Influencer Marketing is about to get better: thank you Instagram

Instagram recently announced updates that will allow influencers to physically tag those they are partnering with in posts and stories. Not only is this fantastic news for the transparency of influencer marketing, but it is a gentle nod from Instagram to all those that are involved in influencer marketing, as something that Instagram have generally ignored in terms of functionality.

No doubt this move is partially due to pressure from regulatory bodies and industry as the issue of transparency has been hotly debated in the past year. The most important aspect of this update, in my opinion, is that Instagram will be backing it with some elements of policy with they will enforce. Without this, it would effectively be a useless addition to the functionality of the app.

“Policy and Enforcement: This will be the first time that Instagram has adopted a branded content policy. The new policy is the same as Facebook’s updated policy announced on March 30th, 2017. In the coming weeks, Instagram will also begin enforcing branded content that is not properly tagged.” – Instagram for Business

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No doubt that this latest revelation will shake many influencers and agencies, for a large part the thought of being transparent around brand partnerships is frightening.

But is this really an issue?

Let’s take a realistic and level-headedĀ approach to this.

As a rule, consumers are becoming increasingly distrusting of brands. Not helping this are influencers and influencer marketers that insist on doing everything they can to cover up the fact that they are partnering with brands. On 99.9% of occasions, it is pretty obvious when an influencer is partnering with a brand and trying to hide the fact simply makes people distrust the influencer and the brand even more.

Personally, I welcome the new Instagram feature as a way to develop transparency and to drastically increase influencer trust. After all, trust is the biggest benefit of influencer marketing over more traditional marketing techniques. This new tagging system will allow Instagram to create a level playing field where influencers that genuinely believe or have interest in the brand they are partnering with have a platform to discuss why they have chosen to work with them. For those that aren’t advocates of the brands they are promoted, then they don’t deserve to represent them anyway.

If you want to check out the full details on this latest update, including the practicalities of using the feature you can read the full blog here.

Id love to hear your thoughts on this, is this a good move by Instagram? Ping me an email: owain@ojawilliams.com

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