Source Assessment

A source is quite literally a source from which we obtain our target users. It can be any Instagram specific URL, the scraping of which results in a list of users who have interacted with the contents of said URL. That can take form in practically anything. A page, a post, a hashtag, a location. Any place that you believe harbors your ideal audience.

Some sources will derive far better growth to action ratios than others. I personally always recommend starting with as many sources as possible so that you can gauge the success rate of each individually. That enables you to hone in on the ones emanating the best results and save your Infantry’s limited actions for targets with a greater likelihood of interacting with your King. The most common sources are typically the followers of your competitor pages. Those tend to derive the best results for the vast majority of use cases.

Too many times have I had clients provide sources that were just outright terrible. A 5 minute, in-depth look at some of those profiles illuminated just how dead they were. And of course, I end up being the bad guy for delivering poor results. When assessing any new source, go look through their most recent posts’ likes and comments. If you find that many of the profiles who’ve interacted with their content or follow them:

  1. Are comprised of a demographic that hardly fits the niche (think profiles of middle-aged, arabic men)

  2. Have too many strange, generic usernames (john_doe_483925, mark_smith_482948, etc.)

Then you should not be using them as a source. This is why I strongly recommend meticulously analyzing each of your sources before targeting their users. Simply looking at their profile’s engagement rate through an analytics tool does not suffice as no formula is capable of detecting fishy-looking profiles. One must manually vet them prior to utilizing them as a source.

Some of my OF agency clients actually utilize a method of source analysis that I think can be useful for people in all other niches. They reach out to models using their own established models’ accounts via DMs and request the pricing of a shoutout/collab. Once they get a response/figure, they request a screenshot of their page insights (assuming they’re a business page). Those insights are usually the only way you’ll ever be able to see the exact statistics of a given page’s demographics such as the percentages of countries their audience belongs to and their age/gender metrics.

It’s a little misleading of a tactic but ultimately doesn’t really hurt anyone so if you opt to use it, I won’t hold it against you. It’s likely the best possible way of assessing a source but don’t become completely reliant on it as not every large page owner will be sending those over to you (or even replying for the matter).

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