Some good news and some not-so-good news. First, the good: influencer marketing is expected to account for an $8 billion industry this year.
The not-so-good piece of news is that Instagram posts are expected to drop to an average of two per week.
That news was delivered by Later, an Instagram marketing platform and Fohr, an influencer marketing agency, who teamed up to produce “The State of Influencer Marketing Report.” It was the result of a survey the two firms collaborated on in 2019.
Why the drop?
Later and Fohr attributed the decrease to the entry of IGTV, lengthy videos on their own channels aimed at mobile phone users, as well as the growth of Instagram stories. In short, Instagram users are expected to migrate to IGTV and stories rather than simply read posts. Marketers who can adapt to this transition can expect to actually gain audiences.
The researchers found one exception, though. They reported that influencers with between 250,000 and a half-million followers are expected to post as often as once a day. Some brands may be reassessing which influencers they use based on this latest finding.
The length of captions is growing and expected to increase. The study found that the length of captions has more than doubled since 2016 and that some of the influencers they talked to swear by the longer captions. Researchers predicted that captions would average between 65 and 70 words, or approximately 405 characters.
Hashtags will not only continue to be important but are expected to quadruple, according to Later and Fohr. Their work confirmed what other studies have revealed, namely, that hashtags generate more engagement. They reported that posts with ten or more hashtags average a six-percent rate of engagement.
After looking at 12 million Instagram posts globally, the researchers arrived at the same conclusion other surveys had reached: 9am to 11am eastern is the best time to post on Instagram.
Where Later and Fohr distinguished themselves from others on the topic is that they also looked at the best times in major cities. They reported that the best time to post on Instagram in Los Angeles is 8am Pacific, 11 a.m. eastern in New York, 7 p.m. Greenwich mean time in London, and 8am Australian eastern daylight time in Sydney.
In spite of these findings, marketers should take their target audiences into consideration for the best results. This is where knowing their preferences and reaching them when they’re most likely to be interested and on their devices is important.
Instagram is still tops
The engagement rate for Instagram influencer partnerships is more than double that of other social networks. Later and Fohr cited a 3.21 percent engagement average compared to 1.5 percent on all other networks. Among micro-influencers—or those with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers—the engagement rate is even higher, with an average engagement rate of seven percent.
So, as stated above, the future for influencers and Instagram looks bright. It’s a matter of tweaking those areas that are important and evolving, and also paying closer attention to the brand’s customers. Among things to consider are Instagram Story Takeovers and presenting IGTV videos.