In the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing, staying one step ahead of the competition is, hands down, crucial. Instagram, with its massive user base and engagement potential, is still one the most popular platforms where businesses and influencers constantly search for attention.
To gain that coveted competitive edge, you need to know what your competitors are up to and how you can outspy them to outperform them. This is where competitor research on Instagram comes into heavy play.
In this thorough guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to effectively research your competitors on Instagram. Hopefully, this will help you refine your social media marketing strategy and bring your brand’s presence to a new level.
Identify Your Competitors
First and foremost, you need to know who your competitors are, before diving into competitor research. Identify businesses or Instagram accounts that operate in your niche, offer similar products or services, and target the same or a similar audience. These are your direct competitors.
Don’t forget to consider indirect competitors who may not offer the same products but compete for your audience’s attention in some way.
Follow and Observe
Once you’ve identified your competitors, the first step is to follow their Instagram accounts. This simple action will allow you to keep a close eye on their content and activities. For key competitors, consider turning on post notifications to receive immediate updates whenever they publish new content.
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Analyze Content Strategy
A deep dive into your competitors’ content strategy is essential. Take note of the types of content they are posting. Are they focusing on photos, videos, stories, or reels? Pay attention to their posting frequency and the recurring themes or topics they cover in their content.
Engagement is a critical metric on Instagram and probably the most important one on this platform. Analyze the engagement metrics on your competitors’ posts, including likes, comments, and shares.
High engagement rates can indicate successful content strategies that resonate with their audience.
Hashtags and Keywords
Identify the hashtags and keywords your competitors use in their posts and profiles. These can offer valuable insights into the keywords and phrases that resonate with their audience and potentially improve your own discoverability.
Leverage Instagram Insights (if you have a business account) or third-party analytics tools like Agenica to gather information about your competitors’ follower demographics. This data may include age, gender, location, and interests, providing valuable insights into your shared audience.
Does your competition adhere to a consistent posting schedule? Are there specific times when they regularly publish content? Understanding their posting habits can help you plan your own posting schedule for maximum reach and engagement.
Pay attention to how your competitors engage with their audience. Do they respond to comments and messages promptly? Are they running contests, giveaways, or other engagement-boosting campaigns? Understanding their engagement strategies can inspire your own.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Keep an eye out for any partnerships, collaborations, or influencer relationships your competitors are involved in. These affiliations can provide insights into potential partnership opportunities for your brand.
Monitor Stories and Highlights
Don’t forget to check your competitors’ Instagram Stories and Highlights. These often offer real-time updates and behind-the-scenes glimpses into their brand, which can provide valuable insights into their marketing strategies.
Monitor the growth of your competitors’ follower count over time. Sudden spikes or dips in followers may indicate successful marketing campaigns or potential issues within their strategy.
Tools and Analytics
Consider using social media analytics tools such as Agenica to gather more detailed data on your competitors’ performance.
An AI-driven MarTech tool like Agenica can provide deeper insights into engagement metrics, content performance, and monitor every single piece of content your competition puts out; including UGC and influencer collaborations.
Competitor SWOT Analysis
Based on your research, conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of your competitors. This strategic assessment will help you identify areas where you can outperform them and exploit potential weaknesses.
Ad Campaigns and Promotions
If your competitors are running Instagram ads, closely monitor their ad campaigns. This will help you gain insights into their targeting strategies, messaging, and promotional efforts.
However, you don’t have to monitor IG ads manually; who has the time for it, anyway? Agenica will have you covered with a comprehensive ads library inside the tool.
Finally, remember that social media is dynamic. Continuously monitor your competitors to adapt your strategy as they evolve. What works today may not work tomorrow, so staying updated is key to maintaining your competitive edge. In other words, competition monitoring is a daily endeavor and not something you do once in a month.
Researching your competitors on Instagram is an integral part of a successful social media marketing strategy. Not only it allows you to figure out what works for your audience, but also engage them even more effectively than your competition does.
By following these steps and consistently analyzing your competitors’ activities, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions, refine your own content strategy, and ultimately stand out in the competitive world of Instagram marketing. Stay vigilant, adapt, and keep pushing the boundaries of creativity to achieve social media marketing success.
And don’t forget – Agenica can help you monitor your competition, give you in-depth insight into their strategies, save you time and money, and relieve you from tons of boring manual work. You can try the free demo version for free or sign up for Agenica here.
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