Instagram has launched a tool for advertisers to convert organic influencer posts into ads

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Instagram is offering a newtool that will allow advertisers to convert organic branded content posts by creators into ads, according to a company blogpost, per The Verge. The feature will roll out to feeds in coming weeks, and Stories in coming months.

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The new capability could help Instagram ramp up advertising on the platform without damaging the app’s overall user experience.

  • Branded content ads will enable brands and businesses to seamlessly create ads for the platform out of influencer-produced content, with little additional effort.Making iteasier for advertisers to produce ads is a key aspect of Facebook’s strategy for Instagram, particularly as it looks to improve Stories monetization, per comments by Sheryl Sandberg on the company’s Q1 earnings call. If brands can simply translate influencer posts into ads — posts they’re likely already paying for — they’ll be more likely to buy ads from Instagram. That’s especially true for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which often have fewer resources to produce campaigns on their own. Instagram now has 3 million advertisers using Stories, as of Q1.
  • These ads could also prove more engaging and effective than traditional ads, as influencer content is appealing and abundant. Influencer content has a strong draw:68% of people say they come to Instagram to interact with creators, per an Ipsos study commissioned by Instagram. And for brands that don’t already work with influencers, there’s no shortage of potential partners. Nearlyone-third of all Instagram channels are micro-influencers, those who have 15,000-to-100,000 followers, per InfluencerDB. Further, micro-influencers not only tend to care highly aboutauthenticity— a trait cherished by social media users — but they’re also less expensive compared with mega-influencers.
  • By making ads on the platform more organic in feel, Instagram is likely looking to avoid disrupting user experience while still boosting monetization.Despite fears that Instagram isrunning out of room for ads, Instagram head of business Jim Squires says ad load will continue toincrease over time. At first blush, that seems like bad news: 68% of respondents said Instagram showstoo many ads, per a 2016 Twitter poll run by tech writer Om Malik. But because branded content ads will be repurposed from influencer-generated content, they’ll likely feel less intrusive and more native to user feeds and Stories.

Facebook will likely increasingly rely on Instagram for ad growth in coming years — and tools like this should help to accelerate that growth. Ad spend on core Facebook fell by 2% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2019, but spend on Instagram jumped by44% YoY, per Merkle. Further, CPM rates — the cost for 1,000 impressions — on core Facebook fell 15%, while Instagram CPMs grew 11%.

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