instagram performance for brands

Instagram Performance for Brands

This data was originally featured in May 25th, 2022 the newsletter found here:

In this week’s Data Diaries, we revisit our old friend Instagram, specifically Instagram performance. It’s been a tumultuous couple of months in the social media landscape; let’s see how brands and influencers are faring on the network. We’ll start with brands first; how have brands fared in 2022 for unpaid content performance?

Instagram Brand Engagement Performance

Unsurprisingly, as has been the case for as many years as we’ve been analyzing the data, unpaid brand engagement continues to decline over time, currently averaging around 0.16%. At its current rate of decay, brands will likely see engagement drop to 0.1% by the end of the year. For context, that means 1 out of 1,000 followers on Instagram are likely to engage with branded content.

Let’s take a look at media types for brands:

Instagram brand engagement by media type

What we see is that video overall remains roughly steady as the lowest performing media format. For brands, we see that albums – carousels – still perform best of the unpaid media types available.

Let’s switch our view to influencers:

Instagram influencer engagement

Influencers see the same decline as brands; though their overall engagement rate remains about 3x what brands earn, it’s fallen far from the 3-5% it used to be a few years ago. Today, influencer accounts can expect about 0.8% engagement on their unpaid content.

Instagram influencer engagement by media type

What’s interesting here is that albums and photos match each other in engagement rates; for brands, we saw that albums led photos by a significant margin, but for influencers, that’s not true.

So what? What do we do with all this information? Many marketers use these benchmarks to assess their own performance, and to vet potential influencers. If the influencer you’re interested in engaging is substantially below these basic benchmarks, you’d negotiate a different kind of agreement. If your own brand performance is below these benchmarks, perhaps a change in strategy or platform is called for.

What we also see is that regardless of brand or influencer, regardless of media type, Instagram performance across the board continues to decline for unpaid content. As with Facebook, we are approaching numbers where we should be evaluating whether investing in unpaid content is even worthwhile on these platforms, or whether we should be putting our time, effort, and resources into platforms that perform better.

Disclosures and Methodology: Trust Insights extracted 1,141,751 Instagram posts from 7,372 brands and 462,744 posts from 9,981 influencers using Meta’s Crowdtangle service. Engagement is defined as likes + comments / size of audience. Posts were de-duplicated using the post URL. The timeframe of the data is January 1 1 – May 24, 2022. The date of study is May 24, 2022. 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.

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