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3 data-driven reasons why Instagram marketing works

Instagram is a highly popular online advertising channel that’s bringing value to two million marketers across the world.

Recently, Instagram has been rapidly expanding its user base. In September 2017, the network’s audience size reached a whopping 800M monthly active users – a 100M increase from just April 2017. This poses an undeniable opportunity for brands who can leverage Instagram’s community as a source of potential customers.

Our data shows that brands can reach and engage the Instagram audiences quite easily, which makes their marketing efforts that much more effective.

However, if you’re still not tapping into Instagram’s marketing potential, here are three data -based reasons why it’s time to do it:

1. You can reach nearly 25 per cent of your target audience with each organic Instagram post

Organic Reach Is Higher on Instagram Compared to Facebook
Median Organic Impressions and Reach on Facebook and Instagram

Data sample: 169,379 organic Facebook posts, 44,606 organic Instagram posts from March – September, 2017. Credit: Socialbakers

Marketers can achieve really high organic reach on Instagram. Our analysis of nearly 214,000 Facebook and Instagram posts found that the median Instagram reach is as much as 24 per cent – over 3x more compared to Facebook. This means that each Instagram post you publish is seen by roughly a quarter of your audience, which can help you effectively raise brand awareness and create more business opportunities.

2. Instagram posts gain 6x more interactions compared to Facebook posts

Instagram Posts Are More Engaging Compared to Facebook Posts
Post Engagement per Reach on Facebook and Instagram

Data sample: 648 Brand Profiles on Facebook and Instagram; 189,808 organic and paid Facebook posts, 66,575 organic and paid Instagram posts from March – September, 2017. Credit: Socialbakers

We looked into the number of interactions received by content on Instagram and Facebook, and discovered that Instagram posts are over 6x more engaging per reach compared to Facebook posts.

Our data has also shown that the biggest difference between Instagram and Facebook engagement lies in the video content. While almost 5 per cent of companies’ Instagram audience interact with video content when they see it, this number is closer to one percent in the case of Facebook.

Instagram’s high engagement is one of the platform’s biggest assets that can be leveraged by companies in many creative ways – from enhancing customer relationships and brand image to driving website traffic and boosting conversion rates.

3. 99 per cent of Instagram profiles outperform Facebook profiles in terms of interactions per reach

Our comparison of the same brands’ profiles on Instagram and Facebook proved that Instagram profiles achieve much better results overall than the Facebook ones. As much as 99 per cent of Instagram profiles outperform Facebook profiles in terms of interactions per reach and interactions per impressions.

Interactions per Reach and Impressions on Facebook and Instagram

Data sample: 648 Brand Profiles on Facebook and Instagram; 189,808 organic and paid Facebook posts, 66,575 organic and paid Instagram posts from March – September, 2017. Credit: Socialbakers

Additionally, around 80 per cent of Instagram profiles achieve a higher number of organic impressions and reach per audience when compared to Facebook profiles.

Organic Impressions and Reach per Audience on Facebook and Instagram

Data sample: 169,379 organic Facebook posts, 44,606 organic Instagram posts from March – September, 2017. Credit: Socialbakers

What does it mean for marketers? Their content will most likely perform better organically on Instagram than on Facebook, which is a natural thing, stemming from the platforms’ differing characteristics.

The Takeaway
While Instagram can surely help companies achieve great results, the platform should complement, rather than lead a brand’s social media marketing strategy. Facebook is still the integral platform that helps marketers achieve more concrete business goals, such as driving web traffic or generating sales. Instagram, in turn, is the choice for brand awareness campaigning due to its high reach and engagement, but if brands are set to make the most of what the growing platform offers – now is the time to optimize how they approach Instagram marketing.

Co-written by Marta Buryan, Social Media Analyst, Socialbakers

Charles Tidswell

Charles Tidswell is the Vice President of JAPAC at Socialbakers and is based in Singapore. For the majority of his professional career, Charles has been involved with early stage start-ups and companies entering the high growth stage across the South East Asia region.
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