How to test Instagram content - data driven content analysis

All marketers want to be data driven. But how do you actually do it?

Step 1. Define your goals


Your end goal is almost always conversions, that a person does/buys/votes for something. But before conversions, you need a number of goals for your content. For example:

  • Maximize engagement (#comments, likes)
  • Maximize impressions (#views of your content)
  • Maximize link clicks (#visits to your web site)

Question: Which of these is actually most important to you this week? This campaign? Write it down.



Step 2. Test variation of your content


Try these tips for testing your content.


2.1 Test different hours of the day & different days of the week


Don’t assume you know when your audience want to interact with your content. Instead: test it!

Map out which hours of the day & which days of the week that you have tested posting content. Find your gaps and try posting at days/times that you have not tried before. Finally, for each channel, compare which times actually achieves your goals the best.

Bonus tip: Many marketers tend to post content before lunch, so that they don’t have to manage comments after 17:00 (5pm). Don’t make that mistake.


2.2 Test different texts, images & videos


Categorize your content to keep track of which type of text/image/video you used each time.


Post enough content with the same type of text/image/video before you draw conclusions. One post with low engagement isn’t enough to say that typ of content will never work.

Perhaps that type of image works well on Instagram, but not on other networks? Test it!


2.3 Test different channels



You do not have the exact same people following you on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Do not assume you know how they will react. Instead, test it!


Bonus tip: Make sure you always have content scheduled to all your channels.



Step 3. Analyze your results


3.1 First: Test wide

  • Make sure that you have tried enough days/times.
  • Make sure you have tried enough types of content.
  • Make sure you have tried combinations of this on your different channels.

For each channel, find which combinations achieves your goals the best.

3.2 Then: Find what works


Based on your goals (impressions, engagement, or something else) look at which type of content actually worked the best when.

Maybe it’s posts with engaging questions that work well on Facebook on Friday afternoons? And perhaps it is posts with flowers that work well on Instagram on Tuesday mornings? Only way to find out, test it!


3.3 Within what works: Repeat more detailed tests


Once you’ve found a few things that work: make more detailed tests within that.

If you’ve found times that work well, then try more types of content in those hour slots.

If you’ve found types of images that work well, try different times, texts and channels.

Bonus tip: There is no eternal truth! Your followers will not act the same forever. Make sure you test again soon.


So, now that you've learned how to start testing your Instagram content – do you know about all the other benefits of measuring and analyzing your communication? Read all about the benefits of measuring and analyzing your communication here.


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