Instagram’s New Sponsored Post Format: What It Means for Influencers, Brands & Audiences

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By Chris Carbonaro

Instagram announced via their business blog last week that they would be testing a new format for influencer sponsored content. Up until now on social media outlets the FCC has rules regarding the format of the post — What needs to be included, where the #ad or #sponsored should be, etc. and according to TechCrunch, the FCC sent out letters to over 90 influencers to remind them not to hide the fact that the post was sponsored. This new Instagram feature is the first step in removing that gray area. In the new format, influencers can easily tag a photo or story with a “Paid partnership with” banner. The banner is placed in the same space as a location tag would be, so it is easily visible, however not inherently in your face.

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So what does this mean for Influencer Marketing?

First and foremost, it means transparency for all parties. It’s now clearer than ever for people to know when someone they follow is partnering with a brand, but it also places it in a more organic format. Influencers can frame the post how they like, in their natural style that they’ve created for themselves without the need for #ad or #sponsored. The whole point of influencer marketing is trusting an influencer to integrate a brand into the style that their followers embrace them for, and this makes it easier to maintain authenticity and transparency.

Aimee Song

Total Reach: 6M*
Average Engagement on
Instagram: 41.4K*

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Aimee Song, founder of Song of Style and songofstyle on Instagram, is one of the influencers testing out Instagram’s new feature:

“@songofstyle is about sharing my experiences with people and hopefully bringing them inspiration, whether in travel, fashion, or other areas of lifestyle…When working with brands like Volvo, it’s important to remember that people react to the realness of you, so Instagram’s new tagging tool will help show that my take on the XC90 is just that — mine.” (source)

In addition to allowing influencers to be transparent with their followers, the brand can now see the insights from the post. Influencers can see the engagement and reach metrics through their Instagram Insights as they always have, but businesses can now view them through their Facebook page insights, the same way they view the performance of their placed advertisements.

The overall goal here is to make everyone in the influencer marketing game happy; attempting to make everything transparent, organic, and lets the creators focus on content. Instagram is one of the first to adapt to the changing landscape that is influencer marketing, and only time will tell if this new format will prove to be beneficial for influencers and brands.

*Data pulled from Julius.


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