Social update: Instagram introduces new ways for brands to expand influencer collaborations

Instagram Branded content ads

Credit: Kylie Jenner via Instagram

Earlier this month, Instagram revealed that they are working on a new ad format that will facilitate brands and influencers to partner up in a more financially beneficial and transparent way.

The new format, called ‘Branded content ads’ announced at a breakfast for businesses and influencers, gives brands new avenues and additional responsibility behind sponsored posts created by celebrities and online influencers. The program is part of Instagram’s broader strategy to connect advertisers and creators in a formal partnership.

As explained by ADAGE, the new ad format allows brands to promote influencer content in the same way as any other ad, meaning the promotion will reach a wider audience and not just the followers of the influencer.

“Until now, brands could hire popular Instagram users to work on ad campaigns and promote products with branded content, but the posts would only reach the followers of the influencer. Branded content ads let the advertisers promote these Instagram posts just like they would any other ad”.

 The development is an extension of the branded content tools that Instagram released in 2017 as a response to brands and popular accounts teaming up to promote products without disclosing the relationship to advertisers, a regulatory problem that has irked digital platforms. Instagram already has a branded content tagging system in place so that creators can state when a post is sponsored, however this new development will be available to all users. The branded content ad is available for anyone to apply for making it possible for brands with smaller followings to put money behind their posts with the end-goal of reaching more people.

Instagram has more than 1 billion active users with influencer marketing expected to reach £1.5 billion of the market this year. YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram are all developing programs to control the market that connects brands to power-users and in response to this, the ad industry is demanding that they clear out fake followers and phoney activity to provide accurate measurements.

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