How to analyze competitors on Instagram
An Instagram competitor analysis is essential for anyone who plans to run a business or blog on this social network. You need to know your competitors by sight. First of all, in order to promote more efficiently. It will also help you find out what offers other than yours are being received by your customers. Many do not think about this, and as a result, the audit turns out to be incomplete, and in the end, you can even lose part of your audience.
Why conduct a competitor analysis
Every brand, regardless of the field of activity, needs an assessment of the competition. However, the goals of monitoring can be different. First of all, the analysis of competitors is needed so that you can build your own development plan, which will take into account all the mistakes of competitors and turn them into your strengths. By evaluating your competitors, you can add more personality to your brand and win more hearts.
In addition, competitor analysis can be useful for:
- market and competition assessments;
- formation of pricing policy;
- development of a unique selling proposition (USP);
- analysis of the effectiveness of content;
- identifying your strengths and weaknesses.
It is worth remembering that in 99% of cases competitors know no more than you do. You don’t have to blindly copy the strategy of successful accounts in your niche. Watch, shake your head, and do it your way.
Distinctive features of competitors
Competition assessment allows you to look at the positive and negative qualities of competitors. Pay attention to the following distinctive features:
- Product. What goods / services does a competitor offer, why is he better / worse than you.
- Stylistics. How the profile is designed, what impressions it evokes.
- Content analysis. Which posts are posted on the profile, which ones cause the greatest response and discussion.
- Audience analysis. How many subscribers, what is the engagement of the account, how many bots and “dead” souls.
- Pricing policy. Analyze the prices – maybe your prices are simply more expensive than your competitors.
- Allocated budget for promotion. Naturally, it is impossible to determine the exact amount, but you can estimate approximately by tracking what promotion methods a competitor uses, where he orders advertising, what is the budget of the contests.
Having an understanding of these distinctive parameters of competitors, you can develop your own unique promotion strategy that will set you apart from the rest of the players in the niche.
By what parameters to search for competitors
On Instagram, competitors are people or brands competing with you for the attention of users within the same niche.
Competitors can be identified based on various marketing characteristics. Naturally, the key parameter is the target audience and its needs. This parameter is refined based on the questions:
- Are brand products aimed at the same target audience as yours?
- Do competitor products solve the same user problems as yours?
- Are your customers coming across competitor’s search pages looking for your products?
If you answered yes to all the questions, then the brand is your competitor.
Consider geolocation when running a local business. For example, a nail-master from Moscow will not compete with the same masters from St. Petersburg. You may be the first in your region to offer similar products / services. This will quickly capture the attention of your audience, but you shouldn’t be too relaxed.
For example, if you opened the first virtual reality room in the city, this does not mean that there is no need to fight for clients. After all, people may not know about such an opportunity at all, or prefer to go to a cinema or an exhibition.
How to find competitors on Instagram
To analyze your competitors, you first need to find them. There are many ways to search. Let’s consider the most effective ones.
Search the Internet
You can enter the role of your client and search for products by thematic queries in Yandex / Google search engines. Search for several queries, write down a list of all competitors that you meet again, and try to find their pages on Instagram.
Search by hashtags
You can search for competitors without leaving Instagram, for example, using hashtags. To do this, simply enter a keyword phrase relevant to your business with a hashtag sign in the search bar on a social network and search. In addition to the entered tag, Instagram will immediately offer a list of similar ones, by which you can also search later.
In the search results you will see all publications that have the specified hashtag in the signature. Their authors are most likely your competitors. Or just spammers, you need to check.
Internal Instagram Search
Instagram has its own search, with which you can find all pages with similar topics. To search, simply click on the magnifying glass and start typing a subject query. For example, “Ukraine women’s clothing”. Instagram will display a list of all accounts that have this information on their profile page.
Alternative search methods
When searching for competitors, you can also use industry ratings, interview several representatives of your target audience, use online services. Perhaps you already know some competing companies by sight and all you have to do is find their profiles on social networks.
To search for competitors, you can also track what your target audience likes and subscribes to.
How to conduct a competitor analysis
When competitors have already been selected, you can proceed to the analysis. To do this, define the criteria for evaluating competitors and evaluate each according to them. The selection of criteria largely depends on the goals set. For a complete analysis, we recommend that you pay close attention to the following factors.
The easiest way to find out all about your competitors is to use the trendHERO service. It offers over 90 metrics for analyzing Instagram accounts and the Similar Bloggers tool. All you need to do is enter your username in the search box and click on the “Collect 500 Similar Bloggers” button.
As a result, you will receive a list of your competitors. For each of them, you can get statistics with one click. In particular, you will receive information about the number of subscribers, their geography, gender, interests of the audience, whom the blogger mentions.
It is recommended to evaluate not only the competitor’s profile on the social network, but also the brand as a whole. Analyze:
- what product / service is offered by a competitor;
- what is the pricing policy;
- the advantages and disadvantages of a competitor’s products compared to yours;
- how the company positions itself on the market.
Here you can present an approximate target audience of a competitor and understand how strongly it intertwines with yours.
Style and design
Look at the profile design and how it feels. Put yourself in the shoes of an ordinary user and think about what is attractive and what is annoying on the contrary.
Successful accounts today are usually designed in the same style and have their own recognizable features. For example, using the same frames, photographs in the same colors, placing a recognizable logo on all publications.
Rate posts on a competitor’s account. In this matter, it is better to drop personal preferences and look at how the public reacts to posts. It is worth paying attention to the following factors:
- which posts get the most posts;
- what the image looks like;
- how much text – short notes or long reads;
- number of hashtags under posts;
- what are the most common publication times;
- Does the account use all Instagram content formats?
Based on this data, try to develop your own publishing strategy that would distinguish you from your competitor.
An analysis of a competitor’s audience will help with determining the target audience and give an idea of what your potential subscribers have tastes and preferences. You can also get information about the growth and churn of subscribers for the selected period. This will help you understand what content motivates users to subscribe, and what makes them want to unsubscribe. But keep in mind that there may be bots on the account, and comments and likes may be winding up.
Instagram provides statistics only to business account owners, and only regarding their personal pages. You can get the data required for audience analysis using the trendHERO service. Here you can get statistics about:
- subscriber demographics;
- their interests;
- growth of subscribers;
- the presence of markups.
In trendHERO you can also access comments and likes analysis. This will help you understand how the audience is engaged, and what percentage of real interested likes and comments, and how many are left for contests or bots.
Having received information about the competitor’s pricing policy, you can develop a more profitable offer for your customers. If the price is not listed in the description of the publication, open the comments. Usually, there is a discussion of cost. If not, you can ask in Direct, but use your personal account for this so that a competitor cannot suspect an attempt to collect information.
Evaluate what promotion methods the competitor uses:
- whether targeted ads are enabled;
- are there any competitions;
- are there any discounts;
- whether ads are ordered from bloggers;
- whether mass-liking and mass-following are used;
- whether there is a cheat of subscribers or not.
Of course, it will not be possible to fully cover the entire advertising campaign, but you can glean some data from posts, and trendHERO can provide information on the quality and number of live subscribers.
It is also useful to determine the pace of promotion account. To do this, you will have to find when the first post was published.
We will give a short example of analyzing a competitor’s page. You can do a deeper analysis and pay attention to even more details. As an example, consider the page of an abstract flower seller:
- Product analysis. Flower arrangements on order with delivery. Target audience – women and men who are looking for a gift, aged 18 to 50. Reply to your inquiry within an hour, delivery the next day.
- Stylistics and design. The profile is designed in the same style. The nickname contains a key request. Few contact information in the description.
- Content. Photos of bouquets are framed, you cannot see the details. The publications are published three times a day – short notes with a picture of a bouquet. One branded hashtag is used.
- Audience. 87k subscribers. A post gets an average of 10-20 comments, and about 5k likes.
- Cost. From 2000 to 6000 rubles. Discounts are held periodically.
- Promotion. The first post was posted in January 2019. There are no contests. Mass-liking and mass-following are probably connected.
How to use the received data
Of course apply to improve your business! Evaluate the data and create your own account management model that would set you apart from the competition. Think about what is already better for you, and where you are inferior to competitors. Use what your competitors have missed to create a better user experience.
For example, going back to the analysis example, the brand owner can take the following steps to stand out from the competitor:
- offer faster delivery;
- add links to instant messengers for easy communication;
- post a photo with an emphasis on the bouquet so that there are no distractions and users can see the details;
- in addition to short notes, publish master classes on creating bouquet arrangements;
- add not only a branded hashtag to posts, but also several relevant ones;
- add chic bouquets of a high price segment to the product range;
- run contests;
- order advertising from a blogger or on Instagram.
The advantages of competitors should also be taken into account. Perhaps there are a few things to take note of. For example, add a keyword to a nickname so as not to compete with a competitor in rotation in a search query, or replace an avatar that seems dull against the background of a competitor.
Successfully applying the knowledge gained from competitor analysis in practice is perhaps the most difficult stage. This data can be successfully applied in practice only by knowing the basics of marketing, experience, and a general understanding of the market situation. After that, based on the findings, you also need to be able to correctly implement your strategy.
Tips and tricks
A well-conducted competitor analysis will increase the effectiveness of marketing techniques, increase the traffic of page visitors and increase sales. Competitor monitoring also helps you create a unique content strategy and stay ahead of the competition. But in this matter, there is a fine line between professional SMM marketing and plagiarism.
Those wishing to protect themselves from the painful results of monitoring competitors should remember the following tips:
- Don’t copy other people’s content ideas. While analyzing, you will most likely stumble upon stylish post ideas with many likes and comments and want to repeat the success. However, using other people’s ideas will turn you into a plagiarist and this is how your target audience will see you.
- Avoid borrowing the author’s style. To be heard, your brand must have its own voice, style and tone.
- Don’t copy all of your competitors’ keywords. You don’t have to be in the top for all keywords, you need to choose the ones that emphasize exactly the features of your brand.
- Look for what your competitors are not already using. Instead of looking for ideas to borrow, focus on finding what your competitors have missed.
Remember that everything is good in moderation. Competition assessment is strategically important, but it is only part of your marketing strategy. Do not use the knowledge gained to embody all the good that the competition has. So you will become just a copy of them, albeit one of the best. Analyze your competitors in order to distance yourself from them and highlight your brand identity. After all, your goal is to get ahead of your competitors, not to reincarnate in them, isn’t it?