The way consumers use Instagram to learn about new products and trends make the platform perfect for retail marketers. Getting a product seen by the right audience on Instagram can exponentially brand awareness and sales for the business. Recently, Instagram introduced a new advertising feature that will make it easier for companies to make the most of the Instagram marketing efforts.
Last week, Instagram launched new branded content ads that will make it possible for brands to turn branded organic posts into ads. This new advertising format uses posts from other content creators that include branded content from the advertiser. These promoted posts will make it boost the range of branded items on Instagram.
An example best explains this format. A common tactic used by retailers to gain exposure on social media is influence marketing. Advertisers send sample products to a content creator who does reviews and product trials on their channel. The content creator makes a post on their account that features the retailer's product, which is considered branded content. With branded content ads, the retailer can turn the content creator's post on Instagram into an ad.
As Instagram explained in a post announcing the new format, “With branded content ads, businesses have an opportunity to tell their brand stories through creators' voices, reach new audiences and measure impact. Using the tools available on the Facebook ads platform, businesses can reach targeted audiences beyond the people who follow the brand and creator accounts. And by running ads, they'll have access to measurement and can optimize and test their campaigns against their set goals for more effective marketing campaigns.”
Branded content ads will significantly improve the effectiveness of branded content by making it possible to target demographics who don’t watch the content creator’s channel. These ads give advertisers the option to utilize branded content on another channel as if it were on the retailer’s channel. This strategy will result in increased sales and brand awareness.
Besides the benefit to the advertiser, branded content ads on Instagram can help the content creator. By boosting the exposure of content that includes their products, advertisers also introduce more people to the content creator. This dynamic makes partnering with a company to produce branded content more advantageous to Instagram influencers. Content creators get free advertising for their channel if an advertiser decides to promote one of the influencer's branded posts.
To make the advertising transparent, branded content ads will feature the disclaimer, “Paid partnership with” along with the brand name on each post. It will always be clear who is paying for the ad. Advertisers should make sure content creators know how the ads will be set up to run. If the target audience for the ad is different from the target audience for the content creator, it can lead to a frustrating increase in unwanted attention for the content creator. For example, if a channel has a primarily female audience, and the advertiser promotes the post to all genders, the channel will suddenly get a lot of attention and interaction from men. By telling the creator how the ads will be set up, it ensures the content creator knows what to expect.
The new ad format is currently rolling out, and it's expected to be available to most advertisers within a few weeks. For more news about updates and changes to Instagram, read this article on improvements to the Stories and Explore feature.