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A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis


A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis

In order to be the best in the market, you need to do better than your competitors. The first step to achieving this is to run an Instagram competitor analysis so that you can note their strengths and weaknesses. This article talks about how you can do that.

“If you want to succeed and leave your competitors behind, you need great plans and even greater strategies.”

-Pooja Agnihotri

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis


As a brand, you will come across two types of competitors- ones that are doing better than you, and ones that are doing worse. In order to rank ahead of your competitors, you must learn their strategies and come up with better ones that will provide more value to your customers.

But this is easier said than done, right? I mean.. you can’t exactly go up to your competition and ask them to hand over their game plan.

So how exactly can you learn their strategies? By conducting a competitor analysis. 

Before I teach you how to do that..

What Is An Instagram Competitor Analysis? 

As the name suggests, a competitor analysis is simply analyzing your competitors. This includes identifying who your competitors are, their strengths and weaknesses, and their marketing strategies. How do they increase their sales? What do they do to maximize engagement on social media platforms? Are they using new technology in their products to stay ahead of the curve?

A competitor analysis will answer all these questions for you. This information helps you evaluate your own game plan by seeing how you compare to your competitors. This way you can identify the gaps in your strategy as well as the advantages you have over others

Running an analysis also has an added advantage. If you get to know the pattern on which they operate, you can anticipate their actions and stay one step ahead. 

But these are not the only benefits it has..

Why Should You Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis? 

Whether you have just dipped your toes in the business world or have been at it for years, a competitor analysis should be a crucial part of your strategy. Why? Because you and your competitors have the same customer base. 

If you are starting from scratch, an Instagram competitor analysis will help you get to know how things operate such as:

  • How many times they post on Instagram in a week, including the best times to post.
  • The kind of content they post.
  • How they engage with their audience and whether it works.
  • Their most successful versus weakest areas. 

On a more advanced level, a competitor analysis will help you:

  • Compare your performance with that of theirs.
  • Identify – and stay on top of – industry trends.
  • Get new content ideas. 
  • Understand what your customers want.
  • Come up with ideas to outshine your competitors. 

Convinced that an Instagram competitor analysis is important? Let’s move on to a step-by-step guide that will teach you how you can analyze your rivals. 

How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis: An In-Depth Guide 

Step 1: Identify your rivals 

The first step to doing this is identifying your niche’s keywords. For example, if you sell beauty products, your keywords may be beauty, beauty products, skincare, and so on. 

Once you have made a note of your top keywords, the next step is identifying your top competitors on Instagram. There are a few ways in which you can do this!

One way is by entering your keywords in the Instagram search bar. When you select the accounts tab, you will see a list of top accounts affiliated with that keyword. All of them are your competitors, but you can pick and choose the ones you want to analyze. 

Pro Tip: Pick the ones who you think are most likely to be threats.

Here I’ve searched for the baking keyword:

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis

Alternatively, instead of accounts, you can head over to the tags tab. You will see a list of the top hashtags for your keyword. 

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis

Click on a hashtag and you will be able to view all the top posts under it. You can pick your competitors from here as well. Remember, the more posts a hashtag has, the more popular it is.

Searching for competitors using your industry hashtags also lets you know which ones have the most engagement, so that’s an added benefit for you!

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis

Yet another way in which you can identify your rivals is by using the suggested accounts option. Pick one competitor, any competitor. It makes sense to pick the biggest name in your industry. 

Head to their profile, and click on the icon near their email tab. It is highlighted in green in the picture below:

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis

You will see a list of similar accounts. Select your biggest competitors from there! But don’t pick more than 4-5 competitors. You don’t want to spend days doing analyses. 

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Run An Instagram Competitor Analysis

Step 2: Gather intel on your rivals 

Congratulations! You’ve identified the brands which pose the most threat to you. The next step? Gathering intel on them. 

Here are some metrics that you should make a note of:

  • Number of followers.
  • Number of posts per week.
  • Types of content they post (example: reels, stories).
  • Engagement rates (number of likes and comments).
  • The hashtags they use (including how many).
  • Their campaigns and how they collaborate with influencers. 

You can gather this data either manually by clicking through your competitors’ profiles or you can do it using one of several social media tools that are designed for this very purpose. For example: SocialInsider, Unbox Social

Don’t forget to track your own metrics because that is what you will compare your competitors against. 

Once this is done, the next step is to..

Step 3: Analyze the metrics and create a report 

For each metric, compare yourself against that of your rivals to see where you stand. You can use charts to simplify this process or simply use any social media analytics tool. You just have to choose your competitors and the metrics you want to compare, and bam! A comprehensive report will be handed to you.

You can also conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). Areas where you performed better than others would be your strengths. For example: let’s say you have been posting “how-to” videos which have ranked higher compared to your competitors’ generic videos. This means that your current strategy has been working. 

Similarly, areas where you lag behind are your weaknesses. Improving these metrics would need a little bit of experimentation with different techniques. This is where “opportunities” and “threats” comes in. Take a look at what your rivals are doing better, and try to come up with newer ideas. 

Step 4: Revisit your social media strategy 

Now that you’ve conducted the analysis and made a note of areas where you should improve, it is time to incorporate the changes in your social media strategy. 

Experiment with new things and see what the results are like. Some examples: using different hashtags and monitoring the engagement rates, repurposing blog posts into carousel posts, running new campaigns that involve your customers, and so on. 

The key to coming out on top is knowing both your customers as well as your competitors. Run an Instagram competitor analysis and constantly improve yourself for the best results. You can also conduct customer surveys to find out their pain points. 

Finally, don’t forget to track everything in your own spreadsheet! 

karina gandola

Karina Gandola was born and raised outside the city of Charleston, in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia. Karina loves writing about the influencer marketing space and an area she is passionate about. She considers her faith and family to be most important to her. If she isn’t spending time with her friends and family, you can almost always find her around her sweet yellow Labrador retriever, Poshna.

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