Every time you post on Instagram are you racking your brain and checking on your competitors' accounts to copy their ideas? This article will help you develop your personal content style and optimize your strategy to your audience’s needs, values, and tastes.
Create Instagram content that engages: how to research ideas without copying competitors

The good news is that this social network itself understands the value of quality content. Therefore, the developers integrated a new section enabling each user to discover resources for various niches and successfully develop unique ideas for posting.

It is vital to note that for a win-win content strategy, you need to know three things:

  • What your competitors are posting
  • The major trends in your niche
  • The optimal posting frequency

At the same time, a competent content manager is not limited to copying ideas from rivals. It’s wise to search and find unique ideas not only in the accounts of competitors but also in other niches, adapting them to your audience and product.

Maybe you hadn’t noticed the new IG section. We’ll show you the way to discover content ideas right in the app. In the second section of the article, you will learn advanced and professional ways to explore and structure ideas for an Instagram content plan.

Create Instagram content: get inspiration from competitors in the app

On Instagram a special section has appeared for those who don’t know what to post and are always struggling with content ideas.

The social network takes care of its users and provides them with a whole section where they can find ideas for posts. Also, they share insights on how to better interact with the audience and what creatives to use for ad campaigns. Therefore, Instagram has come up with a new way to help business users.

All managers of business accounts can now explore a collection of examples of high-quality organic and promotional posts posted by similar accounts. It can be a great source of inspiration, built right into the app.

  • What should I post?
  • What do my competitors post?
  • Where can I research ideas that fit my brand?

For users facing these questions, a new section will help to see how other businesses interact with their audience so that you can creatively promote your brand too.

Where can you find the new section?

You need to tap on "View Professional Dashboard" in the profile header. Then select the section "See How Other Businesses Connect With People." Next, you will find curated posts and ad campaigns by accounts similar to yours.

The feature is only available in business accounts. It is worth mentioning that developers collect ideas for each account closely correlated with the niche.

Nevertheless, there are more profound ways to research content ideas for Instagram. With the procedures described below you will always have a bunch of ideas.

What to post on Instagram: pro-hacks for content research

Find & examine your competitors (identify what performs better)

First of all, you need to select several accounts that inspire you in order to analyze what content is the most engaging based on their experience.

What accounts can you take as examples in order to analyze the content?

  • The accounts of your competitors. This must be done in order to focus on market trends. Do not limit yourself only to direct competitors that are present in your country.

Follow and check the world's major companies that are providing similar services. For example, if you run a shoe store in Portofino, you can monitor major brands in order to understand global trends in the industry. Their Instagram accounts are the perfect source to find them because updates are firstly posted there.

Instagram content that engages

  • Follow and check a couple of meme accounts. These funny groups, if you pay attention to their content, will help you blend your content strategy with relevant entertaining content. The Instagram community values humorous posts, and these are quickly shared and resent in DM so that your engagement will be boosted.

Don't forget that some of the memes may be a perfect fit for your brand concept, so keep an eye out for any funny trending things on Instagram.

  • Investigate top local and global influencers. The fact is that many trends are set by the world’s celebrities and bloggers. After a new post by Bella Hadid or Kendall Jenner, new fashion trends are slowly picked up by big and small companies. Therefore, follow influential people to stay tuned into global news and express your attitude towards this on your account.

Select at least 10-15 profiles and analyze them with the help of Inflact Analyzer. The Analyzer is a free service that will show you the frequency of any account’s publications and their impact on the audience. Take a look at the posts with the most comments and likes and try to understand why exactly they have produced such engagement. Once you note these criteria, apply them in your strategy.

Note: Apparently, the frequency and time of posting will also affect engagement. However, new accounts will require publishing content more often. When you are just attracting your first followers, we advise you to be generous with posts so people can become loyal to the content you share.

If you publish, for example, just two stories in several days, the users will not be that confident to engage and reply to you. When they see your content often, they will be more inclined to react (if they like it). They will look forward to updates from your profile.

Finally, analyzing performance via IG insights will help you to exclude unwanted elements from your content and stay focused on engaging materials.

Be attentive to the cultural code of your audience

Since Instagram is a visual platform, you need to analyze visual preferences and tastes of your audience. To do this, you need to understand who they are – your potential buyers. Try to describe when they were born, what music they listen to, what films they watch, and how they spend their free time, and what they see in front of them every day. Yes, try to be very specific – you will get more visual ideas that they might like.

A business Instagram account should represent the reality of its target audience. For some it may be a luxury vacation in Switzerland, and for some it may be a student’s desk. Therefore, everything that you publish should be visually clear and catch the eye of your audience first of all. Pay attention to the style and colors that are likely to be most appealing to your target audience.

Explore general trends in fashion

To maintain a stylish Instagram profile, you basically need to keep track of what is happening in the fashion industry. The fact is that the global trends apply not only to clothing, design and architecture but also to Instagram. For example, during the time when minimalism and monochrome were in trend, this could be easily noticed in IG aesthetics. Now, on the contrary, bright, extravagant and sparkling outfits are entering the scene, which is reflected on Instagram as well.

Tip: You can find a lot of content ideas if you look at the archives of magazines, films and events that your target audience is focused on. For example, if you sell a product for businessmen, subscribe to digital and print publications about business and try to understand what kind of images and information they are used to consuming. Try to understand which films they like – you can use footage or quotes from these cultural sources in your feed.

Explore ad creatives in your niche

Sometimes creating a banner for ads can be tricky. For this, there is also a hack. You can investigate campaigns your competitors and big brands are currently running.

Go to a certain account or enter its name in the Facebook ad library.

Absolutely all current and past ads are displayed in the Facebook archives and you can see which visuals and texts were used and sort them by the number of impressions. However, this does not mean that you will need to exactly repeat the banners of competitors. But it will become clearer to you what ads your target audience are used to seeing in the feed. At the same time, you can use contrasting and brighter solutions in order to attract them.

Browse on TikTok

Since Reels and clips are very engaging on Instagram, you should keep an eye on the latest trends on TikTok. In this application, new ideas in filming and video processing arise, so this is a unique storehouse of content insights. You can use them and adapt them to the content strategy of any brand.

It is very convenient that you will not need to come up with concepts for clips and montages on your own – it can be challenging to figure out from scratch what will reach the audience. Therefore, be sure to download TikTok and follow everything that happens there. You will be surprised how many new ideas you’ll find.

Unite all the ideas on a mood board

At the final stage, it is important to combine all the content ideas that you collect into a single mood board. This way you will understand how the visuals will look in the feed and will be able to show these ideas to your team in a convenient form. Try to create a visual board every month. You can explore how to make a mood board in this article.

Curate it in a convenient way. This can be a private account where you will view posts as they appear in the feed. Or you can use Inflact Posting to preview posts before publishing.

An alternative way is to create an album on your phone and save the pictures and videos that you plan to share. By the way, you can download any visual from IG in the best quality using the Inflact Downloader.