Analyze Instagram competitors to reach your goals
In 2010, Instagram was a casual app that shared photos of food and silly selfies. The app has grown to be one of the most popular social media platforms, with more than 1 billion users in just over a decade. Over 200 million accounts are also available on Instagram.
According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index ™, 49% and 59% of marketers and consumers anticipate using IG over the next 12 months.
Brands must create a strategy to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Brands can use an Instagram competitor analysis to help them compete in the market by highlighting key design elements, from publishing habits to content gaps.
Look for opportunities in data that will allow you to outperform your competition and consider what is most important for your followers. This will help you save time as you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, you can use what you already know will work.
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What is an Instagram competitor analysis?
Competitive analysis is strategically researching and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses and then comparing them. This involves looking at every aspect of your rivals’ businesses, from pricing to marketing strategies.
An analysis of your competitors can help you determine what makes a product/service unique and which attributes will attract your target audience.
Sprout Social has created the Instagram Competitors Report to help brands understand the Instagram strategies of their competitors at the profile level. It is available in Professional plans and higher.
This Report is similar to the Facebook Competitors Report. It can track basic metrics such as audience growth for any public Instagram account.
What are the benefits of an Instagram competitor analysis?
An Instagram competitor analysis report can help you improve your social media strategy. There are many reasons to perform an Instagram competitor analysis.
Competitive benchmarking allows you to establish your own KPIs
You can compare your brand to other businesses and competitors to see how you stack up against them. Setting goals for Instagram can be made more accessible by comparing your brand with a similar-sized company.
Your brand can analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) to find out what content is most popular, how frequently to post and other information.
You can also track the KPIs of your Instagram competitors to keep an eye on the industry and social media trends. You’ll also be able to spot trends that aren’t working for your peers and find ways to keep up with them.
What are the most essential Instagram competitive metrics?
Sprout’s Instagram Competitors Report contains average metrics such as followers, engagement, audience, audience growth and publishing behaviour. It also includes top posts and the different types of content that were posted.
Interactive graphs with accompanying data charts show trends over time and make it easy to visualize patterns. Sprout also offers advanced listening tools that allow you to find out about industry trends and hashtags.
There are many metrics that your brand can learn from. Here’s a brief overview of their meaning and importance.
The company’s number of followers is a measure of brand affinity and social proof. Follower count can be a helpful indicator of audience size, brand loyalty and engagement. However, it should not be considered the only metric. Follower count was the primary goal in the early days. But, things have changed.
A brand with thousands of followers but low engagement is a sign it may not be connecting with its audience. A brand might have fewer followers but more engagement. This could signify that they are associated with their audience and producing quality content.
Sprout provides many metrics to measure engagement, including averages for competitors. Because it measures how well your content resonates with your target audience, attention is one of the most critical metrics. You can use comments and likes to measure engagement. Each one plays a different part in your analysis.
A post that has a lot of comments and likes validates its quality. Words are more open-ended and show how much people like the post. Preferences indicate that users enjoyed it. Insta users flock to comments to share their reactions and give feedback, which means a common sentiment, both positive and negative.
3. Audience growth
Follower count is a form of social proof and brand affinity. Increased reach and engagement are two benefits of having more followers.
To identify peaks in new followers, use the Audience Growth section. Pair it with the Sent Messages Report for insight into which posts are responsible. This data can be used to inspire your following content.
4. Publishing behaviour
Publishing behaviour is the number of Instagram posts published within a given time frame. These include videos, carousels, and photos.
You can also view the frequency of posts from your competitors to determine if you publish enough content.
5. Top posts
Analyzing top posts, like engagement, is an important metric as it highlights your competitors’ best content. You can also see which posts are performing well and how many meetings they have received. To dig deep and learn why a bar is so successful, you can use the Competitor posts Report.
Is the post performing because it is a valuable product tutorial? Was it part of a campaign, or was it a standalone post? You can learn what your content does from these posts and go back to the drawing board to improve your strategy.
Many brands use hashtags to increase their organic reach. It is essential to know which tags are most relevant. Hashtags can help drive organic growth and brand sentiment.
Do not copy competitor hashtags. Instead, aim for a mix and generate new hashtags such as branded ones. Pay attention to how many hashtags are used per post and the most popular hashtags.
Below the Profiles tab in the Instagram Competitors Report, you can see the top three hashtags of your competitors. The total number of public engagements a competitor has received for all hashtag posts is what ranks them.
Sprout’s Advanced Listening Tool allows you to conduct additional hashtag analysis. The Competitive Analysis Topic Template is a tool that will enable you to learn more about relevant hashtags using Advanced Listening. This tool is excellent for discovering trending hashtags or conversations you may miss.
Analyze Instagram competitors to identify content gaps
Analyzing the Instagram competition will help you identify content gaps in any strategy. If you see that your top posts have high engagement videos, you might want to invest more in the video.
Even the most influential brands can improve. This leads us to our next point: creating better content for your target audience.
Create better content for your followers
Your Instagram competitors may be your closest rivals, but they can help you create better content for your followers. You can look to your competition for inspiration and add a twist to it. You can think of a new angle if you see a brand telling a compelling story.
How can you promote your products and services using an industry trend you see on Instagram? Which brands were able to capitalize on the trend? And why did their content get so much attention?
Take the Instagram giveaway, which is a prevalent one. These giveaways encourage followers to participate by following the brand and tagging a friend in the comments.
You would then look at the brands in your niche to see what type of prize they offer, their call to action, and how many people were engaged. Based on your research, you can then come up with ideas for how to stand out.
How to analyze Instagram competitors with Sprout
Sprout’s Instagram Competitors Report provides insight that will help you build your brand and connect with your audience. It is simple and intuitive. To find out the definition of a metric, hover over it.
click here on the Reports icon to the left of the screen. Click on Competitors By Network and choose “Instagram Competitors.”
Screenshot from Sprout’s Competitor Analysis Report: Publishing Behavior
Click View Competitor Posts to view more Top Posts. Click on the timestamp at the top to view the same Instagram post.
Analyzing your Instagram competitors
You now have your Instagram Competitor Report. It is time to start your analysis. It would help if you took the time to read through the information and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. To identify potential strategies, pay attention to top posts and engagement rates.
Look at the brand’s profile to see if there have been any changes or significant spikes. If you notice an increase in followership, check their profile to see whether they have partnered or participated in giveaways.