As sponsored posts continue to flourish in the digital space, Instagram steadily releases new features and strategies to amplify and improve branded content. Sponsored posts have become more prevalent on Instagram, especially since the FTC has cracked down to increase transparency and clear disclosure of paid partnerships. (We recently wrote a blog post on how to stay within FTC guidelines by disclosing endorsements and ads to the public.) Recently, Instagram began to roll out "Branded Content Ads," as a way for brands to sponsor content generated by influencers, celebrities, and publishers, and to create a more official partnership between creators and advertisers. This feature is only available to Instagram Business accounts and is gradually rolling out to select partners, so it is possible that it's not currently available to you. We suggest that you continue updating your app and checking in to see when it might become accessible to your account. To learn more about this new feature, keep reading!
A great aspect of this new feature is that it allows Instagram posts to have reach beyond the influencer or brands existing followers. Branded Content Ads also let the advertisers and brands promote and boost the posts the same way they would with any other ad, which ensures more visibility. Companies can get more eyes on the content that they're paying for - a win for brands and influencers alike!
Branded Content Ads have the extra advantage of advertisers being able to target the users they want to reach. That means that your sponsored content ad can be seen by more people outside of your circle of followers, allowing your brand's target market to grow and expand. Brands are able to gain a better ROI from their partnerships with influencers by customizing and targeting their ads.
As influencer marketing continues to grow and expand, we expect to see many more updates in the area of sponsored posts. The fact that Instagram is expanding their features to allow brands to run sponsored ads with partnerships proves that brands are taking influencers and content creators and their monetization power more seriously. Now, more than ever, companies consider influencers to be a legit asset to their marketing strategies. With the introduction of Branded Content Ads, not only will Instagram work to ensure that sponsored content reaches more people than ever before, but also encourage those brands to further amplify their influencer marketing strategies. We expect to see this feature be used more and more on our feeds as it begins to roll out to more brands, and we hope that this encourages more brands that have been hesitant about influencer marketing to dive into creating boosting strategies that they can control. Let us know your thoughts and how you will be using this tool by chatting with us on Instagram @planoly! Update 11/14: The FTC recently released a disclosure statement for working with social media influencers. You can review the full document here.