Are you using Instagram in your visual content marketing?
You might be wondering what factors influence people engaging with your content. I have seen a number of people recommend adding lots of hashtags to your Instagram posts, however I have found that you need to use these with care as your posts can look like ‘spam’ content.
And if you analyse content on Instagram from brands you will see that hashtags are not the real driver of engagement – it is the image that you use. Remember you do not have to just use photographs.
Curalate has recently released some new research relating to images and what properties of images drive likes and sharing on Instagram. They used custom algorithms to examine how more than 30 image features including background ratio, dominant color, lightness and saturation combine to create high performing Instagram images.
The research from Curalate does not include data about the type of videos that attract the most engagement on Instagram.
In their research they report that:
“Likes on Instagram, while incredibly valuable, are hard to come by with 65 percent of Instagram images garnering between 0 and 10 likes”.
Curalate analysed more than eight million Instagram images, and they found that the images that received he most engagement where those that featured:
– a large amount of background space
– blue as the dominant colour
– and high levels of texture.
This are really helpful insights to take into account when you are planning your visuak content marketing on Instagram and are worth testing to increase engagement, sharing and of course interest in your products and services to drive referrals and sales.
Note – Curalate previously undertook research about the image features that drive the most engagement on Pinterest which you can see here. What works on Instagram is different to what works on Pinterest.
A summary of the Curalate research image properties that drive the most engagement on Instagram is detailed below:
– Blues and single hues work best – Blues perform best on Instagram, while images with high concentrations of reds and oranges perform poorly.
Images with blue as the dominant color generate 24 percent more likes than images that are predominantly red.
– The more a single hue dominates an image, the more likes it receives – Images with single hue dominance above 40 percent receive the most likes.
Currently, most images on Instagram don’t have single hue dominance, as 90 percent of images analyzed only have between 0-20 percent single hue dominance.
– Images with little colour attract more engagement – Images with 0-15 percent saturation (or little colour) generate 18 percent more likes than images with more vibrant color (20-40 percent saturation).
– Light, Textured and Complex Images Win – To generate consumer interest, images should allow the eye to rest by having some background space. Images with a large amount of background space (above 90 percent) are very successful. 70 percent of current Instagram images only have 0-20 percent background space.
– Dark images minimise sharing and likes. Images with 65-80 percent lightness generate 24 percent more likes than dark images with 0-45 percent lightness.
– Texture in images results in more engagement. Images with high levels of texture generate 78 percent more likes than those with little texture.
What have you found increases engagement in the images you share on Instagram?
By the way, you can find me on Instagram here if you would like to see the content I share.