How To Use Data To Build A Better Instagram Content Strategy


| Instagram Analytics | Adina Jipa

When it comes to Instagram content strategy, everyone seems to know what to publish, when to publish, and even how often.

The platform changed in the last months, and the social media managers have adapted to the new trends. Now you can set up an e-commerce flow for your website in Instagram, nano-influencers generate better engagement rate for businesses, and brands started acting as local brands - all the marketing efforts target the local market as opposed to an international market.

Robert Katai said: "Being a true social channel, Instagram favors micro-brand marketing and we see quite an explosion of small companies and brands on the platform."

With more than 500 daily active users in Stories (Jan 2019), Instagram is the most dynamic social media platform - the queen for marketers.

Daily Active Instagram Stories 2019

How can marketers keep track of all these changes and adapt their content strategy to the new updates?

Today, I'm going to share with you how can you perform a content analysis on Instagram and what metrics help create benchmarks for your account.

Let's dive in!

Instagram content analysis

How to perform an Instagram content analysis


  1. Analyze what to post
  2. Identify best time to post
  3. Discover what hashtags to use
  4. Understand where to place your hashtags – caption or comment
  5. Analyze how many hashtags you should use
  6. Evaluate your caption length
  7. Predict your audience behavior and reactions based on your past content
  8. Analyze your industry's competitors


1. Analyze what to post


Once you establish your content calendar, keep an eye on your best performing posts and understand what type of posts generated better engagement.

Measuring your content habits helps you craft your photos and videos for Instagram. Analyze your content based on:

  1. The most performing posts in terms of engagement and comments
  2. Type of posts - photos, videos or carousel
  3. Engagement rate per post
  4. Number of posts per day or week

Instagram content analysis


2. Identify when to post


Lots of studies talk about the best time to post on Instagram based on their internal data. According to Hubspot "on average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 PM and 3 PM CDT."

However, there's no size fits all for everyone. You need to determine the posting frequency in addition to the content to post each time. By learning the right time to post, you manage to reach your target audiences for engagement.

To analyze your best time to post for your brand and business on Instagram,  here are four ways:

  • Identify your top time zones and see when your followers are online - these insights are available through the native analytics app.
  • Experiment with different posting times and measure your progress
  • Measure when your competitors are posting.
  • Keep track of your industry behavior.

Best time post using the native app

After that, create a content calendar and ensure that it cycles around your themes. Integrate your campaigns with data.

Even though scheduling posts on Instagram directly is not possible, you can prepare your content such as videos, photos, and captions in advance.


3. Analyze what hashtags to use


Most individuals are usually confused when it comes to the using of hashtags on Instagram. Even if hashtags are so incredible, using them in excess, don’t make things better for your engagement rates on Instagram. On the contrary, they can confuse and might not attract the right audience.

Hashtags are keywords, which you can use to organize your posts on Instagram and to help people identify your brand easily.

The power of a hashtag comes from people using similar keywords. If you click on a hashtag, you should be able to access more posts on the same topic. Plus, if you're interested in that topic, you can choose to follow a hashtag on Instagram.

The type of hashtags you use will depend on the emotions you want to express, the products you want to recommend and the people you want to connect with. You can also use them to identify your brand, places or events.

There are different types of hashtags you can use to enhance your brand or products. These hashtags include:

  • General hashtags
  • Branded hashtags
  • Niche hashtags
  • Community-related hashtags
  • Location hashtags

There are two ways to measure your hashtags performance from posts:

  1. You can track your hashtags analytics using an Instagram analytics tool like Socialinsider. Here's the list of metrics you'll get:

1.1. Average engagement per post for the hashtag used

1.2. Top hashtags mentioned with your hashtag ranked by engagement

1.3. Top hashtags mentioned with your hashtag

1.4. The most performing posts used with your hashtags

1.5. Type of posts: video, photo, carousel

Measure your hashtags performance with Socialinsider


  1. You can analyze your hashtag performance using the Instagram native insights - available for business accounts:

    1.1. Tap on 'View insights' on posts
    1.2. Go to the Discovery section and you'll see the impressions from hashtags. This is an aggregated number for all types of hashtag used, you don't have access to impressions per hashtag used.

Track your hashtags performance with the native app


4. Understand where to place your hashtags – caption or comment


Caption or comment? That's the question. Some people place them in the caption, at the end of the post or in the first comment. Depending on your Instagram ROI, you should test what works best for your account.

Want to promote a campaign's hashtag and want people to share posts using that hashtag? Then it's better to use it in caption and make it visible.

Take @alexgalmeanu for example which a photographer and he wants to promote his series of Instagram posts with walls. When he's using this hashtag, he make sure that this hashtag is visible and people can search for this tag.

To increase your hashtag visibility, place it in Stories and bio too.

Sue B. Zimmerman: "Where to put the hashtags? This is one of the common questions people ask me. People always want to know if they should put their hashtags in the photo caption or in the first comment. My suggestion is to aim for consistency."

5. Analyze how many hashtags you should use


Instagram allows only 30 hashtags per every post. Content with hashtags generally attracts more conversations, but many hashtags may make your business look more desperate or attract wrong followers. For a clean profile, you can hide hashtags on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

You know what day it is! This #followfriday we’d love to share Stockholmer @adventuresofwander’s gorgeous photos from our city. 🌟 Browse the images in the slideshow, and pay her feed a visit for even more inspiration! She has also created a fantastic guide to her 29 favorite photo spots in Stockholm, check it out in our story. Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing your Stockholm with us! 😍 #visitstockholm Photo no. 1 is the mural in Fiskargatan, Södermalm by @osgemeos Photo no. 2 is the view over the City Hall seen from Riddarholmen island Photo no. 3 is from the subway station ‘Mörby Centrum’ Photo no. 4 is from Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town Photo no. 5 is from the subway station ‘Stadion’ Photo no. 6 is from Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town Photo no. 7 is from the commuter train station ‘Odenplan’ Photo no. 8 is from the blue gate in @royaldjurgarden Photo no. 9 is from Danderydsgatan in the Östermalm area Photo no. 10 is from Saltsjöbaden in the #stockholmarchipelago

A post shared by Visit Stockholm (@visitstockholm) on


6. Evaluate your caption length


When it comes to Instagram, things have changed and coming up with the perfect Instagram caption in 2019 is really, really hard.

Should you write a 'quickie' one with one word and emoji?
Should you write one or two sentences or micro-blogging with your captions?

Metrics that help you understand what's the optimal caption length for your business are:

  • Distribution of comments
  • Distribution of likes
  • Reach
  • Impressions

Keep in mind that most individuals will scroll through Instagram feeds very fast. If you have any doubts on the length of the caption, keep it briefly. In the first three lines, include the most important message and ensure that the caption will keep the attention of the users and influence them to take the next action.


7. Predict your audience behavior and reactions based on your past content


The activities of people on Instagram are a good source of information. You can analyze the content they post or interact with in addition to their interests, behaviors, demographics. You can use this data to plan on future marketing and approach potential customers.

These insights help you prediction the future of buying patterns and trends. It also helps in the prediction of the products potential customers want and when they want them. After understanding the trends, you will manage to deliver the expectations of your customers.

With Socialinsider, you can get up to twelve months of historical posts data on Instagram.


8. Analyze your industry's competitors


When in the planning stage, you will have to consider the two types of competitors on Instagram. The first group relates to the brand's top competitors or those who likely affect your annual revenue.

The other group of competitors involves the aspirational competitors or the brands you have been looking up to. Keep in mind that these competitors do not have to be social or direct. They are the brands you see as cool, more innovative and reaping more rewards form risks. They might also be brands with higher engagement rates. They should not necessarily be in your industry.

You can set up competitive benchmarks for your industry with Socialinsider.

Engagement rate on social media for the auto industry

Final Thought

How do you analyze your content on Instagram? What tools will you be using to measure your KPIs effectively?


Today, social media managers are faced with an ever-growing list of metrics to follow. Measuring your social media efforts can be overwhelming. Follow the steps described in this article to stay on top with your content strategy. Set up weekly or at least monthly meetings to analyze your posting on Instagram and create benchmarks for your business.

Adina Jipa

Adina Jipa

Making successful mistakes as a co-founder @socialinsider. I love writing about social media strategies, psychology & consumer behavior.

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