Are you trying to build an Instagram ad dashboard to track the performance of your campaigns, but not sure where to begin?
With 1.22 billion monthly users, Instagram is still one of the most popular social media platforms in 2022. This makes it a great place to promote your brand, engage with your audience, and generate new leads.
Ok, so your Instagram campaign is live. You’ve got your carousel and video ads running on stories, reels, and timelines.
So what’s the best way to track the performance of your ads to set yourself up for success?
Two words: Marketing Dashboard
Today we’re going to take a look at what exactly a marketing dashboard is, what KPIs you should be tracking for your campaigns, as well as show you a bonus alternative to dashboards for more streamlined reporting to help maximize your profits.
Let’s get started.
A marketing dashboard is a tool for displaying key performance metrics of a campaign or objective. Their main job is to help take the guesswork out of your strategy - a marketing dashboard will track performance so that you can easily identify problems or opportunities.
Dashboard tools allow users to view data in real-time for multiple data streams, making it possible to combine metrics from various social media channels, website analytics, and more.
Of course, you don’t need a marketing dashboard. You could build one manually in a spreadsheet and share it with your team and clients each. However, the main problems with this method are that it is:
- Extremely time-consuming
- Prone to human error
Collating data manually takes time and your time is valuable. Clients will often require multiple dashboard reports to track different objectives and the time it takes to create these will only increase as your client roster grows. You also don’t want this eating into any vacation time you have planned.
Building them manually also introduces the risk of human error. Even one piece of false data could be disastrous if a client acts on it and makes a bad investment due to your mistake.
For these reasons, it’s well worth investing in a tool that will automate this process for you and eliminate any unnecessary risk.
Most dashboards are browser-based and password-protected, requiring clients or team members to log in via URL to view their data. While this is great for seeing the most current data available, it also comes at the cost of inconvenience with clients often forgetting to log in and check their data compared to marketing reports, which are sent straight to their email.
Each has its pros and cons with no one tool being a magic bullet. So it’s your job to decide whether your clients would benefit most from a dashboard to log in to as they please or to receive their data directly to their inbox via a report.
Determining the regularity in which they require their data is one way to help you choose. A great question to ask your client is:
“How often are you ready to act on your data?”
If the answer is weekly or monthly then reports could be the better option for them. Or if their answer is daily then they could be better suited for a dashboard tool.
Regardless of which option you deem best for your client, the next step applies to both and is to identify the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to track to optimize campaigns for maximum success.
Choosing the right KPIs to measure your campaign’s success is critical. But with so many metrics to choose from, how can you tell which ones you should be keeping your eye on?
Here are some points to consider to help you decide:
First of all, is the metric something you can easily track and monitor? Facebook Ads Manager (which you use to create Instagram ads) gives you access to a vast amount of metrics to choose from.
If your campaign objective is to increase website purchases, then you’ll want to make sure you’ve set up conversion goals in Google Analytics and are using UTMs. This way you can include this information in your client’s dashboard or reports.
New to UTMs? You can check out our UTM guide to learn more about What They Are and How To Use Them The Right Way for more accurate tracking.
Is the metric directly related to the success or failure of the campaign? Cut the chaff - the goal here is clear and concise reporting. Avoid the temptation to include vanity metrics, such as likes and number of comments, and stick to the data which reflects the true performance of the campaign.
Similar to relevancy, only include metrics that will influence action. Learning how to create lean reports can be a challenge. Remember, sometimes less is more.
Don’t be afraid to create multiple dashboards or reports with different data for your recipients. The needs of a social media manager can vary drastically from that of the company director - while the former may benefit from seeing weekly changes in cost per click to help optimize ad delivery, the latter may only be concerned with the total amount spent on ads and how much revenue the campaign is generating.
The truth is that this will vary between clients and campaigns. However, there are some essential KPIs that you can start tracking today to create more profitable campaigns.
Let’s take a look at those now.
Reach is the estimated number of people who saw your ad.
Measuring the reach of your ad allows you to see the potential impact that your campaign can have on your target demographic. It’s important to keep in mind that this metric is just an estimate.
A similar metric to reach is impressions. While reach represents the number of individual users who were exposed to your content, impressions are the number of times a piece of content was displayed. So if you see the same ad twice, then that counts as 1 reach and 2 impressions.
Sometimes it’s not clear which one you should be tracking in your reports, but we’re a big fan of reach over impressions in general.
The reason for this is that impressions count the number of times your ad was displayed regardless of whether it has been seen by a user (e.g. it could have loaded on a user’s timeline, but they didn’t scroll down far enough to see it). Whereas reach tells you how many times your ad was actually viewed (which in most cases makes it a more useful metric to track).
Cost Per Click tells you exactly how much you are paying every time a user clicks on your ad.
Tracking CPC is useful for helping control your advertising budget and monitoring the profitability of an ad. The higher the CPC, the less profit is being generated.
In 2021, the average CPC for Instagram Ads was $0.40-$0.70. If you find that your CPC is a tad on the high side, you can try to lower it by customizing ad placements and being more selective with your targeting.
Click-Through Rate shows the percentage of users that were shown your ad who then clicked on it.
CTR is an excellent measure of your ad’s relevancy. If your CTR is high then it’s a good indication that your creative and messaging resonates with the target audience. If it’s low, then you may want to review your targeting, creative, and call-to-action before spending more of your budget on something that isn’t working.
The average Instagram CTR in 2021 was between 0.22% and 0.33% for feed ads and Stories respectively. Bear in mind that these numbers are just an average with actual numbers varying between industries.
But don’t just look at this metric in a vacuum. It’s important to also consider the results that those clicks are producing - a lower than average CTR could still be generating high revenue.
Every campaign has a goal. This could be for users to download an app or drive traffic to a website in the hope that users will perform the desired action, such as making a purchase or signup up for a mailing list.
Regardless of your campaign's objective, you want to make sure that the number of conversions is being tracked. This is the only real way to measure the success of a campaign over time.
As you experiment with different aspects of your ad (targeting, placements, calls to action, messaging, and ad creative), you’ll want to know which version was the most effective. Knowing which one resulted in the most users performing the desired action is the best way to do this.
You may also want to track your average cost-per-conversion (CPA) to further optimize your campaigns, which you can work out by dividing the total amount of money spent by the number of conversions: total ad spend / total conversions = CPA
To do this most effectively, you’ll want to ensure that you have set up conversion goals first in Google Analytics AND are using UTM links in your social media strategy.
The reason for this is that Google Analytics can have trouble identifying and grouping all your Instagram traffic together for your reports. To solve this issue, you can use UTMs - custom, trackable links to segment your traffic accurately and efficiently.
If you’re a marketer and you’re not already using UTMs, then you’re missing out.
Learn how to quickly set them up in our ultimate guide to UTMs and start gathering better data.
Return On Ad Spend is a measure of the revenue generated by your Instagram campaign, represented as either a percentage or a ratio.
For example, if an ad generates $5000 and you spent $1000 on advertising then your ROAS would be 5:1 or 500% ($5 earned for every $1 spent).
Monitoring ROAS regularly allows you to see quickly whether the ad is profitable or not. If your numbers are high, keep doing what you’re doing. But if that number starts to decrease, you may want to look at ways to optimize your Cost Per Click.
It’s worth noting that Facebook Ads Manager is only able to calculate a ROAS based on the amount spent and sales generated. In order to get a more accurate ROAS calculation, you’ll need to look beyond this and factor in aspects such as the money spent on staff wages and the creation of any advertising assets.
If you want to learn more about building and understanding your ROAS calculation, then check out our guide here.
Or just dive headfirst into the real thing with a FREE 14-day trial (no credit card required)
The truth is, there is no silver bullet when it comes to metrics reporting. Choosing the right KPIs is only half the battle - the other is making sure that the recipient has access to the data they need when they need it.
Depending on their needs, then one method may be better suited than the other.
Looking at data every day can become an unhealthy obsession and cause clients to make bad decisions when they should be looking at longer trends. Dashboard users often fall into one of two extremes when viewing their data - obsessing it over it daily (but never having time to take action) or forgetting to log in and look at their data due to their busy schedules.
On the other hand, with email reports, users usually have to download their data as PDF attachments. Over time, this can become a hassle as well.
Some important aspects to consider when choosing between a dashboard and email marketing reports are:
- How often are they able to act on the data? Daily, weekly, or monthly?
- What is the most efficient way for them to receive the data? Will they remember to log into a dashboard each time, or would they benefit more from direct email reports?
- Why would they keep paying you for this service? Creating lean, actionable reports with the right KPIs, delivering them on time and in the easiest way possible will maximize the chance of long-term client retention.
It all comes down to what works best for each client. By taking the time to consider each one’s specific needs you’ll be able to pick the right tool for the job, leaving them satisfied and wanting to stick around.
As we’ve discussed, the 2 biggest factors in determining the success or failure of Instagram ad reports are choosing: the right KPIs and the right reporting tool.
The main issue is ensuring that recipients are receiving their data and then acting on it and as we’ve seen, both dashboards and email reports have their drawbacks in that domain.
That’s why there’s no better tool than Metrics Watch:
Designed for truly frictionless reporting, Metrics Watch is the only tool that displays your report directly in the body of your recipient’s email.
No pesky PDF attachments
No 3rd-party dashboard login required
This way clients can receive and view reports in a format they already use every day without adding another task to their busy schedule.
Build custom, professional reports fast with an easy-to-use drag & drop interface (no coding required).
Craft your own from scratch or start sending reports quickly with one of our pre-made templates.
White-label options are included in every plan, so you can add your agency’s branding and fully customize every aspect of each report.
Metrics Watch connects with all major platforms so that you can integrate with all your favorite data streams:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Adwords
- And more…
Schedule your reports to run daily, weekly, or monthly so that your clients never miss a thing.
Why not see for yourself? Try Metrics Watch FREE for 14-days - 100% risk-free, no credit card required.
Just click the link below to get started and start building better reports today!
And that’s it for today. We hope you enjoyed this introduction to building an Instagram ad dashboard.
If you enjoyed this post, then be sure to check out these other resources:
- How to Build (& Understand) Your ROAS Calculation
- UTMS: What They Are And How To Use Them The Right Way
- Instagram Marketing: 6 KPIs You Need to Have (+3 Helpful Metrics)
These articles will give you more tips and tricks on how to optimize your social media tracking and build more profitable Instagram campaigns.