Should You Switch to an Instagram Creator Profile?
Wondering if you should switch to an Instagram creator profile?
In late-2018, Instagram announced that it was rolling out a new kind of Instagram account, created specifically for their MVPs: Instagram influencers and content creators.
Instagram creator profiles are similar to business profiles, offering users exclusive features, analytics, and more.
But there are some big differences too!
In this post, we explain how to set up an Instagram creator profile and look at the pros and cons of making the switch:
Table of Contents:
- What You Need to Know About Instagram’s Creator Profile
- Feature #1: More Growth Tools
- Feature #2: Simplified Messaging
- Feature #3: Instagram & IGTV Scheduling
- Feature #4: Flexible Profile Controls
- Feature #5: Shoppable Posts
- Instagram Business Profile vs. Instagram Creator Profile
- Is Instagram’s Creator Profile Worth the Switch?
What You Need to Know About Instagram’s Creator Profile
Instagram influencer marketing is big and getting bigger — in fact, according to AdAge, it now accounts for at least $2 billion in annual marketing spending in North America.
But it hasn’t been without its hiccups.
Before Instagram announced its new creator profile, influencers had to use business profiles to access their account insights, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and more.
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What they lacked, however, were features like advanced growth insights and tools to monetize their Instagram content.
Ashley Yuki, an Instagram product manager, acknowledged this in a 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, stating that the idea behind Instagram’s creator profile was to “create this space where we can now start to specialize the experience for the needs of creators.”
By switching to a creator profile, influencers and creators would get access to flexible profile controls, simplified messaging, and more growth tools.
But is this actually the case? Are the features worth making the switch?
Read on to find out!
Instagram Creator Profile Feature #1: More Growth Tools
One of the biggest concerns for Instagram influencers is understanding their follower growth and trends on their account — so it makes sense that Instagram creator profiles are designed with analytics in mind.
For starters, Facebook launched its new Creator Studio dashboard last year, which includes an “Insights” tab to help creators better understand their audience and how people are interacting with their content.
Within the Insights tab, you can view Activity Insights to see what actions people take when they engage with your account. It also tracks the reach and the total number of impressions of your content over the last 7 days.
You can also view Audience Insights with information about your followers and audience, including their gender, age range, and location.
While many of these analytics are currently offered on Instagram business profiles, the Creator Studio dashboard makes it easier for users to access their metrics directly from their desktop.
Instagram creator profiles also get access to daily follow/unfollow data, which will make it easier for influencers and creators to map new and existing content to net follower changes (and therefore see what’s resonating and what isn’t resonating with their followers).
Previously, influencers looked outside the Instagram app for follow/unfollow data, until Instagram’s API changes disabled many third-party apps.
Keep in mind that Creator Studio only collects insights from the past 7 days and only at an account level, whereas other Instagram analytics platforms give you up to 3 months’ worth of data.
ICYMI: Creator Profiles can now access Later’s Instagram Analytics.
Influencers and creators can now review detailed analytics, including follower growth, impressions, and reach, from the last 3 months. And, discover top-performing posts and identify what’s resonating with your audience.
Need to share your stats with others? Generate accurate analytics so you can report out to brands and collaborators on individual campaigns and posts, and your account as a whole.
And the good news — Analytics are available on all Later plans, including our free plan!
Instagram Creator Profile Feature #2: Simplified Messaging
Instagram influencers are bombarded with DMs, ranging from “where’d you buy that top?” to collaboration requests, and more.
As you can imagine, this can be really overwhelming for influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers — how do you manage all of those messages?!
This is another issue that Instagram has attempted to address with the creator profile.
Creator profiles have more DM filtering options (including three new tabs: Primary, General, and Requests), allowing them to prioritize messages from brands and friends, or rank them by relevance or time to make sure they never miss an important request.
Instagram Creator Profile Feature #3: Instagram & IGTV Scheduling
Instagram Creator Studio also offers publishing tools for both Instagram feed posts and IGTV. This gives creators a unified place to manage their presence and content across both Facebook and Instagram.
To get started click “Create Post” in the top-left of the page (you should see options for both Instagram Feed and IGTV):
The publishing flow is slightly different for Instagram posts and IGTV videos. Below we’ll cover how to schedule posts to your Instagram feed — but you can also check out our step-by-step guide on how to schedule IGTV videos with Creator Studio.
After you select “Instagram Feed,” a window will open on the right of the screen where you can upload your image (or images in the case of carousel posts), write your caption, add a location, tag accounts, and crop your images.
So, what’s the difference between scheduling Instagram posts in Creator Studio vs. Later?
While Creator Studio is good for one-off posts, it’s a very simple tool and doesn’t allow you to plan your Instagram feed, manage comments, or post to multiple social platforms.
With Later, creators and influencers can use the Conversations tool — making managing your Instagram comments easy.
With Conversations, you can manage your Instagram comments in 3 ways:
- Inbox View: See the latest comments across all of your posts
- Post View: Browse all the comments broken down by post
- User View: Read all comments filtered by Instagram user
However you choose to stay on top of your comments, Conversations makes it easy to interact with your most engaged followers.
It’s also important to note that when you switch to a creator profile, you lose the ability to Auto Publish your Instagram posts with Later, but you will still be able to use Later’s Instagram Analytics to track your account’s growth.
Instagram Creator Profile Feature #4: Flexible Profile Controls
On top of having more control over who is messaging them, Instagram creator profiles also have more control over how they’re being contacted.
Creator profiles can designate their preferred method of contact on their profile (including call, text, and email), and have more flexibility on what they choose to include as a CTA on their pages.
By giving creator accounts more control over how they’re contacted, influencers will be able to filter out “cold” messages and spend more time engaging in meaningful interactions with brands they prefer to work with.
The new profile controls are a way to give Instagram influencers more control over their profiles, and the connections they make on the platform.
Instagram Creator Profile Feature #5: Shoppable Posts
Shopping on Instagram has been around for a while — but it’s only recently that it was opened up to influencers and creators.
Announced in mid-2019, Instagram creator profiles can now share featured products in their organic posts and stories. And it works almost exactly like regular shopping posts from businesses.
As a creator, when someone taps a product tag on your post or a product sticker in your story, they’ll be taken to a product description page where they can complete their purchase.
Before this feature was released, influencers and creators were fairly limited in how they could promote other brands and products.
In terms of process, influencers would usually tag the brands they were promoting, add details in the caption, and then respond to countless comments and DMs.
With the ability to tag products in their posts and stories, influencers can now get back to expressing themselves and sharing what’s on their mind, which should make their followers happy too!
Note: Keep in mind that creators can only feature products from brands that have approved access to their products.
Creator profiles are also gaining access to Instagram’s highly coveted checkout feature! According to a Glossy article, influencers that have partnered with brands on paid Instagram posts are now able to tag Checkout-enabled products in their own feeds.
While this feature is currently being beta tested with a handful of businesses, we expect it to be more widely available this year!
Instagram Business Profile vs. Instagram Creator Profile
Like Instagram business profiles, creator profiles have access to a number of exclusive features and in-depth analytics, but there are also some big differences between the profile types.
Here’s a quick rundown of the key differences:
With an Instagram Business Profile You
- Get access to Instagram Analytics about your followers and posts
- Promote Instagram posts as ads
- Add links to Instagram Stories
- Schedule and Auto Publish your posts to Instagram with Later
- Get access to Later’s Best Time to Post, Collect, Conversations, and Analytics features
- Go private on Instagram
With an Instagram Creator Profile You
- Get exclusive access to the Instagram Creator Studio on desktop
- Access creator-specific analytics, including follow/unfollow metric and engagement stats
- Filter your Direct Message inbox
- Tag products from brands directly within a feed post
- Get access to Later’s Best Time to Post, Collect, Conversations, and Analytics features
- Connect your Instagram to any third-party apps
- Auto Publish your posts to Instagram with Later
Wondering if you should switch to an Instagram business profile or Instagram creator profile? Find out with our handy flowchart:
Is the Instagram Creator Profile Worth the Switch?
There are unique advantages and disadvantages to each Instagram profile, and it ultimately depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your account.
Of course, if you’re an influencer or creator that’s actively trying to monetize your content and build more partnerships with brands, switching to a creator profile could be hugely beneficial — especially since we expect Instagram to continue rolling out new features this year.
When you switch to a Creator Profile, you’re now able to access Later’s a number of Later features that were previously only available for Instagram Business Profiles.
Find your best time to post, get more engagement on your posts, gather content, reply to comments, and track your Instagram performance — all with Later!
However, as we described above, there are some downsides to making the switch.
For example, Instagram creator profiles aren’t connected to the Instagram API, which means they won’t be able to use features such as Auto Publish. Creator Profiles will receive push notifications to publish posts on Instagram.
If you consider Auto Publish essential, then it’s probably best to stick with a business profile — at least until Instagram adds these abilities to creator profiles.
Have you switched to a creator profile? Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!
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