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Instagram to allow advertisers to use sponsored posts as ads

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Instagram to allow advertisers to use sponsored posts as ads

Photo-sharing platform Instagram has revealed that it will now allow advertisers to promote its branded content from social media influencers as ads on the app.

As social media takes more of a strangle hold on the lives of the digital generation, more people are becoming ‘social media influencers’ and are being paid by companies to promote their products and services within their social accounts as sponsored posts. These posts are essentially ads that appear within a follower’s news feed.

The latest update from Instagram means that these sponsored posts can be used by the relevant companies as ads that will appear both in the regular news feed and in between story posts. Famous faces and influencers have long been a part of advertising. If you watch television adverts, you’ll see the likes of George Clooney advertising coffee and Gary Lineker promoting crisps, so the tactic is nothing new, but is something not yet fully explored on social media with famous socialites.

This means that instead of creating a new advert specifically for use on Instagram, such as a clip of the product/service in a short video, advertisers can now use organic sponsored content as advertisements. This will essentially promote the product and the influencer as the sponsored post will be seen by users whether or not they follow the account of the influencer.

At present, an influencer posts a regular video or photo and then captions it stating that it is a sponsored post, and this is shown only to their followers, which is normally a high number. This latest move from Instagram means that the reach of the post will be much wider.

Furthermore, advertisers will still be able to target their campaigns at specific users in the hope of reaching the right market, meaning that their ads will still reach the people they believe is likely to invest themselves in the product or service.

Advertisers can use these posts for many different reasons, including post reach, to raise brand awareness, to gain views and traffic or specifically for engagement from its audience. Once an ad is live, they will have access to the usual reporting metrics.

Instagram announced this change in a blog post on Tuesday last week. In this post, the company explains that businesses will now have the opportunity to tell their stories through creators’ voices.

This new form of advertising on the popular photo platform will be rolling out worldwide in the next couple of weeks, and will be integrated within Instagram Stories in the coming months.

Alan Littler

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