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As an entrepreneur, it’s best to keep in mind the following: in a world where brands and businesses compete for attention, you must have the right strategies to stay on top of your game.

Analyzing competitors is one of the few proven ways of replicating the success of existing ventures. And it’s not as daunting as it might seem.

If you own a business that’s just starting to build a social media presence on Instagram, you’ll want to follow these measures to ensure that you’re on the right track when following what the competition is up to.

1. Find Who Your Competitors Are

According to WP Dev Shed, and just about anyone who uses social media, Instagram is one of the most popular social networking platforms out there. It’s not surprising anymore why businesses are also flocking to the platform to get a piece of the pie. With millions of users worldwide, here’s where you need to be not just to get noticed by customers but also to find out the best brands out there.

Knowing which business competitors are successful in the same niche you’re in is the first step to take. Analyzing your competition will help you reach insights and other information you might need to apply to your brand—research which notable brands are making waves in the industry regardless of the size. You’d also want to see the top brands on Instagram that are the closest or indirect competitors you can learn from.

It’s also worth mentioning your business account will benefit from following trending brands today. They’re likely the top names in the industry that you can effortlessly search for on Instagram. For instance, if you’re a business that offers skincare, you’d want to use relevant keywords and hashtags to search. The result will give you brand names that include the keywords you used. For example, the word ‘skincare.’ Choose the brands you want to monitor, verified or not.

2. Set Up Your Performance Metrics

After targeting the different brands you want to follow, the next step is to look into your business or brand account on Instagram. You’d like to compare the accounts of those businesses you follow and your own to help you set key performance indicators (KPIs). These indicators will help you measure business performance and obtain leverage against your competitors.

A competitor analysis will help you see what factors drive a brand to keep its success. You can take them as the compass that leads to popularity and profitability. Benchmarking aims to see how your business will do when pitted against others.

Additionally, KPIs will help you determine which areas of your business account did well in the past and which ones need improvement as well. At the same time, you’ll see what doesn’t work with the competition that might be advantageous to your business.

It’s a different story when you’re following influencers though because some of them put their accounts in private. It’s fortunate that you can still view them. You can find out how by reading informative sources similar to The Small Business Blog.

3. Create A SWOT Analysis Report

Using the intel or information you’ve gathered from benchmarking, create a report where you can compile your findings.

A SWOT report that cites the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that can impact your brand will give clarity for you and your team if you have any. Creating a report will provide insights on how to market the business, affecting its profit margin and other areas.

An example of spotting strengths is when your competitor keeps posting text-based content versus your in-depth instructional videos. Which one has more likes and engagement from followers and customers? You can include in the report if it’s serving your company or not. That’ll give you an idea if you should continue a particular strategy and when to best create that specific content too.

Plus, a SWOT report will help you identify which area works for the competitor yet doesn’t do with your business. You can use your information to pick up details that could drag video production down or what content types work the least for you. It’ll take different strategies and experimenting to find what will best work for the long term, yet it’ll be worth it.

4. Look Into Their Followers And Interaction

Perhaps for those starting to build up a following on Instagram, the number of followers will matter. But as time passes, business owners will realize that nothing beats quality still. Fake followers will likely not make any engagement.

If a brand has many followers, you can check their following and you’ll notice suspicious accounts with names and profile pictures that look out of place. Check one account, and there will be one or two posts without captions.

Lately, bots have also been running amok in the comments section. Signs of bots are spammy comments that have nothing to do with the content. Sometimes, they’re nonsensical or too short. The kinds of comments a business account gets are also considered a sign that your business is attracting attention from the people who are likely to be ‘real’ customers.

You want to see genuine comments from individuals who are likely to be excited about your products or services. It’ll tell you if your marketing strategies are working and which ones are pulling in the right people depending on the kind of posts you make. It means you decide which topics they like and if images or videos work with that content.

5. Check The Ads They Use

Even how they market their content is an area that you mustn’t skip. You can also learn from the way they promote their content through Instagram ads.

You’ll be able to see a competitor’s active ads by tapping on the three dots on their account. Choose the ‘About This Account’ found in the menu and you’ll be able to see the information page. Select active ads. Or if you keep scrolling through your feed, you’ll find the ads that your account follows.

Check what message they’re trying to portray, their tone of voice, and see if there are any significant engagements. You might be able to learn how you’ll set up your business ads too.

In Conclusion

An Instagram competitor analysis allows you to look deeper into your business by tracking competitor activities. Your business account will benefit from looking into what works with your industry rivals and pinpointing areas that’ll need improvement on your end. While making adjustments will take time, effort, and money, making informed decisions through competitor analysis ensures that your business has a fighting chance even in a condensed market.