Videos vs. Stills: The Rise Of Sponsored Video Content in 2020

Throwback: At the end of 2019, we shared 5 predictions about what will happen in the influencer marketing sphere in 2020. Something that has already made its presence in 2019, and for which we predicted a more meteoric rise for this year, has been video content. Especially, associated with this, video-only social media platforms and features.

With the first 8 months of 2020 being officially over, we took a look at our main prediction – the unstoppable rise of video content.

The Analysis

To investigate this ongoing rise, we had a look at campaigns that were run on Collabary from the beginning of January 2020 through the end of August 2020. In the end, this meant the analyzation of approximately 170k content pieces that were briefed by brands using Collabary.

Brands use our Campaign Manager to run their campaigns from start to finish. Within this feature, they’re able to brief the influencers of a given campaign with their tasks. Once the influencers have agreed to these tasks, it is clear what content pieces must be created and when the campaign officially starts.

The Rise Of Video Content On Instagram: Stories vs. In-Feed Posts

In general, it’s important to understand that very often Instagram in-feed posts are briefed together with a certain amount of Instagram stories. Since 35% of all impressions on Instagram belong to stories, brands ensure that they’re reaching the highest number of followers of a given influencer. Briefing one Instagram story, in our case, means that the influencer will be asked to create 3 story snippets (e.g. three 15-second long videos). This being said, let’s have a closer look at the numbers.

Source: Collabary platform

It’s clear to see in the graph above that, except for March and April, Instagram stories have been agreed to more often than Instagram in-feed posts on the Collabary platform.

Source: Collabary platform

By directly comparing a total of 75.8k Instagram in-feed posts (stills) and 81k Instagram stories (videos) from January to August 2020, and having in mind that one story contains 3 story snippets, it’s safe to say that brands have a high demand for video content on Instagram. This is also demonstrated by the fact that Instagram stories out-perform in-feed posts by 1k every month.

Keeping in mind that stories are only available for 24 hours (assuming they’re not saved in the highlight section), the high demand of stories can be explained by the convenience that comes with the feature: With swipe-up links (only available for verified users and profiles with 10k+ followers) influencers are able to embed a link in their stories leading followers to the brand’s website or the landing page of the promoted product. This simplifies interaction with the brand and may eventually lead to increased sales.

Read more about the importance of including stories in your influencer marketing campaign and what makes this feature so special in our previous blog post: “Why You Need to Include Instagram Stories In Your Influencer Campaign”.

With approximately 1k more agreed stories per month than in-feed posts (since May 2020), another trend presents itself: Story-only campaigns. This was confirmed in our latest Success Story together with baby-walz.

The Importance Of Video Content Beyond Instagram: Instagram Stories vs. TikTok 

By this time, you may already be aware of TikTok. If you’d like a deep-dive into the short-form video-only platform, you can find all of our related articles here. Additionally, you may want to watch our TikTok webinar “Leveraging the Power Of TikTok With Influencers”.

Source: Collabary platform

When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram is still the dominant platform. Accordingly, the highest number of Collabary campaigns are run with Instagram tasks. But just as TikTok has been nipping at the heel, Collabary has implemented full TikTok campaign support (as of June 2020).

Source: Collabary platform

Compared to 37.1k agreed upon Instagram stories from June to August 2020, the 8.1k agreed upon TikTok videos looks rather small. Here we have to keep in mind that brands have only recently begun integrating TikTok into their influencer marketing campaigns.

With 5.5k TikTok campaign tasks briefed in June–just after the launch of the feature–TikTok briefings by brands have totalled nearly half of the 13.6k Instagram stories. This illustrates that brands are keen to include TikTok content in their influencer marketing campaigns and have been taking the steps to do so.

According to our data, Instagram still dominates the game when it comes to sponsored video content. Even though this might not change for a while, TikTok’s popularity grows and brands should consider integrating TikTok into their future campaigns – if they haven’t already.


1. Video content is crucial: With the enormous rise of TikTok’s popularity and its competitors creating video-only clones as well, it’s safe to say that video content is the most important trend of 2020 and we’re curious to see what will happen in the following months.

2. Stills are important but so are videos: There’s no denying that there are still a large number of Instagram in-feed posts being included in brand campaigns. And as videos are increasingly added to Instagram stories, it is clear that the inclusion of TikTok tasks in Collabary campaigns will no doubt continue the upward trend of video content.

3. Instagram appears bulletproof: Instagram remains the most important social media platform for influencer marketing campaigns–for now. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t other important platforms that brands should be aware of.

What’s Next?

Ready to start your next influencer marketing campaign with video content? We are here to support you in creating meaningful, interactive, and creative content together with the most suitable content creators. If you want to get more information on how we can support you, send us an email at To ensure you don’t miss our weekly blog post, subscribe to our newsletter here.