Nowadays, influencer marketing is playing a major role in brand marketing. It’s not a fad or a passing trend, it’s here to stay. From micro influencers, to stars with millions of followers, brands are investing a lot of money to place their products with the right people, and ultimately bring in more money as a result.
The ASA has already ruled that social media posts that are sponsored by brands should be clearly identified as ads. Now, the king of influencer marketing among social media – Instagram – wants to make sure influencers follow these rules in an effort to keep the platform transparent and honest.
Influencers worldwide will have to tag their sponsored posts or stories as ‘Paid partnership with’, and tag the brand they are working with. When the tag is added to a post or a story, the brands will have access to the analytics of that post. Technically, it means that the owners of the Instagram accounts will still see the metrics in the backend of Instagram or Facebook, but won’t be able to inflate their results as their business partners will also be able to see them. This is a big step forward in terms of transparency in the influencer’s business relationship that should please the brands, especially when they are spending big bucks on the influencers. No more cheating on reach or engagement rates (not that anyone was doing it anyway… 😉).
It does remind us of Facebook branded content, which is defined by the social media giant as ‘a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value’, and lets you tag your business partner in a sponsored post. Once tagged, the partner will be able to see engagement levels or add spend behind the post, amongst other things.
Overall, this should make influencer marketing altogether more professional and honest, and should bring more success for brands, as opposed to just the influencer’s following.