instagram competitive analysis
Competitive Analysis Instagram Analytics

How to Start a Competitive Analysis on Instagram

Laura Dascau
Andreea Udescu
Laura Dascau, Andreea Udescu

Table of Contents

When you start your brand’s Instagram account, you cannot anticipate how overwhelmed you may feel due to the load of data about your industry, niche and competitors.

You have to keep up with the fast pace of the marketing world where everything is shiny, everyone seems to be better than you and you may feel small and discouraged.

With the right competitive analysis tools, an “I can” attitude, patience and a lot of work, you will surely succeed.

Today I am going to show all you need to know about competitor analysis on Instagram and how it can help your brand thrive. Are you ready?

Develop an Instagram competitive analysis


  1. What is an Instagram competitive analysis?
  2. How to find your competitors on Instagram
  3. 7 reasons to perform a competitive analysis on Instagram
  4. How to do a competitors analysis on Instagram using Socialinsider
  5. Metrics to consider when conducting an Instagram competitive analysis
  6. Instagram competitive analysis tools

1. What is an Instagram competitive analysis?


An Instagram competitive analysis is essentially an evaluation in which you compare your brand’s performance with your competitors’ performance, by looking at a lot of factors like the type of content shared, important KPIs and the ROI of your latest campaigns.

When you collect and review a lot of data about your competition, it is easier for you to find the perfect formula to unlock and boost your brand’s growth.

During this evaluation, you should establish what makes your product or service unique, and therefore what attributes you play in order to attract your target market.

By analyzing your Instagram competitors' accounts and monitoring them on an ongoing basis, you’ll get to know their behavior, enabling you to anticipate their actions and be one step ahead.

2. How to find your competitors on Instagram


Finding out who your Instagram competitors are is an essential tactic to determine what kind of threat they present to your financial wellbeing.

In order to develop a powerful competitive analysis on Instagram (or any other social media platform), the first step is to establish who your competition is.

There are three types of competitors:

  • Direct – Businesses that sell the same types of goods and services you do to the same market or niche.

Take these florists accounts for example: @theflowerseekers, @mossandstonefloraldesign, and @floretflower - the common product they sell are flowers.

florists-instagram-accounts

  • Indirect – Businesses that sell substitute products, services, or items that can be used to replace yours.

For example, if you own a bakery, an indirect Instagram competitor for your business is a restaurant.

comparison_bakery_instagram

  • Potential new entrants – Although you can't predict the future, any news you've picked up about new businesses entering your market should be considered as you analyze your current and future Instagram competition.

💡 Tip: You can spot some of your potential Instagram competitors by scrolling down in your Instagram page and checking the app's follow suggestions.

competitors suggestions instagram

3. Top 7 reasons to perform a competitive analysis on Instagram

Developing an Instagram competitive analysis will prove to be very efficient for your brand, both on short and long term.

If you gather data from your Instagram competition, it will help you better position your brand in the marketplace.

Social media is like an ocean and being noticed (without being eaten) among so many sharks can be challenging. Every new angle you find can give you a fresh perspective on how to adapt to the waters you’re swimming in.

Here are 7 reasons and advantages for developing a social media competitive analysis on Instagram.

  • Gain clarity

By looking at data, you will feel empowered since you’ll get the chance to look at things differently.

This analysis will offer you clarity.

You will understand a lot of things about your audience and your rivals, learning about the most engaging type of content and common mistakes in your niche.

Knowing what content your target audience likes to engage with and consume is essential to every Instagram marketing strategy.

This will give you an idea of what people post and also brainstorm content ideas for your brand.

  • Stay on top of trends

By always being aware of the latest trends, you increase your chances of developing engaging content that addresses the “now”. And what’s a better way to cater your audience?

Implementing new trends into your products and services will help you sell faster, targeting exactly those who are interested in what’s new in your industry.

To identify the latest trends in your industry, you can use a listening or monitoring tool which could offer you the latest insights.

At the same time, you should keep an eye on your competitors to make sure you are always a step ahead of them.

  • Find out more about your audience

Does your audience spend more time watching Reels, or maybe on Instagram stories? Knowing where users spend the most watch time gives you an upper hand over your Instagram rivals.

Based on the research you do above, you can narrow your focus only on a few Instagram features.

  • Discover new opportunities

While you perform an Instagram competitor analysis, make sure you also check for gaps in your rivals' content.

What do I mean by gaps? Maybe your Instagram competitors' content is a little bit dry, or they do not respond to comments as often as they should. Or they post too rarely. You can take advantage of any of these scenarios.

You can also find different angles of the same story or put your own experience behind it.

For example, behind-the-scenes story videos can showcase your unique personality and brand values.

You audience will get more familiar with your brand and it will be easier for them to establish a connection when they see the person behind the business.

  • Create better content

As you gain essential knowledge about what your Instagram competitors are posting and being mindful about your own content, you can find a common ground between the two and overpower your current Instagram content strategy.

Creativity comes while you are getting inspired by other big players from your niche. Look at what your Instagram competitors are doing and develop your original spin of that type of content.

  • Benchmark your brand against your Instagram competitors

Knowing where you stand against your Instagram competitors, with the help of a simple competitive analysis, will bring you huge benefits.

Benchmarking will give you a clear idea of what your rivals are doing, good and bad.

  • Experiment with Instagram features

The fun part about working on a social media strategy is the testing part. You can test different features to see if they work or not.

For example, upload a short video up to 15 seconds as an Instagram Reel. Come back in a few days and see how it performed.

If you think it didn't bring you any returns in the time you invested in its creation, you can ditch Reels from your Instagram content strategy.

According to this method, do the same with the rest of the content types. Invest some time to play with them and double down on what works best for you.

3. How to do a competitors analysis on Instagram using Socialinsider

A competitive analysis on Instagram might sound like a big undertaking, but it becomes much simpler once you start using the right tools, like Socialinsider.

By adding your competitors’ Instagram profiles into Socialinsider, you get access to a wealth of social media performance data for their pages, making it easy for you to keep a close eye on your competition, detect any significant changes in their strategy and anticipate further moves.

You might want to start your analysis with a quick overview of the most important social media stats.

key metrics for instagram socialinsider

Luckily, you can see all the key metrics to track displayed at the top of the Instagram analytics dashboard. These include your competitors engagement rate on Instagram, the number of posts, followers growth and more.

Most of these metrics are detailed below and the data is illustrated through charts, sparing you the headache of having to translate raw data into usable insights.

For example, whenever you want to check if your competitors have any significant spikes in engagement, you can track the engagement evolution of their page across a chosen period of time.

That enables you to pinpoint any major changes in their followers’ active involvement and identify any potentially viral posts.

engagement evolution socialinsider

If you're wondering how many times your competitors' content is displayed to their audience, you might want to check the impressions metric.

In Socialinsider, you can track the total number of impressions for your competitors' Instagram profiles, the average number of impressions per post, as well as the evolution of these impressions over a specific period of time (of your choosing).

impressions evolution competitors socialinsider

If it's just Reels impressions you're after, you can track them seperately:

reels impressions competitors socialinsider

👉 Speaking of Reels, I have to point out that even compared with TikToks and YouTube Shorts, Reels still reign supreme in terms of watch rate, according to our latest study.

Still, some brands may still choose to favor other post types. Using the charts below, you can see which post types bring your competitors the highest amount of engagement.

top post types by engagement

After performing an Instagram competitive analysis, you'll have a better understanding of what your Instagram competitors are doing.

👉 For a better and more complete understanding of your and your competitors' Instagram data, check out our comprehensive guide on Instagram analytics.

To see a side–by-side comparison of two brands (in this case, yours and your direct competitor’s), you can use the Compare feature located in the top navigation bar.

compare brands key metrics socialinsider

On this page, you can again have a look at some quick stats but also choose to go more in-depth and get a side-by-side comparison of other important metrics, like engagement or posts distribution over time.

posts evolution instagram competitors socialinsider

If your main focus is not only to track your competitors’ performance but also to see how you stack up to them, then the Benchmarks section in Socialinsider should be your next destination.

Once you get there, you can select Instagram from the top navigation bar to see data only for this platform.

instagram benchmarks overview socialinsider

Inside the Instagram Benchmark dashboard, you will find comparative data covering engagement, follower count, engagement and so on.

4. Metrics to consider when conducting competitive analysis on Instagram

To make sure you perform a correct Instagram competitive analysis, you must choose the most important Instagram metrics to analyze.

Followers: The number of followers represents how many people are interested in the value provided by a certain brand.

Posts: The number of posts is also important. You can see how many posts your rivals are posting and tailor your content calendar based on it.

Likes: Likes validate the quality of a specific post. Also, they give you a sense of achievement that feels good and urges you to replicate the same actions that got you there.

Comments: This is basically the feedback you receive for an Instagram post. Based on the comments, you can see if a post is constructive, motivating, inspiring, or offensive. Comments are another metric that drives engagement.

Engagement: This metric breaks down in two separate metrics: Instagram engagement rate/post and Instagram engagement rate/page.

Engagement rate per post means how many total reactions a post receives.

The engagement rate per page represents how many total reactions an Instagram page receives.

Video Views: This metrics shows you the number of times your videos and Reels got viewed by users.

Video Watch Rate: Through this metric, you can find out how much time users spent watching your video content.

CTR: CTR or Click-through-Rate accounts for the number of times users have clicked through your content while scrolling through your posts.

Top hashtags: This metric represents the most used hashtags that your Instagram competitors are using.

They can be a factor to drive growth to your page if used over time. Some say that you should put the hashtags in the captions, and some argue on the contrary.

We say that you can choose to place them wherever you want. Remember that hashtags have the power to make your content viral.

5. Instagram competitive analysis tools

  • Socialinsider

Socialinsider can help you perform a complete competitive analysis on Instagram. You can develop benchmarks to see everything about your competitors and campaigns where you can compare the performance of several brands. Or just add your competitors' social profiles and spy on their data at all times.

  • Brand24

Brand24 is mostly a social listening tool, but it can also incorporate features related to competitors. By using this tool, you can track online conversations about your brand and your competitors.

  • SocialStatus

With Social Status , you can check all your competitor’s posts. The best part about it is that you can also include historical data about your competitors, checking what they did a long time ago.

  • Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a social media marketing tool that shows competitor top posts analysis and competitor benchmarking.

  • Sociality.io

Sociality.io is a specialized competitor analysis tool that performs sentiment analysis, offers profile analytics and is also used for social monitoring.

  • Hootsuite

Hootsuite has analytics and listening features and offers real-time audience insights. The good part about it is that it provides trends analysis.

  • Phlanx

Phlanx is an Instagram engagement calculator, providing you the number of followers of your competitors.

  • Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a tool which helps you find out which are top organic keywords based on URLs. Then, you can check how much traffic your competitors have.

  • SocialBlade

SocialBlade can help you check out the performance of bigger brands. It also offers you data about followers count and a daily update about the number of followers.

  • Wappalyzer

Wappalyzer reveals what technologies are used on every website. This tool works as a Firefox add-on.

  • BuiltWith

BuiltWith is a competitor analysis tool which provides infos like lead generation, business intelligence and e-Commerce data about competitors.

Final thoughts

All these insights related to competitive analysis on Instagram have hopefully brought some clarity when it comes to social media marketing.

By keeping an eye on your competitors, you have a lot to learn, from “to do’s” to “to don’ts”. The insights you gain are useful in designing your own content strategy to attract more clients.

Take advantage of all the information you gather about each Instagram competitor and identify key areas in your strategy that need improvement.

Laura Dascau

Laura Dascau

Content Writer @Socialinsider

I am a curious, focused learner born to tell stories to win over readers' hearts. Always embracing vulnerable authenticity.

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