A declining trend in Instagram Marketing

Social media has become an inescapable part of our daily lives. We check our phones about 80 times a day and most of our screen time is spent on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media platforms. 

In recent times, Instagram had become one of the trending platforms for marketers, brands, influencers, bloggers etc. and tapped into the rising use of Stories and pre-empt the platform’s greater shift to e-commerce.

But is the inundation already impacting the engagement?

According to Statista, Ad spending in the Social Media Advertising segment amounts to US$98,247m in 2019 and is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2019-2023) of 17.6%, resulting in a market volume of US$187,633m by 2023. Yet the frustration among fashion marketers and advertisers are growing. Why?

Source: Statista

According to Trust Insights’, brand engagement on the platform is declining. They analyzed 14,30,995 posts from 3,637 brand profiles (Stories were not included) in order to ascertain the overall average engagement rate. And one can see, it’s starting to dip. The same trend was seen with Facebook wherein they started to give out brands plenty of organic (non-paid) reach which eventually declined, and then declined to a point where it was now difficult to maintain any type of non-paid connection with the majority of Facebook Page audience. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook monetization strategy can be summed up into four stages:

  • Build a product that people love
  • Facilitate organic business on the app (free of charge)
  • Provide additional avenues for businesses who are seeking to expand their reach and presence
  • And finally, limit organic activity in order to maximize revenues
Instagram engagement on brand posts over time
Source: Trustinsights

It further came as a shock that not only are the brands getting impacted, but also the influencers reach has also reduced. With 4.3% average engagement rate in March to a 2.4% in June, there has been a dip of almost 44%.

Thus, cost of ads are rising and reach is declining.

Instagram Engagement Rates ANalytics
Source: Trustinsights

So how do you combat this? Brands are now retorting to old school methods like direct mail (widely used by Casper, Harry’s, Wayfair, Rover, Quip, Away, Handy and Modcloth), billboards (According to Arbitron study, about 71% of people look at messages on roadside billboards) and exhibitions (concept of flea market is settling wide in India). Also, brands have started shifting more into email marketing than ever before (widely used by Kate Spade, Tommy Hilfiger, GAP and Nordstorm).

Electric toothbrush startup Quip targets via mailers
Footwear startup M.Gemi sends mailers

Also, focus on content that appeals the best to your unique audience. Maximizing your reach is one way to ensure you’re catching on your potential customers as, but by focusing on your target audience, you can expand your engagement, and boost sales, by building a more dedicated community.