Instagram rolled out Stories in 2016 and has since been introducing new ad products to the feature. More and more brands have been attracted to the idea of linking their social content to sales. Stories have directed things away from the traditional feed post and made campaigns more interactive as users can engage with brands and influencers in different ways. A report Klear shared with Mobile Marketer is evidence that Stories is fast becoming a popular way to publish sponsored content, as it found that one in three Instagram sponsored posts shared in 2018 was in the Stories section. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though,  considering the fact that there were more than 2.1 million sponsored posts shared on Instagram in 2018 only. Klear examined posts that used the #ad disclosure between January 1 and December 31 last year.The people that were sharing the most sponsored content were women (84.6%) and micro-influencers covering 84%. Lifestyle, fashion, and beauty were the biggest categories for sponsored content, followed by travel, food and home and interior design. There’s no doubt we will see the social platform launch a range of new features to support it as a growing conversion channel as brands look to connect with their audiences on a deeper level and look to Instagram for e-commerce opportunities.
Last year, Influencer Intelligence carried out a report that found that a third of brands admit to not fully disclosing influencer partnerships despite 64% of marketers felt that drastic action to prove transparency is critical. Therefore, Klear’s report may not be a real representation of the actual amount of sponsored content posted on Stories as the content that was not disclosed with #ad wouldn’t have been factored into the results. This year, brands, marketers and influencers will need to become savvier and take action when it comes to disclosing sponsored content, which should be easier thanks to the help of guidelines and regulations becoming available across the board.

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