In mid-2019 Instagram added a profile option for the social media platform’s most powerful and important users: content creators. Instagram for business had been met with huge success, so Instagram introduced Creator accounts as a second type of Instagram “Professional account,” positioned as a profile equipped with a variety of tools suited for an influencer’s needs.
When Instagram first released the Creator account, it made sense for content creators / influencers to make the switch; Creator accounts offered in-depth detail on growth analytics that personal profiles and business profiles did not. After all, understanding your audience and its behavior on the app is imperative to creating highly engaging content. Additionally, the Creator account gave content creators exclusive access to tools such as Creator Studio and Shoppable posting, both of which make Instagram ads more successful, making the benefits of an Instagram hard to ignore.
Today, however, Instagram gives all Professional accounts (Business and Creator) nearly identical account features. So if you’re running your Instagram account like a business (hint- all creators should!) you’ll have the same access to Instagram analytics tools with a business profile as you would with a creator profile.
So, what tools do Professional Instagram accounts provide?
Growth Analytics and Instagram Insights (Business + Creator accounts)
- View daily number of followers and unfollowers. Non-Professional Instagram accounts (AKA personal accounts) do not allow you to access growth analytics or insight into content performance. But, both creator and business profiles allow you to view daily and weekly follower counts, which gives more visibility into what type of content may have a positive or negative impact on your following. Additionally, both creator and business profiles show you insights for reach, impressions, and profile views for each Instagram story or Instagram feed post.
- Access to Instagram Creator Studio. Instagram’s Creator Studio dashboard gives a simplified view into follower information such as age and gender. Creator Studio also allows you to see profile page activity, accounts reached and impressions.
Profile Display Controls (Business + Creator accounts)
- Control how users contact you with flexible category and contact information options. Optionally display category labels such as “Blogger”, “Makeup Artist” or “Public Figure”, etc. are available should you choose them. Contact buttons are useful to some, but not preferred by all, so Instagram has made it easy for creator and business profiles alike to toggle on and off contact information such as email, phone number, etc.
Shoppable Posts (Business + Creator accounts)
- Shoppable Instagram allows content creators to tag products they're promoting in organic Instagram posts and in Instagram stories, giving their followers the ability to purchase products directly from the app. A general tip to go along with shoppable posts: include a relevant hashtag in the caption to generate more views on your Instagram content.
- If you have a personal account, which does not have access to the tool, you can apply for this capability through the Instagram app, then connect your Instagram profile to a Facebook Page and product catalog. This takes a lot more time, so we recommend making the switch to business profile or creator profile.
inline_cta--creator=Download the Lumanu app to send free professional invoices and get paid fast.
Flexible Messaging (Business + Creator accounts)
- Both Business and Creator accounts have the option to filter their messages into “Primary” and “General” inboxes. Messages in the Primary Inbox are typically those that a user has turned on notifications for. These messages tend to be from an influencer’s friends or brand collaboration contacts. With either Professional account, you have the option to turn off these notifications and filtering at any time.
Limitations of Creator Accounts
- No Call to Action buttons. Creator profiles cannot utilize the call to action feature that Business profiles have access to. Business profiles can integrate with a variety of apps to allow for scheduling, appointment booking, ticket purchases, etc. directly in the app.
- Creator accounts are not compatible with auto-publish/analytic apps. You will not be able to integrate with apps like Later which schedules your posts to go live at a later date or Sprout which allows you to manage comments directly in their app. For Instagram users serious about social media marketing, this can be a huge drawback. Unlike Business profiles, Creator profiles do not have access to the Instagram API. If you choose to use a Creator account, it is important to note that you’ll likely lose access to any apps that allow you to schedule posts or mange parts of your account from a desktop.
Maximizing Brand Partnerships with an Instagram Business Profile
Understanding that both Professional accounts nearly mirror one another, we asked the question, which profile is best for creators focused on Instagram marketing? Which profile would brands prefer creators to have when working together on a campaign?
A recent survey found that 76% of influencers have been asked by brand or agency partners to include whitelisting and boosting as part of campaign deliverables. Given that influencer collaborations and sponsored posts only seem to keep growing, brands will continue to invest in high-quality influencer partnerships based less on organic engagement rates and more on who the content can reach.
One strategy that marketers are adopting to amplify influencer content is to target it to custom audiences based on your most engaged followers, delivering your content to the most relevant users for a maximum impact (delivering success for both you and the brand). The way that brands can target those high-quality audiences is to collaborate with creators who have a Business Profile on Instagram because of the profile type’s integration with the Instagram API.
Though Instagram has now shared many of the once exclusive Creator account features with Business accounts, it seems as though the platform intends to continue to exclude Creator accounts from access to the Instagram API, creating challenges for influencers and creators who rely heavily on third-party app integrations.