14 Jun 2017

#Sponsored Posts Get an Instagram Makeover

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For anyone who’s active on social media, there’s no doubt you’ve seen a sponsored post on your feed. No, not a paid post from a brand on Facebook, but a sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle endorsement of a product by an influencer you know and love. Unlike traditional paid ads on social these are, more often than not, a lot harder to identify. It’s the first line of copy in the blog, or buried on the hashtags on a post: “We partnered with X” or “#ad”. Easily identifiable for those of us who work with influencers on a regular basis. Not so much for everyone else. These posts can come from anywhere, whether it's the food blogger you love to get recipes from, all the way up to your favorite Kardashian. This is influencer marketing, and it's a huge industry that’s growing by the second.

Of course, this hybrid marketing practice straddles the line between endorsement and advertisement. As more and more brands are joining in, the FTC is cracking down on agencies and brands alike in making sure that influencers are abiding by their guidelines. 

These guidelines, which aren’t framed as hard and fast rules, can catch many influencers off guard on what they need to disclose before they post about a new product they love (that’s been sent to them for free) or ingredient they can’t wait to share with their followers (that they’ve been paid to talk about). And big name celebrities can be the worst offenders. A recent study showed that 93% of the top 50 celebrities posting ads are not compliant with the FTC guidelines. According to the FTC, it’s crucial that influencers are upfront with their brand involvement, mentioning it multiple times in video content, placing disclaimers at the top of blog posts and hashtagging any sponsored content with #ad above the fold on Instagram.




Now this new feature doesn’t solve all of the issues. Influencers still need to include hashtags and appropriate wording, but it does help make things a little more transparent. As platforms like Instagram and Snapchat become more and more advertising and brand friendly, the opportunity to communicate with consumers where they live will only get better with time.
Unsure if you’re ready to wade into the murky, (but lucrative) waters of influencer marketing? Give the Rinck Content Studio a shout and we’d be happy to help!