Instagram, Paid Media

As long as there’s been social media, marketers have been trying to master how to best use social platforms to advance their brands. While platforms like Facebook and Twitter have long been obvious boons to brands, Instagram has proved much trickier.

They were relatively late to introduce advertising and tracking features that marketers need for paid campaigns. In the meantime, the platform flourished as a home for influencers and organic brand content. While that means great Instagram marketing can be very affordable, it has left marketers struggling to understand their audiences, as well as what sort of content performs most effectively. Fortunately, the team at Schedugram has just finished compiling new research on the platform, so we can understand the stats that really make Instagram shine.

User Demographics

Instagram users tend to be predominantly female, although the skew is not as strong as on platforms like Pinterest. 31% of American women (who are active online) use Instagram, compared to just 24% of men. This means that the platform overall has a 58%/42% female/male split.

Instagram users are also on the younger side: hello purchasing decision makers! 59% of Americans between 18 and 29 use the platform, while only 8% of people 65 and up do.

Unsurprisingly, Instagram is a worldwide phenomenon. 80% of users live outside of the United States.

Best Performing Content Typology

Ever since adding video capabilities, marketers have wondered what the right mix of still photos versus video clips is. While videos may rule supreme on Facebook, it turns out that photos are still the best for engagement on Instagram.



Not only do photos outperform videos in terms of engagement, the performance gap has actually increased in the last year. So save yourself the hassle of editing too many videos, and try to stick to still photos.

On the other hand, don’t feel the need to go overboard with the amount of content you post, which can scare away less passionate followers. In fact, top brands only post an average of 4.9 times per week. To keep things easy, you can aim for one update per weekday. Avoid weekends, when people use the Internet less in general, as well as midday, when people tend to be busiest with work.

To Filter or Not to Filter

It’s almost hard to believe, but when Instagram first started out, it was a simple app that allowed users to add filters to their existing photos, to make them look “dreamier” or like they were taken with an old-timey film camera. Nowadays, it seems like every app has some sort of augmented reality “filter” of its own, while Instagram has morphed into a social media juggernaut, where the feed is the main star of the show.

That said, filters still matter! Not only can they help make your content pop, they give a sense of cohesion to your brand and imagery. That’s why 60% of brands use the same filter on every update.  The most popular filter is Clarendon, but it’s up to you whether that means you too should use it, or if you should pick something else to stand out from the crowd.

Hashtags and Locations

Every little decision can help optimize an Instagram post’s performance, including how you handle metadata like hashtags and location markers. In fact, adding just a single hashtag leads to 12.6% more engagement on a post, as compared to a photo or video without one. That said, don’t go overboard and try to add every hashtag you can think of; research finds the optimal amount to be 11 per post.

Similarly, adding location data will help your post performance too. Photos that feature a location tag experience 79% higher engagement.



Details Matter

For a platform as fun and casual as Instagram, it seems almost counter intuitive that little details like these can make such a big difference. And at the end of the day, no amount of clever timing and amazing hashtags will make up for a lousy photo or uninteresting post. But when you truly understand all these user demographics, post statistics, and much more, you can give a great ‘gram that extra boost it deserves.


Sponsored Resources

Want more resources

View all Resources



Our publication contributors combine decades of experience with unique insights into the content promotion and distribution industry.
Chad Pollitt Co-founder Relevance
Jay Baer Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Author
Gini Dietrich CEO Arment Dietrich
Jason Falls Social Media & Public Relations Thought Leader
Joe Beccalori CEO Interact Marketing
Douglas Karr Founder & CEO & DK New Media
Brianne Carlon Rush Content Director Kuno Creative
Janine Popick Co-founder & CMO Dasheroo
Arnie Kuenn CEO Vertical Measures
Pam Didner Global Content Marketing Strategist & Author
Chirag Ahuja Head of Marketing WorkflowMax
Jayson DeMers Founder & CEO AudienceBloom
Erik Deckers Professional Writer Pro Blog Service
Bernie Borges CEO Find and Convert
Jessica Stephenson VP Marketing ExactHire
Michael Ferrari Marketing Consultant Pen Cap Online Marketing
Larry Alton Freelance Writer and Editor
David Tile Founder & Director Nimble Media
Kelsey Libert Marketing VP & Partner
Dan Steiner Co-Founder & CEO Elite Legal Marketing
Joydeep Bhattacharya Relevance Contributor
Jonah Bliss Founder CMO ContentIntent
Andrea Lehr Promotions Supervisor Fractl
Fernando Labastida Co-Founder Content Propulsion
Dan Moyle Creative Dir. Marketing AmeriFirst
Dennis Yu Chief Technology Officer BlitzMetrics
Arnaud Roy VP Marketing Augure
John Rugh Copywriter/Content Marketing Specialist
Justin Spicer Content Researcher, Producer & Editor
Michael Becker Marketing Support Spec. Teradata
Anna Johansson Freelance Writer
Amanda DiSilvestro Content Editor and Writer HigherVisibility
Sujay Maheshwari Founder & CEO
Kelly Coulter Online Marketing Strategist
Taylor Radey Senior Consultant PR 20/20
Rodger Johnson Public Relations Leader & Consultant
Simon Penson Founder & Managing Dir. Zazzle Media
Danielle Wolter Nolan Co-Owner
Fernando Cuscuela Founder & CEO Everypost
Kelly Smith Content Manager CourseFinder
John McTigue EVP Kuno Creative
Yogita Arora Content Strategist Zoomph
Jordan Teicher Associate Editor Contently
Jonathan Crowl Digital Marketing Writer & Editor
Brian Honigman Marketing Consultant, Writer & Professional Speaker Skyword
Katherine Halek Content Strategist
Amanda Drinker Dooley Community Product Marketing Manager Netline
Anton Rius Digital Marketing Consultant More Than Metrics
Matthew Zajechowski Outreach Manager Digital Third Coast
Kevin Bailey Co-founder DigitalRelevance
Peter Chen Digital Marketing Consultant DigitalRelevance
Luana Spinetti Multi-Specialized Freelancer
Kyle Harper Writer Skyword
Elad Natanson Founder appnext
Maël Roth Content & Inbound Marketer Park7
Quin Woodward Pu Marketing Director Audienti
Greg Shuey Co-Founder Stryde
Jean Bansemer CEO My Web Writers
Owen Andrew Journalist
Luke Kintigh Global Content & Media Strategist Intel

In case you missed

Read more of the latest news and insights from thought leaders in content promotion and distribution.


Get the latest content promotion news and insights everyday.

Champion Sponsor

Relevance is proud to present our Champion Sponsor that helps make our site possible.

Cision Logo

© 2017 Relevance | Content Promotion News & Insights

Connect with RELEVANCE

Thank you for subscribing Your subscription has been confirmed.