News & Trends

Engagement of Sponsored Ads on Instagram Declining year after year

A new report finds out that influencers are receiving less engagement on their sponsored ads. This pattern of decline has been observed year after year.

After the introduction of ‘Explore Ads’ for users to attain maximum engagement, Instagram feed is filled with these sponsored ads, making engagements thinner in turn.

Analytics firm InfluencerDB shared its data with Mobile Marketer talks about the downfall of engagement rate of sponsored posts from 4% in 2016 to 2.5% at present; whereas the rate of organic posts slid from 4.5% to 1.9%.

This engagement is calculated by taking an average of likes on all the posts and comparing them to the number of followers.

Interestingly, it has been observed, influencers with lesser followers have a greater per cent of engagement. This shows that followers are usually more loyal to such pages.

Here is the statistics to explain the observed pattern:

  • 10,000+ followers - 3.6% engagement rate
  • 5,000-10,000 followers – 6.3% engagement rate
  • 1,000 – 5,000 followers – 8.8% engagement rate


Engagement rates have not only declined for fashion brands, but also for beauty, lifestyle, food fitness and travel!

Travel ads, that previously received the maximum engagement of 8% has now dropped down to 4.5% at present.

Approximately, more than 25% of the sponsored posts are made up of fashion brands, 12% of food, 7% beauty and barely 5% of travel.

Ironically, though the rate of engagement of sponsored posts is on a decline, it is still higher than non-sponsored posts. the most impactful video trends of 2019 - download free ebook

What does this mean to you as a brand?

If you’re marketing on Instagram, a low rate of engagement means lesser visibility of your post. To overcome this problem, this is what few of the marketers have begun doing:

  • Some marketers have started sharing their specific posts of importance on the Instagram story to give it more highlight.
  • Some simply take out ads to boost their post-performance.
  • Few marketers use external marketing like sharing posts on other platforms or linking posts in emails, etc.

As mentioned earlier, engagement rate is higher with a lower amount of followers, marketers are now working with ‘nano-influencers’ who have a small reach of dedicated followers, which in turn helps marketers to increase their reach in turn.

‘The average number of influencers used in a campaign is 726’ according to a study by InfluencerDB.


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