July 25, 2018 Mike Metzler

The Most Underrated Instagram Story Metric

In the world of Instagram Analytics, not all metrics are created equal.  Some metrics are easy to comprehend, such as Reach and Impressions. And if your very savvy, you might also be looking at completion rate and reach rate. However, there is one metric that that we would argue is possibly the most important metric there is when it comes to evaluating the quality of your Instagram Story: Exits.

Instagram Stories defines exits as the number of taps to leave your story. This does not include people who swiped UP to go to a link, people who tapped forward to go to the next story or people who swiped right or left to go to the next or previous story (that metric is called “Next Story”).  This means to get an exit you need to physically swipe the story down and go back to your IG home page.  Because an exit is an intent driven action, you can learn a lot about your story based on when someone exits.

For our recent IG Benchmark Study we analyzed over 5000 IG stories and what we found out regarding exits was fascinating.

Most often, exits peak on the first frame and steadily decline until the last frame when they spike once more. This tells us a few things:

  • Your first few seconds are extremely important. If you are not capturing the attention of people in the first 2-3 seconds of your story, a very large percentage of people will exit your story.
  • If you have a significant spike in exits at any point in the story other than the last frame, you need to check to see  what happened. If the spike in exits was not due to a pause in posting (which can serve as a premature end to your story), it is a clear sign that frame caused people to exit. Evaluate what happened and try to make improvements for next time. 

This exit graph shows a Spike in exits at Frame 13, upon further review we noticed a 6 hour delay in posting on that frame. Source: Delmondo

 

In this example, frame 13 started out with .3 seconds of black screen which was unlike any other frame in the story. Source: Delmondo

 

  • The spike in exits on the last frame signifies there is a percentage of people who watch your story to completion and then make a conscious choice to exit the Instagram Stories viewer to go back to their home screen. The behavior/choice of exiting instead of swiping or tapping to the next story is very telling. Those people who exit on the last frame are arguably the most engaged with your story. This behavior of waiting until the last frame indicates intent driven viewing.

This is an example graph of exits for a typical story with consistent posting. Source: Delmondo

Knowing now that the number of exits on your last frame is an important metric to track, what can you do?

  • Test putting CTAs at the end of your story. Traditional logic would say, if you have to make a CTA in a story, put it towards the beginning so a larger number of people will see it. We recommend testing your CTA on the last frame to reward people who viewed your story with the intent of watching the full thing.
  • Do your own research. Take a look at all of your stories and see which stories had the highest number of exits on the last frame. Was there anything special or different about these stories?

Thinking about metrics in a deeper context than how we normally look at analytics is what allows creators to truly improve upon their creative process. For more insights like these, download our full IG Stories Benchmark Report or sign up for a free trial of our Instagram Stories Analytics here. 

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