In The Headlights: September 9, 2020 Issue


Instagram brand data, real-time analytics for content marketing, planning for 2021

In The Headlights

Learn how machine learning can boost your content marketing >

How do you create impactful content when predictive analytics simply isn’t working?

Switch to near real-time analytics.

In the days before the pandemic, we could rely on predictive analytics to understand search trends, to forecast what audiences are likely to want to hear about. But since March 15, 2020 (in the US, other countries have had their own experiences), that data has become unreliable.

The next best thing to knowing what’s likely to happen is knowing what’s happening right now. If you’ve got decent social media monitoring software and trend monitoring software, build a practice of developing marketing content in the moment. When you see something trending in your analytics or your data, use your rapid-response capabilities to craft something appropriate as quickly as possible.

For example, looking at marketing analytics, what are the current topics and discussions in the space in the last 7 days? Here, we use the Talkwalker system for quickly digesting that content:


From this, we’d identify a topic cluster that we could create rapid content about which audiences were highly engaged with, or drill down further to identify specific questions.

Competent public relations professionals have been using data analytics like this for years, finding opportunities to align stories with the zeitgeist of the day. The rest of us should adopt these practices and use them in lieu of predictive analytics if we’re finding that our forecasted data has become unusable due to current conditions.

The Bright Idea

In this week’s In-Ear Insights, Katie and I discuss marketing planning for 2021. (yes, it’s that time already!) What should you do in the face of overwhelming uncertainty? How do you deal with the fact that a bunch of previous year data isn’t relevant in the current world?

Watch the discussion now!

Are you subscribed to our YouTube channel? If not, click/tap here to subscribe!

Rear View Mirror Data

In this week’s Rear View mirror, we look back at Instagram engagement rates for brands over the past few months. With all that’s happened since March, what have we seen audiences do with brands?


What’s interesting is how quickly Instagram has plateaued for brands. Going into the start of 2020, we saw Instagram engagement around 0.4%. Unlike other social channels, the pandemic didn’t seem to give Instagram much of a boost beyond the first few weeks; after that, performance has bottomed out at roughly 0.13%.

What do we make of this? Those brands that were able to hop on the engagement bandwagon at the start of the pandemic did well; we’ve now reached all-time lows for brand engagement on Instagram. That means it’s time to start comparing performance with other channels; if another channel yields better performance, don’t beat a dead horse – pivot your strategy to what’s working now for you (near real-time analytics!) and keep a close eye on Instagram data in case you see a temporary spike in engagement, as we saw at the beginning of June 2020.

Methodology: Trust Insights used Facebook’s Crowdtangle software to extract 728,306 posts from 3,968 brand pages; brands were provided by Crowdtangle and augmented by Trust Insights. Engagement is defined as the sum of reactions divided by fans/likes at posting. Content included unpaid and paid brand posts. The dates of extraction are March 15, 2020 – September 7, 2020. The date of study is September 9, 2020. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

In Case You Missed It
Partner Spotlight

AI Academy for Marketers is an online education platform designed to help marketers understand, pilot, and scale artificial intelligence. Join Katie Robbert, CEO of Trust Insights, and Christopher Penn, Chief Data Scientist of Trust Insights, for three separate courses in the academy:

  • 5 use cases of AI for content marketing
  • Intelligent Attribution Modeling for Marketing
  • Detecting and Mitigating BIAS in Marketing AI

The Academy is designed for manager-level and above marketers, and largely caters to non-technical audiences, meaning you do not need a background in analytics, data science or programming to understand and apply what you learn. One registration gives you unlimited access to all the courses, an invitation to a members-only Slack Instance, and access to new courses every quarter.

Join now and save $100 off registration when you go to and use registration code PENN100 today.

Interested in sponsoring In The Headlights? Contact us for sponsorship options to reach over 10,000 analytically-minded marketers and business professionals every week.

Shiny Objects

Shiny Objects is a roundup of the best content you and others have written and shared in the last week.

Data Science and AI

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Social Media Marketing

Content Marketing

Get Back To Work

We’ve changed things up in Get Back To Work, and we’re looking at the top 310 metro areas in the United States by population. This will give you a much better sense of what the overall market looks like, and will cover companies hiring in multiple locations. Want the entire, raw list? Join our Slack group!

What do you do with this information?

By looking at this data, you’ll see what the most popular titles are; use any of the major job/career sites to ensure your resume/CV/LinkedIn profile matches keywords and phrases for those titles. For companies, search job sites for those companies specifically to see all the open positions and apply for them.

You can also hit up LinkedIn and see who you know at companies listed, and see if your connections have any inside tips on hiring.

Top Marketing Positions by Count, Manager and Above

  • Marketing Manager : 465 open positions
  • Digital Marketing Manager : 270 open positions
  • Social Media Manager : 206 open positions
  • Account Manager : 178 open positions
  • Director of Marketing : 158 open positions
  • Marketing Director : 143 open positions
  • Project Manager : 131 open positions
  • Product Manager : 109 open positions
  • Program Manager : 86 open positions
  • Product Marketing Manager : 84 open positions

Top Marketing Hiring Companies by Count, Manager and Above

  • Services LLC : 165 open positions
  • Google : 103 open positions
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific : 91 open positions
  • Mattel : 75 open positions
  • Amazon Web Services, Inc. : 74 open positions
  • Northrop Grumman : 72 open positions
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. : 57 open positions
  • Verizon : 52 open positions
  • Facebook : 51 open positions
  • Microsoft : 47 open positions

Top Locations of Hiring Companies by Count, Manager and Above

  • New York, NY : 615 open positions
  • San Francisco, CA : 426 open positions
  • Austin, TX : 410 open positions
  • Chicago, IL : 373 open positions
  • Seattle, WA : 349 open positions
  • Atlanta, GA : 297 open positions
  • Boston, MA : 286 open positions
  • Los Angeles, CA : 271 open positions
  • San Diego, CA : 256 open positions
  • Remote, NA : 235 open positions

Methodology: Trust Insights uses the API to extract open positions from a geographic area focused on marketing analytics, marketing, social media, data science, machine learning, advertising, and public relations, with a filter to screen out the most junior positions.

Our Featured Partners are companies we work with and promote because we love their stuff. If you’ve ever wondered how we do what we do behind the scenes, chances are we use the tools and skills of one of our partners to do it.

Join the Club

Are you a member of our free Slack group, Analytics for Marketers? Join 800+ like-minded marketers who care about data and measuring their success. Membership is free – join today.

Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • INBOUND 2020, September 2020, virtual
  • MarTech East, October 2020, virtual
  • MarketingProfs, November 2020, virtual
  • MadConNYC, December 2020, New York City

Going to a conference we should know about? Reach out!

Want some private training at your company? Ask us!

In Your Ears

Would you rather listen to our content? Follow the Trust Insights show, In-Ear Insights in the podcast listening software of your choice:

Stay In Touch

Where do you spend your time online? Chances are, we’re there too, and would enjoy sharing with you. Here’s where we are – see you there?

Required FTC Disclosures

Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them.

Trust Insights maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Talkwalker, Zignal Labs, Agorapulse, and others. All Featured Partners are affiliate links for which we receive financial compensation. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which we may receive indirect financial benefit.


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