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Instagram (IG) is actively working to broaden their horizons by expanding influencer campaigns and options. The social media site is now pairing advertisers and creators in a more formal way.
What Are Instagram Branded Content Ads?
The new option for brands and influencers, which has been in testing since last year, allows brands to share an influencer’s post.
Previously, when brands hired popular influencers to promote their products, only the influencers’ followers would see the posts. Now, with branded content ads, the brand can promote an influencer’s posts like any other ad.
This option is an expansion of Instagram’s influencer options, which include branded content tagging. IG is also planning to release “Creator” profiles, which will allow influencers to better manage their inboxes and expand their reach.
Why Is Instagram Expanding Influencer Campaigns?
Instagram Product Management Lead Ashley Yuki said, "Brands are seeing that this branded content ad product sometimes helps overcome challenges they have with organic branded content. [Instagram is] exploring ways that brands can amplify branded content."
As Gen Z grows larger and holds a prominent place on social media and in the digital space, many brands have found influencer marketing resonates better with this audience that appreciates authenticity. AdAge reported Instagram influencer marketing is projected to be a $2 billion market by the end of this year.
What Else Is Instagram Doing To Build Influencer Marketing?
When a brand invests in an influencer who has purchased followers and engagement (versus gaining them organically), the brand most likely won’t see results. To solve for this issue, Instagram has taken steps to remove inauthentic activity, like purchased followers and likes, to give more credibility to its influencer potential.
In a statement, IG noted, “We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts which use these services, and remove the inauthentic activity. Accounts we identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that we've removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments. We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password.”
With IG’s influencer program expansion and 80% of Instagram users actively following businesses, this social media site might be the perfect place to invest in influencer marketing.