Deep Dive: From 0 to 945k – The Power of Posting Consistency

Explore the impact of Instagram posting consistency on audience growth and engagement through an insightful analysis of a successful content creator. Uncover valuable strategies and learn how to optimize your own Instagram presence by adapting to platform changes, crafting engaging captions, and effectively utilizing hashtags. Don't miss the chance to elevate your Instagram game and drive success with the power of posting consistency.

Get ready for the sixth article in our Deep Dives series, where we’ll explore the journey of another content creator who’s made it big on Instagram. They’ve got just under 1M followers and have been working don’t their business for over 5 years now.

We’ll be covering growth and growth rate, post types and how they pivoted, engagement rates, post caption sentiment, length, and more. Plus, we’ll be checking out their reels and diving into hashtag usage and what insights we can glean about affiliate/sponsorship posts.

By analyzing their data, we hope to provide you with insights and strategies that you can use to grow your own Instagram account. Let’s dive in and discover what makes this content creator’s Instagram account so successful.

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    Instagram Growth

    Seeing a creator work on their business for such a long period of time is always great to see! Since March 2021, however, their audience growth has slowed.

    As you can see in the chart above, I’ve broken this creators growth into 3 different phases:

    • Phase 1: Through 12/01/2018
    • Phase 2: From 12/01/2018 to 3/01/2021
    • Phase 3: From 3/01/2021 to present

    30-Day Growth Rate

    One of the most important metrics to monitor for your own account is your growth rate. We like to look at our growth rate over a 30-day period so that we are able to capture enough data to see if what we are doing is working.

    For this creator, their growth rate has slowly been going down since 2018. Phase 3 has seen a growth rate of essentially 0. In this deep dive, we will get into just exactly what changed for this creators account.

    What Changed At Each Phase?

    The phase transitions are very important. If creators analyze their data and look for trends, they might be able to replicate the explosive growth that happened at specific times.

    One interesting thing about this creator is that it is clearly a personal account that was converted to a business account. Interestingly, we have data on their posts clear back to January 2012 which will allow for a lot of great insights.

    Number of Posts Per Day

    PhaseAverage Number of Posts Per DayTotal Number of PostsTotal Number of Days
    Phase 10.985 posts per day318323
    Phase 20.972 posts per day798821
    Phase 30.324 posts per day256789

    Another explanation for this creator’s stagnation is the change in posting consistency. During Phase 1 and Phase 2 the creator was posting just about every day. In Phase 3, however, the creator was done to posting once over 3 days.

    Percentage of Posts that are Videos/Reels

    Reels were released in August of 2020 and unfortunately this creator didn’t recognize or even really start posting any Reels until late 2021, or early 2022. This was a missed opportunity for the creator and could explain why their audience growth has stagnated.

    Phase 1329 (96.19%)13 (3.80%)0 (0%)
    Phase 2550 (68.92%)239 (29.95%)9 (1.12%)
    Phase 386 (33.59%)81 (31.64%)89 (34.77%)

    So What Caused The Growth?

    The growth was caused by the following things:

    • Posting consistently
    • Focusing more on carousels during Phase 2, which were more important at that time.

    The stagnation was caused by:

    • Changing their posting frequency from once a day to once every 3 days
    • Not recognizing the importance of Reels and pivoting their business

    I’ve noticed an interesting trend with larger creators that gained the majority of their audience prior to Reels being released. It appears that all of them struggle to pivot their businesses and recognize when to shift strategy.

    This shows the importance of always analyzing your data and testing new things. As a content creator, you should always be testing.


    Engagement has been steadily decreasing over time. This is normal as an account grows. What isn’t normal, is the decrease in engagement in Phase 3 when the growth has been stagnant. To me this indicates that the creator is no longer giving their audience what they want to see and because of that, engagement has suffered.

    Engagement Rate by Post Type & Phase

    In Phase 1 the creator identified that Carousels (sidecars) performed better and shifted their content strategy to post more of those in Phase 2. This led to increased growth.

    One thing that sticks out from every other creator is Reels (video) not having higher engagement. Pretty much every other creator we’ve seen has seen higher engagement on Reels.

    Caption Analysis

    Next up are the captions for their Instagram posts. Captions are an essential component of any Instagram post, providing context and personality to the visual content.

    In this section, we’ll be analyzing the sentiment, length, sentence structure, and question usage of the captions of our featured content creator. By understanding the language and tone used in the captions, we can gain insights into how the content creator is connecting with their audience and how they’re driving engagement.


    Sentiment is calculated on a range from -1 to 1, where -1 is negative, 0 is neutral, and 1 is positive. Most Instagram captions I’ve seen have been more on the positive side, and it’s no different here. 88% of posts by this creator have a positive sentiment.

    Phase 3 has seen more negative sentiment in the creators captions compared to Phase 1 and 2.

    Word Count

    Captions have also been significantly shorter in Phase 3 compared to Phase 2 and 1.

    It looks like the change in word count started in the middle of Phase 2 however, and trended down to it’s current state of about 50 words per caption today.

    Number of Questions by Phase

    Using questions has been a common tactic among creators to increase engagement for their content. I looked at the number of questions asked in their captions to determine if anything had changed.

    Phase 2 had a lot more questions in their captions compared to Phase 1 and 3. This could account for the increased growth during this Phase. Questions seemed to stop at the end of Phase 2 and for the first months of Phase 3.

    The average engagement rate is 6.86% when no question is asked. Interestingly, this creator’s engagement decreases to 6.59% when at least 1 question is asked.

    Comment Analysis

    For this deep dive, I took comments from 15 random posts in each phase and decided to look at how the comments have changed over time.

    It’s interesting to see the peaks in sentiment within the phases.

    Phase 1

    Phase 2

    Phase 3

    Word clouds are always interesting to look at as they can give you insight into how comments are changing over time. The number of emojis used definitely increased in the 3rd Phase, which is kind of interesting. In Phase 1 there were 0.919 emojis per comment, in Phase 2 there were 0.821 emojis per comment, and in Phase 3 there were 1.16 emojis per comment.

    Looking into the number of comments with question marks, it appears that the creator is getting fewer questions today about their content, which is probably leading to lower engagement and growth.

    Video Analysis

    Interestingly, this creator has seen the average video duration increase in Phase 3.

    In Phase 1, they didn’t post any videos, while in Phase 2, video duration was 10.3 seconds, and now in Phase 3 duration is up to 42.9 seconds on average.


    Next up is hashtags! Hashtags are a powerful tool for increasing reach and engagement on Instagram, allowing content creators to reach new audiences and connect with like-minded individuals.

    In this section, we’ll be analyzing the hashtag usage of our featured content creator, including hashtag counts, top hashtags, and bottom hashtags. We’ll also be examining how hashtags are used in affiliate posts vs non-affiliate posts and ad posts vs non-ad posts.

    By understanding the hashtags that our featured content creator is using and how they’re using them, we can gain valuable insights into how to effectively use hashtags on our own Instagram accounts. We’ll explore how different types of hashtags impact engagement and reach and provide recommendations on how to optimize your hashtag strategy.

    Number of Hashtags

    It’s interesting to see hashtag use spike in Phase 2, when their growth was the highest, while in Phase 3 it has stayed pretty consistent at about 5 hashtags on average per post.

    Top Hashtags

    RankTagCountEngagementAvg CommentsAvg LikesTotal Video ViewsVideo CountAvg Views

    Bottom Hashtags

    RankTagCountEngagementAvg CommentsAvg LikesTotal Video ViewsVideo CountAvg Views

    Affiliate Based Hashtags

    Interestingly, in Phase 3, this creator stopped sharing affiliate based posts. This could have had an impact on audience engagement and growth because they were no longer getting the products they were looking for.

    Affiliate or NotCountEngagementAvg CommentsAvg LikesTotal Video ViewsVideo CountAvg Views

    Sponsored Based Hashtags

    Sponsored or NotCountEngagementAvg CommentsAvg LikesTotal Video ViewsVideo CountAvg Views

    Deep Dive Final Findings

    Based on this analysis, there are a couple of things that content creators can take from this deep dive to implement in their own content creation.

    • Consistency is key: The content creator’s growth was largely due to consistently posting content on a daily basis during Phase 1 and Phase 2. In Phase 3, when posting frequency dropped to once every three days, growth stagnated. Consistently posting high-quality content helps maintain audience engagement and growth.
    • Adapt to platform changes and trends: The content creator missed out on the opportunity to leverage Instagram Reels, which likely contributed to their stagnated growth. Being proactive in adopting new features and trends can help content creators stay ahead of the curve and continue to grow their audience.
    • Engage with your audience: Asking questions and using captivating captions can boost engagement. During Phase 2, the content creator asked more questions in their captions, which likely contributed to their increased growth. However, the engagement rate was lower when at least one question was asked, indicating that the quality of the question may be more important than the quantity.
    • Analyze and optimize hashtags: Hashtag usage spiked during the content creator’s highest growth period (Phase 2), emphasizing the importance of effectively using hashtags to reach new audiences. Monitoring the performance of top and bottom hashtags can help optimize a content creator’s hashtag strategy, driving increased engagement and growth.
    • Keep an eye on audience preferences: The content creator’s decrease in affiliate-based posts during Phase 3 may have negatively impacted audience engagement and growth. Content creators should pay attention to audience preferences and deliver content that aligns with those preferences in order to maintain engagement and growth. such as asking questions or using calls-to-action, to improve engagement rates on your content.

    Thanks for reading this Deep Dive! I was able to learn a lot about how to improve our own content creation business, and I hope you have too.

    When You Are Ready, There Are 3 Ways I Can Help:

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