What is Instagram Branded Content Ads: Practical Guide

January 21, 2020
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Instagram is developing a new advertising format for brands to sponsor posts created by influencers and publishers. This is Instagram Branded Content Ads. It is a part of the broader platform strategy focused on improving the relationship between advertisers and content creators.

The platform owned by Facebook recently announced the update to companies and influencers. Especially since the latter have larger and more faithful communities, and brands are increasingly interested in taking advantage of it.

Until now, brands could hire celebrities to collaborate together on advertising campaigns. This way product promotions will be developed through the content of the influencer. However, the ads only reach the followers of that particular influencer.

Instagram Branded Content Ads allow advertisers to promote these posts as they would with any other ad.

Brands are noticing that this branded content product sometimes helps overcome the challenges they have with organic brand content. That is why they are exploring different ways so that brands can amplify brand content.

The importance of influencer marketing on Instagram

Instagram has established itself as a reference channel for influencer marketing. This is confirmed by a study carried out by Klear. In fact, in 2017, posts with the hashtag #ad began to be analyzed and the results were greater than expected.

According to an eMarketer study, the industry managed to multiply its size in just one year. The use of influencer marketing on Instagram increases exponentially. Especially as more and more brands are involved in the process to reach very specific targets.

The influencer marketing industry has increased thanks to Instagram. It is estimated that the investment in global advertising focused on influencers will reach 5-10 billion dollars by 2020. This is pointed out by all trends on Instagram.

Another trend related to collaborations between influencers and brands advocates for more personal and authentic relationships. That’s why Instagram Branded Content Ads was born.

As you can see, influencer marketing strategies are ideal to boost brand visibility. They generate engagement, trust and increase the chances of increasing conversions. However, the important thing is knowing how to apply the appropriate strategies.

Branded Content Ads: the format that brings brands and influencers closer

Instagram Branded Content Ads is not the first brand content asset launched by the platform. If you have created partnerships with influencers through this channel, you will surely have noticed the changes.

In 2017,  Instagram introduced the Branded Content Partnership Program. And they did it after the FTC took drastic measures against influencers who promoted products for brands without telling their followers that it was a sponsorship.

This new feature allowed the influencer to include a tag in the header. This made it clear that the photo was related to sponsorship and not a non-profit recommendation.

However, even though that label (#ad) indicated that a post was sponsored by a brand, the Branded Content Partnership Program prevented the brands from being advertised that way. They could no longer generate engagement with that technique.

In short, brands were forbidden to capitalize on that content that was clearly already working and being enjoyed by strong communities.

Instagram Branded Content Ads prevents that blocking

Instagram Product Management Director Ashley Yuki has talked about it. As indicated by AdAge, the Instagram Branded Content Ads feature has been tested since last year. And it has given very positive results.

Ashley Yuki also states that “brands are seeing those sponsored content ads overcome the challenges they face with organic content.” And now they are finding other ways to broaden their recognition such as branded content.

Instagram Branded Content Ads manages to combine the best of each. It combines the greatest advantages of collaborating with influencers with the potential of paid ads on the platform.

Given that Instagram ads are relatively affordable, brands are now more likely to get a better return on investment. Especially when they collaborate with influencers to promote themselves.

Instagram Branded Content Ads also has the additional advantage of being able to target specific users. Instagram’s own algorithm will guarantee that ads are viewed by certain segments. Even if users do not follow some specific influencers, they are likely to know who they are if they are in the brand’s target market.

Ads must be identified as publicity

So far, as you have seen in the previous data, influencers marketing has gained strength thanks to Instagram posts and Stories. According to Mediakix data, these formats have surpassed the investment in advertising that is made on YouTube.

This study also found that two-thirds of marketing managers plan to increase their influencers marketing budget this year. And currently, 89% of professionals confess that Instagram is one of the most important channels for these types of campaigns.

In relation to this trend, it is interesting to look at the new code of conduct of British influencers. As the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) points out, ads should be identified as publicity in a completely obvious way. At first glance, users should know that this content is about advertising and not an organic piece.

Instagram Branded Content Ads is expected to specify that a post is sponsored content. If you look at the examples, they indicate that a promotion has been carried out. This way it complies with the code of conduct of the influencers.

What does Instagram Branded Content Ads mean for the industry?

With Instagram Branded Content Ads, the platform manages to cover several essential elements for brands. Among them:

  • Provide companies with more comprehensive control over the investments generated in influencer marketing campaigns, specifically about those launched on Instagram.
  • Instagram Branded Content Ads is ideal to develop more transparent campaigns.

Influencer marketing campaigns have been of great importance for brands for a long time, but also for content creators, influencers, and for the platform itself. However, the latter is becoming increasingly strict when it comes to monitoring accounts.

Instagram Branded Content Ads is focused on cleaning the platform

One of the main focuses of the platform is to eliminate false followers that could be related to third-party apps. Especially since many influencers overstate the size of their community so more brands approach them to collaborate. As a result, the final data is negative, since the scope does not resemble reality.

Branded Content Ads allows brands to exert greater control over this issue. Mainly because they manage to take the ads beyond the followers that the influencers may have.

It is about a positive start

Studies have found that 92% of Instagram users distrust ads that are not clearly labeled. Although it has also been found that 57% do not trust the influencers who publish about products and services that are not relevant to their channel.

The Instagram Branded Content Ads update will help improve this relationship of trust with the audience. Now the ads are clearly labeled. So it will not be necessary to try a product in an irrelevant channel. Mainly because the importance of scope decreases.

It also improves the level of trust that brands have in influencer marketing. Especially since they can now measure the performance of each campaign themselves.

Influencer marketing is a young industry, which has been full of problems related to transparency and distrust. However, with the new algorithms and updates, an attempt has been made to turn the situation around. There is a need for positive changes to ensure the future of the industry.

Security is increasing every day

Thankfully, with this update, Instagram has done just that. Trust, credibility and quality are essential for any marketing strategy to perform.

Would you like to increase your visibility on social networks? Are you looking for ways to reach certain audiences to increase your conversions, attract new customers or generate greater engagement? In addition to trusting Instagram Branded Content Ads, it may be best if you receive a little boost from a professional.

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