Instagram’s Branded Content Ads – What You Need To Know

Sponsored posts have become a necessity for brands to get their content seen by their audience. As it continues to flourish, platforms are constantly revamping and introducing new features to support this growth. As more brands look to influencers to help them get their message out, Instagram has made changes to its influencer-marketing tools. Branded content ads, as it’s being called, is a new way for brands to sponsor posts created by celebrities and influencers. Here’s what you need to know about them if you plan to use influencer marketing.

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A branded content ad is defined by Instagram as a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value (most commonly referred to as influencer marketing). In large part, this new development was due to the FTC guidelines cracking down on transparency and clear disclosure of paid partnerships from influencers. Before, it wasn’t clear if the content on Instagram was sponsored, but the new guidelines require it to be known by adding “#ad” in their caption and tagging business partners in the posts.


The branded content was limited to just the followers of the influencer, but this new feature will allow you to promote these posts like you would any other ad. This is helpful if you struggle with getting their organic branded content to reach more people. Not only is the content seen by influencer’s followers, but you can also run an ad to allow the brand’s target market to grow.  This means better ROI for you! Brands can get a better ROI from their influencer marketing by customizing and targeting their ads which is a win for both parties.


Branded content is just another way to amplify your content beyond your followers or your influencers’ followers. We expect this feature to be used more and more as it rolls out to more brands as an option in the coming months. When it comes your way, do you think you will give it a try? Let us know. We discuss topics like this every week on Social Media Help Desk every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. PT/3: 30 p.m. ET.


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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of brand journalists. We specialize branding, positioning and ongoing marketing execution in order to generate leads. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA, San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More