Instagram has officially announced the launch of its new Branded Content Ads option, which will provide additional ways for businesses to maximize their on-platform influencer partnerships.
As explained by Instagram:
"Starting today, we're introducing the ability for advertisers to promote creators' organic branded content posts as feed ads. 68% of people say they come to Instagram to interact with creators. With branded content ads, businesses have an opportunity to tell their brand stories through creators' voices, reach new audiences and measure impact."
Up till now, brands have been able to work with popular Instagram users on ad campaigns to promote products through branded content, but those posts would only reach the followers of said influencer. Branded content ads will enable advertisers to promote these Instagram posts just like they would any other ad, expanding the opportunities for reach and engagement.
The option was first reported by AdAge back in March, and will work to further solidify influencer marketing partnerships on the platform - which is good for both brands and influencers alike. It could also add an extra level of accountability to influencer partnerships. With the capacity to utilize influencer-created content in your paid promotions, you'll have access to more insights on performance, which will extend the response beyond that influencer's audience alone.
If your ad performs well in a broader audience set, that's obviously, a good outcome, but if you don't see subsequent response among non-followers of that influencer, it may help in assessing the viability of future partnership efforts.
It's another step towards making influencer marketing a more integrated, accountable element of the Instagram eco-sphere. Already, influencer marketing is huge on Instagram, which makes sense given the app's visual focus and the subsequent need for platform knowledge and artistic vision in order to stand out from the crowd. But this will add even more capacity for promotion and data tracking, enabling brands to get the most out of their efforts, and better focus on relevant results.
Instagram says that Branded Content Ads for the main feed will be available to all advertisers "in the coming weeks, and for Stories over the coming months". If you're looking to create your own Branded Content campaign, Instagram has provided step-by-step instructions on how to do so here.