How to Examine Your Instagram Competitors

The more time you spend on Instagram, the more you will realize that your niche is crowded.

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The more time you spend on Instagram, the more you will realize that your niche is crowded. And that holds true of every niche, even one that doesn’t seem like it would have a lot of competition. While you don’t want to spend too much time on it, you should never lose sight of your top competitors and what they are doing.
These are the people who are fighting for the same followers. And these are the people who are posting the same type of content as you. There is plenty of room for everyone on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you should give in and let someone else take the top spot. You need to do your best to not only understand your competitors but to also overcome them as quickly as possible.

So, with all that in mind, you need to do two things. First off, devise a plan for examining your Instagram competitors. This will give you a better idea of what they are all about. Secondly, look for ways to beat them to the top. Maybe you do this by leveraging the power of other influencers in related fields to get more Instagram likes.
There is no right or wrong way to examine your Instagram competitors, but here are some questions you can answer that will help:

1. Which people or brands have the most followers in your niche?

It may take a little bit of time, but it’s well worth it. You should list out the five to 10 biggest players in your space, along with the things you like about their profile and approach to Instagram as a whole.
If you are already familiar with your niche, you probably have a good idea of where to start. However, don’t be surprised if you find a few others that you did not previously know about. In that case, you’ll want to conduct more research to get up to speed on what they are doing.
While focusing on followers is the best way to see how much clout a person has on Instagram, look at their account as a whole to see the type of feel it gives you. 

2. Which people or brands are leading the way in regards to engagement?

It is one thing to look at how many Instagram followers a brand has, but it’s another thing entirely to review their engagement. This gives you an idea of what their audience thinks of them.
How many people are commenting on each post? How many likes are they getting? Are they taking the time to engage back with their audience?
If you don’t look at this, you may not fully understand how your competitors are performing on Instagram. For example, someone could artificially gain a large following, but they don’t get in engagement in return. 

3. How often are others publishing new content on Instagram?

You don’t want to follow the leader in regards to how often you post to Instagram, but you should have an idea of what the top profiles in your space are doing. Are they posting once or more per day? What does their weekly and monthly activity look like?
As long as you can keep your quality high, you can set a posting schedule that is on par with others in your space. And if you are lucky, you may be able to take things to the next level, such as by doubling your output. That may be just what you need to move your way up the Instagram ranks, putting everyone in your niche on notice that you are here to stay. 

4. What type of content is performing best for them?

Don’t just focus on what you can see on the surface. There is more to an Instagram account that pure numbers. You should also look at the type of content that is performing best for your competitors.
Are they getting the most engagement as the result of selfies? Do people seem to pay more attention to behind the scenes shots? How about videos?
Dive deep for a better understanding of the type of content that is performing best, as this should give you a better idea of what will work for you moving forward.
Tip: this is an important step to take, but every profile is different. Just because a certain type of content works for one brand doesn’t mean it will work for another.