With more than half of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users consuming Stories daily and average Story completion rate rising from 73% in 2018 to 87% in 2020, it’s no wonder that brands are turning to the feature to gain reach and engagement. Here are some key Instagram Stories benchmarks from Q1 2020 from Conviva’s latest report [download page] on the evolution of the platform.
1. Accounts with Fewer Followers Boast Higher Reach Rates
Some 47% of the 920 accounts studied in the report had a following of 500k or higher, but these accounts with a higher follower count saw some of the lowest Story reach rates in Q1 2020. Average reach rate generally declines as follower count increases, ranging from 13.3%, achieved by accounts with 10k-50k followers, to 3.7% among accounts with 2 million-plus followers.
Research from last year from Socialinsider reveals similar results, finding that business accounts with less than 10K followers had a higher reach than those between 10K and 100K followers.
2. Sports Vertical Sees the Highest Average Completion Rate
Sports accounts enjoyed the highest average completion rate of all verticals analyzed (90%), while Entertainment accounts saw the most improvement in this metric, rising from 81% in 2019 to 88% in 2020.
3. Publishing on Instagram Stories Declines
In terms of average frames per Story, which decreased from 7.7 frames in 2019 to 7.4 in Q1 2020, and average Stories per week, which fell from 3 in 2019 to 1.9 this year, publishing on Instagram Stories has seen a slight decline over last year.
4. Average Reach Rate Is Up
Though the average reach rate declined slightly between 2018 and 2019 from 7% to 6.7%, interaction with Instagram Stories increased this year to a 7.2% reach rate, on average. Again, Sports accounts fared best with an average reach rate of 10% in Q1.
5. Completion Rate Grows
Average completion rate by Story length (the number of frames per Story) increased across most Story lengths, with a 100% average completion rate for single-frame Stories, and an average completion rate of above 70% for the first 20 frames.
6. Stories Longer Than 26 Frames See A 2% Exit Rate
Exit rate, calculated by exits from each frame / the total frame impressions, is 8% for single-frame Stories and steadily declines the further a viewer gets into a Story. This plateaus at around 2% per frame for Stories longer than 26 frames.
7. Reach Increases in Stories With Additional Frames
Some 74% of Stories analyzed for the report were under 8 frames, but most of these Stories had a below-average reach for the account. In fact, the remaining 26% of Stories with 8 frames or more enjoyed above-average reach, suggesting that many accounts could benefit from adding frames to their Stories.
8. Accounts with Replies Turned On See Higher Reach Rates
While two-thirds (66%) of accounts in 2019 had replies to their Stories turned off, this year the situation reversed, as two-thirds (66%) of Stories had replies turned on. This change could be related to performance, as accounts with replies turned on saw a 2.1% higher reach rate than those with replies turned off.
9. Tap Forward Rate Is At Least 68%
That tapping forward is the most common way of watching a Story is shown by the high tap forward rate, averaging 80% for Stories with 25 frames. Tap forward rate is lowest (68%) for the first frame of a Story and gradually increases frame to frame, peaking at 83% for the 21st frame.
10. The Second Frame Is the Best Place For Uninterrupted Content
User actions, including tap forwards, tap backs and exits, are least common on the second frame of a Story, making this a great place for important content. After this low point, action percentage (actions / total impressions) increases as the number of frames increases.
Read the full report here.
About the Data: Based on an analysis of more than 920 top Instagram accounts (47% with a following of 500K or higher), more than 28,700 Stories, and more than 165,000 individual frames across four industry verticals: Sports; Media; Entertainment; and Brands.