3 Key Takeaways from HubSpot's 2019 Instagram Engagement Report

Jessica Palmeri

HubSpot Consultant, 7+ Years Of Digital Marketing Strategy & Project Management Experience

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3 Key Takeaways from HubSpot's 2019 Instagram Engagement Report Blog Feature

Published on July 9th, 2019

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Instagram is a juggernaut in the world of social media. And it’s not slowing down anytime soon. 

With over 500 million active daily users, this social platform has relied on visual content to engage consumers and generate a loyal fan base. 

Once a platform geared exclusively towards fashion, food, and lifestyle, Instagram has become a magnet for brands looking for new ways to connect with customers and fans. 

An estimated 71% of U.S. businesses are using Instagram in their social media marketing efforts.  But how do businesses measure platform success? Should they track follower count? Or engagement? A combination of both? 

HubSpot recently answered these questions in its 2019 Instagram Engagement Report.

In this 32-page document, HubSpot analyzed data from 48,065,694 Instagram posts to uncover top trends and provide meaningful insight for marketers looking to expand their social media reach. 

According to the report, “whether you’re a fashion brand or a tech company, the platform can help you grow awareness, target the right audience, and convert visual content into sales.”

You can access the full report here, or keep reading for three key takeaways. 

1. Video is king

Marketers have known for years that including video in their social media strategy is the best way to generate interest. 

If you’re looking to maximize your Instagram social media engagement, video is the obvious choice. Engagement with Instagram video is by far the highest, with more likes and more comments per post. 

In fact, the average Instagram post receives roughly 100 comments, but the average number of comments per video post is 150.

Key Lesson: If you want the best ROI for your energies and efforts, don’t underestimate the power of using video to raise brand awareness.

2. Be mindful of your hashtag strategy 

Your hashtag strategy is not about quantity, it’s about relevance

On average, most Instagram posts only contain one hashtag. Posts with an excessive number of hashtags can appear “spam-y” and inauthentic, and this can actually decrease engagement.

Engagement v Number of Hashtags
Source: HubSpot 2019 Instagram Engagement Report

A smarter approach is to create branded hashtags for your business — something that is unique and fully expressive of your brand identity. 

7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should just start hashtagging your company name. 

When it comes to a good hashtag, be mindful of your word choices. Create a clever catchphrase that speaks to your audience — one that your followers will want to use in their day-to-day posts. (For example, #JustDoIt has a much better emotional appeal than #Nike.)  

Key Lesson: Hashtag with intention. One relevant hashtag is better than 30 click-bait hashtags. 

3.  Take Advantage of Micro-Influencers over Mega-Influencers 

When you hear the term “Instagram Influencer,” you probably think of a mega-influencer with millions of followers who can spread your company message far and wide. 

But those “mega-influencers” are actually few and far between. According to HubSpot’s report, they only make up about 1.9% of the entire Instagram user base. 

While mega-influencers may have a wide reach, they might not be able to reach the right audience for your product or brand. 

That’s where micro-influencers enter the picture.

According to the report, micro-influencers typically have a loyal fanbase of between 50,000-100,000 followers and often specialize in specific lifestyle areas. 

If your brand is interested in investing in an Instagram influencer strategy, a micro-influencer with the right audience appeal is a better bet than a mega-influencer with a broad base of support. 

Key Lesson: A micro-influencer who really connects with your audience is more cost-effective than a mega-influencer with no obvious association to your brand identity. 

With such a large (and growing) user base, Instagram is a must-have in any social media strategy. And with these three insights, you can ensure that you invest your time and energy wisely to optimize the results for your business. 

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