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How Quality Outperforms Quantity on the Instagram Grid

By Later x Fohr

It’s been a big year for Instagram.

From likes disappearing from posts, to IGTV becoming the go-to platform for video series, the rules to posting to your grid have changed in 2019.

As always, Instagram influencers were the first to sit up and take notice of these changes.

By analyzing Fohr’s international influencer database, we’ve discovered some key trends to keep in mind for 2020!

Influencers Are Posting to the Grid Less Frequently

Posting content to your grid takes time and effort — influencers know that every post has an impact on their engagement rate, and their overall grid aesthetic.

After analyzing the data, we identified that influencers’ posting schedules are shifting, with their post frequency becoming less and less.

By 2020, Fohr predicts that influencers will be posting to their grid around twice a week!

And that’s not just Instagram influencers with a large following who are posting less. Almost all influencers, regardless of their follower count, are predicted to share less content to their grid each week.

These mid-tier influencers are the only ones projected to increase their posting frequency for 2020!

And it’s the influencers who post to their feed almost every day, like Victoria from In The Frow, who are creating a strong advantage over their Instagram competitors — as their posts appear in their followers’ feeds more often.

For brands, this can make a real difference when it comes to deciding who to work with on a campaign or project.

While not every brand needs to work with a high-posting influencer to make an impact, knowing how often they plan to post to their grid can help you better negotiate a campaign package.


📅 As posting frequency decreases, make sure to have a clear goal with what you want to achieve with a sponsored influencer post. With less on the grid, every post has greater importance in achieving your campaign goal.

📸 Influencers will become more selective in what they post to their grid so pay attention to their aesthetic, content topics, and style before pitching to work with them.

🤳 Balance out your campaign include more Instagram Stories, videos, or IGTV content to make sure you’re reaching audiences on a variety of Instagram channels.

Influencers are Crafting Longer Captions

It used to be all about the visuals, but now Instagram captions are taking center stage for influencers on the platform.

You might have spotted influencers like Jenna Kutcher and Elise Darma sharing lengthy captions on their posts to give greater insight into their world or to share their knowledge.

Take for example @officiallyquigley — the content creator is known for sharing in-depth posts with her 240K followers, and that trend doesn’t change when it comes to her sponsored posts.

But just how long, is a long caption?

Well, according to the research by Fohr, the average caption length has more than doubled since 2016.

And by 2020, our feeds will be filled with an average caption length of 405 characters — which averages out to be 65-70 words!

Canadian-based influencer Sarah Nicole Landry from @thebirdspapaya writes captions for her sponsored posts that are an optimum length to draw in users, while sharing plenty of product information:

For 2020, we expect to see the long-form Instagram captions trend grow, with influencers turning to their feed posts to create mini-blog entries for their audience.

As in-depth captions are successfully competing with the bite-size snippets of Instagram Stories, influencers are using the space to tell captivating, personal and more emotive stories.

For brands, this can be a really opportunity for storytelling that goes beyond product information, and builds a much stronger brand affinity with your influencer’s audience.

Engagement Rates are Higher on Posts with Longer Captions

The good news is that longer influencer captions result in higher engagement rates, which means a greater return for brands investing in an influencer marketing strategy.

The data shows that influencers’ posts with longer captions generally had a higher engagement rate than those with a shorter caption — showing that the longer the caption, the better the engagement!

For influencers, a higher engagement rate on their posts not only means that their content is hitting the mark with their audience, but it also helps with their overall discoverability.

The more engagement a post gets, the more likely it will appear on the Explore page or higher up in their followers’ feeds.

For brands, a higher engagement rate is a good indicator of a great partnership that will yield good returns!

It’s Not Just About an Influencer’s Aesthetic Anymore

We all know how important having a strong Instagram aesthetic is for an influencer.

And whether you’re a brand or influencer, having a curated Instagram aesthetic is one of the best ways to grow your account, build a following, and show off your brand’s unique style and tone.

But the fact is, a great aesthetic doesn’t always mean higher performance on a post per post basis. Often, it’s the actual content of a post that will drive the best results.

So what types of content get the most reach, engagement, and saves on the Instagram grid?

Let’s find out:

What we’ve learned is that parenting, plants, and selfie posts achieve the highest engagement, while sun, ocean, bags, and shoes shots tend to get the lowest.

When it comes to reach and saves, we see a similar pattern. Parenting, beauty, selfies, and text (including meme posts!) deliver the best results.

So if you’re ready to brief in an influencer campaign in 2020, it could be worth keeping these trends in mind to boost your campaign’s performance!


📝 When choosing influencers to work with for your campaign, try to find influencers who naturally tend to write longer captions. If our predictions are right (and we think they are!) longer captions will really pay off for brands in 2020!

💭 Provide writing prompts to your influencers and brand ambassadors. If you can give them some inspiration on what to write about in their caption, you’re guaranteed to get your brand message across.

📈 Not sure where to find an influencer’s engagement rates? Fohr’s platform showcases an influencer’s top-performing Instagram posts (even sponsored posts)!

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