This report looks at what Horizon Media deems the seven most consequential trends to emerge from a year of pandemic living.
Following the announcement surrounding Live Badges and IGTV Ads in May of 2020, Instagram has stepped up again to provide creators more ways to monetize their content, allowing brands to more easily create, share and amplify branded content across the platform.
Increasing Advertising Transparency with New Placements
Instagram is working to increase transparency surrounding sponsored content by launching branded content tags for more placements, which became available as of November 20th, 2020. In addition to the expanded placement options, IG has also launched the ability for businesses and creators to set a minimum age for their in-feed branded content. Brands can choose to set a default minimum age, an age for a specific country, or a combination of the two.
IG has also begun to expand the types of features that branded content ads can support. In Stories, ads can now include tappable stickers such as hashtags, location, and mentions. The platform has also announced that they will begin testing IG Shopping capabilities for branded content ads in the coming months. This new format will allow businesses to be able to promote branded content posts that contain product tags. These tags will allow viewers of the branded content posts to purchase directly from their favorite creators without leaving the app, making social media shopping easier than ever.*
New Workflow Implications
To further streamline branded content partnership, Instagram has implemented a new workflow in which advertisers can create branded content ads without the need for creators to post organically first. This is a departure from the previous creation flow, where branded content ads could only be created by promoting an existing post from creators.
The updated flow further validates the value in extending influencer assets as paid advertisements, and now, brands can exert more control over this process than ever before. With fewer permissions and increased process flexibility, brands will be able to extend influencer assets quickly and more seamlessly in paid media and should consider doing so in all awareness driven influencer marketing campaigns.
The Benefits of Expanded Branded Content Tags
As advertisers constantly strive to disclose paid partnerships within social media ads, the latest branded content features provide new creative opportunities for both advertisers and creators.
New access to interactive stickers in Stories not only helps to drive engagement, but also allows brands to provide users with a more native and authentic experience. Moreover, the ability to add product tags lets users shop directly from branded ads and gives advertisers yet another opportunity to convert users to consumers with a single click.
Lastly, increased age-gating on influencer content provides more freedom for brands who must adhere to age restrictions or must be LDA compliant and allows advertisers to control this feature on a post by post basis.
*Source: Instagram; Facebook