Brands Earn Nearly 40% More Engagement with Reels Compared to Other Instagram Content Formats

Instagram’s move to feature more of the TikTok-inspired video format drew criticism from users and celebrity influencers alike, but Emplifi’s data shows Reels are outperforming all other content

Emplifi, the leading customer experience platform, released their latest performance insights for Instagram Reels, quantifying the impact and growth of the TikTok-like video format. An in-depth analysis of data based on thousands of global brands revealed that Reels have become the most engaging post type on Instagram.

“The bottom line: Short video content is here to stay”

“Content preferences are changing, which has caused a surge in video content consumption across social media platforms,” said Emplifi Chief Marketing Officer Zarnaz Arlia. “To respond to this change Instagram is on track to prioritize Reels content. By using their algorithm to serve videos to larger audiences, Instagram is helping brands expand their reach and boost engagement.”

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Instagram’s recent update, pushing more Reels into the timeline, drew pushback from many, including the site’s most popular celebrity influencers. Frustrated by the lack of photo content, Kim Kardashian posted a graphic on her Instagram account that read, “Make Instagram Instagram again.”

But Instagram head Adam Mosseri confirmed that people are sharing more video content, “If you look at what people like and consume and view on Instagram, that’s also shifting more and more to video over time, even when we stop charging anything.”

Emplifi’s findings backup Mosseri’s response to the criticism Instagram has received. In fact, Emplifi found that even though overall engagement on Instagram has declined over the past year, Instagram Reels have outperformed all other post types since the start of 2022, winning more interactions than images, regular videos and carousel posts.

“The numbers are clear–users are engaging more with Reels than any other content format on the app, accounting for 20% of the time people spend on the app according to Instagram,” said Arlia. “The biggest brands in the world are leveraging this to their advantage and doubling down on the video format.”

According to Emplifi’s insights:

  • Nearly 50% of the brands on Instagram published at least one Reel in Q2 2022, a significant uptick since last year when only 30% of brands on the social media site were posting Reels content.
  • The median interaction count on Reels is almost 40% higher than traditional video posts on Instagram.
  • Reels are especially popular among sports brands, with more than 60% already publishing Reels to boost engagement with followers.
  • The top five brands with the most Reels engagement include: Pleasing, Netflix, Tesla, Netflix Brazil, and Lamborghini.

While many brands are increasingly adding Reels to their social media strategy, the video format still only constitutes a minority of overall branded content, accounting for approximately 7.5% of brand posts (excluding Stories). Most brands are still continuing to rely on static posts even though they garner the least amount of engagement.

“The bottom line: Short video content is here to stay,” said Arlia, “To maximize reach and engagement, brands have no choice but to invest in Reels.”

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