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Instagram is expanding influencer content into campaigns

Instagram recently announced that it is launching a new tool which will allow brands to sponsor influencers posts, massively expanding the posts potential reach and enable the brand to promote the content as if it was their own ad or content. Until now, influencers would be limited to the reach they have on their social channels based on the number of followers they have, however, this new feature will allow the post to be shown to a wider audience, who may not follow the influencer.

Influencer marketing has grown extensively over the last 3 years, equating to a 1,500% increase in Google searches for the term in that time. It is becoming an ever-increasing part of many brands’ social strategies, especially for fashion and beauty brands where influencer marketing is the biggest and most effective sector. With growth expected to continue in 2019, it has an expected market size of $6.5 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2016.

There are 6 types of influencers, ranging from nano-influencers with 1,000 followers, to celebrities who have over 5,000,000 followers, meaning there are influencers that fit almost any clients budget. Kylie Jenner reportedly earns $1 million for a product related post on her Instagram account, whereas the beauty industry charge on average £162 for every 100,000 followers. Micro-influencer campaigns (10,000 – 50,000 followers) are on average 6.7x more efficient than influencers with larger followings. They have high engagement rates and are much more likely to have an influence on a specific audience, especially if you are a smaller business.

All Response Media viewpoint
Across the agency, our clients do not run many campaigns using influencers. However, some clients stand out as being perfect for this type of campaign. Recent studies show that 22% of 18-34-year olds state that large purchase decisions have been shaped by an online influencer’s endorsement. This would work well for a health and beauty brand, where their target audience is 18-34, and would be perfect to test. If they have worked with influencers in the past, this new tool would make the campaigns more efficient and improve campaign performance.

Another area where influencers could work well is travel. For campaigns that focus on millennials, it would be the perfect way of expanding the reach of travel posts and increase overall campaign engagement. Using influencers content through the Instagram Channel would be a way of showcasing the trip with an organic content feel.

Influencers have had a lot of criticism over the last couple of years, with the main problem being a lack of transparency on what is paid for and what isn’t, leaving their loyal fan base unsure of what is a genuine recommendation and what they may have been paid to say. However, this new feature could enable influencer marketing to become more measurable on a cost per acquisition basis.

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