It’s the great Instagram breakaway: While other social platforms have seen a decrease in influencer campaigns over the last five years, Instagram influencers’ use in campaigns has steadily increased, according to recent research from CreatorIQ, an influencer platform that helps companies run brand ambassador campaigns with content creators.

via CreatorIQ

But YouTube, for one, shouldn’t panic. Per CreatorIQ’s analytics, sponsored campaigns on the world’s largest video sharing site still command the highest average engagement rate, 5.19%, compared to Instagram’s average of 2.62%. Of course, different campaigns may have different performance goals across various platforms, so the definition of “success” is, as always, in the eyes of the beholder. As a marketer, your mileage may vary.

That said, it’s clear Instagram has become a mainstay for influencer marketing, so it’s worth a deeper dive into engagement stats to see exactly which types of content are bringing creators success on the platform.

Per the latest CreatorIQ data: Overall, image carousel posts (posts with multiple photos) have the best engagement rates (2.85%), followed by single-image posts (2.74%), and video posts (1.67%). One industry-specific exception is the healthy living category. With an average engagement rate of 1.63%, video posts from this industry outperform both image (1.25%) and carousel (1.46%). 

But what about all the hype around Instagram testing the removal of likes for U.S. users? How does that affect engagement?

“The creator economy doesn’t need like counts to flourish,” says Tim Sovay, CreatorIQ’s SVP. “Brands are increasingly able to tie sales performance to talent programs across social platforms, and can use other, sharper performance indicators to evaluate customer engagement and ambassador effectiveness.” 

Indeed, just because you can’t see a like count doesn’t mean it isn’t there on the backend. But only time will tell if the removal of public like counts impacts users’ propensity to do that double-tap.

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