Every Instagram Stories Performance Benchmark You Need to Know

[Originally published on the Dash Hudson blog.]

There isn’t one single social marketer out there who doesn’t lose sleep over figuring out their brand’s Instagram Stories completion rate, among other Instastory problems.

Marketers, this is your lucky day. You’ll be sleeping tight tonight.


Calling all good Stories-tellers.

Instagram Stories is an integral part of any social media marketing strategy. The tool allows businesses to further elaborate on their brand story, enabling them to reach consumers with fresh, innovative vertical video content. When it came out in 2016 to rival the Snapchat app, no one could have predicted how much the number of Instagram story viewers would eclipse that of its originator.

Creative brands have fully embraced the tool to deepen their connections with followers, using it in all sorts of ways to engage fans. But Stories has also been perplexing for companies using the functionality, mostly because it hasn’t exactly provided clear performance statistics beyond basic numbers.

An Instagram business page doesn’t reveal Instagram Stories insights. You know, the stuff people really want to know, like view rates, exit rates, impressions — a big Instagram data black hole. Like anything else, marketers are eager to understand the return on their social investment, and Instagram Stories ROI has been impossible to concretely measure so far.

In the past, we covered the important performance metrics you should be monitoring for every IG story. This time around, we have something even bigger to help you measure all that beautiful Instagram content your brand is creating and publishing on Stories.

Last fall, we released a new tool to help our brands dig into their Instagram Stories analytics. We’ve since been able to collect a pile of data, from which we’ve extracted juicy benchmarks statistics. Behold.

You after going through all the killer stats we’re about to deliver (volume 🆙 ).

A Method to the Madness

We wanted you to be able to benchmark your own performance against the industry average. To do so, we dug up all of the Stories data we amassed over the last quarter from hundreds of brands, and did a huge sweep to extract the most relevant statistics.

To make it more concise, we focused on brands’ Insta Stories over the course of an entire month to get a real sense of the social marketing habits and customs around Stories. We’re delivering our findings to you today in an easily digestible format, where we separated the data by metric, and then by category: fashion, beauty, food, publishing, and lifestyle.

We isolated all of the most important metrics to draw averages, as well as medians — a figure we felt would be important to disclose, so that you can know if you fall into the bottom half or the top half of your cohort. The time has come to finally learn if your Instagram story view rate measures up to the competition!

We’re also including industry benchmark cards for you to save onto your desktop to refer to when you’re crunching all of those important numbers. Identify the industry that’s closest to yours and compare your stats. Let’s get started!

Fashion peeps, get saving!👆

Metric #1: Average Number of Stories Per Month

This metric illustrates how many full story cycles brands publish on average on a monthly basis.

Fashion:

13.39 (median: 13) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 11 (median: 11)

Beauty:

13.18 (median: 12.5) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 11 (median: 8.5)

Food:

12 (median: 14)

Publishing:

21.08 (median: 21) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 22 (median: 21)

Lifestyle*:

13.55 (median: 11)


Metric #2: Average Total Individual Posts for Stories per Month

This metric illustrates the average number of total individual posts published within a month in multiple Stories.

Fashion:

97.39 (median: 64) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 106 (median: 65)

Beauty:

83.55 (median: 68.5) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 95.75 (median: 63.5)

Food:

67.6 (median: 60)

Publishing:

207.85 (median: 172) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 189.67 (median: 153)

Lifestyle*:

94.27 (median: 52)

Beauty babes, it’s all you.👆

Metric #3: Average Number of Individual Posts Within a Story

This metric illustrates how many individual posts are comprised on average in one full story cycle.

Fashion:

7.18 (median: 6.67) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 9.5 (median: 13)

Beauty:

6.25 (median: 5.61) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 9.09 (median: 7.78)

Food:

5.88 (median: 6.71)

Publishing:

9.00 (median: 6.62) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 8.29 (median: 5.10)

Lifestyle*:

6.61 (median: 5.41)


Metric #3: Average Exit Rate for Stories

This metric is the average drop-off rate for a story cycle.

Fashion:

5.40% (median: 5.07%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 6.55% (median: 6.96%)

Beauty:

4.72% (median: 4.67%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 4.48% (median: 4.48%)

Food:

4.52% (median: 4.43%)

Publishing:

4.42% (median: 4.06%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 4.69% (median: 4.71%)

Lifestyle*:

5.27% (median: 5.30%)

Food folks, your turn.👆

Metric #4: Average Exit Rate for Individual Posts in Stories

This metric is the average drop-off rate for individual posts.

Fashion:

5.15% (median: 4.71%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 6.63% (median: 7.84%)

Beauty:

4.48% (median: 3.87%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 3.69% (median: 3.53%)

Food:

5.50% (median: 3.36%)

Publishing:

3.78% (median: 3.79%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 4.08% (median: 3.95%)

Lifestyle*:

4.72% (median: 4.67%)


Metric #5: Average Audience Reach Ratio Per Story

This metric illustrates the average percentage of audience that has seen a story cycle.

Fashion: 5.43% (median: 4.41%)

For accounts with over 1 million followers: 3.89% (median: 1.86%)

Beauty:

3.89% (median: 3.29%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 5.17% (median: 3.27%)

Food:

3.73% (median: 3.73%)

Publishing:

2.66%(median: 2.33%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 2.61% (median: 2.33%)

Lifestyle*:

4.71% (median: 5.27%)

For all you publishers.👆

Metric #6: Average Audience Reach Ratio Per Post Within a Story

This metric illustrates the average percentage of audience that has seen an individual post.

Fashion:

5.08% (median: 4.18%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 3.84% (median: 1.71%)

Beauty:

3.69% (median: 3.18%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 4.88% (median: 3.27%)

Food:

3.41% (median: 3.56%)

Publishing:

2.48% (median: 1.98%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 2.42% (median: 1.98%)

Lifestyle*:

4.50% (median: 4.62%)


Metric #7: Average Stories Impressions (Views) Ratio

This metric illustrates the average percentage of views on a story cycle.

Fashion:

6.15% (median: 5.34%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: n/a

Beauty:

4.27% (median: 3.59%) For accounts with over 1 million followers: 5.78% (median: 3.56%)

Food:

3.99% (median: 3.76%)

Publishing:

2.95% (median: 2.50%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 2.89% (median: 2.50%)

Lifestyle*:

5.17%(median: 5.80%)


Metric #8: Average Individual Post Impressions (Views) Ratio Within a Story

This metric illustrates the average percentage of views on an individual post.

Fashion:

5.63% (median: 5.29%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: n/a

Beauty:

4.02% (median: 3.45%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 5.34% (median: 3.57%)

Food:

3.61% (median: 3.79%)

Publishing:

2.75% (median: 2.22%) 
For accounts with over 1 million followers: 2.67% (median: 2.22%)

Lifestyle*:

4.93% (median: 5.22%)

Issa lifestyle vibe. Go get ‘em.👆

There you have it, all of the important figures that relate to Instagram Stories performance and behavior. There are so many insights to draw, like the fact that publishers have the lowest average exit rate of any industry — which means the highest completion rate — while also having the highest number of published Stories and posts… Yet the lowest audience reach ratio.

Meanwhile, the fashion category is the other big standout: it reaches the highest number of audience members and has the highest story views average overall. All the figures above are there to help you identify what’s important for your strategy to better inform your Stories game plan moving forward.

Go get ‘em.


*In this category, we bundled every other account that didn’t fit within one of the major industries above, such as outdoorsy brands, art, services, travel, or anything else that pertains to quality of life.


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