

12. Squarelovin

Squarelovin is another great Instagram analytics software.

Squarelovin_screenshot_aug2019

The tool lets you track and compare engagement rates, follower numbers and content performance. It also lets you see what times your users respond to images the most with likes and comments.

Price: Free.

13. Synthesio

This tool provides you with social listening and audience insights.

Synthesio_screenshot_aug2019

Synthesio has a robust metadata about the content, author, and tone of mentions in its social listening platform – and can easily be filtered. This means it provides an intelligent platform that analyzes conversations and figures out the sentiments around them.

Price: Contact Synthesio to discuss a unique plan.

14. Unmetric

Much like all the Instagram analytics tools featured in this piece, Unmetric provides you with critical data about your Instagram market.

Unmetric_screenshot_aug2019

It shows you which content performs best in your space, discovers branded content almost as soon as they hit Instagram and helps you benchmark all your data against that of your competitors so you can measure your efforts on Instagram.

Price: Free — $1000 USD per month.

15. Union Metrics

Union Metrics provides you with real-time insights from major social networks including Instagram.

Union Metrics instagram analytics

This tool provides similar analytics like most other Instagram analytics tools — showing you impressions, reach, best performing content, new ideas for content and more.

Price: $49 — $199 USD per month.

Important Instagram Metrics to Measure

Besides pricing and features, you want to ensure the Instagram analytics tool you’re buying or at least trying out measures the metrics you want to measure.

Related Topic: Reach vs Impressions: What’s the difference and why is it important?

Here are basic explanations of some important metrics to measure:

A. Profile Analytics

Follower_growth_instagram_analytics

Follower Growth: The increase in an account’s follower number after deducting unfollower numbers.

Engagement Rate: The total amount of likes, comments and reshares that posts receive, divided by the total number of posts. This rate is restricted to given time periods.

Optimal Post Time: The best time to post depending on which times the highest engagements happened in the past.

Optimal post time Instagram analytics

Optimal Post Filters: The ideal filters to use, typically based on which ones generated the highest engagement rate.

Optimal Hashtags: The best hashtags to use depending on which ones got the highest engagement rates before.

Optimal hashtag instagram analytics

B. Audience Analytics

Sentiment analysis Instagram Analytics

Top Followers: An account’s most followed and engaging followers.

Follower Age: The age ranges an account’s followers fall into.

Follower Gender: The gender ratio an account’s followers make up.

Follower Interests: The interests — ranging from sports to business — an account’s followers have.Follower Location: The geographic locations an account’s followers have listed in their profiles. Depending on the tool, tracked locations can range from country to city-level.

C. Hashtag and Keyword Analytics

Keyhole_Dashboard_Instagram_August2019

Activity Volume: The number of posts, over a given time period, made with a tracked hashtag or keyword.

Impressions: The number of times a post is displayed to users. A user can see a post more than once, meaning he or she can be responsible for many impressions.

Reach: The number of unique people who received impressions of a post.

Engagement: The number of likes and comments a post containing a tracked hashtag or keyword has earned.

Top Users: The Instagrammers who generate the highest reach, impression and engagement numbers per post using a tracked hashtag or keyword.

User Demographics: The gender, location, device use and other characteristics of users posting with a tracked hashtag or keyword.

Related Topic: 7 Important Instagram Analytics You Should Know.

The Final Verdict

It’s important that you pick the tool that not only suits your wallet but also tracks the main metrics you need. Try the tools out before deciding to pay for any of them and make a well-informed decision on the one that’s best for your Instagram marketing strategy.

Reach vs Impression: What’s The Difference and Why Is It Important?

Reach vs. Impressions is a common dilemma causing confusion amongst marketers and social media users alike.

But that’s understandable:

Social media metrics like ‘reach’ and ‘impressions’ have become marketing buzzwords – everyone is talking about them, but not all understand their essence and, quite frankly, a lot of the time, people use these words interchangeably.

So, understanding the basics, or in this case, the difference between reach and impressions is a good starting point towards assessing your campaign success and optimizing your social media strategy.

 Let’s jump right in and take a look at what are the differences between these two basic metrics and what this means for your business.

Jump Links:

Reach vs. Impressions: The Difference
Facebook Reach vs Facebook Impressions
Twitter Reach vs Twitter Impressions
Reach vs Impressions on Instagram
YouTube
Snapchat
Google Analytics
Google Ads
The Role of Reach and Impressions in Marketing Strategy
Calculate Effective Frequency
Avoid Ad Fatigue
What After Reach and Impressions
Last Notes

Reach vs. Impressions: The Difference

The introduction above as well as the heading itself should make it clear to you that ‘impressions’ and ‘reach’ are not the same thing.

So, what’s the difference?

To put it simply, reach shows the number of unique users that were exposed to your content, while impressions show the number of times your content was displayed to these users.

Theoretically, the people that follow you should see each piece of content you publish on social media, right? 

That’s why they became your followers, after all – to stay up to date with what you are posting!

Sadly, that’s not the way things work on social media. 

Social media platforms use complex algorithms to determine which content to show to which users, and as a result, only a fraction of your following is made aware of your activity every time you publish something.

In fact, this fraction is quite small – especially after the algorithm changes and the much talked about decline of organic reach across leading social media platforms in the course of the last couple of years.

Lower overall reach means fewer people seeing your posts, which ultimately leads to a drop in engagement and fewer conversations with potential customers (we’ll talk more about the impact of reach below). 

Thankfully, ‘reach’ is not limited to your followers.

In other words, when a follower engages with your content, this activity will also show up on some of their friends’ feeds or explore page.

So, it is not uncommon to see that from the people reached, some percentage are not your followers (say 20% or 30%, or sometimes even 60%). 

Now, impressions – they’re always higher than reach, as one person can have multiple impressions for a single piece of content.

Let’s say that five unique users saw your post and that each one of them saw it twice. 

That means your reach will be 5, and the impressions 10. 

Yes, it’s that simple!

If you are ever confused about these concepts, just remember that reach is related to users, while impressions show the frequency (times the content was shown).

Let’s explore these terms a bit more into detail relative to the most popular social media platforms …

A Deeper Look Into Social Media Metrics

Depending on the importance each platform puts on each of the social media metrics, some apps will show only general insights into reach and impressions, while others will offer a more detailed summary.

To better understand the reach vs. impressions dynamics, it would be helpful if we discussed how each of the leading platforms defines, calculates and groups these social media metrics…

… which is exactly what we’ll do below.

Facebook Reach Vs. Facebook Impressions

The Facebook Business Ads Help Centre defines reach as “The number of people who saw your adverts at least once.” It further notes that reach is an estimated metric. 

Estimated metrics are those metrics that are hard to quantify – the platform gives an estimate using sampled data. 

This means that the numbers may change along with the amounts of accessible data. 

The Facebook Business Ads Help Centre further notes that “reach is different to impressions which may include multiple views of your adverts by the same people.” 

In other words, impressions show how often your content was displayed and seen by your target audience.

What reach and impressions don’t show is engagement. 

Basically, you can’t be a hundred percent sure if a user is actually aware of your content clicked on your ad, or if he/she has just scrolled past it after it was displayed.

To make it easier to measure your success and optimize your strategy, Facebook groups reach and impressions in three categories: 

Organic.

Organic reach and organic impressions show the number of unique users that saw your content or the number of times your content was displayed for free.

Paid.

Just like the category name implies, paid reach and impressions are the results of your paid efforts, such as Facebook Ads. 

But here’s the catch.

When it comes to video ads, Facebook counts the impressions they get the same way it counts the impressions of an ad that contains an image (except the ads on Audience Network). 

As per Facebook’s explanation: “This means that a video is not required to start playing for the impression to be counted.”

So, if a video shows up on a user’s newsfeed and the user scrolls down before the video has started playing – this will still be counted as an impression. 

Then, how do you know the real impact of your ads?

Here’s how:

The reach and impressions associated with Facebook Ads can further be classified into served and viewed reach and impressions.

What’s the difference?

Served reach and impressions are related to the system registering the delivery of an ad. ‘Served’ means that the system does not consider whether the user saw the ad – it just cares that the ad has been displayed somewhere. 

Now here’s the problem with this.

When an impression has been served, the system does not take into account the placement of the ad. 

It can be shown someplace where it will gain exposure like the top of the page, or it can be shown somewhere in the bottom of the page, where it won’t get noticed. 

Also, even if a user exited the page before the ad finished loading, the system will still count it as an impression as long as the ad has been delivered.

It’s easy to see why served impressions are not the most accurate measurement of an ad’s impact.

Viewed impressions, on the other hand, count the times a user saw the ad that was delivered to him or her. 

In other words, if a user exits the page before the ad has rendered, it won’t count as an impression. 

This makes viewed impressions a much better indicator of the ad’s effectiveness.  

Viral.

When explaining the difference between impressions and reach, we mentioned that reach and impressions can expand beyond your list of friends or followers. 

In other words, when a person takes action on your page or post, a fraction of their friends and followers will be able to see this action and the related post on their News Feed.

Viral impressions and reach are just that:

The result of your content showing up on the News Feeds of the friends and followers of those Facebook users that engaged with your content. 

These engagements can be in the form of a like, a comment, or a share.

Twitter Reach vs. Twitter Impressions

Now take a look at this image.

When you access the analytics of a tweet (be it via the web or the Twitter mobile app), you will notice that you can see impressions and total engagements, but there’s no number that shows reach.

Even if you expand the list and choose to “view all engagements,” you will get insight into various metrics like media engagements, retweets, likes, link clicks, and detail expands, but still, ‘reach’ won’t be part of the list.

This is so because Twitter does not track reach. 

You can see the impressions per tweet, or collective impressions for all your tweets in a given time frame, but you won’t be able to access reach – that is to say, unless you use a third-party analytics tool.

Related Topic: Top 25 social media analytics tools every marketer should use

If you do use a third-party app to gain access to detailed Twitter analytics reports, then reach will show you the size of the audience you have reached with your tweets – just like with other social media platforms.

Twitter Impressions show the views of your tweets, or the number of times your Twitter content has shown up on someone’s feed, in search results, or to someone’s followers as a result of this someone interacting with your tweet.

Impressions don’t show if your tweet has been seen via third-party platforms, via a text preview or as an embed on a website.

Tweet impressions show the strength of your brand presence. Most likely you will have to pair these insights with other metrics such as engagement to get an accurate idea of the relevance of your content. 

Reach Vs. Impressions On Instagram

Just like Facebook, Instagram defines reach as the unique number of accounts that have seen your post or story, and impressions show the number of times a story or Instagram post has been displayed. 

You can access these metrics by clicking ‘View Insights’ under an Instagram post, or swiping up the story you want to see the performance of. 

As you can see in the image below, when you access the analytics of an Instagram post, you will not only be able to see the reach and impressions but also what percentage of users you reached that were not following you.

You can also see your impressions broken down by source: hashtags, home, profile, explore or other sources.

If you want to see a general performance of your posts, you can access your weekly reach and impressions in the Activity tab of Instagram Insights. 

The reach and impressions numbers are displayed in the Discovery section, at the bottom of the Insights page.

Stories’ analytics does not break down the source of impressions or the percentage of people that were not following you but saw the story.

It will show how many of the people that saw the story navigated back, forward, to the next story, or completely exited Instagram stories after seeing your post.

The numbers in the navigation section should give you an idea of why the impressions are higher than your reach.

So, if a single user has gone back to see your story one more time or visited your profile multiple times, it will be counted as one reach and multiple impressions.

Related article: Instagram Creator Account: Is It Worth The Switch

Reach vs. Impressions on Other Platforms

YouTube

YouTube analytics offers insight into four distinct reach metrics:

  • Unique viewers is the same metric as ‘reach’ – it shows the number of people that watched your videos.
  • Impressions show the number of times your video’s thumbnails were shown to viewers on YouTube.
  • Traffic sources for impressions  shows “where on YouTube your video thumbnails were shown to potential viewers.”
  • Impressions click-through rate (CTR) shows conversions – how often users watched a video after being exposed to a thumbnail.
Youtube impressions
traffic source type impressions

Snapchat

Snapchat has the same concept of reach and impressions, with the difference that it calls impressions story views.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics shows users and page views.

The metric ‘users’ is similar to reach – it shows the number of people that have visited your site at least once during a specific time window. 

‘Page views’ shows the total number of page views coming from all your visitors. 

Google Ads differentiates between unique reach and cookie-based reach. 

According to Google Ads Help, unique reach “measure the total number of people who were shown an ad… across different devices, formats, and networks.”

Unique reach includes two metrics: unique users, and average impression frequency per user.

Cookie-based reach are reach metrics based on cookies, which are calculated by counting the number of cookies that have been served an ad or recorded a click on an ad.

Since some people use more than one device or access pages via multiple browsers that have different cookies, cookie-based reach is an estimate and may include duplicate views.

The Role Of Reach and Impressions In Your Marketing Strategy

Now you understand that although many people use the terms interchangeably, reach and impressions are two very different metrics. 

But look.

We all know that theoretical knowledge has no purpose without the ability to act upon it.

So, how can you use what you just learned to boost your social media marketing strategy and drive results?

To answer this question, which is by no means simple, we first need to explain the impact each of these metrics could have on your marketing.

Let’s dig in.

Reach is the name of the game when…

Since reach is directly related to the number of unique users that are seeing your content, you can use reach to optimize your paid campaigns.

Namely, if your reach is high, your content is likely suitable for your target audience, which means that the chances of it being engaged with and/or shared are high.

However, if the reach is high, but the conversions don’t follow through and stay low, it’s safe to say that your funnel is not as effective as it should be and that you should revise and improve your ad.

Also, if you want to avoid showing your ads over and over again to the same people, focus on increasing your reach instead of impressions.

The road to success is paved with impressions when…

Impressions come in handy when you don’t want to wait too long to see whether an ad is effective. As impressions are a metric that changes moment-to-moment, track them to check how an ad performs immediately after it has been published. 

If the ad gets no impressions, you might want to consider editing its content and republishing it to avoid losing time and amounting unnecessary costs.

When to focus on tracking both reach and impressions?

Just like with other social media metrics, more often than not, you will need to track both reach and impressions to figure out how effective your campaigns are and identify areas of improvement.

Tracking both metrics can mainly help you to:

1. Calculate your effective frequency

Impressions will always be higher than your reach – and that’s something that should be that way.

Why?

Many marketers agree that a user needs to see an ad several times before they show interest in a product and convert. 

This is what’s known as effective frequency – the number of times people need to be exposed to a particular piece of content before they feel the urge to respond to it in some way. 

What’s the best frequency? 

Experts agree to disagree:

Some say 3 is a good number, while others swear by the lucky 7.

Your best bet is figuring out the effective frequency that works for you (of course, you can also try to figure out the effective frequency your competitors are aiming for as well).

To do this, find your most effective ads and posts (the content that converts) and divide each post’s total impressions with its overall reach.

2. Avoid ad fatigue

The effective frequency does not only tell you how many times a user needs to see a post because they respond to it…

… it also shows what your limits are before your target audience has had enough and you cross the thin line between being informative and consistently showing up on social media, and being annoying.

Just imagine how social media users feel when they’re bombarded by ads…

Doesn’t sound good, does it?

As you’d expect, just like with everything else on social media, there is no straightforward answer to how much is too much when it comes to frequency per user. 

Again, it will all depend on your current campaign and goals.

If your campaign is time-sensitive, you will probably need to pour all your efforts into ensuring a higher frequency count.

If, however, you’re looking to steadily grow your audience and brand exposure and time is of no issue, take it easy and work on building reach through consistency.

What After Reach and Impressions: Other Social Media Metrics to Track

You can tell a lot about the relevance of your message by tracking reach and impressions, but usually, that’s not enough.

Reach and impressions are just a starting point in figuring out the way to optimise your campaigns for the two metrics that have the most significant impact on your business: engagement and conversions.

Every social media campaign has the ultimate goal of raising awareness and starting conversations with the target audience by increased engagement. 

If reach and impressions are high, but people don’t engage with the content be it in the form of likes, shares, or replies, it’s safe to assume that either something is wrong with the framing of the message or the targeting is off.

Furthermore, looking at reach and impressions in isolation can tell you nothing about your social media ROI. 

To get a better feel for your advertising spend and return of investment, you need to juxtapose your reach with your conversions and revenue. 

This way, you will be able to calculate the average revenue and conversions per user reached – which are much more concrete metrics that have a direct impact on your business success.

For a more detailed list of social media metrics to measure, check out these resources:

Related Article:

Last Notes

So, what’s the verdict?

Reach, or impressions? What’s more important to track?

It’s a simple question – with no simple answer.

In this article, we explained how both reach and impressions play an important part in your social media marketing strategy. 

But, just like with other metrics, the one you decide to focus on will depend solely on your current marketing objectives. 

Hopefully, after reading this article you are able to make a distinction. 

The Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

top 25 social media monitoring tools

You need social media monitoring tools for three main reasons:

  1. To get quality audience data.
  2. To take relevant actions, based on the data collected, to keep or build a good reputation and drive ROI.
  3. To save time, as all your social media analytics are available to you in one platform.

But it begs the question: which social media monitoring tool is the best for your brand?

It can be tough to pick one — with so many enticing promises from each solution.

Related topic: Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

What you need is a resource that provides you with quality insights about each tool.

Well, look no further; here’s a guide showing you the top 25 social media monitoring tools that are worth considering:

Jump Links:

1. Keyhole
2. BrandWatch
3. Buzzsumo
4. Glean.info
5. Digimind
6. Google Alert
7. Hootsuite
8. Falcon.io
9. Meltwater
10. Sprinklr
11. Mention
12. NetBase
13. Nuvi
14. SharedCount
15. Social Mention
16. IFTTT
17. TalkWalker
18. Awario
19. ZoomSphere
20. Sprout Social
21. Followerwonk
22. Iconosquare
23. Audiense
24. Tailwind
25. Union Metrics

1. Keyhole

Screenshot_keyhole_new_design_20190709

Keyhole’s analytics are used by brands like Google, Alibaba, L’Oreal, H&M and Mashable.

Keyhole’s social dashboard feature gives you an instant rundown of what your brand’s health looks like; you don’t have to look too deep before seeing basic analytics like total impressions, total engagements and total link clicks.

If you’re looking for a tool that gives you insight into what’s going on in your customers’ minds, Keyhole is the tool you need.

It provides you with the following key features:

  • 24/7 monitoring of the performance of keywords, URLs, topics, hashtags, @mentions and more around your brand, audience, and industry.
  • Access to the best and most relevant influencers for your brand and exclusive information about their engagement rates, reach, etc.
  • A stunning, in-depth visual representation of your brand’s social performance.
  • Broad, historical, and deep real-time views of global conversations, topics, and influencers driving your market – all in the same spot.
  • A social analytics platform to monitor sentiments around your brand and oversee your overall brand health.

Even more, Keyhole gives you access to historical data about your brand or campaign’s performance on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Plus, in-depth competitor benchmarking and insights are available in all plans. Keyhole helps you easily compare your brand accounts and campaigns against that major competitors.

Plus, you can also track mentions of any brand or keyword across news, blogs and forums.

Neil Patel describes it this way: “This tool (Keyhole) does a lot of things others can’t. And as a bonus, it’s extremely user-friendly.”

Price: Starts at $179 USD per month. View pricing here.

2. BrandWatch

BrandWatch helps you dig out relevant data from blogs, forums, and even social and news/review sites. Basically, this tool tells you what your customers are thinking.

Brandwatch_screenshot_july2019

You can use BrandWatch to get an overview of your brand mentions’ volume and compare it with that of several competitors, find out what topics your audience are mostly interested in, observe the sentiments about your brand, and see your audience demographics.

It also provides a data visualization tool that lets you bring your data to life; your data can be represented in the form of graphs that make hard stats and numbers easily understandable for every team member.

Price: Varies based on mentions per month and historical data access.

3. Buzzsumo

Want to know what’s drawing your audience’s attention? Then you need Buzzsumo.

Buzzsumo_screenshot_aug2019


This tool shows you which content is getting the most shares for specific topics. Knowing this allows you to determine what your users prefer to see in your industry.

Price: $79 – $499 USD per month.

4. Glean.info

Glean.info gets you audience data from social media sites, online news, blogs, message boards, forums, and photo/video sharing sites.

Similar to Keyhole and BrandWatch, this tool also lets you see your share of voice on social — the percent of your brand’s mentions against that of your competitor’s.

Gleaninfo_screenshot_aug2019


Here’s what’s even more interesting: Glean.info alerts you when your brand gets mentioned on a fake news site.

They monitor all new posts on 2000 fake news sites and alert you when your brand gets mentioned; this helps you handle bad press before things get out of hand.

Price: Varies based on your needs.

5. Digimind

Digimind provides a beautiful visual representation of your brand’s social performance.

For example, here’s an image showing American Airlines’ trend on social in seven days.

Digimind_screenshot_aug2019

This tool also allows you to monitor your own social media posts and run competitive analysis — checking how your brand and/or product stacks up against industry rivals. You’re also able to access your data via Digimind’s mobile app.

Price: Get in touch with Digimind for pricing.

6. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is super useful for you if you’re looking for a basic monitoring solution.

Googlealerts_screenshot_aug2019

It scans through the web and tells you when your brand or product gets mentioned. You can choose which sources you want to be receiving alerts for — whether blogs, news sites or forums —and the languages you want to get alerts for.

Price: Free.

7. Hootsuite

Hootsuite isn’t just a social media management software; this tool also provides social insights by monitoring relevant conversations on social media.

Hootsuite_screenshot_july2019

It helps you measure the impact of your social media campaigns by separating conversions from your paid and owned media. It also gives you the option to choose what to monitor by filtering out conversations by keyword, language and location.

Price: Free — custom pricing per month.

8. Falcon.io

Falcon.io is another great tool that helps you monitor your brand’s impact on social.

This platform is for social media marketer that helps them with social listening, customer engagement, content marketing and audience management. It’s social listening feature will help you can monitor influencer and directly engage with them, monitor your brands and stay on top of your trends

Falcon.io supports all the major social media such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Price: Falcon.io offers three service packages: starter, pro and premium. Please contact the vendor for more detail.

9. Meltwater

From tracking brand mentions to monitoring campaigns in real time, Meltwater shows you critical conversations about your brand on social media.

Meltwater - Top 25 Social Media Analytics and Monitoring Tools

This tool uses AI to help you listen to relevant social media conversations and make intelligent marketing decisions. Meltwater also runs your social media management; you can schedule posts to publish later.

Price: Contact Meltwater for pricing.

10. Sprinklr

Sprinklr is not just a powerful social media management tool. It also provides a social listening feature that helps you gain broad, historical and deep real-time views of global conversations, topics, and influencers driving your market – all in the same spot.

Sprinklr - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

Like many other similar tools, this software helps you benchmark your social media performance against that of your rivals. Even more, they also help you track likely crisis before they arise so you are able to make informed decisions.

Price: Contact Sprinklr to discuss a unique plan.

11. Mention

As the name implies, Mention helps you track conversations where your brand, product, industry, campaign and customers are mentioned online.

This keeps you abreast of important conversations around your business so you’re able to join in on these conversations when it matters the most. 

Mention - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

It also lets you filter the conversations you want to monitor by language, source and date, and refine your alerts by adding or removing certain keywords.

Price: $29 per month — custom plans.

12. NetBase

NetBase provides many customer experience features, of which social media monitoring is one.

Netbase - Top 25 Social Media Analytics and Monitoring Tools

This software uses a natural processing language engine to generate an accurate  understanding of human language (customer data) at scale across 199 languages.

In NetBase’s own words: “You will gain deep understanding of customer preferences, passions, and behaviors to drive your customer experience initiatives and make smarter, faster business decisions.”

Price: Contact NetBase to discuss a unique plan.

13. Nuvi

From social media publishing to monitoring, Nuvi takes care of it all for you.

You can monitor more than just hashtags. This tool helps you monitor keywords, URLs, topics, social media handles and more.

Nuvi - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

Nuvi also gets you audience data from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Facebook, VK, Stack Overflow and an ever-updating list of 3 million+ blogs and RSS feeds.

Price: Contact Nuvi to discuss a unique plan.

14. SharedCount

Much like Buzzsumo, SharedCount tracks popular content in your industry. Just add a URL in the tool and it will show you how many shares the content has gotten so far.

SharedCount - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

You can also analyze URLs in bulk and export them as CSV files.

Price: Free — $450 USD per month.

15. Social Mention

Social Mention is a real-time social media analytics tool.

It collects and compiles user-generated content (UGC) from the web into a single platform. Let’s say we want to see the audience data around the #ArtificialIntelligence hashtag; Social Mention provides you with data-rich information about what’s going on around your query as seen in the image below.

Socialmention - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

It shows the ratio of positive to negative sentiments, the percent of reach, and the strength of your searched term on social media. It also shows the passion around your query; that is the likelihood that users will keep talking about your query repeatedly.

Price: Free.

16. IFTTT

If you don’t already know, IFTTT stands for If This Then That.

It is an automation used to set up a simple set of conditional events, you know, if this (happens) then that (should follow).

IFTTT - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

You can setup this tool to alert you when your product, brand, competitor or any keyword at all is mentioned on certain industry RSS feeds.

Price: Free.

17. Talkwalker

Talkwalker provides a social analytics platform to monitor sentiments around your brand and oversee your overall brand health.

It also helps you spot out the best influencers for your brand and shows you their engagement rates, reach, etc.

Talkwalker - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

This lets you understand the best influencers for your specific brand or product. This tool also gives you a 3600 view of your owned and earned social media content, including your brand, product or competitor mentions offline. All these help you account for what exactly comms bring to the table at your organization.

Price: $8,400 per year — enterprise pricing.

18. Awario

Awario crawls 13 billion pages everyday to get important data about your audience.

Awario - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

It has a social media customer support service that lets you be there right when your customers need your help.

This tool also provides an intelligent alert system that tells you when an important conversation is gaining popularity. This helps you prioritize customer support requests based on the impact they can have on your business.

Price: $29 — $299 USD per month.

19. ZoomSphere

ZoomSphere analyzes major social networks —  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn — and provides you with over 150 different metrics.

This tool also provides you with competitor analysis so you can see how you rank compared to your competitors.

It also lets you set up your social media content calendar.

You can collaborate with your team on this tool and set when and where to publish your social media posts.

Price: A monthly fee of €400.

20. Sprout Social

Sprout Social provides a comprehensive tool for social media monitoring.

Their social dashboard feature gives you an instant rundown of what your brand’s health looks like — so you don’t have to look too deep before seeing basic analytics like total impressions, total engagements and total link clicks.

SproutSocial - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

This tool also lets you into the minds of your prospects by showing you the keywords and hashtags they mostly associate your brand or product keywords with. Even more, it allows you to monitor sentiments and set up alerts for when critical conversations start getting popular on social media.

Price: $99 — $249 USD per month.

Platform-Specific Tools

21. Followerwonk (Twitter)

FollowerWonk provides you with detailed audience data on Twitter.

Followerwonk - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

You can find out anything with this tool: from who your followers are, where they’re located and the times they mostly tweet to the relevant influencers on Twitter that catch their attention.

Their most used feature is Twitter bio search. The Twitter profiles are all valid, current and refreshed every 30 days.

Anything else? Yes, this tool also provides amazing visualizations of your social graph to benchmark your Twitter results with others in the market.

Price: Free — $79 USD per month.

22. Iconosquare (Instagram and Facebook)

Iconosquare provides you with Instagram and Facebook audience analytics — so you get to know your audience on these platforms on a much deeper level.

iconosquare - Top 25 Social Media Analytics and Monitoring Tools

This tool also helps you plan and moderate conversations across your Instagram and Facebook accounts. You also get to schedule and publish content automatically without having to babysit your content promotion all the time.

Price: 29€/mo — 59€/mo.

23. Audiense Connect (Twitter)

Audiense Connect - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

This is a tool from Audiense that provides you with detailed information about your Twitter audience.

From creating your own custom Twitter DM chatbots to tracking your performance on the platform, Audiense Connect does a great job helping you understand your customers so you can give them the content they really want.

Price: $31.25 — $758 USD per month.

24. Tailwind (Pinterest and Instagram)

Tailwind - Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

With Tailwind, you can discover content ideas, schedule posts, monitor conversations, amplify your reach, and analyze your performance on Pinterest and Instagram.

You can also automatically optimize your posts to publish when your audience is most active on Pinterest and Instagram. More importantly, this tool provides rich analytics that help you monitor conversations and analyze your performance on Pinterest and Instagram.

Price: $9.99 USD per month — custom pricing.

25. Union Metrics (Twitter)

With Union Metrics twitter snapshot, you can measure the potential reach and impression to see how something spread.

Used by over 300,000 marketers, the software helps you monitor posts about your product, brand or industry in real time so you’re getting the full gist of relevant stories as they unfold.

Price: $23 — $159 USD per month.

The Final Verdict

Most marketers will go insane looking at the social analytics on each social network; it would be extra stressful when you’re trying to go from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook, etc looking at audience insights.

Your best bet is to pick a good social monitoring platform that suits your marketing needs; you have this list at your disposal all the time, so make proper use of it.

[Updated in August 2019, for a brand new Social Media Monitoring Tools comparison]

Influencer Marketing: An Expert Guide On Marketing’s Next Big Thing

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about marketing’s biggest rising trend: influencer marketing.

We’ll provide evidence as to why influencer marketing is booming right now, along with tons of examples of social media influencers. 

We’ll also cover the pros and cons of influencer marketing as a whole.

Most importantly, we’ll show you how to find influencers that will have the biggest impact on your business, and how to implement a winning influencer marketing strategy using influencer marketing tools

So, let’s dive right in..

Jump Links:
  
What is Influencer Marketing
Brand Ambassador vs Brand Influencer
Why Influencer Marketing is booming
Influencer Marketing Statistics 
Proof that Influencer marketing works: The Infamous Fyre Festival 
Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing 
Types of Influencer Marketing 
How to find influencers 
11 steps to an Unbeatable Influencer marketing strategy

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is the use of popular content creators to promote a product or brand to a specific audience. These content creators are paid to showcase the brand in a positive light to their loyal audience of viewers, readers, or followers.

While most brands don’t have strong legions of fans (with the exception of beloved international brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, or Nike), there are plenty of people on the internet who do.

These content creators, known as influencers, make it easy for a brand to reach a specific customer demographic on a specific channel through a voice the audience already trusts.

Influencer marketing is seen as an effective alternative or supplementary approach to traditional advertising, more in line with a modern content marketing strategy.

Brand Ambassador Vs Brand Influencer

One important distinction to make is the difference between a brand influencer and a brand ambassador.

Companies have used celebrities as brand ambassadors for centuries, dating as far back as the 1760s, when the English royal family was used to advertise pottery and chinaware.

A brand ambassador is a paid spokesperson for a company, typically on a long-term contract.

Tiger Woods for Rolex, Lebron James for Nike are examples of brand ambassador.

In contrast, a brand influencer typically has more of a niche audience. Their following can vary from a few hundred to over a million people, but their value lies in having a trusted opinion on a specific topic or niche.

This can range from a local mom who runs a popular Facebook group for other moms, all the way to mega celebrities with millions of followers.

Influencers more often hold a short-term relationship with brands, being asked to showcase or speak about a product as part of their typical content on social media, blogs, or videos. 

Before we teach you how to incorporate influencers into your marketing strategy, let’s explore why they’ve taken off in such a big way.

Why Influencer Marketing is Booming

Influencers are inescapable these days. Take a look at this info-graph by vamp.

Consider the ever-popular TV show The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Contestants used to join the show with the dream of finding love.

Now, contestants line up for the chance to earn thousands, sometimes millions of social media followers, allowing them to earn a full-time living as a social media influencer, pitching fitness programs and herbal supplements.

So how did influencers become so ubiquitous?

Here’s why: because influencer marketing works.

Influencer Marketing Statistics

Here are some extremely compelling stats that should have you convinced that your business should be pursuing an influencer marketing strategy.

The stats make it clear: influencer marketing is here in a big way. 

Related Case Study: How BottleRock Music Festival Amps Up Influencer Engagement with Keyhole

Proof That Influencers Marketing Works: The Infamous Fyre Festival

Perhaps the most extreme and most infamous case of influencer marketing was Fyre Festival, a supposed luxury music festival founded by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule.

The festival was meant to take place in the Bahamas on April 2017 and promised to showcase some of the world’s most popular music acts in an ultra-luxury setting catered by celebrity chefs.

Tickets ranging from $500 for a single day pass to $12,000 for the full VIP package.

But what’s most interesting is how the event was promoted.

In December 2016, mega Instagram stars/models Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, among dozens of others, all posted cryptic videos on their social profiles promising “an immersive music festival…on the boundaries of the impossible.”

This group of top influencers continued to promote the event on social media for months—all being paid between 5 and 6 figures, resulting in enormous public interest and huge ticket sales.

Ultimately, the event sold millions of dollars in tickets due to the power of influencers alone.

The event itself was a widely documented scam resulting in lawsuit after lawsuit, but it caught the world’s attention, proving influencers have the ability to generate massive sales numbers—due to complete trust from their audience.

The Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing

Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of influencer marketing.

Benefits

What value does influencer marketing provide compared to traditional advertising?

Higher conversion rates & ROI – Several studies have shown influencer marketing has at least double the conversion rate of standard paid ads.

More personal – The personal connection your influencers have with your target audience is more likely to drive brand awareness and sales.

More trust – If the audience trusts your influencer, they’re more likely to take their recommendations at face value (vs. the skepticism of encountering an ad).

More lifetime value – The positive brand association from an influencer carries more weight with your audience long term.

More authority – If industry experts are recommending your products, you’re more easily able to establish credibility out of the gate.

Reach new audiences – By working with an influencer, you’re diversifying your marketing efforts and connecting with an audience that would not have found your ads otherwise.

Save time – It’s simply faster to execute an influencer campaign than a full-scale advertising campaign.

Highly measurable – By tracking your influencers with a social media monitoring tool, you can measure the effectiveness of each influencer.

No annoying ads – Unless perfectly executed, ads only serve to annoy people.

Drawbacks

While the drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits, here are some cons to be aware of

Loss of power – By putting your brand in the hands of an influencer, they become the voice of your brand. Be sure you fully trust them to post great content, both short and long term.

Management of influencers – Depending on the scale of your influencer campaign, it may be a full-time job to manage an army of influencer contracts. An influencer marketing tool  can help you save time when managing your influencers.

Waiting – If your influencer campaign is more branding-focused than sales-focused, it may take months to see the reach and influence of your brand grow.

Risk – If you’ve never run an influencer campaign before, you’re assuming some financial risk in the event it doesn’t work out.

But with the right level of research and organization, influencer marketing is a proven strategy with strong ROI.

Types of Influencers

Now that you’ve decided to make influencers part of your marketing strategy, it’s important to know what types of influencers are out there.

Let’s cover 6 broad categories of influencers that you may consider working with, arranged from biggest to smallest audience.

1. Celebrity Influencers

Celebrity influencers are famous people with millions of followers. This includes movie and TV stars, athletes, musicians, models, and any other popular public figure.

Pros

The main advantage of working with celebrity influencers is their massive audience. A social post from a celebrity will instantly connect with millions of people.

And beyond the immediate reach on social media, working with a celebrity is also a quick way to earn major press coverage for your brand.

Cons

The massive reach of celebrity influencers can also be the biggest negative working against you as a brand. 

Celebrities have such a wide-reaching audience that it’s challenging to target a specific demographic. And if a celebrity is caught up in an international scandal, it’s hard to disassociate them from your brand.

More often than not, sponsored posts from celebrities may come off traditional ads more than subtle influencer marketing.

And of course, working with a celebrity will come with a massive price tag, making it challenging to use them in your influencer campaigns if you’re not an international brand.

Examples of Celebrity Influencers

The most-followed athlete on Instagram are soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi who can often be found promoting clothing lines or nutrition brands like Herbalife.

The most famous influencer family is the Kardashian-Jenner family, sharing nearly half a billion followers between Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian West, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, mother Kris Jenner, and more.

2. Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers are quasi-celebrities with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers on popular social media platforms, including Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and/or Twitter.

Social media influencers are typically generalists who have a wide following simply for being interesting people, posting photos and videos of their travel, workouts, fashion, meals, and whatever else is trending at the time.

Pros

Social media influencers have a wide audience, but typically a slightly more niche audience than a huge celebrity. This allows you to reach a demographic that’s more tailored to your brand.

Having a social media influencer post a photo or video mentioning your brand and tagging your handle is a quick way to quickly gain visibility and moderate trust with thousands of people.

Cons

Large social media influencers are in high demand, and can still carry a high price tag.

Social media influencers also tend to earn the majority of their income from endorsements, and therefore your brand may get lost among a sea of other endorsements from the same influencer if you don’t play your cards right.

Social Media Influencer Example

Cameron Dallas is a popular social media influencer. Rising to fame on Vine and YouTube, Cameron has now eclipsed 20 million followers. He posts a combination of humorous videos, model shots, and sponsored posts, like this one, promoting a fragrance line: 

3. key Opinion Leaders

Key opinion leaders are experts in a particular topic, industry or field, either online, offline, or both. They are often thought leaders in their industry.

Key opinion leaders are either usually leading trends or highly in touch with what’s new and different.

This would include examples like makeup artists, writers, fitness specialists, business executives, activists, and many more.

They tend to have a medium to large following, but most importantly. their word carries a lot of value with their followers.

Pros

The main benefit of working with a key opinion leader is their extremely niche following. By working with a thought leader, you can target individual professions or interest groups.

Because of their large presence within their industry, thought leader influencers are typically found on many different channels, on blogs, news articles, podcasts, and most social platforms.

They tend to be more cost effective, especially if you choose an influencer that overlaps perfectly with your industry.

Cons

Key opinion leaders may be less open to influencer marketing, as their opinions and principles are their largest social currency.

Depending on their field, they may not spend as much time on social media, as they typically have extremely busy full-time jobs.

It can also be more challenging to find thought leaders that line up with your demographic. Social media listening tools makes it easy to find influencers (something we’ll cover more later).

Key Opinion Leader Influencer Examples

Search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing specialist Rand Fishkin is a prime example of a key opinion leader. With over 400,000 Twitter followers, Rand is thought of as a go-to resource in the SEO world.

While Rand can most often be found giving his honest opinion about SEO trends,

his feed also includes inclusion in webinars, pitches for his book, promoting his company’s content, and backing conferences he’s paid to speak at.

4. Blogger & Vlogger Influencers

Blogger influencers write for a publication with a large following, or have their own popular blog. Vloggers have large YouTube followings, with thousands or millions of followers.

Bloggers can either be focused on a particular niche or generalists on any number of topics.

Pros

Audiences feel a personal relationship with their favorite bloggers and vloggers, meaning they are likely to be more influenced by a recommendation.

Many bloggers and vloggers are seeking out sponsorships in order to fund their content creation, so it may not be as costly to find the right influencer.

They’re also more likely to have a niche audience with similar needs.

Cons

As bloggers and vloggers are often highly opinionated and intentionally controversial, you have to be careful about picking the right person for your brand.

Example Vlogger

Erik Voss is a popular vlogger on New Rockstars YouTube channel, known for doing high-quality, in-depth breakdowns of Marvel movies. 

In many New Rockstars videos, such as the video below, Erik pitches a product or service in the middle of the video, using his trademark brand of nerdy humour that is likely to resonate with his audience.

In this case, Erik sends his audience to a link that likely compensates New Rockstars per sign up.

5. Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers have a moderate social media following, in the thousands or tens of thousands. They are content creators on popular social media channels, blogs, forums, video sites, and more. 

What makes them different than previous influencer categories is that they have a tighter bond with their audience. They have typically built a following by being highly personable and interacting with many of their followers.

Pros

A micro-influencer’s higher engagement rates make them extremely attractive to businesses looking for a big return on their investment. Micro-influencers are more likely to respond to any questions their followers may have about your project.

And because their audiences are smaller, that investment is often more affordable than larger influencers.

Cons

The biggest challenge is actually finding these micro-influencers (although we’ll have plenty of advice on that later). 

They may also be newer to the sponsored post game, so they may need more assistance in creating sponsored content that resonates with their audience and effectively highlights your brand.

Micro-Influencer Example

Bethany Aroutunian is an Instagram lifestyle influencer with a modest following of just over 20,000 followers. But Bethany typifies the young demographic that brands want to target.

Bethany’s feed has plenty of examples of major brand endorsements, including Victoria’s Secret PINK, Lulus, and Bumble.

6. Nano-Influencers

Nano-influencers are just like micro-influencers, but at an even smaller scale. These users typically have an extremely niche following in the hundreds of followers.

Pros

Nano-influencers have a hyper focused audience, who all likely share one or two niche interests. A recommendation from them is more likely seen as a recommendation from a friend or family member rather than from a business entity.

Of course, nano-influencers are the most affordable to work with, often agreeing to post sponsored content simply in exchange for free or discounted products.

Cons

If your goal is to drastically improve your brand visibility, you will have to work with potentially hundreds of nano-influencers to make an impact.

While the ROI is certainly there in terms of payment, a lot of time and effort can go into finding and managing such a large number of influencers.

Example Nano-Influencer

Take @krosenbergg for example. Another everyday young woman, she can be seen at coffee shops, restaurants, the mall—you know—normal social media stuff.

But sprinkled in to her feed is the occasional sponsored post of a product, which are actually hard to distinguish from her typical posts where she often shares the brands she loves.

Want more examples of influencer content? Just check out the hashtag #ad on Instagram for hundreds of sponsored posts being posted every minute.

How to Find Influencers

With millions of potential influencers out there, it can be hard to find those that align with your brand. Here are some great resources for finding the right influencers for your brand.

1. Social Media

Okay, this is obvious, but you should start by looking for potential influencers on social media.

Search keywords or hashtags that you know resonate with your target demographic, and see which accounts turn up. Click through their profiles to see if their posts align with your brand values.

And don’t limit yourself to one social network. Check out Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and any other emerging platforms.

You can also sift through forums like Reddit to see which accounts your target audience is excited about.

Another quick shortcut is to look at sponsored posts from your competitors to see which influencers they’re working with. Chances are, if they’re working with the same influencers over a long time period, it’s likely they’re seeing positive ROI.

Related: Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

2. Search Engines

Similar to searching on social platforms, you can also go straight to your favorite search engine.

It’s likely that websites or accounts that rank highly on Google for your chosen topic are making great content that is deserving of those top spots, so they’re likely to be highly influential with their audience.

3. Referrals

Ask around!

If you know your business well, you likely have a large network of people connected to your industry, or friends and family who overlap with your target audience.

Ask people you trust for recommendations of influencers related to your field.

And if you already have a great relationship with your existing customers, ask them who they like. Send out a survey to your customers to ask them who their favorite bloggers and follows are to get a sense of their most trusted online personalities.

Plus, if you have personal connections with the influencer, they’re more likely to work with you.

4. Influencer Marketing Tool

Trial and error will only get you so far. To find influencers that will have the biggest impact on your brand, it’s recommended that you use an influencer monitoring tool.

Using an influencer marketing  tool like Keyhole, you can track topics, keywords, brands, or hashtags to see which users are most influential in those conversations.

These tools will identify influencers who are not only popular, but also those who receive the most engagement.

This is a key step, because highly engaging accounts will provide more value than accounts that simply have many followers—especially given that many accounts purchase fake followers simply to appear more influential.

Once you’ve identified key influencers, you can add them to the tracking tool to measure the success of your campaigns.

Related Article: Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

5. Talent Agencies

Unfortunately you can’t simply slide into the DMs of a celebrity influencer and expect them to endorse your product.

In order to hire celebrity influencers (or other influencers with millions of followers), you’ll need to contact their talent agency.

By contacting talent agencies directly, they may also be able to suggest influencers that are a good fit for your company.

11 Steps to an Unbeatable Influencer Marketing Strategy

We’ve covered the types of influencers and where to find them. All that’s left is to carry out an end-to-end influencer marketing strategy.

1. Realize you need a strategy

The first step is to acknowledge that you need a solid plan.

Haphazardly reaching out to influencers without a plan to measure their potential sphere of influence or track their success is far less likely to result in a successful campaign.

Make yourself a schedule from the start. How often will you reach out to influencers? How often will you check in on their success?

Make sure that you have the time and resources to carry out every step of your plan

2. Set your goals

The key to any strong marketing plan is to have clear and measurable goals.

What will success look like for your influencer campaign? Here are some examples of metrics by which you may choose to measure your success:

  • Social media follower count
  • Impressions, views, or clicks on your influencer’s sponsored content
  • Impressions, views, or clicks on your brand’s content
  • Engagements with your sponsored content
  • Unique website visitors
  • Sales through your online store
  • A higher conversion rate on your website
  • More visits to your event or storefront

Your goals will be relevant to your business, so only you can define them. But they must be specific, memorable, and realistic.

For example, don’t set a goal like “increase website visitors.” Set a goal like “increase web referral traffic by 20% in 3 months.”

3. Identify Your Audience

The goal of influencer marketing is to find someone who has already reached your target audience.

Therefore, you have to identify who that audience actually is. If you already know your business’s demographic, you’re already set.

But if you haven’t created buyer personas for your marketing campaigns, now is the time to do so.

You can use market research tools to learn about your current audience demographics, or you can simply sketch out a caricature of your potential customer.

Once you’ve determined your audience, figure out what type of content they enjoy.

By using Keyhole’s keyword tracking or hashtag analytics tools, you can identify popular types of content on any social channel.

4. Determine Your Budget

Before you go any further, get realistic. What’s your budget?

There’s an extremely wide range for compensation, so be sure to align your research with your budget.

Celebrities and social media stars represented by agencies will command big dollars, while micro- and nano-influencers may simply accept free products in exchange for their endorsement.

Do your research on typical compensation for your industry and the level of influencer you choose, and set a firm budget from the start.

This guide covers typical influencer rates in several different industries.

Here are the average rates on Instagram:

  • Nano Influencers (2,000-10,000 followers): $75 to $250 per post
  • Micro Influencers (10,000-100,000 followers: $250 to $1000 per post
  • Blog/Social Influencers (100,000-500,000 followers): $1,000 to $3,000 per post
  • Celebrity/Social Influencers (500,000+ followers): $3,000+ per post

This should help you decide which level of influencers you’re comfortable with targeting.

And remember: just because you have a large budget doesn’t mean you can’t target a high volume of nano- or micro-influencers.

5. Choose One Channel

For starters, we recommend starting with only one social network or content channel.

Confining your content to one channel will make better use of your budget, likely having more repeat influence within the same sphere.

Narrowing your influencers to one channel also makes it easier to objectively compare influencers to one another.

And of course, be sure to choose a channel that’s popular with your audience.

6. Choose an Influencer Tracking & Monitoring Tool

An influencer marketing tool will help with every step of the influencer marketing process, so be sure to set one up before hiring your influencers.

With Keyhole, you can find new influencers that are relevant to your brand, ranked by most engaging or most followed.

And once you select influencers, you can track every one of them with the tool, allowing you to see who brings the most visibility to your brand, campaign, or event. Comparing them side by side will let you make smarter decisions on who is providing the most ROI.

Another benefit is the ability to actually provide insights to your influencers on how to make their posts more effective.

Keyhole’s social media monitoring capabilities will help you provide your influencers with data on when to post, how long their posts should be, and which media types are most effective.

Keyhole offers a free trial, so go ahead and set it up right now.

7. Identify & Choose Your Influencers

Now that you have the right tools to succeed, it’s finally time to identify and choose your influencers.

We recommend using Keyhole to search for your brand’s targeted keywords or hashtags, which will reveal the most influential users in that category.

Pro tip: Focus on engagement more than follower count. A user could have purchased fake followers to inflate their follower numbers. Engagements show the true impact of a user’s posts.

But don’t stop at the numbers. Ask yourself:

  • Will this influencer resonate with my target audience?
  • Does this influencer’s image fit with my brand?
  • Does this influencer fit within my budget?
  • Will this influencer be able to help me achieve the goals I set for my campaign?
  • Do I want to be associated with the other brands promoted by this influencer?
  • Does this influencer ever post content that’s misaligned with my brand’s values?
  • Is it believable that this influencer would use/like my product?

There’s so much more to focus on than follower count.

8. Reach Out to Your Influencers

Once you’ve built your list of “chosen ones,” it’s time to reach out.

Influencers range on a wide scale of experience working with brands. Some may have never posted sponsored content before, while others may have a talent agency handle their sponsorships.

Do your research to find out the best way to contact each influencer. In many cases, their email address will be publicly available on their profile or website, but for micro- and nano-influencers, you may need to send them a direct message to start.

Pro tip: If you’ve engaged with this user’s posts in the past, they’re more likely to accept your offer. If your timeline allows for it, spend a few days/weeks/months interacting with these users before reaching out.

Once you’ve made contact, come to a mutual agreement on expectations, and get them down in writing. In most cases, it’s smart to write up a contract. 

Here are the types of things you may want to formalize:

  • How will you pay the influencer?
  • How many posts do you expect, and at what frequency?
  • What type of content/media are they expected to post?
  • Which of your competitors can they not endorse while under contract?
  • Which links should they be using to promote your brand?
  • What are their objective metrics in terms of reach, impressions, or clicks?
  • Will you or the influencer be responsible for creating the content?

Most importantly: make sure your influencers are set up for success.

Tell them what audience you are trying to reach, what content resonates with them, and why you chose them as an influencer.

9. Track & Evaluate Success

Don’t wait until your campaign is over to evaluate success. Get all of your influencers set up in your influencer marketing tool from the start.

This will help you track who’s keeping on top of your agreements, and who may need some gentle encouragement.

This will also allow you to provide on-the-fly advice to your influencers, and compare their success to each other as they go.

For example, you may notice Influencer #1 always posts at 9 am, whereas Influencer #2 posts at 7 pm. If Influencer #1 is receiving more engagements, you can advise Influencer #2 to post earlier in the day.

This isn’t a set it and forget it situation. Help your influencers help you.

Bonus tip: Don’t just track your individual influencers. Use a social media monitoring tool to monitor your brand mentions, brand hashtags, and user sentiments.

10. Compensate Your Influencers

Your influencer cares about making money just as much as your business does. Be sure to pay them fairly and on time.

But there are many different possible compensation structures. Here are a few options:

  • Cash
  • Free or discounted products
  • Free branded gear
  • Coupon/referral codes where they are compensated for each purchase/download
  • Reciprocal promotion of their account in your marketing

Stick within your budget, and pay what’s fair to both sides.

11. Measure & Evaluate Your Success

Once your campaign with each influencer is over, it’s time to evaluate your success against your initial goals.

Success can be measured at different levels, both at the individual influencer level or on your entire campaign as a whole.

In the case where you’ve signed up for a small number of influencers, you’re likely most interested in which individuals generated the most engagements and the greatest return on investment.

But in the case that you’ve hired 100 nano-influencers to use your branded hashtag, you’re probably most concerned with the overall increase in brand awareness.

You may also want to track increased follower counts, visits to your website, and hard sales numbers.

Most importantly: Don’t forget to get feedback from your influencers. What do they think went well? What would they suggest for more engagements (after all, they’re the engagement experts)? 

Take what you’ve learned to evaluate what works best for your business. When you’re ready, head back to step 1 and start your next influencer campaign!

Create Your Influencer Campaign Now

Ready to start your influencer campaign? Start your FREE trial with Keyhole today.

YouTube Analytics: 21 Metrics That You Should Track

YouTube Analytics 21 metrics you should track.

Did you miss our previous blog about Instagram Creator Account? No worries, you can catch up here: Instagram Creator Account: Is It Worth The Switch?

If your business hasn’t started making video content, now is the time to start. But before you do, you have to pinpoint the YouTube Analytics metrics that matter most to your business, and which YouTube analytics tools you can use to track them. 

So why is YouTube such a big deal?

With 1 billion monthly users and over 1 billion hours watched daily, YouTube is the second most trafficked websites on the planet after Google. 

It is also the second largest search engine in the world

Investing in video—and YouTube in particular—is key to a strong marketing strategy. And any strong video marketing strategy is backed by powerful YouTube analytics tools. 

But the truth is, most companies and brands simply post videos on YouTube, share them on social networks, and then never return to track their performance.

Only by tracking your YouTube Analytics will you learn how to grow your brand effectively through video, and how to make videos people actually want to watch.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should track YouTube Analytics
  • Key YouTube metrics
  • How to make the most out of each YouTube metric
  • The top YouTube analytics tools in 2019

Quick Links:

Reasons why you should track Youtube Analytics
Key YouTube Metrics
Video views metrics
Reach Metrics
Interaction Metrics
Playlist Metrics
Card and End Screen Metrics
Audience Metrics
Subscription Metrics
Top 12 Youtube Analytics Tools in 2019
Youtube Studio Analytics
Keyhole
Vidooly
RivalIQ
Social Report
Social Bakers
Quintly
Klear
TubeBuddy
Hootsuite
Sendible

4 reasons to track your YouTube Analytics

If you’ve successfully managed another social profile, you understand the role that analytics plays in driving future content—and YouTube is no different.

But YouTube offers specific content tracking advantages that other platforms don’t offer. Here’s why you should pay attention to your YouTube data.

1. Reach more viewers

The data is clear. YouTube is growing in a big way.

And it’s about more than entertainment. YouTube has become the world’s second-largest search engine, where people look for how-to videos, product reviews, explainer videos, and more.

If your brand isn’t present on YouTube, you’re missing out on a large segment of the online population. 

By learning how to use YouTube and the YouTube Analytics platform, you’ll gain valuable insights into how to grow your online viewership.

2. Make better content

Content is King. You have to make content people actually want to watch. By tracking your YouTube Analytics, you’ll see what content resonates most with your audience.

What topics is your audience most interested in? Which titles do they click on more? What types of visuals result in more thumbnail clicks? Which topics lead to the most engagement?

By understanding how to get the most out of each and every YouTube metric, you’ll learn how to build your brand, get more engagement, and ultimately make better videos.

3. Understand your audience

In order to develop amazing video content that actually resonates emotionally with your audience, you have to understand who they are.

And if you’re not a brick-and-mortar business, or you have a new product, you may not actually know who your audience is yet.

By tracking your YouTube Analytics, you’ll uncover demographic data like age, gender, location, and preferred devices. By using this data, you can adjust your future content strategy to better appeal to your customers.

4. Educate your non-video marketing

Because video content is much more rich, you can find out what messages really resonate with people.

By tracking moment-by-moment video engagement, you can test which types of insights, advice, messaging, or stories register most with your audience.

And whatever you learn from your YouTube Analytics tracking, you can take to your other marketing efforts. Maybe it’s a new slogan, branding campaign, social strategy, or product idea.

Now that you have learned why you should track your Youtube Analytics, let’s dive right into key YouTube metrics to track and how to make use of them.

21 key YouTube metrics to know & how to make use of them

Now that you understand the value of YouTube Analytics, let’s take a deep dive into every metric, and how to make the most use out of each metric.

In this guide, we’ll be covering every metric available in YouTube Studio, which was reconfigured in 2019.

You can access these metrics on the left sidebar of YouTube Studio under “Analytics.” Many of these metrics are also available at the video level under “Videos.” 

Video View Metrics

YouTube video view metrics are an indication of how much people like your videos, and the biggest indicator of your success on YouTube.

1. Views

What are views? Views are the total number of times your videos on your channel have been played. This includes repeat views by the same viewer.

Why do views matter? Earning views is why you made videos in the first place, isn’t it? Your most-viewed videos should be an indication of which topics your audience is most interested in.

Tip: Your most-viewed videos should be a hint at what content to make next. Take your most-viewed videos and expand on it in the future with more in-depth guides or closely related topics.

2. Watch time (minutes)

What is watch time? Watch time is the total amount of time viewers spend watching your video(s). 

Why does watch time matter? Watch time is the best indication that your videos feature content people actually want to watch. Plus, watch time is the #1 ranking factor on YouTube. Videos or channels with more watch time are more likely to appear in the search results or as related videos.

Tip: To increase watch time, ensure your thumbnail and title are actually relevant to the video content. A misleading title or thumbnail may get you more views but will ultimately disappoint your viewers.

3. Average view duration & percentage viewed

What is the average view duration? Average view duration is the total amount of watch time divided by total views for your video or channel. In short, it’s the average amount of time people spent watching your video(s).

This metric is also available as average percentage viewed—in the form of a percentage rather than seconds or minutes.

Why does average view duration matter? Average view duration measures how well you’re able to engage your viewers. If your video has a low average view duration, it’s not meeting your viewers’ expectations and is a sign you need to make more engaging content.

Tip: Start your videos off with a bang to convince viewers to keep watching. Videos with long, boring intros are less likely to retain viewers. Show the value your viewers are going to get within the first 10 seconds of your video.

4. Audience retention

What is audience retention? Audience retention is a moment-by-moment chart showing how often each moment of your video is being watched as a percentage of total views.

Why does audience retention matter? Audience retention shows you the exact moments that viewers start to drop off from your video. 

Tip: Use audience retention to inform your video strategy. Figure out where you’re most often losing viewers and cut that content out from your next video, or even splice them out of your current videos.

Reach Metrics

YouTube reach metrics are a sign of how easily people are able to find your videos.

5. Impressions 

What are impressions? Impressions are the number of times potential viewers saw your video thumbnail while on YouTube.

Why do impressions matter? Impressions are a clear indication of whether or not your video is showing up in searches or as a related video. They’re a marker of how relevant your content is.

Tip: Use relevant keywords in your video title and description to make sure you show up in searches. To appear more often in related videos, find a video relevant to yours that’s already performing well and use similar video tags.

6. Unique Viewers

What are unique viewers? Unique viewers are the number of individuals that have watched your video at least once.

Why do unique viewers matter? Compared to views, unique viewers give you a sense of how often people are re-watching your videos.

Tip: To get more unique viewers on each video, encourage your subscribers to turn on notifications. They may be missing out on your amazing content!

7. Impressions click-through rate

What is impressions click-through rate? This is the number of views per impressions shown. In other words, the percentage of people who watch your video after seeing your thumbnail.

Why does impressions click-through rate matter? This is a marker of how compelling your video titles and thumbnails are.

Tip: Use brighter colors in your thumbnails and create incredibly click-worthy titles to increase click-through rates.

Interaction Metrics

YouTube’s interaction metrics measure how often people are engaging with your videos

8. Likes, Dislikes, and Likes vs. Dislikes

What are likes and dislikes? These are whether your video was rated with a thumbs up or a thumbs down. It’s most often presented as a percentage of likes.

Why do likes vs. dislikes matter? Likes and dislikes help you determine what topics resonate most with your audience. Videos with a higher ratio of likes tend to rank higher on YouTube.

Tip: Viewers are way more likely to like your video if you ask them directly. Don’t be shy! Ask!

9. Shares and Comments

What are shares and comments? The number of times your video has been shared using the Share button and the number of comments on the video

Why do shares and comments matter? Shares and comments are the best indicator of discussion-worthy content. Videos trigger more engagements when they resonate emotionally with the viewer.

Tip: To increase comments, ask a direct question to your viewers in your video. For more shares, tell them who they should share the video with.

Playlist Metrics

These metrics indicate how effective your playlists are at attracting and retaining viewers, including which videos perform best within your playlist.

10. Playlist starts

What are playlist starts? This is how often people start watching your playlist.

Why do playlist starts matter? Playlists are a great way to increase overall views and watch time, as they chain your videos together in an easy-to-consume order. Similar to video thumbnails and titles, using more enticing or concise playlist names will result in more clicks.

Tip: If you have a playlist that’s more popular than others, consider putting new videos at the start of that playlist to help boost exposure for that video.

11. Playlist exits/exit rate

What are playlist exits/exit rate? This metric is for individual videos. Playlist exits are how often a viewer exits the playlist after viewing that video. The playlist exit rate is the percentage of viewers that exit the playlist while on this video.

Why do playlist exits matter? Videos with higher playlist exits may not be as relevant to the playlist.

Tip: If a video has a higher-than-average playlist exit rate, consider moving it to the end of the playlist or removing it from the playlist. It may also be an indication to revamp the video with more engaging content.

12. Average time in playlist

What is the average time in playlist? This measures the average time a viewer spends watching that playlist before exiting.

Why does average time in playlist matter? More time spent in your playlist means more overall watch time and views for your channel.

Tip: If a playlist has lower watch time, try moving the best video to the front of the playlist to retain more viewers.

Card & End Screen Metrics

Card and end screen metrics showcase the effectiveness of your visual calls to action at enticing more clicks and views.

13. Card teaser clicks/clicks per card teaser shown

What are card teaser clicks? When a card is added to a video, the viewer sees teaser preview text in the corner. Card teaser clicks and clicks per card teaser shown measure how often viewers tap the teaser text to view the card.

What do card teaser clicks matter? Writing effective card teasers ultimately results in more clicks to your cards.

Tip: Strategically place your card teaser at a point in the video just before users typically drop off. This can keep people on the video longer and ensures they don’t leave before reading your call to action.

14. Card clicks/clicks per card shown

What are card clicks? Cards are visual calls to action over a video that can lead to a landing page/website, fundraiser, video, playlist, channel, or fan funding page. Card clicks and clicks per card shown are a measure of how often these cards are clicked.

What do card clicks matter? If the goal of your video is to promote a particular call to action, cards are a great way to get your message across. More clicks means a more effective card.

Tip: In your calls to action, use strong action words, create a sense of urgency, and promote the value to the viewer to promote more clicks. For example, “Register now for free tips in your inbox.”

15. End screen element clicks & clicks per end screen element shown

What are end screen element clicks? You can add end screens to the last 5-20 seconds of your video to encourage clicks to other videos/playlists/channels, to call for subscriptions, or link to external sites. End screen element clicks measures how often people click these elements.

Why do end screen element clicks matter? End screens are a great way to increase watch time by promoting related videos. 

Tip: Leave enough space at the end of your video to place end screens, and encourage people in the video to click these elements.

Audience Metrics/Categories

Audience and demographic categories indicate where your viewers are coming from, who they are, and how they differ in watch patterns. You can break down viewers by these categories and compare view/reach/interaction metrics per group.

16. Traffic Source

What is a traffic source? Traffic sources are where your viewers find your video. Traffic sources can be within YouTube through channel pages, search, playlists, suggested videos, or other YouTube features, or from outside of YouTube, through external websites or direct traffic.

Why do traffic sources matter? Traffic sources can show you where you’re really succeeding or where you have missed opportunities. They can help you to see where optimizations need to be made.

Tip: By clicking the “External” traffic source, you can see which websites bring in the most views to your videos. This is a great way to identify potential influencers or traffic-driving websites.

Bonus tip: By clicking the “YouTube search” traffic source, you can see the search terms that are driving people to your video. You may want to either add these tags to your video to increase views, or remove certain tags that are attracting the wrong types of searches.

17. Geography

What is geography? This breaks your viewers down by country.

Why does geography matter? If your business is catered to a particular country or countries, you want to make sure your videos are reaching the right people.

Tip: Check all of your view metrics (e.g. watch time, view duration) by country. If you have one target country that’s not performing as well as others, consider adding subtitles or tailoring the content more to that particular culture or language.

18. Viewer age & Viewer gender

What are viewer age and gender? Your video viewers can be broken down into age groups and gender.

Why do age and gender metrics matter? It’s crucial to know who is watching your videos if your brand or business is tailored to a particular demographic age group or gender. 

Tip: If you click through to an age group or gender, you’ll see the videos that the particular age group or gender are watching or engaging with most. Then, try to tease apart what makes these videos resonate more with your demographic, and adjust your future video strategy.

19. Device type & Operating System

What are device type and operating system? You can see which devices and operating systems your video viewers are using.

Why do devices matter? If the majority of your viewers are coming from mobile devices, they may be more interested in shorter videos or videos with subtitles. Desktop users or those watching on TVs are more likely to favor longer videos or playlists.

Tip: When making your video, test it on a smaller screen to make sure smaller elements like text are still visible to mobile viewers.

Subscription Metrics

Earning subscribers is the best way to increase overall watch time and views for your videos. These metrics allow you to track where your subscribers are coming from.

20. Subscription Status

What is subscription status? This provides an analytics breakdown of your viewers split between subscribers and non-subscribers.

Why does subscription status matter? This allows you to note any differences in viewing habits between subscribers and non-subscribers, or which videos may lead to more subscriptions.

Tip: If your goal is to increase subscriptions, look for videos that are watched more by non-subscribers. Try to decide: are they watched more by non-subscribers because they cover a relevant, but previously uncovered topic, or are they simply watched more by non-subscribers because the content isn’t relevant to your channel? 

21. Subscription Source

What is subscription source? This shows you which subscription button locations on YouTube are leading to subscribers. Examples include the video watch page, your YouTube channel, interactive features like cards or end screens, the home page, and more.

Why does subscription source matter? This report uncovers potential missed opportunities where you’re currently not earning subscribers.

Tip: To earn more subscribers, go back to your most-watched videos and add more interactive elements encouraging subscriptions.

More Miscellaneous YouTube Metrics

There are countless more metrics on YouTube—we’ve just covered the most important ones. Here’s a quick list of a few of these other metrics:

  • Live vs. on demand metrics
  • Playback location metrics
  • Subtitles and closed captioning metrics
  • Sharing service metrics

Top 12 YouTube Analytics Tools of 2019

While YouTube offers a strong suite of in-platform analytics, third-party tools can help you truly understand larger patterns in your viewer behavior, monitor your competitors, discover potential influencers, track your ROI, and track trending topics.

We’ve previously covered the top social media analytics tools and top social media listening tools, many of which provide tools for YouTube, but this list below is curated specifically for YouTube. Let’s dive in!

1. YouTube Studio Analytics

As we’ve already covered above, the YouTube Studio provides a comprehensive list of metrics that let you analyze the quality of each video, the demographics of your viewers, and your subscriber counts.

Benefits:

  • Viewer retention – YouTube gives you incredible insight into moment-by-moment viewership data
  • Robust – YouTube Analytics has an incredible wealth of data that feeds in to most other tools
  • Free – For new or infrequent users, this is a big plus.

Cost: Free with every YouTube channel.

2. Keyhole

Keyhole is a multi-platform social listening and advanced analytics tool that provides powerful at-a-glance insights. Keyhole combines social listening, social media analytics, media monitoring and social media account optimization, all included in one suite. 

Benefits:

  • Trackers – Track metrics for as many YouTube channels, hashtags, or keywords as you need, not just your own channel.
  • Optimization – Unlock insights like the optimal time to post your video, the optimal video duration, the top tags by views, the optimal number of video tags, and average views by day.
  • Influencers – Keyhole has useful influencer-tracking tools that let you measure the impact of each influencers and co-collaborator on your YouTube channel

Cost: After a 7-day free trial, Keyhole has three tiers of pricing: Professional (3 users), Corporate (10 users), and Enterprise (unlimited users), with a scalable pricing scale dependent on account trackers.

3. Vidooly

Vidooly is an AI-powered video marketing tool that provides insights and analytics across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, and more. In addition to free metrics for any channel on YouTube, Vidooly allows you to measure the success of targeted video campaigns.

Benefits:

  • Influencers – Identify and partner with content creators relevant to your genre
  • Benchmark – Compare your video data with your competitors
  • Content ideas – Research trending topics within your niche

Cost: After a free demo, Vidooly pricing varies widely dependent on the solution you choose.

4. ChannelMeter

ChannelMeter is a tool for discovering and managing brand influencers on YouTube—a great option if you’re looking to grow your brand through other users’ channels. ChannelMeter is sales and monetization focused, providing tools to discover monetization opportunities, manage your content creator network, and manage payments.

Benefits:

  • Earnings analytics – Provides an intuitive dashboard of recent video earnings
  • Influencer payments – Tools to manage payments to content creators
  • Recruit – Tools to recruit related influencers

Cost: ChannelMeter pricing is not publicly available. For pricing information, contact the vendor directly.

5. Rival IQ

Rival IQ provides competitor benchmarking analytics and tracks your cross-channel audience across every major online content platform.

Benefits:

  • Benchmarking – Track how often competitor brands post certain types of media (e.g. videos) and what engagement rates they receive 
  • Cross-channel analysis – See which media websites are most likely to share YouTube content
  • Social listening – Track trending topics to inspire new video content

Cost: Rival IQ has a 14-day free trial, followed by three pricing tiers, starting at $199/month.

6. Social Report

Social Report is an all-in-one social media marketing platform. It provides a summary of engagement activity across your social network profiles and blogs. Social Report’s most stand-out feature is the ability to measure ROI and link customer data to social performance.

Benefits:

  • ROI tracking – Their conversion tracking tool allows you to calculate the ROI of a piece of content, including YouTube videos.
  • Automatic reporting – Enable notifications with daily or weekly reports.

Cost: All three pricing tiers start with a 30-day free trial. Their 5-user standard tier starts at $49/month.

7. Social Bakers

Social Bakers uses AI to find your target audience on social, what content they’re most interested in, and influencers and brands they love. Through this tool, you can monitor the most popular YouTube channels and videos in your industry to draw inspiration from.

Benefits:

  • Personas – Take advantage of AI-generated audience personas to better understand who you’re creating content for
  • Content analysis – Get smart recommendations on posting times and topics
  • Automated analysis – Automate analysis of similarly labeled posts

Cost: Social Bakers has some free tools and offers a free trial of unspecified length. They offer four pricing tiers, but pricing is only publicly available at the lowest tier, starting at $200/month.

8. Quintly

Quintly is a social media analytics tool that offers an organized library of YouTube Analytics. It offers a convenient dashboard to track views, subscribers, and engagements across every social media platform.

Benefits:

  • Flexibility – Quintly allows you to custom-arrange your dashboard to display the analytics you care about most
  • Automated reports – Create and automate social media reports for your team or clients

Cost: Quintly pricing depends on your custom plan, but pricing starts at $300/month.

9. Klear

Klear is an influencer marketing platform that allows you to find and manage influencers, analyze key metrics, and measure the ROI of your campaigns.

Benefits:

  • Influencer tracking – Klear makes it easy to find YouTube influencers that will help you build your brand
  • Depth of data – Klear has a robust collection of influencer data across all social networks

Cost: Klear is primarily an enterprise-level platform, for which pricing is not publicly available, but they do offer discounted pricing for agencies under 20 employees.

10. TubeBuddy

TubeBuddy is a popular YouTube optimization tool. It offers productivity tools, bulk processing abilities, video SEO tools, automated promotion tools, and robust data and analytics tools.

Benefits:

  • YouTube SEO – TubeBuddy has auditing tools, suggested tags and keywords, keyword rank tracking, and caption services
  • Channel analysis – Channel and competitor insights, comment word clouds, brand alerts, retention analyzer, and more
  • Bulk tools – Easily add cards and end screens to multiple videos

Cost: TubeBuddy has several pricing tiers depending on the features you choose, starting as low as $4.50/month if your channel has under 1,000 subscribers. They also offer discounts for non-profits.

11. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a popular social scheduling tool that supports every mainstream social network. On top of providing scheduling for video posts, their YouTube platform has a Channelview Insights add-on that lets you 

Benefit:

  • Convenience – If you already use Hootsuite as a scheduler, it’s convenient to have your YouTube channel insights in the same dashboard.

Cost: After a free 30-day trial, Hootsuite offers four tiers of pricing, starting at $29/month for a single user.

12. Sendible

Sendible is another scheduling and listening tool, designed primarily for agencies. Sendible’s strength is the ability to make customized reports via PDF or email to help showcase the success of your YouTube strategy to your agency’s clients.

Benefits:

  • Reporting – Create custom-branded reports with YouTube analytics to impress your clients
  • Schedule and collaborate – Tools to assign/approve social posts with custom access levels for team members

Cost: Sendible provides a 30-day trial, with 4 tiers of pricing for 1-12 users, starting at $29/month.

YouTube Analytics Recap

By tracking your YouTube Analytics, whether it’s on YouTube or through one of these helpful third-party YouTube Analytics tools, you’ll gain valuable new insights about your business and your video strategy.

Want to learn even more? Visit our blog for more practical YouTube marketing advice.

Related Links:

Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

[Updated in July 2019, for a brand new Social Media Analytics Tools comparison]

Did you miss our previous blog on the 27 Hashtag Analytics strategies? No worries, you can read it here: https://keyhole.co/blog/hashtag-analytics-27-actionable-strategies/

It can be a daunting task.

You’ve asked everyone and every query tool for the best social media analytics tools and you’re still unsure which to use. And you don’t have the time and money to waste using a tool only to find out later on that it doesn’t suit your needs. Whether you’re asking other marketers or searching on Google, it can be quite confusing — with every brand making enticing promises.

How do you know which of them would deliver on their promise? A good complete guide is a great place to look.

Here’s a guide showing you the top 25 social media analytics tools, and how they work:

Read moreTop 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

Instagram Creator Account: Is It Worth The Switch?

How exactly did the Instagram creator account came about?

For a while now, Instagram has been one of the most important social media platforms and digital marketing channels. 

With more and more people joining the platform to share their lifestyles, opinions and spread their message, brands have identified an excellent opportunity to reach their target audience and promote their products in a much more “organic” way, as opposed to traditional advertising. 

Up until now, brands and influencers alike have been using business accounts to support their Instagram marketing efforts and leveraged third party apps to access robust social media marketing analytics.

However, with the importance of Instagram marketing growing and the changes to Instagram API disabling many third party tools, influencers started asking for more relevant in-app analytics that would allow them to understand their audience better and optimize their posts.

That’s how Creator Accounts were born.

What is an Instagram Creator Account?

At the dawn of Instagram, there were only personal accounts. 

People joined the platform to share significant moments of their life and keep up to date with what their friends have been up to. 

But with millions of users signing up every month, it was not long before it became evident that Instagram is much more than just another network to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances…

… it was, in fact, one of the most powerful channels for social media marketing that ever existed.

It was then that Instagram introduced business profiles.

What made business profiles different (and better) for businesses and creators?

A business profile offers Instagram users insight into audience demographics, weekly follower counts, reach and impressions.

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Instagram marketing has been growing and evolving, and the insights that come with a business account are no longer enough.

Creators needed more and they started asking for it.

Fast forward to the end of 2018:

To the thrill of its users, Instagram recognized this new need and announced the rollout of a new type of account targeted at Instagram’s most precious users…

… (you guessed it) influencers.

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In this post, we will dive deeper into what this means, and specifically, what this means FOR YOU, as an Instagram user.

But before getting too immersed in this and exploring Instagram’s new account type in detail, a lot of you will probably wonder:

Are You Eligible for an Instagram Creator Account?

When Instagram first announced Instagram Creator Accounts, it was rumoured that it will be an account available only to users with more than 10.000 followers, who also have a Facebook business page.

What many people don’t know is that things have changed since the testing phase until now.

As it turns out, currently, anyone who feels and wants to be a Creator, can switch to a Creator Account.

That’s right:

You don’t need 10,000 followers.

You don’t even need 1,000 followers.

You don’t need a Facebook fan page.

All you need is to follow a couple of simple steps that we will explain below.

How to Become an Instagram Creator?

Switching to a creator account is easy.

First, log into your Instagram, and open the profile section. Then, click on the three lines shown in the top right corner.

Tap on your profile’s Settings tab.

Select the Account option. 

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Once you enter the Account settings, you will see a Switch to Creator Account option.

Switch to an Instagram Creator Profile, Step 2.

The process to switch to a Creator Account is intuitive – Instagram will take you through the entire process of switching and confirming all the details associated with your account. 

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Once you click “Done,” you’re all set and good to go. The new options and insights will be available for you to access immediately. 

Now that you know how to switch to an Instagram Creator Account, it’s time that we discuss what you will get and what you will lose if you do choose to make the switch. This way, you will be able to set clear expectations and ensure that you make an informed decision.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Instagram Creator Empowers You to Analyse and Optimise Your Growth Strategy

Instagram Creator Accounts offer more in-depth insights about your following than business profiles do. 

These insights will not only show you overall growth, but the daily growth and follower loss as well. 

You can use this knowledge to determine whether or not  your social media marketing went wrong. 

Further Reading: 7 Important Instagram Analytics with tools to track your instagram metrics

It’s a  day by day audience analytics that will show you follower growth.

In the particular example you can see this instagrammer is losing more followers than gaining. 

The logical question that follows is: why is that?

The answer is Engagement. 

If we go to the activity dashboard, we will see that not many users have engaged with the profile during the past couple of days. 

Moreover, the discovery numbers are low as well.

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The numbers clearly show that this influencer’s current approach to Instagram marketing is not working that well.

But the question remains: why? 

If you go to the content dashboard, you’d see it shows no activity.  

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Taking all this into consideration, it is safe to assume that the low engagement has something to do with the instagrammer’s inactivity.

As you can see, with Instagram Creator you will have the tools that you need to find out what works and what doesn’t for your target audience; you can further use this insight to optimize your content, posting frequency and posting time for higher engagement and growth.

But that’s not all…

Instagram Creators Have Access to Creator Studio

Here’s another great thing about Creator Accounts.

Not only will you be able to see all your metrics on your phone’s screen, but you will also gain desktop access to all your stats with Creator Studio.

Yes, this is the very same Creator Studio recently introduced by Facebook.

In case you are not acquainted with Creator Studio…

It is an easy-to-use dashboard management tool that allows you to see all your Facebook and Instagram analytics (that you’d otherwise access in the app) – on your desktop. 

Note that the admins of the linked Facebook pages will be able to view some of your Creator Studio Instagram insights as well.

When you open Creator Studio, you will be taken to your Facebook dashboard. 

Click the Instagram icon on the top of the screen to see your posts and performance metrics. 

In the content library, you can either view all content at once, or sort the content by type:

  • Video
  • Photo
  • Carousel
  • Stories
  • IGTV

You can also choose to see posts related to a specific keyword, or filter the content by date.

For each type of post, you can access basic metrics like the date the post was published, likes, comments, reach and so on.

On the right hand side, you can enter your insights dashboard,

There are two types of insights to choose from: activity and audience – the very same metrics you can find in your Instagram app.

Again, just like with the Instagram app, you can use Content Studio to access and assess the stats for the last seven days.

Before we move on to the next part, there’s one more thing worth mentioning…

Creator Studio only provides access to Instagram and Facebook analytics – it’s not possible to schedule or post content using the Creator Studio dashboard.

Instagram Creator Account Have a Cleaner Inbox

Instagram influencers are receiving hundreds of messages in their inbox every day.

These messages range from friendly hellos, followers expressing support or asking for information to brands and agencies proposing partnerships and collaborations.

With no control over what kinds of messages land in their inbox, influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers can easily get overwhelmed by all the clutter and noise created by direct messages.

But those are challenges of the past.

The Creator Account solves this issue by introducing filtered inbox. 

With the new filtering options, users can distinguish between General and Primary messages, in addition to the already available Requests tab, where messages from unknown contacts land (requests are further filtered as well). 

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This way even the most requested influencers can prioritize messages from friends and family and never miss an important collaboration request.

A quick note.

When you first switch to a Creator Account, all of your messages will remain in the Priority inbox. 

So, if you want the messages you have already received to be filtered according to priority, you will have to do that yourself.

Message by message by entering the conversation, and manually move the message into your preferred inbox.

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Although it is easy to move messages between inbox tabs, going through all of your messages one by one is a time consuming task.

Here’s what we propose…

Keep your current messages right where they are – in the Primary inbox tab, and start sorting your DMs as you start receiving new messages and requests.

Requests will be especially easy to filter.

If you choose to accept a request, a popup will appear asking you to pick the inbox where you want to place the conversation with that person.

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Similarly, you can choose whether you would like to receive notifications for your General messages or not. 

The General inbox notifications are turned off by default, so if you would prefer to get an alert once you get a message in this tab, you have to turn on the notification toggle in the inbox settings.

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Instagram Creators Have More Control Over Their Profiles

The inbox is not the only thing Instagram Creator Accounts give influencers control over.

From the Profile Display Options, users can choose their preferred contact option (email or phone) and choose whether they want the category that describes them (Writer, Blogger, Actor etc.) to show up under their name on their profile.

With the new categories, influencers no longer have to define themselves as public figures (like most business profile users did), they can choose a category that describes exactly what they do.

Cool, right?

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Another great perk is that Instagram Creators have the option to remove their contact details altogether (this is not possible with business accounts), thus choosing to get contacted only by DMs.

Not a big change, per se, but it’s nice to know that Instagram users now have the option to choose what information is shown and what’s hidden from the public eye.

Creator Accounts Allows Fast Monetization of Instagram Marketing Efforts

Last but not least, Creator Accounts allow influencers to create shoppable posts.

So far, this has been a feature available to brands only.

But, as Instagram has recognized influencers as an invaluable part of the entire social media marketing puzzle, it has given Creators the opportunity to link to products from their collaborators right on their feed.

The idea is that with this new feature, the influencer’s followers will not have to go to the trouble to search the web or DM the influencer in order to find out what he or she is wearing/ advertising. 

Instead, they will be able to simply click the link provided on the photo of the wanted product, and be taken directly to the store where they can make a purchase.

No doubt about it, this feature might be one of the strongest stimuli for influencers to switch to a Creator Account as it offers a way to almost immediately monetize Instagram marketing efforts.

But there’s a catch.

Currently, the feature is being tested and is limited to a small group of top influencers.

Chances are, you will not be able to use this feature if you switch right now.

However, it’s safe to assume that in the future, more and more users will be granted the ability to create shoppable posts on their profiles – and thus drive more sales for the brands they partner with.

So… 

Should You Switch to Creator Accounts?

Instagram Creator Accounts offer more analytics than Business Accounts.

The only problem?

Although becoming a Creator is appealing, at this point of development, Creator Accounts do not support third party analytics and scheduling tools. 

So, if you are used to creating your content and scheduling your posts ahead of time, you might not find what Instagram Creator Account offers as valuable as some other people would. 

So,  what’s the verdict?

Is Instagram Creator worth the switch?

The update is still in it’s testing phase and a lot of its features are only available to top influencers.

So, only time can tell for sure if it’s worth the switch or not. 

Having said that, we would encourage you to try switching to Instagram Creator Account and see how you like it yourself.

Hashtag Analytics: 27 Actionable Strategies To Grow Your Business

In this guide, we will explore 27 actionable hashtag analytics strategies. We will also document  case studies to show how business flourish by implementing these strategies. 

By following the actionable strategies in this guide, you’ll learn how to make use of proper hashtags, hashtag analytics, and hashtag tracking tools.

Before we get into the strategies, let’s refresh our memory about hashtags and the benefits hashtags have on businesses. 

So, let’s dive in. 

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is the use of a hash (#) symbol in front of a keyword in a social media post.

Hashtags make a post discoverable by other users who are browsing or searching for that hashtag. 

Basically, it’s an easy way to categorize your post or associate your post with a trend.

While hashtags originated on Twitter in 2007, they have slowly spread to every other popular social network on the planet—so it’s important to understand all their possible uses.

Related guide: Hashtags: A Beginner’s Guide and How to Use them Effectively

What are the benefits of using hashtags?

When used effectively, hashtags can boost your business tremendously.

Hashtags are a rare win-win for businesses and their customers.

Hashtags make it easier for users to find content they like, and they make it easier for businesses to get content in front of their customers.

So what’s in it for you?

There are 5 main benefits for businesses from using hashtags:

1. Increase brand awareness

By using hashtags strategically in your posts, you can expose your business’s content to new audiences – even if you don’t have many followers. 

Targeting a highly relevant hashtag to your brand can help you garner immediate attention from a very specific demographic.

2. Increase engagement

Hashtags make you part of the conversation.

By jumping in to conversations on popular hashtags, you can have real-time conversations with your audience, solidifying a personality behind your brand, post by post.

Or, to further solidify your brand to your followers, you can create a brand hashtag to get people talking about you.

3. Learn about your audience

Hashtags are a two-way street.

Not only do they help you speak to an audience, they also let you listen in on the conversation.

By listening in on a popular hashtag, you can easily create audience personas for your business.

Find a hashtag relevant to your business and ask yourself:

What demographics are using that hashtag? What are their interests on social media? What type of content do they like?

4. Inform your content strategy

Lacking creative inspiration for your content?

By checking out trending hashtags or hashtags niche to your business, you can learn what content people actually want to consume.

You can take those learnings and apply them to your overall content strategy, both online and offline.

5. Generate new leads

Ultimately, more brand awareness and higher quality content is going to lead to more website visits or foot traffic to your business.

By using a hashtag analytics tool like Keyhole, you can monitor the success of your brand on social media in real time—ultimately learning what appeals to your customers. 

Now we know what hashtags are and the benefits it has on businesses. So, let’s jump in to the strategies. 

27 Hashtag Strategies to Grow Your Business

Here’s how to carry out a full front-to-back hashtag analytics strategy to bring more leads to your business.

Hashtag Research Tips

The first step to an effective hashtag strategy is to conduct thorough research in advance.

The objective here is to identify existing hashtags that present the biggest opportunity for your business long-term.

Of course, trends can change quickly, but you’ll see the most success with a long-term, adaptable strategy.

1. Choose a hashtag analytics tool

To get started, you’ll need to choose a hashtag analytics tool.

To help you choose, we’ve written a guide to the top 15 hashtag analytics tools.

The two main factors to consider when choosing a hashtag tracking tool are the feature set and—of course—the price. 

For this post, we’ll be featuring our own tool, the Keyhole Advanced Analytics Suite, but this strategy can be carried out using any robust tracking service.

2. Set up a hashtag tracker

If you’re running a social media account, you likely already have a few popular hashtags in mind that you’d like to track.

Using your hashtag tracking tool, set up a real-time tracker for 2-3 keywords you’re interested in exploring.

Use these starting hashtags as the base for your research.

3. Uncover trending and related topics

Using your hashtag tracker, explore related hashtags and keywords related to your base keywords.

Make a list of the hashtags or keywords that are most relevant to your business.

At this stage, don’t be too selective. This is similar to a brainstorming session. The objective is to find out which keywords or hashtags present the biggest opportunity for your brand.

4. Find Your Niche

You can’t just post any hashtag and expect results.

If you post on a top trending topic, you may be drowned out within minutes. If you post on a hashtag nobody uses, your posts will fall on deaf ears.

Find your niche. Your goal is to strike a balance between popularity and potential impact.

Using your list of keywords from step 3, identify keywords that tend to have higher engagement and reach, but fewer posters.

Using this strategy, choose a handful of keywords that you will use consistently to bring the most reach and engagement for your brand.

5. Identify Top Posts & Content

With your chosen hashtag and topics, use your tracking tool and browse each social platform to identify the posts that get the most engagement.

Note any trends about what makes a good post.

Are they using humor? Are they more inspirational? Are they informational?

Also note the type of media that’s most popular.

If they’re using images, what kind? Are they graphics, animations, or photos?

If they’re using video, what makes the video successful? Are they shorter or longer? Do they make use of captions? Is the video studio-quality or more casual?

And here’s a key piece of advice:

Don’t fight a battle you can’t win.

If the only popular content on a certain hashtag is outside your company’s skillset or budget, look for a hashtag whose content is more similar to what you have the capacity to produce.

But don’t let this scare you away—many top posts are nothing more than cleverly written text.

6. Use historical data

Don’t forget to look both at recent timeframes and historical data.

Yes, you want to be on-trend with your content, but you shouldn’t ignore what has worked for other brands in the past.

7. Know your social media platform

There are subtle differences between how hashtags are used on each popular platform.

And not only are there differences platform to platform, different industries use each platform differently. 

On Twitter, where text is more limited, using 1-3 hashtags results in the highest engagement.

On Instagram and Pinterest, you should use 10-20 hashtags to maximize your reach.

Facebook hashtags aren’t as effective, sure they make it clickable but it isn’t as effective as instagram and twitter. 

LinkedIn has recently introduced the capability for users to follow hashtags, making hashtag use an even better way to boost your LinkedIn content. 

Be sure to research how your industry makes best use of each platform.

8. Track your top hashtags

Once you’ve identified which hashtags matter most to your business, set up trackers in your tracking tools for your chosen hashtags.

Be sure to set up trackers for your branded hashtags too. Don’t have a branded hashtag yet? Don’t worry, that’s next on our list!

Watch: How to Use Hashtag & Keyword Tracking on Keyhole (YouTube)

Branded Hashtag Tips

Having a strong branded hashtag that catches on is an incredible way to boost your engagement.

Here are a few tips for making the most of your brand.

9. Create a brand hashtag

To properly brand your business’s posts, you’ll need a branded hashtag.

Here are a few tips for creating a branded hashtag:

Keep it short – Make it easy for your consumers to type.

Example: Visit New Orleans’s hashtag, #OneTimeInNOLA, uses the city’s abbreviation rather than the full name.

Make it memorable – The catchier the hashtag, the easier it is to remember.

Example: Nike’s hashtag #JustDoIt uses its already-famous company slogan.

Make it easy to spell – Avoid long words or alternate spellings.

Example: Even though Lululemon’s branded hashtag, #TheSweatLife, is a play on “the sweet life,” it’s still short, memorable, and easy to spell.

Don’t be too literal – Branded hashtags are more effective when they’re not your exact brand name.

Example: Goodyear’s hashtag #MoreDriven. While it’s related to tires and driving, the hashtag is meant to be used by basketball teams sponsored by Goodyear.

Make it actionable – Make it obvious to your consumers what they’re meant to do with your hashtag. And make it something that people will actually want to use.

Example: Target’s hashtag #TargetRun encourages consumers to post every time they visit Target.

Research it first – Use a hashtag analytics tool or browse the hashtag on every platform to make sure you aren’t competing with another brand, or accidentally misusing a preexisting hashtag.

Once you’ve chosen your branded hashtag, be sure to use it consistently on every post, and use it in each of your social profile bios.

10. Create a hashtag for every event and campaign

While it’s key to use your main brand hashtag consistently (as long as it’s successful), you should also use a separate hashtag for each of your separate campaigns and events.

Using a separate hashtag for each campaign has two main benefits: it makes it easier for your audience to follow along or participate, and it also makes it easier for you to track the success of each campaign.

Further reading: 5 Best Christmas Hashtag Campaigns with tips on how to run an event hashtag campaign

11. Promote your hashtag

Once you’ve established your campaign’s hashtag, promote it! Offer contests and giveaways that encourage your consumers to use the hashtag.

For example, for halloween Oreo started #OreoHorrorStory by parodying scenes from horror movies such as The Shining, The Exorcist, and Frankestein.

12. Track each of your hashtags

For each of your branded hashtags, make sure you add them to your hashtag analytics tracker.

Watch: How to Set up Advanced Hashtag & Keyword Tracking with Keyhole (YouTube)

Tips for Using Non-Branded Hashtags

Just because you have your own branded hashtags doesn’t mean you should ignore other hashtags. Here’s how to take advantage of popular trends.

13. Post about real-time trending topics and hashtags

If you see a trend taking off that relates to your business, engage with it by using the hashtag.

Using trending hashtags gives you the potential to reach a massive audience that may not be familiar with your brand yet. 

14. Post on lifestyle and niche hashtags

By using hashtags that are commonly associated with a certain lifestyle, you can immediately have your brand associated with a particular feeling, emotion, or vibe.

Explore lifestyle hashtags that are popular with your demographic to find the right hashtags for your business.

For example, using #MondayMotivation would be a great way to associate your brand with the self-improvement trend.

15. Post only on relevant hashtags

But be careful:

Just because a hashtag is popular doesn’t mean you should use it.

Posting irrelevant content on a popular trend is an easy way to label your brand as inauthentic or trying too hard.

And most importantly: never spam trending hashtags.

Posting a large number of posts on trending hashtags in a short period of time is a recipe for getting your accounts banned.

16. Consider every angle before using a hashtag

Even if you have a relevant post for a trending or lifestyle hashtag, consider every angle.

Are there any risks associated with posting on that hashtag? Does the hashtag have a double meaning you may not be aware of? Could the hashtag be considered offensive to your audience?

Always think twice before diving in to a trend.

17. Use a reasonable number of hashtags

As we mentioned above, tailor your hashtag use to the platform. Sometimes less is more.

On Twitter, stick to a maximum of 3 hashtags.

On Facebook – 0 hashtags. It’s not as effective to use hashtags in Facebook even though Facebook makes it clickable. Matter of fact, post without hashtags perform better than with it

On Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, posts with more hashtags tend to get more interactions.

18. Use local or regional hashtags

Not every post you make has to apply to a global audience.

If you’re a local business, use your city’s local hashtags to build awareness locally.

Even if you’re not confined to a single market, using local hashtags in your target cities, states/provinces, or countries can be a great opportunity for additional engagement.

19. Post great content

Above all else: post great content.

It doesn’t matter how sophisticated your hashtag strategy is if what you’re posting isn’t interesting, funny, informative, or inspiring.

Make only content that your consumers will love.

20. Interact and engage

Social media isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it, one-way communication channel.

If people are using your branded hashtags, reply to the posts. By replying, you’re validating your audience’s choice to use your hashtag.

That goes for both positive and negative posts. It’s certainly more fun to respond to positive sentiments, but it’s also important to earnestly respond to complaints with genuine concern. 

And don’t be afraid to jump into conversations on unbranded hashtags too. Participating in real conversation is a great way to show off your brand’s personality.

Bonus tip: This process can be made much easier with a social listening or hashtag tracking tool.

With a social listening tool like Keyhole, you can create real-time feeds of conversations taking place on your favorite hashtags across multiple platforms, allowing you to strike while the iron’s hot.

Related guide: Using Popular Hashtags To Grow Your Business

How to Use Hashtags to Identify Influencers

Nothing resonates more with an audience than social proof.

Posts from key influencers act as a vote of confidence for your brand, and can spread your reach to a highly targeted audience.

That’s why social media influencers have become a billion-dollar industry.

Here’s how to use hashtag analytics tools to capitalize on the trend.

21. Use a hashtag analytics tool to identify influencers

Using a hashtag tracking tool like Keyhole, you can pull statistics on the biggest influencers in your industry.

For any given hashtag, you can see which influencers are posting the most often or have the most reach, engagements, or impressions. 

Using Keyhole’s dedicated Influencers metrics, you can also filter potential influencers based on their location or keywords used in their bios.

22. Manage and track influencers

Once you’ve reached out to the influencers that present the biggest opportunity for your brand, you can manage your inventory of influencers using Keyhole’s Influencer Management Tools.

Keyhole’s tools let you see all of your influencers on one dashboard, allowing you to measure their individual impact and who is providing the most ROI to your business.

23. Identify websites and online publications

Monitoring hashtags also allows you to identify websites or publications that are most often posting about your target subject.

Using Keyhole, look for relevant content to your brand and look for journalists or authors who may be willing to write about your product.

This is a great way to generate backlinks to your website, boosting your SEO and search engine success.

Measure the Success of Your Hashtags

Once you’ve had your campaigns up and running, it’s time to measure your success and brand influence.

24. Track your reach on a regular basis

Keep tabs on your typical engagement rate, reach, and impressions. 

We recommend adding a time-slot to your personal calendar to check in on your metrics either daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on how active you are on social media.

25. Optimize your posting

The success of your posts will depend on when you post them. Keyhole’s social media account analytics tools allow you to track the optimal times and days to post.

Over a long enough timeframe, you’ll start to see which times generate the most engagements with your posts.

26. Note what type of content works best

Keyhole will show you your top posts by likes, retweets, or other engagement metrics. Go through your posts and identify what made them special.

Keep an ongoing list of factors that influence the success of a post and consult them every time you’re planning your social calendar.

27. Keep learning about your audience

You may think you know your audience, but how well do you really know them?

By tracking your hashtags and social accounts on Keyhole, you can monitor several different audience dimensions.

You can break your audience down by gender to get a sense of who’s engaging with your posts.

You can also break your audience down by geographical location.

If you’re not hitting your target area, consider posting more location-specific content to those regions to try to break in to the market.

Finally, you can also track the overall sentiment of posts related to your tracked brand or hashtag.

Benefits of tracking hashtags. 

By now, you should understand how important it is to integrate hashtags into your social media strategy. 

So what are the main benefits to tracking hashtag analytics?

  1. Measure brand awareness by tracking impressions and engagement on your brand hashtag.

  2. Measure the direct success of events or marketing campaign hashtags.

  3. Manage your brand or industry’s reputation by tracking the positive and negative mentions containing your target hashtags.

  4. Track trending topics in your industry.

  5. Monitor your brands and your competitors in your industry.

  6. Find influencers and potential brand ambassadors relevant to your business.

Case Studies – How using Keyhole will grow your business

Let’s look at a few real-world examples of hashtag success in action.

Case Study #1 – How theChive used Keyhole to track their branded hashtags

theChive, a Men’s Lifestyle digital platform, has 20 million people engaging with their brand every month, either on their website or on social media.

Tracking that at a large scale is a monumental task.

For one of their sponsored events, a national beer pong tournament, they needed to track 50 individual hashtags for each state.

We were tracking 50 different hashtags & figuring out who’s in the lead at each state in real-time. We would update it throughout the week to know who’s most likely to win. Without Keyhole, tracking this many hashtags would’ve been impossible, so that’s where our partnership started.” –

Jill Broek, Director of Brand Strategy.

See our full story about theCHIVE for more details.

Case Study #2 – How PROJECT 375 uses Keyhole to track the conversation around mental health

PROJECT 375, a non-profit organization focused on reducing the stigma around mental health, uses Keyhole for social listening.

They use Keyhole to track trending news stories, celebrity posts, and new studies focused on promoting a positive dialogue around mental health.

Using Keyhole, they’re also able to track their own success.

“Keyhole is my go-to for all things analytics. Knowing our audience, their likes and dislikes, the kinds of content they prefer and the times they are looking at us is mission critical. I am constantly looking at the data to see what patterns emerge and the different ways we can tweak our strategies to best serve our supporters. Social media is ever-changing and Keyhole gives us the ability to change in lockstep with the latest trends and audience preferences,” 

– Erica Jellerson, Communications & Events Manager, PROJECT 375.  

For the full story on PROJECT 375, check out this full case study.

Related case studies:

So are you tracking your Hashtags? 

Once you have a front-to-back hashtag strategy in place, you’ll see far more success out of your social media campaigns.

By using a hashtag analytics tool to track your brand awareness, key influencers, and trending topics, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to create perfectly optimized campaigns—uncovering a new audience and increasing your lead generation.

Ready to get your #hashtagstrategy started?

Start your free trial with Keyhole’s social media monitoring tool today.

Keyhole_logo_yellow_background

New Identity

We’re launching a new Keyhole!

Can you guess our new colour?

Well, yellow plus.


Thanks to the thousands of users that join every month, Keyhole has grown significantly.
And we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far with you, our customers and users!

We loved our old design, and we know a lot of our users did too.
And yet, we needed to evolve.
And not for the sake of it, that would have been too easy…

We evolved because our old design didn’t convey who we really are internally as a company and what we stand for.

Our 2 co-founders, Saif and Minaz, have always believed in data-driven decisions, transparency and accountability, but also fun and intelligence; and the Keyhole team is the reflection of these values.

So it is time our brand reflects our values as a team: colourful, witty, and analytical at the same time.


We believe data and analytics can be fun, and we want to share that experience with our users.

Plus, we get the sense that, deep down, you have the same feeling!

Like ‘someone’ at Keyhole used to say:

“RAW DATA IS BORING
BUT ANALYTICS SHOULD BE FUN!”

Someone at Keyhole

So, what’s changed?

We changed our website from this:

Keyhole_screenshot_Old_Branding
Previous Design

To this:

Keyhole_screenshot_new_Branding
New Design

Tiempos is our new font, and it looks good!

And like a great versatile watch, it can be dressed-up or dressed-down, whether you want to impress your clients or your CEO, or whether you just want to work on your own analytics, Tiempos is amazing, clean, and easy to read!

[Co-founder’s edit: “Alex, our lead marketer and post author loves watches, so of course there’s a reference to great versatile watches here.”]

Keyhole_font_tiempos

Attention to detail is everything to us.

Keyhole_font_tameyourtrolls

Smart and playful illustrations

To convey complex analytics with simple illustrations, we worked with a team of talented illustrators.

You’ll discover a lot more while browsing keyhole.co, as almost every page has one, and you’ll see more when trying out Keyhole if you don’t already use it (and love it) every day.

Speaking of which…


Here is the New Keyhole (and you have to try it!)

We’ve also applied every aspect of this new branding to our product!

We changed our product from this:

Screenshot_keyhole_old_design_20190709
Previous Design

To this:

Screenshot_keyhole_new_design_20190709
New Design

We’ve also made changes to the structure of our product so that Keyhole is even easier to use.
(Check out the tabs on top of the page: “Hashtag & Keyword Tracking”, “Social Media Account Analytics” and “Influencer Management”)

All the good stuff is still here. Nothing has changed with how you use Keyhole, the metrics, or how you download reports. It’s just that now, we’re extra fun to work with.


So here it is, it’s still us, in Yellow, and we’re still providing great analytics for you everyday.


From Toronto, with Love, the team at Keyhole.


By Alexandre Boudier, Director of Demand Generation at Keyhole

Life is short and the internet is vast.