[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Instagram Expands Branded Content Campaigns

Instagram Heightens Transparency & Disclosure

Instagram has expanded its branded content campaigns.

The platform has done this in three key ways:

  1. Branded Content tags
  2. Branded Content ads
  3. Product tags

What's New About Branded Content Tags?

Branded Content tags will help increase transparency across Instagram and disclose when creators are sharing branded content.

They are being launched in Instagram Reels first, but the platform will start testing tags in Live video towards the end of November 2020.

Branded Content tags will make it obvious when users see a post that's part of a paid branded content campaign, which should also help to increase visibility for brands.

Instagram wants their platform to make more money for creators, and a slew of their recent updates have been driven with that goal in mind. However, Branded Content tags and Branded Content Ads are also designed to make it easier for creators and brands to work together in pursuit of a common goal: greater exposure and increased revenue.

Instagram Business Team

"We're sharing updates that will make it easier for creators and brands to create, share and amplify branded content across Instagram."

Tags Make It Easier To Play By The Rules

While Instagram is trying to make things easier for influencers, they are also cracking down.

In October, the platform announced an influencer crackdown. They will now be doing more to catch and punish creators who are being paid to promote a product but aren't disclosing that brand partnership.

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, said the company had updated it rules and introduced two new changes to combat this:

  • Influencers will have to confirm whether they're being paid to post before hitting the publish button.
  • New algorithms have been introduced to spot ad content.

Instagram is making it easier to disclose paid partnerships and more difficult for creators to provide excuses if they don't. The Branded Content tag creates a far more visible element to paid partnerships and takes away any minor pain points that might exist in the process.

When ads appear in feeds or stories, a prominent 'paid partnership with' will be displayed alongside the brand name on each post. Highlighting transparency, which will align creators and advertisers with the new, stringent regulations.

Branded Content Ads Are Changing

Instagram says 68% of people use their platform to interact with creators. Branded Content ads will give businesses the chance to interact with audiences through the creators they love, tell their story, find new audiences and measure the impact of their marketing with greater accuracy.

In June 2019, Instagram gave brands the ability to run Branded Content posts as ads. This was designed to give brands the chance to reach new audiences and boost their visibility via the power of influencers.

Liat Weingarten, VP of Brand Communications, Old Navy, via Instagram

"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."

However, Branded Content could only be created via the promotion of posts creators already had on their profile. But now brands and marketers will be able to create these branded ads without the need for creators to post on their feed first.

Creators will still have control of what ads are published in partnership with them, and creators can also pause any ads published on their behalf.

Instagram Business Team

"Until today, Branded Content ads could only be created by promoting the existing posts from creators. Instagram is now launching a new workflow where advertisers can create Branded Content ads without the need for creators to post organically on Instagram first."

Brands will be able to use Facebook ads platform to reach targeted audiences beyond the reach of their brand or the creator. Running ads will allow for the testing, measurement and optimisation of marketing campaigns.

Brands will also have the power to run more Branded Content ads, with few constraints, and more flexibility. These new changes should present a win-win for content creators and marketers.

Branded Content tags are coming to Stories as well, and will include tappable elements like mentions, locations and hashtags. The new tags will give brands access to creative, native Story content, as well as content that feels authentic and down-to-earth.

Branded content feed ads are available to all advertisers, and story ads will be available globally in the next few weeks.

How Does Branded Content Link With Product Tags?

Product Tags have been around since 2016 but have undergone a huge amount of change over the past year. In October 2020 businesses were given the chance to add Product Tags to their adverts, which wasn't previously possible.

Now Instagram will allow brands and marketers to promote Branded Content posts with Product Tags. This will allow marketers and brands to extract more value than ever from the content they sponsor and makes it even easier for customers to shop directly from Instagram.

Instagram Business Team

"More and more, people are shopping directly from the creators they love on Instagram – this new ad format is another way brands can provide a seamless shopping experience on Instagram."

Instagram will start testing this new format in the next few months.

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