Building an Engagement Rate of 1.2% Through Consistent Content & Community Relationships

Instagram
April 14, 2022
Sporting Goods & Outdoor

Key Takeaways

Here’s how Santa Cruz built an engagement rate of 1.2% from Jan. ‘21 - Mar. ‘22:

Instagram Formats

  • Post Type: Carousel posts saw the highest average engagement rate (1.34%).
  • Average Posting Cadence: Santa Cruz makes an average of 19 posts a month on Instagram.
  • Optimal Posting Cadence: Months that have seen higher engagement rates average at 12 posts a month.
  • Overall Segments: Santa Cruz’s content falls into four main areas: Product, Community, Episodes & Athletes.

High Engagement Content

  • Build Upgrades: These posts introduce new colour and build options for buyers.
  • Bike of the Day: These feature Santa Cruz’s favourite bike builds they want to share with their audience. 
  • Product Launches: These posts introduce new products to the market with storytelling, specs & details.

Strategy Tactics

  • Publicity: Santa Cruz cross-promotes and celebrates reviews & articles about their products.
  • Athletes: Santa Cruz is invested in rider adventures and often urges their audience to support athletes.
  • Tournaments: Santa Cruz makes an active effort to post about the rankings of important tournaments.

As of April 2022, Santa Cruz has 1.4M Instagram followers. From January 2021 to March 2022, they saw an average engagement rate of 1.2%. Santa Cruz has taken an involved approach to their Instagram content by using storytelling around four main content segments including Product, Community, Episodes and Athletes.

Top engaged content overall features Build Upgrades, Bike of the Day features and Product Launches.

From January 2021 to March 2022, Santa Cruz’s Instagram account saw +9% growth. Santa Cruz has seen steady growth averaging at +0.6% per month with little fluctuation.

*Scale starts at 1.3M to show growth from starting time frame (Jan. ‘21)

Carousel posts saw the highest total engagement (4.5M) as well as the highest average engagement rate (1.34%). Following carousels, image posts garner a higher average engagement rate compared to videos. 

Santa Cruz makes an average of 22 posts per month on Instagram. Months that have seen higher engagement rates vary at about 19 posts a month. February 2021 saw the highest average engagement (2%) with 12 posts made. 

Santa Cruz’s content from January 2021 to March 2022 falls into the following segments:

PRODUCT. Product posts make up 18% of Santa Cruz’s content. This content features new product launches, build and upgrade options and product details.

Product posts make up 18% of Santa Cruz’s content. This content features new product launches, build and upgrade options and product details.

COMMUNITY. Community posts make up 43% of Santa Cruz’s content. This content features company information, press & reviews and MTB tournament updates.

EPISODES. Episode posts make up 10% of Santa Cruz’s content. This content serializes content into parts such as How to Bike, Old vs New, and Five Riders Rides

ATHLETES. Athlete posts make up 29% of Santa Cruz’s content. This content features riders to support their accomplishments and follow them on various adventures.

Out of the four segments, Product posts saw the highest average engagement rate (2.3%) followed by Community posts (1.4%). Community posts saw the highest number of posts (142) followed by Athlete posts (94).

Santa Cruz’s Instagram saw an average monthly posting cadence of 19 posts a month. Specific content categories within the four segments that saw the most saturation include Tournament Updates (78 posts), Athlete Support (34 posts) and Bike Checks (27 posts). 

Content categories with the highest average engagement rate include Build Upgrades (3.2%), Bike of the Day (3%), and Product Launches (3%). Top performing categories all fall into the product content segment.

Content Category:

Build Upgrades

All the Options. Build upgrade posts introduce new colour and build options for buyers based on existing bike models from Santa Cruz. These posts can be used to let your audience know their feedback is heard. Use comments to see if buyers want specific colours and provide it for them.

Post Tactics: 

  • All bike upgrade posts are consistent using clear, high quality imagery of the new colour options in a carousel. 
  • Captions are kept simple and clear. These post captions use the same format every time:
  • introduce the product
  • notify audience that new colours and build options are available
  • direct to link in bio
  • format the new colour options to match the carousel order

57K Engagement

54K Engagement

Bike of the Day

Honoring Builds. ‘Bike of the Day’ is an opportunity for Santa Cruz to honor custom builds from partners, fans, riders and buyers in collaboration with mountain bike publication Vital MTB.

Post Tactics: 

  • While honouring custom and unique builds, this is an opportunity to present image-heavy posts through carousels to show off all aspects of the bike. 
  • Give credit to photographers and riders as relevant and applicable to the posts. 
  • By serializing image content, followers can know to expect a series of similar posts over time. This can encourage fans to send in their own creations for sharing as a way to get more involved with the brand. 

66K Engagement

60K Engagement

Product Launch

What’s New? Santa Cruz followers are highly receptive to new bike launches on Instagram. This content category focuses on all new product drops and how they’re promoted organically. 

Post Tactics: 

  • Image carousels are the most popular method used to portray new bikes and their details. 
  • Long captions are used to tell a story around the bike. Santa Cruz speaks directly to their audience and engages with them in the captions to identify their needs and how the new bike solves their problems. Full specs are always listed as well.
  • Santa Cruz has even personified their brand in a product launch to level with their audience as a way to see themselves reflected back in the brand itself. 

87K Engagement

64K Engagement

Notable Strategy Tactics

Relationship with the Press. Santa Cruz is consistently cross-promoting and celebrating publicity created by respected partners in the mountain biking industry. 

Relationship with Athletes. Santa Cruz is invested in rider ventures and success. Posts are often made to urge their audience to support riders through expeditions and tournaments. The Instagram account often reposts athlete projects like Danny MacAskill’s “The Slabs” and Sam Dale’s “Home Is Where You Send It”.

Investment in Competition Success. Santa Cruz wants their audience to feel up to date and aligned with the happenings of mountain biking tournaments. Active effort is made to update followers with rankings at world championships through Instagram posts. 

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