With the holiday season in full force, now is no time to take your foot off of the proverbial content marketing pedal. If you are looking for a little extra marketing “oomph” to get you through the season, look no more. Check out the news and information you need to know in this week’s Content Radar.

Content Radar Study: Brands on Instagram aren’t optimizing engagement opportunities

Thanks to the number of updates Instagram has released in 2018, one would forgive marketers for not being able to always know the best way to package and publish content on the app, which now has more than 2.3 billion users in 2023 worldwide. However, the marketers who are deliberate and are taking advantage of the channel and its tools are able to set themselves up for an advantage over their competition.

You might be interested to know about the findings that social media analytics firm Quintly recently shared upon the completion of a massive study of more than 44,000 Instagram Business profiles, which included an analysis of nearly 9 million Instagram posts.

A few of the key findings:

Nearly 73 percent of Instagram posts are photos . . .

73% of posts on Instagram are single photos

It’s no surprise that nearly 3/4 of all Instagram Business profile posts include a single photo. After all, Instagram was a photo-based app long before videos were even an option. Likewise, photos generally tend to be less expensive to produce than videos. Video posts make up about 17 percent of Instagram Business profile posts, and carousel posts (which could include photos, videos, or a mixture of both) make up about 11 percent of all posts that brands publish on Instagram.

However, users engage much more with videos

Videos posted on Instagram get 21% more interactions than single photo posts.

Despite the fact that brands publish more photos, they are seeing a much higher level of interactions with videos (Quintly defines “interactions” as the total of likes plus the total number of comments). In fact, the study shows that a brand-published video post yields 21 percent more interactions than a brand-published photo post. The study also found that users are more likely to engage with carousels than single images. Carousels yield 18.6 percent more interactions than single-image posts.

In an interview with Unstoppable host Kerwin Rae, Instagram aficionado Lauren Bath spoke about the photo and video trends she sees on Instagram.

“The tourism boards that I follow and work with and talk to regularly, I know that they are starting to use more video,” Bath said. “But a lot of them are using video in their Stories. So, stories are obviously a whole other kettle of fish — something I’ve been playing around with a lot more. And I think that using video in stories and writing really good stories and having great content in that area is a massive value add as well.”

The Quintly study also examined the effect post length has on interactions.

Most Instagram posts are more than 150 characters…

More 60% of brands post Instagram posts with captions of 150+ characters, which isn't ideal for engagement.

More than 60 percent of brands are publishing captions with their posts that are at least 150 characters long. In fact, roughly 31 percent of Instagram Business profile posts include post text that is 300+ characters long. An even 30 percent of posts were between 150 and 300 characters, and roughly 29 percent of posts were between 50-150 characters. Just under 10 percent of posts featured post text that is 50 characters or fewer.

However, users engage more with shorter posts

Instagram posts with captions that are 50 or fewer characters long get the most engagement.

Despite brands’ propensity for writing longer posts, the posts that receive the most interaction are typically shorter than 50 characters. Accounts that have fewer than one million followers received the most engagement from posts that were between 1-50 characters long. However, business accounts with more than one million followers saw more interactions from the posts in which no caption was published at all.

Content Radar Google has promised publishers it will pay them for its “yellow ad” mistake. A trainee accidentally caused a test yellow rectangle ad to appear on websites and apps in the United States and Australia. The mistake will cost Google an estimated $10 million.

Content Radar More than 70 percent of millennials have used Twitter to comment on the quality of a company’s customer service. Similarly, approximately 2/3 of Twitter users say they have decided to purchase a product thanks to an interaction with a brand on social media. The survey also found that Twitter users are 11 percent more likely than users of other social channels to make a purchase based on an interaction with a brand.

Content RadarA recent study has found that unconventional email themes drive greater engagement. An analysis of 6 billion emails by Yes Marketing shows that non-traditional themes like National Dog Day or Groundhog Day lead to conversion rates as high as four times the average.

Content Radar Amazon Alexa will now read emails aloud when requested. Users may also delete emails or respond to them by voice with Alexa’s help. Currently Alexa can read emails that come through Gmail, Outlook.com, Hotmail, and Live.com addresses.