Instagram US Hip-Hop Content Opportunity Analysis™ 2019-2022

July 8, 2022

Content Opportunity Methodology

1. Measure & Categorize. Sample a large number of social posts to find ones that are significantly outperforming the average.

2. Identify Top Themes. Identify the themes that are resonating most with the audience by sorting the themes by their aggregated performance metrics.

3. Identify a Benchmark. Identify content themes that are performing above and under an average benchmark for the industry based on views & engagements.

4. Identify Opportunities. Look at the data and find the content themes that are resonating with the audience based on a set of top creators.

5. Repeat For Each Platform. Repeat the analysis for every platform that matters to your brand and audience to find platform-specific opportunities.

Instagram Content Bucket Definitions

  • Open Mic Session: Open Mic Sessions are a video format that creates a space for artists to perform either with a live band or in a studio set-up.
  • Rap Battles: This format is popularized by the success of the show Wild ‘N Out which features a variety of rap battles between recurring show hosts and surprise hip-hop guests. 
  • Word Prompt Freestyle: A series where artists conduct freestyles only with randomly generated words to showcase their true talent.
  • Acapella Rap: Excerpts of rappers delivering their bars without any background sound from the lyric breakdown series “Verified” by Genius.
  • Omegle Bars: Hip-hop content creators taking a challenge to rap to as many people as possible on Omegle, a random video chat software.
  • Freshman Cypher: A format that introduces up and coming talent in a freestyle or performance with two or more rappers.
  • Single Format Performance: Single format freestyles are mainly comprised of radio freestyles from the segments Funk Flex, Concrete Castle, and Tiny Desk Concert
  • Interviews: This format features a variety of unique ways that rappers engage with interviewers to share more about themselves with the audience. Interview series include The Couples Quiz, International Gangsta Rap, The First Time, Drink Champs, Who Would You Choose? and The Breakfast Club.
  • Revealing Meaning: A video format that explores breaking down the meaning behind cetain lyrics and the stories that built them up.
  • 10 Things: A series by GQ that invites artists to share 10 things they can’t live without.
  • Over/Under: A format where artists are asked to decide if a topic is over or underrated for them on the spot and why.
  • Hip-Hop & Fashion: A group of different series that explore the connection between hip-hop and fashion as both industries are heavily influenced by one another. This includes features 

Content buckets that had the highest average views & engagement in the USA hip-hop space include:

Good performing content opportunities for the USA hip-hop audience on Instagram include:

Substandard performing content opportunities for the USA hip-hop audience on Instagram include:

Low performing content opportunities for the USA hip-hop audience on Instagram include:

Content Opportunities:

1. Open Mic Session

Open Mic Sessions are a series by Genius that invite artists to perform their top hits in a studio accompanied by their original soundtrack. 

Tactics to Implement:

  • Reels: On Instagram, only short segments of the larger videos are shared as Reels. These do not exceed 30 seconds in length. 
  • All About the Chorus: The most important and popular part of the song is the clip that is used to promote the Open Mic Session.
  • Text & Visuals: Sometimes Genius will use native elements to Reels by adding text on the screen of the video for example “it’s the tea cup for me”. Videos flip between many different angles to keep the audience engaged while the artists stay relatively still.

Content Opportunities: There is a lack of dynamic performance content on Instagram that was made for Instagram. Consider creating a mini-series for Instagram Reels (that can be repurposed for TikTok) that leverage artists performing the chorus of their top songs in different scenarios.



2. Rap Battles

Rap Battles are hosted by Wild ‘N Out, a show which features various creative segments within hip-hop and comedy. 

Tactics to Implement:

  • Pivotal Moments: As long form content is not as circulated on Instagram, creators tend to cut the most exciting moments of performances and create a caption overlay to share a captivating moment from the larger show.
  • Compilations: Similar to on Facebook, compilations of top moments from specific guests or segments perform well for users who don’t have the attention to watch an entire video on YouTube

Content Opportunities: This category is missing an optimized format for Instagram’s transition to video. Find a way to build short, attention grabbing diss moments from rap battles that rely on peak creativity and lyrical content to pull viewers in.



3. Word Prompt Freestyle

Word Prompt Freestyles are a video format that relies on a random word generator to create a series of words that an artist must use on the spot in a freestyle performance.

Tactics to Implement:

  • Visuals: Jimmy Fallon has a segment of this on his show where he uses visuals on a screen to demonstrate the words being randomized, similar to a slot machine. 
  • Versatility: Segments at times use beats or unusual words that may be out of the artists general comfort zone. Allowing them to switch up their usual cadence and flow provides a unique viewing experience for fans.

Content Opportunities: Jimmy Fallon’s segment often pairs artists against each other in a freestyle challenge where each is given three different generated words and must perform after each other. Experiment with a segment where rappers must start where the other one ended. 



4. Acapella Rap

An unusual segment, Acapella Rap is generated from Genius’ longer form lyric explanation and breakdown videos where an artist takes viewers through a song with no background music.

Tactics to Implement:

  • Excepts: This content bucket is created based on the fact that Genius only segments where an artist is saying their lyrics without performing them.
  • Unexpected Comedy: This unusual representation of existing songs become almost comical to the viewer as a completely different way to think about trending and popular hip-hop music. Genius even leverages that by making memes out of some of those moments.

Content Opportunities: An intentional series that challenges artists to perform their songs without instruments would be an opportunity to leverage this format for talent as opposed to unintended comedy. 



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