Engagement rates act as a quick measure of a creator’s content quality. Measured by dividing the views/impressions by the shares, comments, and likes, it can be framed as their ability to influence actions. For these reasons, engagement rate is often used during the discovery process to identify creators who are likely able to make conversations and effectively spread brand messaging. Furthermore, it is factored into a creator’s remuneration for sponsored content, with higher engagement rates fetching higher compensation.
Its use case doesn’t end there however. Very low engagement is a major red flag for a creator who is acting unscrupulously. Many services exist that allow you to buy views and subscribers to inflate a channel’s perceived size and reach. Obviously, these bought subscribers are not actually interested in the channel’s content, and will not continue to comment, like, and share for long - if at all. We recommend being especially careful when wanting to activate creators with less than 1% engagement, on any platform.
What is a good engagement rate then? Across creators of all sizes, we’ve calculated an average of around 4% on the YouTube platform. That means for every 20 viewers of a piece of content, 1 will make a comment or leave a like. Smaller creators generally have a higher engagement rate when compared with larger channels. This is due to smaller communities being more intertwined and greater care taken from the creator in fostering discussion. Once a community reaches a critical mass, replying to all comments and maintaining creator-audience relationships on the individual level become infeasible which results in a drop in engagement. Therefore it is common to see engagement rates of 10%+ in micro-influencer communities (10-50K followers/subscribers), whereas the macro-influencers (500K+) can be hard-pressed to reach our average of 4%.
Different platforms have different average engagement rates. We’ve covered YouTube, but about Instagram and Twitter? Instagram’s average rates lay just below YouTube’s at roughly 3%. Interestingly Twitter is far lower at ~0.5% which indicates people consume Twitter more passively, or at far greater volumes (due to post length) while maintaining a similar total amount of total comments per person leading to a lower ratio. Finally, we’ll give a quick mention to TikTok which early studies have revealed that engagements on the platform are very high. A study by Statista found that average engagement rates are North of 15% in many countries. We can only speculate about the reasons why but it’s well known that TikTok’s content algorithm is at the head of the pack for finding new interesting-to-you content when you give it feedback in the form of likes and follows which leads to a positive feedback loop of people liking more often so that the algorithm returns better results.
How can you easily calculate engagement rates? We’ve already covered the equation above, but completing this calculation manually for each creator you are considering (requiring you to calculate this for all of their recent content, then averaging the result) is extremely cumbersome. Thankfully tools have been created to assist influencer marketers by completing this automatically speeding up the decision-making process immeasurably. We at CreatorDB provide marketers with this statistic among dozens of others front and center, allowing quick judgments about the quality and potential effectiveness of a creator.