Social media marketing platform Socialbakers has today released its 2019 Q1 Trends report that reveals that the use of #ad increased 133% in the last 12 months. As the influencer industry matures, so do the rules and regulations. The Competition and Markets Authority created new guidelines for disclosing sponsored content on social media. Therefore, it may come as no surprise that the use of the hashtag has increased, though the influencers posting the hashtag aren’t seeing any effect on their level of engagement when working with brands. For example, influencers receive 415 median interactions on posts that use #ad versus442 median interactions when they don’t. The rise in numbers is also down to the fact that more people are posting sponsored content on Instagram in general. In just North America alone, brand-sponsored influencer posts grew by over 150% over the course of 2018. The findings show that 26% of influencers with more than 1 million followers have used #ad in their posts, with smaller influencers less likely to post #ad more. The report, which reflects the state of influencer marketing and highlights emerging themes in the industry, is based on trends of over 12 million Instagram influencers from Q1 2018 to now.

“Consumers are increasingly seeking out reviews and trusted voices when making purchasing decisions. This has created a huge opportunity for influencers and brands to team up to create authentic connections with audiences. Our findings indicate that brands that collaborate with authentic and relevant influencers increase their results from their social media campaigns,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers. 

Instagram Stories on the rise

The report revealed that Stories have become an invaluable source of engagement for brands. The use of Stories by brands grew 21% year-on-year as brands are increasingly utilising the flexibility of Instagram Stories, which allows them to boost brand visibility at low cost and without spamming their audience. To find out more trends, you can download the report here.
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