Instagram Sports Photography Content Opportunity Breakdown™ Q4 2021 & Q1 2022
Top content opportunities in the Sports Photography space include:
- In the Moment: POV content from sports photographers gives their audience a chance to engage with organic content from their perspective.
- Emotion-Filled Moments: While a large part of sport photography is to capture athletes in action, audiences tend to relish in major moments and wins for athletes as well.
Front Long Shots
- Full View: This category portrays athletes in action from a very specific angle - the long shot with a forward facing viewpoint.
The top 20 Instagram posts from Oct. ‘21 to Apr. ‘22 from the following photography or videography creators were analyzed in this case study:
Instagram Content Bucket Definitions
- Abstract Motion: Photographers demonstrating unique perspectives of their sports through effects or motion such as a video of the underside of a wave.
- Abstract Still: Documenting all perspectives of a sport through stills, such as the unique lines created in the snow from downhill skiing.
- Action Reel: Sharing action packed moments from tournaments or shoots with athletes over Reels.
- Athlete Pre-Action: Capturing athletes in the moments before they compete or perform in their sport.
- BTS: Sharing moments from shoots that give an audience perspective on the sports photography process.
- Front Long Shot: Imagery of athletes in action from a long shot facing in front or behind the athlete that looks directly onto their actions.
- Landscape: Imagery of athlete terrain or general appreciation for the landscapes surrounding the photographer.
- Panorama: An Instagram carousel that cuts one full screen image across several slides before showing the full shot in one screen on the final carousel slide.
- Photo Series: An Instagram carousel that includes a mixture of pictures and videos to share multiple moments captured from one athletic event.
- POV: Video content, usually Reels, that show the audience exactly what the photographer is looking at in their day to day. Usually filmed handheld with no stabilizer.
- Project Preview: Short previews of longer films photographers have been documenting and working on that have been released to the public.
- Shot Perspective: Examples of one shot from two different perspectives to show the difference in presentation.
- Side Long Shot: Imagery of athletes in action from a long shot with a side angle of the athlete as they perform their craft.
- Slow Motion Reel: Sharing action packed moments from tournaments or shoots with athletes over Reels but in slow motion.
- Celebrating Wins: Capturing video or photographic moments of athletes after winning tournaments.
Content buckets that had the highest average engagement in the Sports Photography space on Instagram include:
Good performing content opportunities for the Sports Photography space on Instagram include:
Substandard performing content opportunities for the Sports Photography space on Instagram include:
Low performing content opportunities for the Sports Photography space on Instagram include:
1. Photographer Surf POV
In the Moment. POV content from sports photographers gives their audience a chance to engage with organic content from their perspective.
Tactics to Implement:
- Keep it Natural: Often content in this category looks very organic and caught in the moment as if the creator just picked up their phone to share what they are seeing with friends.
- Far Removed: This content is still unique because it offers viewers a perspective that isn’t accessible to everyone, such as standing by to take pictures for surfers on the water.
Top Format: 83% of content in this category are videos.
2. Celebrating Wins
Emotion-Filled Moments. While a large part of Sports Photography is to capture athletes in action, audiences tend to relish in major moments and wins for athletes as well.
Tactics to Implement:
- Relationships: Audience members are invested in the relationships photographers can build with the athletes in their industry and look to see them supporting throughout tournament performances.
- Caption Heavy: Photographers have used the captions in this category to share their experiences with winning athletes while sharing how proud they are.
Top Format: 50% of content in this category are image posts and 50% are video posts.
3. Front Long Shot
Full View. This category portrays athletes in action from a very specific angle - the long shot with a forward facing viewpoint.
Tactics to Implement:
- Setting is Everything: The benefit of the extreme long to long shot is to allow audience members to marvel in the extremity of the athlete’s pursuit, from large mountains to slope jumps to big waves.
- Storytelling: This is an opportunity to isolate athletes in a moment and space in time. Audience members look forward to seeing this type of content shot yesterday to 5 years ago. Using the caption to describe the who, what, when, where and why helps build more investment from the audience.
Top Format: 100% of content in this category are images.
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