Make the most out of your Instagram filter data

Oct 2021
Lighthouse Make most of your Instagram filter data

With new features being introduced regularly and a rapid growth in the number of users, Instagram has inspired marketers to develop and expand their social media toolbox in order to engage with and entertain their audiences.

One of the hardest feats to achieve when creating content is to maintain consistency to ensure you reach your various goals whilst also catering to your customers needs.

We use Augmented Reality to reach and engage with new audiences. We listen to your story and work closely with you to design and produce tailored Instagram filters that give your audiences an opportunity to be part of your story. Think of all the possibilities this can bring — to name a few:

  • Creating heightened brand awareness
  • A low-cost way of building a community of loyal and engaged customers
  • Natural and genuine user-generated content
  • Strengthening your position in the market

So you published a filter — now what?

Once your filter has been published, Instagram will capture metrics to follow its popularity — these can be accessed through the brand’s Facebook account. You will be able to see the number of times the AR filter has been shown to users, either via the Instagram camera or on Instagram Stories — which is known as an Impression; and the number of Opens, Captures, Shares and Saves. You can follow the daily data captured to see how many people the filters are reaching.

What do metrics say about your Instagram filter?

Trying to make sense of your filter metrics can be a daunting process. However, one doesn’t need to know all the nooks and crannies of analytics to understand their content performance and their next marketing move.

One basic, yet important thing to note when reading your filter metrics is that the number of Impressions might give a false sense of achievement — some mistake the number of impressions for the number of people reached.

Instead, an impression represents the number of times the content was shown to users. For example, a 45 seconds video posted on Instagram stories will be split into three 15 second stories. Therefore, the Impression number will show the stats for each 15 seconds of that recording i.e if 1,000 people are watching the video, you will get 3,000 impressions. Not to mention the fact that if someone scrolls past your content 10 times without looking at it, it counts as 10 impressions.

Learning from your data

The best way to identify the failure or success of an AR filter is to look at the metrics and analytics. While the number of impressions is a metric, the capturing and shareability growth is an analytic which can give a deeper insight into the overall performance of the filter. Let’s take a look at the data of a sample Filter 1 we created.

Flashmat data impressions sample

While the impression metric is very high, it doesn’t give us the valuable insight we are looking for or any indication of how many people we reached with our filter. For more insight, Opens, Captures, Shares and Saves are more accurate measurements. From these numbers, we can calculate the following for our sample filter:

  • 31% of the people who opened the content, have used the filter
  • 31% of the captured content was shared
  • 15% of the people saved the effect

By studying data like above, and comparing the numbers between different styles of filters, we are able to see what kind of filters work best; this helps us to predict trends and ensure we are making filters that match our audience’s interests.

Keep a keen eye on the content

We also kept an eye on the stories created using the filter — who was posting, why, how, and in what context. How could we make the existing filter more relevant for this target group? Could we see a trend in what they were posting about? Were there repeat users? This is now made easier by Instagram’s new feature, “Filter page”, which will collect all the reels posted on public accounts using the filter.

Flashmat articles filters mockup iphone AB2

A/B testing with filters

We also ran two identical filters that had no difference beyond the colours used and their mandatory filter demo videos, and they showed significantly different results. The filters create a “double exposure” effect by combining two monotone shots that you capture by tapping the screen.

We gave the filters the same key search terms and did not promote either one, to get only organic numbers.

Filter A was significantly more popular, with nearly double the numbers of Impressions and Opens of Filter B, which was beat in every category. The colours pink and blue were clearly preferred over navy and red. You may consider running two “sibling” filters simultaneously. If the change is on the smaller side, this will be a cost effective option, give your audience a choice, and you will be able to quickly see which one is the winner and end up with the better, more popular filter. We may have our personal preferences and art direct all we want, but the end user will always make the final decision.

And remember, filters can be turned public and private with a click of a button. When you are done with your option B, it’s easy to say goodbye. The content already created with it will not be affected.

Try our winner Instagram filter here. (Mobile only)

Who is looking at my filter?

We have access to the basic audience metrics. You can access this anonymised information for both your overall filters, as well as individual filters, as they may vary greatly.

Since June 2020, we get the gender, age group and the location of the people opening the filter. Our filters have often skewed towards women, even though men make nearly half of Instagram users globally. Our filters are clearly more popular with people under 24, though this statistic shows great variation depending on the style, context and publisher of the filter.

All this can also be viewed for either the past week, month, or since publishing. Our top country of all time may be UK, but today it was Brazil, and yesterday it was India.

Promote your filter

So you have your filter and it’s the best ever — so share it! Don’t forget to make your own posts and stories using the filter, and take advantage of the fact that Instagram allows a direct “swipe up” linking to the filter linked to your profile, even if you’re not a verified account yet.

It takes more than one Instagram story to make your filter go viral, and that’s why working with brand ambassadors who will use your filters and post content regularly will get your captures, shares, and saves up quicker so your brand can dominate the online space. Keep an eye on the filter page to see the content others create with your filter, too!

Promoting your new filter through other channels is also recommended — you can share an external link that directly launches the filter on the Instagram application. Anything for adding a QR code to a receipt to banners, imagination is the limit. We recommend running light promotions advertising your filter.

Ready to get your branded Instagram filter? We can help you create an impactful filter campaign that converts your brand’s goals into empowering content that drives engagement amongst your followers. Contact us at Lighthouse today.

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