Since its launch, Instagram has grown to be the ultimate photo sharing platform. The platform has over 1 billion active users as of June 2018. For businesses, this presents a great opportunity to reach out to your target customers.
So if your target audience is young people aged between 18 and 24, then Instagram can be a great platform to engage them. You only need to post relevant content that suits your current customers while also attracting new followers.
Mostly, the main issue is not how to engage these people on Instagram, but it is how to use data to improve Instagram content performance. In this post, we will discuss three ways on how to improve Instagram content by using data.
1. Improve Your Postings on Instagram by Measuring Important Metrics
Instagram has a built-in analytics tool called Instagram Insights. This tool provides data on audience demographics, content and engagement level.
In short, this tool helps you to track and measure the performance of your marketing efforts and understand where to improve. Some of the most important elements of your Instagram campaigns you need to monitor continuously are the engagement, what competitors are posting, average engagement on each post, and the kind of posts that generate better engagement.
Let’s say you operate a fitness apparel business, so you may post these types of content on your account:
- Workout tutorial videos
- Inspiration photos
- User-generated content
- Lifestyle images featuring some of your products
- Professionally captured images of your products
Now, let look at some examples of how you can derive insights from Instagram analytics and how to use the knowledge to improve your Instagram content performance.
- You may learn that your audience pictures shot in a studio get more engagement (likes and comments) than all other posts. So you may need to share more of these photos and probably include a compelling call-to-action in the description section.
- You may also find out that your user-generated content is more engaging. So you start sharing more of this content. With better engagement, Instagram will reward you by showing more of your post to your target audience.
- Out of all your posts, video content seems to perform the best. So you start coining a branded hashtag on this type of post.
Actually, there are endless possibilities on what you can measure and make use of the insights you get from your posts. You can also collect data on your Instagram stories such as the exits, impressions, and replies to help you tell even better Instagram stories. If publishing story content is something you’re struggling to do consistently, that’s something social media scheduling tools like Agorapulse can help you with.
You can find the Instagram Insights feature by tapping on the menu on your Instagram profile, then choose the insights’ option from the drop-down list of items. There are also several third-party analytics tools that you can use to carry out in-depth analysis.
Picture from @lululemon
2. Improve Your Profile Discoverability by Measuring Hashtags
How does your business take advantage of Instagram hashtags to boost your presence? Do you utilize some of the most popular hashtags? Certainly, using Instagram hashtags can benefit your brand when you do it right and should, therefore, be an important part of your content strategy.
Building followers via hashtags will be easier if you support your followers and provide them with the content they like. But if your brand is not focusing on the right goals or questions, then you might as well be worthless to invest your marketing efforts on hashtags.
A lot of brands have come to realize that tossing up to 30 hashtags on a single post will only do so much. The best way to achieve success with hashtags is to test to know what works best. By using data, you will be able to find the right balance hashtags for your profile and how each hashtag contributes to the success of your profile. Let’s break it down.
Instagram uses hashtags to categorize the content. Basically, it is just like how you would organize files or papers in your office. You will keep specific papers in some folders and then organize the folders inside a filing cabinet.
In our case, the papers are the Instagram posts while the folders are the hashtags. The Instagram platform is just like your filing cabinet. Most posts will go unseen, but hashtags can help to boost discoverability. For this reason, you have to research the content your audience is searching and where they search from. You have to know the main keywords they are using.
Finding the best hashtag to use on your account should be your priority. You can search for possible hashtags from the search bar, but this will not give you a real picture of how popular the hashtag is. So some strategic A/B testing is necessary. It is also important to understand the social media metrics, especially when you are using hashtags because you need to know which hashtags your target audience is using, the topics they are covered in those hashtags and how they are performing. Jenn Herman outlines the ideal approach for determining an actual hashtag strategy.
Photo – #jcrewalways
3. Improve Your Publishing Time Based On Your Audience Behavior and Industry Research
Once you have gathered useful data using the Instagram analytics tool of your choice, you can use it to inform the time you post your content on the platform. There isn’t a single best time to post stuff on Instagram, so you can find your perfect posting times using Instagram analytics.
If you are using Instagram Insights, you can tell which days and times your followers are most active on the platform. You can also learn the average time they are on the platform.
So if your audience is more active on Saturday as well as from 8 am to 5 pm for most days of the week, you could post your content during these peak times to reach more followers.
Alternatively, you may also decide to post during the off-peak times because there could be less competition on your audience’s feed. For the best results, experiment with both options to find out what works best for you.
Photo – @lemonstripes
Instagram is a great platform for not only engaging your target audience but also attracting new ones. However, success for brands on Instagram goes beyond publishing eye-catching pictures.
To make the best out of this social media platform, you need to analyze your content strategy. Data generated from the site can help you learn more about your followers, what content appeals to them, and how to optimize your profile discoverability. Use this valuable information to improve your Instagram content performance.