Insider Tips

Key Takeaways From The Later + Fohr 2020 State of Instagram Influencer Marketing

Two of our favorite industry experts - Later (a visual marketing platform for social media) and Fohr (a marketing agency that helps both brands and influencers) - have published their predictions for The State of Influencer Marketing in 2020. If you’re an influencer looking for hot tips for 2020, read on.


Parker Sheil


December 15, 2020

1. Longer Captions Are Here To Stay

Though Instagram will always highlight images and videos, Later and Fohr predict that Instagram captions will continue to grow in both length and importance in 2020. They forecast that in 2020 the average influencer’s caption will be 405 characters - or 65-70 words. In comparison, the average Instagram influencer used only 142 characters in their Instagram caption back in 2016. This is still only a fraction of Instagram’s 2,200 character limit (and 30 hashtag limit), but still marks an important trend as influencers start their 2020 campaigns.  

Back in the early days of blogging, bloggers had to establish credibility in order to amass an engaged audience on their individual websites. But Instagram’s algorithm has helped Influencers  attract followers based on their pictures (rather than their industry expertise). How will this increased character count affect Instagram influencers? Long-form texts offer the space influencers need to deep dive into topics - turning their image captions into mini-blog posts. These mini-blog posts will encourage influencers to deep-dive into topics on Instagram, bringing their blogs onto social media in more detail. Mini-blog posts allow influencers to gain and maintain their followers’ trust, by either adding value in a particular industry, or by getting more personal with their own lives/experiences. 

Pro Tip: Longer captions let you explain how you use a product, making your followers more likely to buy the product. So - emphasize the power of added value and longer captions in your next pitch!

2. Hashtags Will Keep Attracting New Followers

In 2019, Instagram posts with a high number of hashtags (10+) received higher engagement rates (just under 6%). In 2020, longer captions will allow room for more hashtags on Instagram. This is great news for micro-influencers, because influencers with less than 25k followers can expect effective hashtags to continue to attract more followers in 2020. 

How will Like-Removal affect organic reach? Removing the number of Likes on Instagram is going to change user behavior. When user behavior changes, organic reach will also change (since the Instagram algorithm centres around engagement/Likes). We’re guessing that you'll see more paid posts from your favorite influencers, in an effort to increase their reach on Instagram. 

And as for brands/business partners? Longer captions are set to offer a more in-depth product promotion. Though a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture with an interesting caption is much more likely to fuel a follower’s intent to buy.

Pro Tip: Longer captions and more hashtags offer you creative freedom, but also give brands more space for required content. Quadruple-check your hashtags, and make sure your mini-blog post is still in-line with a sponsor’s product campaign.

3. There Will Be Fewer Posts on the Grid

Since 2015, influencers have been publishing fewer posts on Instagram. And, almost all influencers are expected to continue publishing fewer weekly posts in 2020. The exception to this trend is mid-tier influencers (250-500k followers), who are expected to increase their posting frequency in 2020. 

Fewer posts means less busy work, and more strategic planning for influencers. With publishing rates expected to drop to 2.3 posts per week on Instagram, influencers are going to be much more selective when choosing content to share with their followers. 

If influencers are going to be pickier when publishing their own content, they’re definitely going to be pickier when choosing brand sponsorships/partnerships. And, they’re going to have to be creative in how they promote brands. Sponsors are likely to require much more varied campaigns - with a combination of content on Instagram's grid, Stories, and IGTV (rather than just a single image posted to the grid). 

Pro Tip: Fewer posts means less revenue… unless you shift your pricing. Explain to your next sponsor that your media space is limited, and make sure your rates reflect the real estate on your Instagram grid. If your brand is social-media savvy, they should be aware of this trend, and won’t be surprised that you need to be careful when selling Instagram real estate.

4. Influencer Marketing Is Going To Open Global Markets

Though most influencers already leverage local marketing in their sponsored brand campaigns, brands are going to harness influencer partnerships for globalization in 2020. For example, if a local brand has already partnered with several local micro-influencers for product promotion, they’re going to add locations in 2020. So long as a brand has the option to ship their products, there aren’t really any geographic boundaries to Instagram partnerships. A Toronto-based brand could partner with influencers across Western Canada, or in Chicago, or even on another continent. 

Pro Tip: Have a favorite brand that only just started shipping to your location? Get ahead of this trend by reaching out first, and explain how your (sponsored) content could help the brand break into a new market.

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