Yesterday (June 4), Instagram announced that it is now allowing advertisers to promote organic branded content from influencers as adverts in the feed and in Stories. According to the platform, it has been one of the biggest requests from brands to date as they look to incorporate branded content posts into their advertising strategies. Brands will now be able to tell their brand stories through the creator’s voice and reach beyond the people who follow the brand and creator accounts. They can do this by using the tools on the Facebook ad platform. Content creators earn money from posting sponsored content, but the new update allows their content to travel beyond just their followers.

“This is something we’ve all been eagerly waiting for. The functionality will add more credibility to influencer marketing and enable it to be far more integrated into an overall digital marketing strategy, rather than a standalone one-off channel,” said William Soulier, CEO and co-founder of Talent Village.

“By opening up creators’ sponsored content beyond their followings, advertisers will have greater reach capabilities to match the creator’s skills and affinity with the right audiences, to deliver an improved user experience. The industry should see this as an opportunity to consider influencer marketing as a main conversion channel, as branded content and messaging becomes easier to measure and track on social,” commented Fabrizio Perrone, CEO and founder of Buzzoole.

“It will also open up the doors for other amplification opportunities that brands may have been a little reticent to progress up until now. These opportunities, such as repurposing influencer content to digital out of home, or even repurposing this content as display ads, is something we’ve been working on with our clients recently with great success. Ultimately this new functionality will make this strategy even more appealing to brands and allow an even better return on investment,” said Soulier.

Brands can use Facebook’s ad platform to measure and optimise their campaigns. Like other sponsored posts on the platform, the branded content ads will appear with “paid partnership with” followed by the brand name to ensure all ads are transparent.  “We’ve long seen that customers want to discover fashion through trusted sources who have credibility, but organic reach on that content has become increasingly limited. So we’re consistently looking for more sophisticated ways like Branded Content ads to serve partner content to the right shoppers, instead of just throwing it into the social ether,” said Liat Weingarten, VP of brand communications at Old Navy.“Promoting content directly from an influencer’s handle inherently gives the post more authenticity than coming from a brand handle, and we’re seeing significantly higher engagement rates using this strategy,” she continued.Branded content creators will need to enable their business partners to promote their post as an advert. Then, the business partner can choose to run it as an ad in feed or Stories format. Branded content ads for the feed will be available to all advertisers in the next few weeks and for Stories in the coming months.

What are your thoughts on Instagram launching branded content ads? Tell us below or reach out on social media.

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