Back in June 2017, Instagram released their new paid partnership feature to a handful of influencers and businesses. Later on, it was released to more users in September, and in early October 2017, Instagram released the feature to all accounts with “high level of engagement”. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about this feature and how you can benefit from it.
Instagram’s Paid Partnership Boosted Influencer Marketing
Even though Influencer Marketing has been around for a while, Instagram’s introduction of the paid partnership program it boosted the scene even further. It opened the door for cooperation between influencers and businesses to a mutual benefit. User’s benefit must be taken into consideration as they learned and saw new products and services through the eyes of influencers that they trust and follow. This gave businesses the opportunity to shorten the time of marketing campaigns, as they no longer need to run campaigns for lead generation, building trust, warming up of the audience and leading them through the funnel. Instagram influencers got a host of businesses to cooperate with either for a monetary gain, mutual shout-outs or free products/services.
Why did Instagram add the Paid Partnership Feature?
The Paid Partnership Feature surprised many of the influencers and even more of the regular users. This move was a response to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) taking action against influencers for a violation of the Endorsement Guides. Instagram created the feature in order to protect its Influencers and to eliminate the risk of claims. The main idea behind the Paid Partnership is to bring greater transparency and consistency to sponsored content on Instagram. The feature itself helps Influencers to disclose when a post is sponsored, and it helps businesses to get data and insights about the performance of their sponsored content. Instagram tagging allows Influencers to explicitly state when they are publishing sponsored content, and users can clearly see a line that reads: “Paid partnership with [business name]”. This feature also works with Instagram stories. Paid Partnership also protects the businesses by giving them a chance to turn on “Partner Approval” giving the business the power to disapprove post which they do not like.
The tricky part of Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature
The updated version of Endorsement Guides states that built-in platform disclosure does not necessarily meet FTC’s requirements. They argue that placement of the disclosure may not attract the viewer’s attention and the viewer can’t be sure who is the sponsor of the post if several brands a mentioned. However, at the end of the day, the full disclosing details rest with the influencer and the sponsor, rather than the platform. This does not render the feature as useless. A good practice is to mention the partnership in the caption of the post and still utilize the Paid Partnership due to its invaluable data and insights. Finally, the feature shows that Instagram is ready to listen and to protect its Influencers which is a step in the right direction. With the updated version of the Paid Partnership Feature, influencer now will get a notification if a post does not fall under the Policy of Instagram.
This new feature is a great showcase of Instagram’s dedication to its users, and Influencers. They know that Influencers are a key part of Instagram, and a lot of the success of Instagram is due to the database of Influencers who are utilizing the platform. The feature is to be made available to the general public and I expect further development in this sector.