Some were obvious and needed changes: allowing paid support for IG Reels and IG Live, allowing tappable elements in promoted Stories and allowing promotion for product tags for shopping. There is one update, however, that changes the landscape of Influencer Marketing. Full list of updates here.
With 51% of marketers increasing their influencer budgets and Instagram/Facebook as the number one platform, it’s an update where every marketer should take note.
Businesses and brands can now create Branded Content ads without creators having to post organically first. Brands can now simply take influencer’s raw asset, create a post, send to the influencer for approval and then publish the ad as if it came from the influencer’s handle all along.
We aren’t the only ones excited about this. Lifestyle influencer Melissa Metrano shares our sentiment. “It is great to continue the way brands and influencers partner together. A large part of the reason why brands work with the influencers they select is because they love the content they create,’ she says. “To be able to utilize that as a more targeted post feels like a win/win.”
Influencer marketing has always been a blend of creative and media, needing a constant balance between authentic content and brand messaging. While this development continues to straddle the line, there are three big opportunities with this new feature.
- Improved messaging and clear CTAs.
Influencer Iesha Vincent shares she now sees “content being generated for both the creator to use organically . . . and to send directly to the brand to post themselves.” While creator approval is still required within Ads Manager, it presents a better opportunity for sale-specific messaging, especially when it comes to Limited Time Offers that won’t be relevant on an organic feed after just a few days.
- Highlight a variety of products/services within one partnership.
Influencers can now work more creatively as their own content studios instead of trying to squeeze too much messaging in a post, having to space paid content out, clog up feeds or risk feeling inauthentic with too many sponsored posts. “My favorite part about what I do,” Metrano adds, “is creating and I think this lends more opportunities for influencers to be able to create even more content, help use their authentic voice to talk about brands they love, and reach more people.”
- Open partnership opportunities with different creators.
Outside of lifestyle influencers, many creators build a niche by creating a very specific aesthetic in their Instagram feeds. This often prevents them from partnering with other brands, not because they don’t believe in the product but because it wouldn’t match the style of their feed. For example, an interior design influencer may mention their dogs regularly and have the opportunity to work with a pet food brand. Even though they may like the brand and it may be right for their audience, having food-specific content, especially pet food would look out of place on their feed.
With this update, brands and agencies now have more leeway to be campaign-specific, while continuing to evolve their always-on strategies. Since every program is unique with different needs, we still recommend developing custom approaches that are audience-first and built on insights whether it’s a full funnel campaign or an Impact Moment.
These enhancements notably change the dynamic with influencer agreements and content development. As an agency specializing in both Word of Mouth Marketing and Social Media Marketing, we are thrilled with the possibilities for our clients and our influencer collaborators.