How exactly did the Instagram creator account came about?
For a while now, Instagram has been one of the most important social media platforms and digital marketing channels.
With more and more people joining the platform to share their lifestyles, opinions and spread their message, brands have identified an excellent opportunity to reach their target audience and promote their products in a much more “organic” way, as opposed to traditional advertising.
Up until now, brands and influencers alike have been using business accounts to support their Instagram marketing efforts and leveraged third party apps to access robust social media marketing analytics.
However, with the importance of Instagram marketing growing and the changes to Instagram API disabling many third party tools, influencers started asking for more relevant in-app analytics that would allow them to understand their audience better and optimize their posts.
That’s how Creator Accounts were born.
What is an Instagram Creator Account?
At the dawn of Instagram, there were only personal accounts.
People joined the platform to share significant moments of their life and keep up to date with what their friends have been up to.
But with millions of users signing up every month, it was not long before it became evident that Instagram is much more than just another network to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances…
… it was, in fact, one of the most powerful channels for social media marketing that ever existed.
It was then that Instagram introduced business profiles.
What made business profiles different (and better) for businesses and creators?
A business profile offers Instagram users insight into audience demographics, weekly follower counts, reach and impressions.
Instagram marketing has been growing and evolving, and the insights that come with a business account are no longer enough.
Creators needed more and they started asking for it.
Fast forward to the end of 2018:
To the thrill of its users, Instagram recognized this new need and announced the rollout of a new type of account targeted at Instagram’s most precious users…
… (you guessed it) influencers.
In this post, we will dive deeper into what this means, and specifically, what this means FOR YOU, as an Instagram user.
But before getting too immersed in this and exploring Instagram’s new account type in detail, a lot of you will probably wonder:
Are You Eligible for an Instagram Creator Account?
When Instagram first announced Instagram Creator Accounts, it was rumoured that it will be an account available only to users with more than 10.000 followers, who also have a Facebook business page.
What many people don’t know is that things have changed since the testing phase until now.
As it turns out, currently, anyone who feels and wants to be a Creator, can switch to a Creator Account.
You don’t need 10,000 followers.
You don’t even need 1,000 followers.
You don’t need a Facebook fan page.
All you need is to follow a couple of simple steps that we will explain below.
How to Become an Instagram Creator?
Switching to a creator account is easy.
First, log into your Instagram, and open the profile section. Then, click on the three lines shown in the top right corner.
Tap on your profile’s Settings tab.
Select the Account option.
Once you enter the Account settings, you will see a Switch to Creator Account option.
The process to switch to a Creator Account is intuitive – Instagram will take you through the entire process of switching and confirming all the details associated with your account.
Once you click “Done,” you’re all set and good to go. The new options and insights will be available for you to access immediately.
Now that you know how to switch to an Instagram Creator Account, it’s time that we discuss what you will get and what you will lose if you do choose to make the switch. This way, you will be able to set clear expectations and ensure that you make an informed decision.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Instagram Creator Empowers You to Analyse and Optimise Your Growth Strategy
Instagram Creator Accounts offer more in-depth insights about your following than business profiles do.
These insights will not only show you overall growth, but the daily growth and follower loss as well.
You can use this knowledge to determine whether or not your social media marketing went wrong.
Further Reading: 7 Important Instagram Analytics with tools to track your instagram metrics
It’s a day by day audience analytics that will show you follower growth.
In the particular example you can see this instagrammer is losing more followers than gaining.
The logical question that follows is: why is that?
The answer is Engagement.
If we go to the activity dashboard, we will see that not many users have engaged with the profile during the past couple of days.
Moreover, the discovery numbers are low as well.
The numbers clearly show that this influencer’s current approach to Instagram marketing is not working that well.
But the question remains: why?
If you go to the content dashboard, you’d see it shows no activity.
Taking all this into consideration, it is safe to assume that the low engagement has something to do with the instagrammer’s inactivity.
As you can see, with Instagram Creator you will have the tools that you need to find out what works and what doesn’t for your target audience; you can further use this insight to optimize your content, posting frequency and posting time for higher engagement and growth.
But that’s not all…
Instagram Creators Have Access to Creator Studio
Here’s another great thing about Creator Accounts.
Not only will you be able to see all your metrics on your phone’s screen, but you will also gain desktop access to all your stats with Creator Studio.
Yes, this is the very same Creator Studio recently introduced by Facebook.
In case you are not acquainted with Creator Studio…
It is an easy-to-use dashboard management tool that allows you to see all your Facebook and Instagram analytics (that you’d otherwise access in the app) – on your desktop.
Note that the admins of the linked Facebook pages will be able to view some of your Creator Studio Instagram insights as well.
When you open Creator Studio, you will be taken to your Facebook dashboard.
Click the Instagram icon on the top of the screen to see your posts and performance metrics.
In the content library, you can either view all content at once, or sort the content by type:
You can also choose to see posts related to a specific keyword, or filter the content by date.
For each type of post, you can access basic metrics like the date the post was published, likes, comments, reach and so on.
On the right hand side, you can enter your insights dashboard,
There are two types of insights to choose from: activity and audience – the very same metrics you can find in your Instagram app.
Again, just like with the Instagram app, you can use Content Studio to access and assess the stats for the last seven days.
Before we move on to the next part, there’s one more thing worth mentioning…
Creator Studio only provides access to Instagram and Facebook analytics – it’s not possible to schedule or post content using the Creator Studio dashboard.
Instagram Creator Account Have a Cleaner Inbox
Instagram influencers are receiving hundreds of messages in their inbox every day.
These messages range from friendly hellos, followers expressing support or asking for information to brands and agencies proposing partnerships and collaborations.
With no control over what kinds of messages land in their inbox, influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers can easily get overwhelmed by all the clutter and noise created by direct messages.
But those are challenges of the past.
The Creator Account solves this issue by introducing filtered inbox.
With the new filtering options, users can distinguish between General and Primary messages, in addition to the already available Requests tab, where messages from unknown contacts land (requests are further filtered as well).
This way even the most requested influencers can prioritize messages from friends and family and never miss an important collaboration request.
A quick note.
When you first switch to a Creator Account, all of your messages will remain in the Priority inbox.
So, if you want the messages you have already received to be filtered according to priority, you will have to do that yourself.
Message by message by entering the conversation, and manually move the message into your preferred inbox.
Although it is easy to move messages between inbox tabs, going through all of your messages one by one is a time consuming task.
Here’s what we propose…
Keep your current messages right where they are – in the Primary inbox tab, and start sorting your DMs as you start receiving new messages and requests.
Requests will be especially easy to filter.
If you choose to accept a request, a popup will appear asking you to pick the inbox where you want to place the conversation with that person.
Similarly, you can choose whether you would like to receive notifications for your General messages or not.
The General inbox notifications are turned off by default, so if you would prefer to get an alert once you get a message in this tab, you have to turn on the notification toggle in the inbox settings.
Instagram Creators Have More Control Over Their Profiles
The inbox is not the only thing Instagram Creator Accounts give influencers control over.
From the Profile Display Options, users can choose their preferred contact option (email or phone) and choose whether they want the category that describes them (Writer, Blogger, Actor etc.) to show up under their name on their profile.
With the new categories, influencers no longer have to define themselves as public figures (like most business profile users did), they can choose a category that describes exactly what they do.
Another great perk is that Instagram Creators have the option to remove their contact details altogether (this is not possible with business accounts), thus choosing to get contacted only by DMs.
Not a big change, per se, but it’s nice to know that Instagram users now have the option to choose what information is shown and what’s hidden from the public eye.
Creator Accounts Allows Fast Monetization of Instagram Marketing Efforts
Last but not least, Creator Accounts allow influencers to create shoppable posts.
So far, this has been a feature available to brands only.
But, as Instagram has recognized influencers as an invaluable part of the entire social media marketing puzzle, it has given Creators the opportunity to link to products from their collaborators right on their feed.
The idea is that with this new feature, the influencer’s followers will not have to go to the trouble to search the web or DM the influencer in order to find out what he or she is wearing/ advertising.
Instead, they will be able to simply click the link provided on the photo of the wanted product, and be taken directly to the store where they can make a purchase.
No doubt about it, this feature might be one of the strongest stimuli for influencers to switch to a Creator Account as it offers a way to almost immediately monetize Instagram marketing efforts.
But there’s a catch.
Currently, the feature is being tested and is limited to a small group of top influencers.
Chances are, you will not be able to use this feature if you switch right now.
However, it’s safe to assume that in the future, more and more users will be granted the ability to create shoppable posts on their profiles – and thus drive more sales for the brands they partner with.
Should You Switch to Creator Accounts?
Instagram Creator Accounts offer more analytics than Business Accounts.
The only problem?
Although becoming a Creator is appealing, at this point of development, Creator Accounts do not support third party analytics and scheduling tools.
So, if you are used to creating your content and scheduling your posts ahead of time, you might not find what Instagram Creator Account offers as valuable as some other people would.
So, what’s the verdict?
Is Instagram Creator worth the switch?
The update is still in it’s testing phase and a lot of its features are only available to top influencers.
So, only time can tell for sure if it’s worth the switch or not.
Having said that, we would encourage you to try switching to Instagram Creator Account and see how you like it yourself.