The efficiency of influencer marketing is confirmed by over 80% of marketers, but there were still examples when influencer marketing campaigns did not bring about any ROI and even failed completely. One of the main reasons for that is the wrong choice of an influencer account.
Every influencer, as well as brands and marketers, should be aware of how to run an Instagram audit to understand what characteristics the account has at the moment. It will give a clear picture of the follower number, location, interests, age, engagement rate and reach, provide many other details important both for an account holder and people who want to cooperate with it.
This article will focus on the important steps of a quality Instagram account audit as well as provide tools and tips on how to perform it quickly and efficiently both for an influencer and brands interested in it.
Why to Perform an Audit of Instagram Account
If you are a newbie in influencer marketing, you may wonder why you should waste time on preparing an Instagram audit report. However, influencer marketing is also a business that requires planning and analyzing campaign results. It means that knowledge of the latest statistical data is very important and can contribute to the success of the next cooperation with a company or brand. Therefore, experts advise performing account audits not only at the beginning of cooperation with a company or after it but also complete several of them during the campaign for reassessing the strategy developed and updating goals.
When it comes to more exact reasons why every influencer or marketer should perform an IG audit, they look as follows:
- It provides current data about the account.
- It helps to make changes to the campaign if you see that not all goals can be achieved using the original strategy.
- It prevents brands from hiring influencers with fake followers and waste money.
- It allows checking which strategies are working and which ones are not effective.
How to run your Instagram profile audit
Working on any marketing campaign you face a number of questions to be answered. In fact, an audit can help you to get them if you go through all the important steps of this process. This is a simple strategy of how to get the results of an Instagram audit analyzing the most significant characteristics.
Setting up goals and KPIs
Before you start conducting an actual audit of the account, it is important to understand why you are doing that. If you just want to look at the account statistics and possible changes in it, this purpose is clear. However, if you are already involved in an influencer marketing campaign and this audit is performed during this process, the first step to complete is to assess the marketing goals set for the project. In fact, you need to receive an answer to the most important question: are your marketing goals align with ones for an Instagram account?
Naturally, these goals should not sound the same, but they should have a complementary character when the achieving of a simple marketing goal is clearly represented by changes in the account statistics.
For example, newly created brands usually plan to increase brand awareness using the help of influencers, so there should be a growth in follower number, reach, and engagement rate of the account. Online stores hire influencers to boost sales, first of all, so it will lead to more comments from the potential leads and clicks on the link if there is any.
One more important thing to consider before an audit is how to understand that your marketing campaign is effective. Experts use key performance indicators (KPIs) for this purpose, so you should decide which KPIs are suitable for your situation. They depend on the goals set for a campaign, so the metrics chosen differ from one marketing strategy to another one.
For example, growth in both reach and engagement rate is important when your goal is to increase brand awareness, while the engagement rate and the number of links follows will be more important for generating sales. It means that you should measure an increase in engagement rate for different time periods (1, 3, 6, or 12 months) and understand what type of content is more effective and which one is underperforming.
It goes without saying that an Instagram account should represent a brand image of its owner no matter whether it is a person or a company. However, it often happens that accounts lack consistency in three important characteristics: style, colors and tone.
It means that a color scheme, type of content, tone of captions used, hashtags and style of interaction with followers should be consistent, first of all. For example, if you work in the travel niche, your images and videos should represent this theme in a variety of ways. The captions used might be titles of the places visited while a number of hashtags should be connected with the main theme and include a personal hashtag too.
An account can also have the same font, background for images and phrases, logo on each photo added, etc. It would be great to look at the general look of your grid too and it will help you to understand if your posts are connected with each other (by tone, colors, theme or in any other way). You can use Sked’s Visual Planner for making your grid much more appealing.
An audit can help you to analyze your account and understand which posts can be considered odd and what reaction of your audience they have received. It may happen that content you consider strange and less suitable can be appreciated by your followers, and it is one of the main benefits brought about by audits.
Bio and profile audit
The profile page on Instagram is not big (150 characters only), so you should make use of every sign available there with benefits. In fact, you should pay attention to the following features:
- Your logo and/or username used on Instagram should be the same on all other social media and other platforms.
- You should choose a simple, clear photo for your profile that represents you best of all.
- Your bio should provide clear explanations of what you do and offer as an influencer or brand and who is your target audience.
- It should include a unique hashtag of yours as well as a link to your blog, website, or another source telling more about your activity. You can add a link to the website using such great tools as Linktree, Shorby, or Lnk.Bio.
- The voice and style of your bio should sound in the same tone as the rest of your content.
- Try to include Call-To-Action to your bio too. It can be an offer to check certain products, look through recent events, or the latest content added to the blog.
- It is important to provide direct contact information in your bio for both brands and users to be able to get a response to their inquiry. It can be an official company or home address, a button with a telephone number, email, or message.
It goes without saying that content plays the most significant role for your audience, so its audit can tell you much about your account and followers. As you know, Instagram posts can be of three basic types including images, video pieces, and stories. However, all these posts should be complemented with captions, descriptions, comments, and answers to them, mentions, etc. Therefore, your content audit should consist of the following two important stages.
Visual (Photos, Videos, Stories)
Instagram is focused on visual content, first of all, so it is important to find out how efficient your posts are. For this purpose, it is necessary to consider the following:
- Check the quality of images and videos added. It is natural that low-quality content will disappoint your followers and discourage them from any kind of engagement.
- Optimize content to the requirements of the platform. Instagram recommends using the latest version of the app, uploading a photo of 1080 pixels wide and its aspect ratio should be between 1.91:1 and 4:5, use camper with high resolution.
- Take advantage of new features added by the platform. Stories have gained incredible popularity since their introduction. They offer users to use stickers, add words and phrases over photos and videos, mention hashtags and even links. One more great feature is Live Videos which became a perfect activity during the quarantine. Users should not neglect them if they want to let their IG account grow.
- Use photo and video editing tools if you want to improve the quality of video content, add stickers or frames, make it shorter or add aesthetics.
It is important to provide your visual content with impressive textual materials, so check the following information:
- Read out your captions. You should not add images and videos without eye-catching captions. The last ones should complement your posts and support a message of your brand.
- Provide short but memorable descriptions. Include mentions and call-to-actions, inspire your audience for communication. Make your texts light and easy to read. Don’t forget about emojis.
- Consider the length of your description. Pay more attention to the initial phrase to interest your audience and encourage them to press the ‘More’ button.
- Avoid sales CTAs. Make them natural and inquisitive.
Instagram has created hashtags to help users discover new content but do you use the right hashtags for your posts? It is not a secret that every brand should have a unique hashtag associated with it. Moreover, it is important to use from 5 to 10 more hashtags from your niche. These should be relevant to your content hashtags that include ones from your niche and ones that are popular.
When you conduct an account audit, pay attention to the hashtags selected and analyze if you have made the correct choice. Moreover, some hashtags can be broken or blocked, so it can be harmful to your follower growth.
One more point is consistency in placing hashtags. Some users add them directly after a caption, the others prefer to provide a list after a description. You should select a strategy you like and follow it adding new posts.
When it comes to tools that can be in handy for hashtags analytics, you may use Sprout to keep a record of the most often used hashtags.
When you achieve the status of an influencer, you are obliged to care about your audience. It is waiting for new posts and you should provide them with new content on a regular basis. Asking an audit of your Instagram account you should check how often you have posted new content and try to develop a posting schedule.
It is very important to understand when your target audience is the most active and schedule your new posts for this time. It will help you to boost interaction with your posts and let them go viral.
It would be also great to analyze what posting frequency results in the highest follower growth and engagement rate and stick to this schedule if it is possible. There are many tools that provide users with an opportunity to schedule posts (for example, Planoly or Later), so take advantage of them.
One of the most important stages of an Instagram account audit is an analysis of insights. There are key metrics of the platform and their detailed and regular analysis over certain periods of time helps to improve the marketing strategy and achieve goals set. What are these metrics you may wonder? In fact, they may differ depending on business goals, but still, the main examples are provided in Instagram insights. It is worth mentioning that only business accounts have access to insights and can learn data about user activity, content added and audience. However, despite so many examples of metrics provided in insights, most of brands and users are still focused on several most important ones.
Conducting your account audit you should give answers to several questions:
- Which metrics do you track;
- Do you perform a comparative analysis of these metrics on a regular basis;
- What are the reasons for some posts to under- or overperform;
- What are the characteristics of your target audience (age, gender, interests, location, etc).
Followers and their Engagement
In fact, the main metrics to interest every influencer is, of course, a follower number. Every user hopes to see an increase in this number checking the profile or insights, but your audit can help you to experience a regular growth in follower number if you check the following points:
- How quickly do you respond to comments and direct messages? Almost immediate answers boost interaction significantly and let your followers feel needed and appreciated;
- What accounts do you follow? Not only your followers are matter. When you subscribe to the brands and influencers working in a similar niche, you can attract new followers to your account too. Check if a list of accounts you follow consists of real people and is free of fakes;
- Do you repost user-generated content? It is not enough to add your own posts. You should show your appreciation for your followers by sharing their great posts too;
- Do you react to tagged posts promptly? If you are tagged, it is important to show your gratitude to a user and share feed posts to stories, for example;
- Do you struggle with fake followers? One of the main goals of every account audit is to get rid of fake followers who might discourage brands to work with an influencer.
The most important metrics for companies and brands who look for cooperation with IG account is its engagement rate. You can find the number of likes, comments, saves in your insights or get maximum information about natural growth and get detailed engagement audit results using trendHERO service. If the audit performed will inspire you for further changes for better, you will immediately spot growth in your engagement rate.
Growth strategies and their effectivity
Every account holder thinks how to get more followers and it can be challenging if to consider the fact that the number of IG users has already beaten 1 billion thresholds. Therefore, when you decide to use Instagram audit tool measuring metrics, you should also think if you could answer positively to the following questions:
- Have you partnered with influencers working in the same niche?
- Have you become a follower of brands and companies you would like to cooperate with?
- Did you share or tag their posts?
- Have you already cooperated with brands in influencer marketing direction?
- Do you add hashtags and location tags to your posts?
- Do you promote your Instagram account on other platforms?
- Have you created your own stories effects?
If you haven’t answered any of these questions positively, it is time to add this strategy to your plan and boost your follower number.
How to use trendHERO to audit an Instagram account
If you plan to make an audit of your or any other account, there is hardly any better tool than trendHERO.
Of course, if you are lucky to have switched to a business account and have access to IG insights, you can receive most of the important metrics.
However, the use of trendHERO will provide you with more valuable information to boost the success of your account and achieve marketing goals set.
It is very easy to use trendHERO service. It works online, so you should register an account (it’s free) and login to start an audit. You don’t need to connect your account and share your sensitive data like your profile’s login and password. You will see a search bar to enter the name of the account and press the ‘Check’ button. In a matter of seconds, you will get detailed metrics of different account characteristics including:
- Number of followers;
- Engagement rate;
- Quality audience;
- Basic metrics: Number of likes, comments, posts per 7 days, times videos were watched;
- Audience analysis: their accessibility, genuity, location, gender, type, interests, growth, etc.;
- Comments analysis: comments by types, distribution of followers leaving them;
- Analysis of posts: like distribution, top hashtags;
- Top mentions;
- All posts.
You can use these metrics for your account audit as often as you wish and contribute to the follower growth and engagement rate you have.
As you can see, an audit of an Instagram account takes time and modern tools can help you to cope with this process faster. Naturally, there are certain steps including bio and profile audit that should be performed manually but in most cases, it is possible to automate the process and analyze the results provided. It is important to remember that you should audit your IG account regularly to get decent results.