The engagement rates for sponsored content posted by influencers on Instagram have seen a steady drop, going from 4% (from three years earlier) to 2.4% in the first quarter of 2019, while the engagement rate for non-sponsored posts decreased from 4.5% to 1.9% during the same period, according to a recent research conducted by InfluencerDB and media outlet Mobile Marketer.
In the current year, Instagram influencers have been hit hard by the decline in engagement across all industries; the travel industry, for example, has seen engagement rates drop from 8% in 2018 to 4.5% in 2019. Other categories, including beauty, fashion, food, lifestyle, and fitness also experienced a significant decrease in numbers.
Notably, sponsored content on Instagram is still doing better than organic posts in terms of engagement. This phenomenon may be explained by the fact that bloggers spend more time preparing paid content. In addition, Instagram algorithms may treat marketing materials as top-priority.
Experts believe that Instagram users have been overwhelmed with marketing content in their news feeds, which has likely resulted in decreased interest in the content posted across the social media platform.
Smaller Accounts Have Better Rates
Currently, the engagement rates for large influencers with over 10,000 followers is about 3.6%. By comparison, smaller accounts with 5,000 to 10,000 followers are doing better, with 6.3% engagement. Even smaller accounts, meanwhile, with 1,000 to 5,000 followers, have the highest rate – a solid 8.8%.
Bands may see better engagement for their sponsored content when it is published by “nano-influencers,” the study suggests. They may have a smaller audience, but their followers are more involved in the content they post.
“While influencers with more than 10,000 followers may help to reach a broader audience, marketers may see better engagement by working with multiple ‘nano-influencers’ who have a smaller reach among highly dedicated followers,” says Mobile Marketer.
The average number of small opinion leaders used in a single campaign is 726, which means that marketers prefer to work with a large number of nano-influencers as opposed to a few major leaders.