Instagram Paid Partnership Feature 101

instagram paid partnership101

 

If you have been looking around your Instagram app on your phone, there is a chance that you would have noticed a new paid partnership feature on Instagram. This feature works hand in hand with the new Instagram Algorithm that has was launched to improve your experience as their valued user. You can read all about it on our Instagram Feed Algorithm Explained article.

 

What is the New Paid Partnership Feature All About?

 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been taking a lot of new ways to deal with all the influencers and businesses that violate its requirements. To avoid and eliminate the risk that may come with creating sponsored posts through Instagram Marketing, Instagram has launched a new paid partnership feature.

 

Instagram did a test run of the new feature by releasing it to a small group of influencers and businesses in June 2017 and later on, they expanded the feature to a bigger audience in September 2017. When things seem to be working out extremely well, Instagram made the feature available to all accounts that have high levels of engagement. Meaning that this feature is accessible to users who are doing well in the new Instagram Algorithm.

 

This right here got some Instagram Marketing experts reaching for a social media marketing guide.

 

 

What else do you need to know regarding the usage of the new Instagram Marketing tool, the new paid partnership feature and what are the reasons why this may still not be an effective way to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

 

Reasons Why the new Instagram Paid Partnership Feature is a Substantial Tool

 

Brands have found a new way to reach Instagram audiences efficiently. They have found out that an influencer-based advertisement is an effective Instagram Marketing strategy. In turn, an influencer-driven marketing became the biggest and most popular way to send the brand message to the audiences.

 

Brands partner with influencers to boost the launch of their sponsored content campaigns. Through the popularity of the influencers and the Instagram Algorithm system, businesses can reach into a gold mine of potential clients and customers.

 

From the perspective of an Instagram user, Instagram Marketing through influencers is convenient since they get to know more about new products and services from the accounts they already follow. They get to learn about new launches and promos by just browsing through the app with no extra steps whatsoever.

 

This resulted in the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to start taking violations of its Endorsement Guides more sternly. As a matter of fact, the FTC began sending warning letters to 21 Instagram influencers, including Lindsay Lohan and Naomi Campbell last month.

 

This is the reason why Instagram created the new paid partnership feature; to avoid this kind of scenario and to bring a much more substantial transparency and consistency to sponsored content.

What Does the new Instagram New Paid Partnership Feature Do Exactly?

 

All apps create new features and improvements to ensure that both the business side and the user side of their community are all happy and taken care off. With these goals in mind, an Instagram Marketing tool has been created to do the following:

 

  1. Assist the influencers in disclosing whether a post regarding any products or services is sponsored.
  2. Aid the business in gathering information and statistics on how their sponsored content campaigns are performing with the Instagram Algorithm in play.

The new Instagram Paid Partnership feature allows the influencers to be transparent regarding their content. This encourages them to clearly state whether a post is sponsored by making options like adding that information through an Instagram tag available.

 

When an influencer tags a post, their followers will see “Paid partnership with [business partner]“ right under their username, above the image, or the area where you would normally see the post’s location.

 

This does not only work on posts, this function is also available for Instagram Stories, wherein the tag will appear on top of the story right below the influencer’s username.

Tagging the business on paid partnership posts allows them to be able to see the reach and engagement, such as likes and comments, of the posts on their Facebook Page Insights. While for Instagram stories, the tagged brands will have 14 days to see the performance of their posts. They will be able to see metrics like reach, taps forward, taps backwards, replies, and exits within this 14-day period.

 

If the businesses wish to, they can have the option to turn on the “Partner Approval” setting. This gives the brand the power to approve or disapprove any sponsored content partnerships before an influencer’s tagged post is published so they can ensure that their Instagram Marketing materials are all topnotch.

Is the New Instagram Paid Partnership Feature Compliant of the FTC Guides?

 

This is the part where you would be needing a social media marketing guide. It gets quite confusing at this point.

 

Instagram has been trying to create an impression that this feature is a great way to bring transparency and consistency to sponsored content for brands that are utilizing Instagram Marketing, but the Federal Trade Commission does not agree entirely to this.

 

The FTC has updated its Endorsement Guides recently, wherein the commission discusses the issue of built-in platform disclosure, much like the one Instagram launched, stating that they don’t always meet the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements.

 

The Federal Trade Commission is concerned as to where the disclosure is located or placed one these Instagram Marketing materials. Since it is placed above the Instagram post, the FTC takes issue that it may not get the attention of the viewers. Aside from that, the FTC states that simply flagging that a post contains sponsored content might not be sufficient if the post mentions a lot of different brands, but does not mention which of the brands, products or services were paid.

 

The Federal Trade Commission is trying to point out that at the end of the day, the responsibility for clearly stating and disclosing the sponsorship of a material still belongs to the influencer and the business, and not on the platform in which they are posted.

 

This does not mean that the new Instagram Paid Partnership feature is completely useless.

 

It is true that the simple act of tagging a business with the new Instagram Marketing feature may not sufficiently meet the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements stated on the guideline, which means that an influencer would still have to state and disclose any partnerships they may have in their Instagram caption, but the feature still offers a lot of great insights and amazing benefits, and is surely a step forward in the right direction.

 

To give an example, businesses did not have any tools to monitor the performance of their sponsored Instagram Marketing campaigns before, but now, they can keep a close watch of the success of their sponsored posts with intricate metrics.e

 

The new Instagram paid partnership feature allows business to collect more data to help them make better decisions during the planning stage of their Instagram Marketing campaigns. Brands can determine which influencer is more effective for their products and/or services and they are able to estimate what ROI they can expect.

 

The influencers can also benefit from being able to collect this kind of data. Influencers can make informed decisions when they are optimizing their sponsored posts or when they are finding new opportunities with a new business partner.

 

How to Use Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature

Right now, the new Instagram Paid Partnership feature is made accessible to a select number of celebrities, influencers, public figures, publishes, and businesses. There is still no clear information on when this Instagram Marketing tool be available to the rest of the general public, but according to a recent Medium article by Eduardo Morales, who is also known for running the Instagram account: @pinlordon, Eduardo received an in-app notification when he was accepted to try out the new feature.

 

How to Get Started With Instagram Paid Partnerships as a Business

The first and vital step is to be granted access to the feature as a business, you would want to begin by turning the partner approvals setting on.

 

  1. You will have to go to “Options” and scroll down to the new “Branded Content Approvals” section.
  2. The next step is to toggle the “Require Approvals” button to on.

 

Once you have done this, whenever an influencer requests to create sponsored content for your account you would have to tap “Approved Accounts” immediately below the “Require Approval” button.

 

Here you can approve accounts to create sponsored Instagram Marketing content for you.

 

Once an influencer has been approved and accepted, with the help of the Instagram paid partnership feature, you will receive a notification via Facebook and Instagram whenever they tag you in their posts. While you will receive a notification via Instagram Direct if you are tagged in their Instagram story.

 

There will be times that you would like your tag to be removed; there are two ways to do this:

  1. The first option is to use the Business Manager on your Facebook page. For you to be able to remove a tag, you are able to select either the posts tab or Stories tab, and then click on the downward arrow next to the influencer’s Instagram handle, and click the “Remove Tag” button.

 

  1. The second option is to remove the tag within Instagram. In this case, all you have to do is click the ellipsis button on the right-hand side above the post and select the “Remove Me From Post” option. For Instagram Stories, the ellipsis button will be in the bottom right-hand corner.

 

How Do You Access Your Paid Partnership Insights as a Business

When your sponsored Instagram Marketing content campaign is activated and live, you will have access to your insight into the “Branded Content” tab in your Facebook Page Insights. You will be able to see your Stories insight there as well, but, you would only have a 14-day period to see the metrics and statistics.

 

You can also check on your paid partnership insights with Facebook’s Business Manager in the “Branded Content” tab under “Measure and Report.”

How to Get Started With Paid Partnerships as an Influencer

 

The first step is to be granted access to the feature as an influencer, you can immediately begin tagging businesses in your sponsored posts.

  1. If you are posting a regular Instagram post, you can start by selecting “Advanced Settings” on the last page of the new post creation flow. If you are posting the content on Instagram Stories, simply tap the “link” button at the top of the screen.

 

  1. In both cases, you should be able to see a new “Branded Content” section. Select the “Tag Business Partner” button.

 

  1. In this area, you should be able to search for the business you want to tag in your post or story. If the business requires approval first, once you have selected them, they will appear below in a “Require Approvals” section.

 

  1. Once the business approves you, you’ll find them under the “Branded Content” section in “Advanced Settings.” Tapping on their name will add them to your post or story.

Updates to Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature

 

In November 2017, there has been an expanded accessibility of the paid partnership feature. Instagram has added new capabilities to improve the Instagram Marketing experience as well.

 

Some of the new features include in-app notification for influencers whenever Instagram’s system finds content that is not compliant with their policy. The influencer will be notified through the Instagram app and will have the option to tag a business.

Simply put, these notifications are intended to make it easier to use the “Paid Partnership with” tag and educate the community on Instagram’s branded content.

 

Instagram also stated on the future of the feature, stating that they aim to offer more flexibility to influencers and businesses that use the tool. “Over time, our goal is to make it simple for all Instagrammers to identify commercial relationships on Instagram.”

 

While it is true that the new Instagram Marketing feature, Paid Partnership feature, does not satisfy the FTC’s rules, it is undeniable that it is still a great addition to Instagram for both influencers and brands.

 

Instagram Feed Algorithm Explained

instagram feed algorithm explained

What is Instagram? Simply put, Instagram is a social networking application that lets its users upload and share pictures, videos and graphics with their friends. Instagram is also a good tool for digital marketing in this generation so you can bet that it is part of most marketing strategy this 2018.

Instagram has issued an announcement that the chronological feed would be replaced with a new feed algorithm that would arrange the posts based on the user interest and relationships. This new modification had mixed reactions from Instagram users. Most users are not fond of the change. As a matter of fact, a petition was started to “Keep Instagram Chronological”. This petition has received over 100,000 signatures which says a lot about how upset people are about the new Instagram feed algorithm.

Is the new Instagram feed algorithm that bad? One thing is for sure, that Instagram is not the same as it was before. The new change may benefit you if you intend to use Instagram for marketing, but as a simple user who just wants to browse and share pictures and videos with friends, this may come off as a bit frustrating. Here are the things you need to know about the new Instagram feed algorithm, and how it could affect your experience and account.

A Quick Glance on Twitter

Twitter had a similar change with its algorithm much earlier this year. Many twitter users are not happy with the announcement, much like the initial reaction with Instagram. The founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey quickly responded to the insurgency of its users. Jack Dorsey made it clear that Twitter’s new timeline would give the user to opt-in or out of the new algorithmic timeline. However, since the issue has died down, Twitter has quietly turned the new algorithmic timeline on for all its users. Twitter users can still choose to opt-out if they wish to so they can switch back to seeing the tweets chronologically on their timeline.

Now let’s get back to Instagram and its new feed algorithm. According to Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder, “on average, people miss about 70 per cent of the posts on their Instagram feed.” Changing the Instagram feed algorithm “is about making sure that the 30 per cent you see is the best 30 per cent possible.” Instagram published the blog post “See the Moments You Care About First” which had a similar tone to Twitter’s “Never Miss Important Tweets from People You Follow,” with Instagram explaining that the new feed algorithm was developed “to improve user experience” and that “your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”

 

Twitter decided the switch to an algorithmic timeline to encourage more engagement amongst its users. They said that “People who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone”. We can assume that Instagram is going for the same effect. Afterall, if more users are engaged with the content, the more time they spend on the application. The more time people spend on the application the more effective Instagram marketing would be.

Instagram as the Best Engagement Tool

The new Instagram feed algorithm may be frustrating for common users, but this new modification is actually beneficial to content creators. This new feed arrangement can help people who create amazing content to gain more likes, views and follows than they already are receiving. However, it will take a toll on the average users who do not get hundreds of likes on their posts. The algorithm can make it more challenging for them to have their content shown since the algorithm is meant to show the “best” content to its users.

The new Instagram feed algorithm became a cause of worry for some brands. Brands are especially concerned regarding their engagement performance on any platform, this change on Instagram made them worry that this is the first step in going the direction of a Facebook-like feed wherein the published posts are only shown to a few of the page’s followers. On the other hand, Instagram is a staple in marketing strategies because of its high engagement with the target audience.

 

Losing Control Over Your Feed

When Instagram still has a chronological feed, you have full control over what you see in your account. You have full control over your activities like who to follow and unfollow, which posts to like or ignore. You can create your own personalized experience. When Instagram shifted to a new feed algorithm, you may feel like you are slowly losing control over the content that you want to browse through.

The 3 most important Instagram feed ranking factors

Instagram considers three main factors that determine the people and posts that you interact with on your feed:

  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Relationship

Let us have a deeper discussion regarding each of these factors below:

Interest: Instagram will try to predict how much you will care about a post

When Instagram announced the change from a chronological feed to a new feed algorithm, it is mentioned that Instagram would show you content that you will more likely be interested in first. The purpose of the Instagram feed algorithm is to arrange the photos and videos on your feed based on the likelihood that you will be interested in the content. Instagram will also consider your relationship with the people you are following and the timeliness or relevance of the post.

The new feed system ensures that all the content you see in your account is relevant to your interest. The more it is relatable for you, the more it will rank on your feed. Instagram knows your interest base on the genres or categories of the content that you have interacted in the past. For example, fashion, food, sports, travel and the likes.

Timeliness: Instagram will consider how recent the post is

One of the key factors of the new Instagram feed algorithm, as mentioned by Instagram a while back, is timeliness.

“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

Since the implementation of the new feed system, Instagram aims to show its users posts that are recent and relevant to them.

Relationship: Instagram also analyzes the accounts you regularly interact with

In a June 2016 announcement about the feed ranking algorithm, Instagram stated the following:

And no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest posts.

Similar to Facebook, Instagram doesn’t want you to miss important posts from your friends and family, such as a post about a close friend’s big announcement, a family event, etc.

This implies that the content from your “best friends” would rank higher on your feed.

It is also believed that the new Instagram feed algorithm studies your past interactions to identify who your “best friends” are on the app. In a talk about designing and implementing the Instagram algorithm, Thomas Dimson also shared in his statement how Instagram could have determined the people you care about:

  • People whose content you like (possibly including stories and live videos)
  • People you direct message
  • People you search for
  • People you know in real life

Although these criteria are not exact to what the Instagram feed algorithm is using, these items give us a reasonable idea that Instagram probably considers the accounts you interact with most often as “people you care about”. And therefore, it has analyzed that content from these accounts will rank higher on your feed; that you would care about the posts from these accounts.

Through Business Insider, an Instagram representative has stated that profile searches are one of the signals that Instagram looks at when ranking posts on your feed. When you search for certain profiles on a regular basis, it likely indicates that you are particularly interested in these accounts’ posts and might not have seen them on your feed.

Instagram will then rank the posts on these accounts higher on your feed so that you will not have the need to search for their profiles to see their posts. All this to improve your Instagram experience.

It has also been stated that when the Instagram team tested out the new feed algorithm, the number of searches went down. The team look at it as a good sign as this means that people are seeing the posts they are interested in without having to search for their favourite profiles.

 

How to Calm the Frustration

When you are trying to fight the fact that you are losing control over your feed due to an algorithm, it can get pretty frustrating. Once you get over the change and start accepting the system, you will start to see a lot of benefits to the new Instagram Feed Algorithm.

One of these benefits is that you will really see the posts that matter most to you. When you open Instagram, instead of seeing the latest post from a few minutes ago, you will see the most important post since the last time you checked the application. This system effectively declutters your feed and cuts out all the noise from all the other accounts.

The algorithm prioritizes the best content for you. Not everyone has plenty of time to browse through Instagram, if you were in a position that you cannot stay too long on the app, surely you would rather see the best post you missed since the last time you opened Instagram rather than what has been posted last in the past few minutes.

Facebook introduced the algorithm feed to its users way back in 2009, and people were unhappy. Just as they were unhappy with it on Twitter and now on Instagram. We have to keep in mind that the way Facebook was used back then is different from the way we use it now. Back then, Facebook is only used to connect with a small circle of friends, but now you can use Facebook to connect with thousands of people. Facebook can even be used for marketing strategies!

Try to visualize the situation if your Facebook feed is still chronological, it will be a mess! You would be missing out on the content that you are really interested in. Imagine going through a lot of posts that you do not really care about, from people that aren’t really close with. This can cause you to lose interest in Facebook altogether.

The same thing can be applied on Instagram, as the years go by and as the app improves, more and more people are joining Instagram. We are going to be following more people than ever. It may seem like a bad idea right now, but there will come a time when a chronological Instagram feed will no longer be sustainable for its users.

When you do not see the content you want on your feed, your tendency is to clean out the people you follow. You will be unfollowing accounts just to keep up with the feeds of the people you actually care about. This kind of scenario puts the views and audience engagement at risk. A lot of people may not agree with it yet, but introducing the new Instagram feed algorithm is a solution in keeping people interested in the app for the long run.

 

Instagram Stories: A step-by-step digital marketing guide

INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR BUSINESS

Almost a year has passed since Instagram launched Instagram stories and everyone was in a frenzy. Some complaining that Instagram ripped SnapChat off by copying their platform’s main feature while others rejoiced and immediately tried out the new feature.

Today, it is still quite true that Instagram used SnapChat as an inspiration for Instagram stories. To make matters worse for the original, Instagram Stories has now evolved into a better version of SnapChat. This doesn’t just apply for the average, selfie-posting user. It also applies to businesses and the opportunities for entrepreneurs to market their product or service to Instagram’s 800 million monthly active users has been made easier.

Users and businesses enjoy Instagram Stories channel. Customers use it to share fun and memorable things, while businesses use it to promote marketing campaigns and increase brand awareness. The best part is, Instagram sees to it that customers still enjoy and control the content they see on their feeds in spite of businesses freely posting sale-driving and promotional content.

So, how can you start penetrating this online platform as a business? Keep reading our easy guided to INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR BUSINESS and learn the how’s, why’s, and tips for this social media platform that is full of potential.

 

Start with an INSTAGRAM STORIES STRATEGY

Start with an INSTAGRAM STORIES STRATEGY

Every marketer – traditional or digital – knows that a strategy is the first thing you should get to work on. The same applies for Instagram Stories especially if you’re planning to share content as a business and tap into the massive audience Instagram caters to every day. Your business can significantly grow it’s Instagram engagement with the right strategy in place.

Before putting together a strategy, it is important to understand the Instagram Feed Algorithm since it is the primary way people are ushered to discover new content on Instagram. The great thing about INSTAGRAM STORIES is that people can still find your stories if the algorithm thinks that the user might be interested in it, even if they don’t follow your account.

Your goal should be to appear on the “explore page.” If you can pull that off with interesting and eye-catching content, you will gain new followers and engagement. Now you might be asking specifics about what kind of content to post, when, and how often. Here’s a quick guide for you.

The How, When, and What of Instagram Stories for business

Advanced INSTAGRAM STORIES TECHNIQUES for Your Marketing Campaign

Advanced INSTAGRAM STORIES TECHNIQUES for Your Marketing Campaign

(adding links, location and hashtag stickers, tagging accounts, tagging businesses, share polls)

Over the years, Instagram has made improvements to allow users and businesses to benefit from new features. Here, we will break down the best ones businesses can use to improve their INSTAGRAM STORIES marketing campaign.

INSTAGRAM STORIES Links to Your Landing Page

For businesses, one of the best ones is the update that allows users to add a website link to their INSTAGRAM STORIES. Yes, now you can use your Instagram stories to drive traffic to your website’s landing page. How cool is that?

Businesses can use Instagram stories to promote products or services and easily guide interested users to their landing page to perhaps make the final step – convert!  

Be Discovered with Hashtag and Location Stickers

At a glance, the stickers on Instagram stories seem like a way to perk up a post or make it look cute and attractive. However, there are two important stickers that businesses can use to increase discoverability – Hashtag stickers and location stickers.

Instagram now makes users able to search for stories by location and by hashtag. We mentioned a few paragraphs ago that your goal should be to appear on the explore page. These stickers are your tickets to getting there if you use them right!

Tag Other Business Accounts

In the world of digital marketing, it is much easier to collaborate with other companies for mutual benefits. You can tag businesses that you partner with on promotions, contests, and events to drive engagement and tapping into the other business’ followers and get them to follow you as well.

Ask Questions and Create Polls

Instagram stories let you put poll and question stickers on your stories to drive engagement from your followers. This makes great for hearing what they have to say. In the digital age, everyone likes a chance to express their opinion. It makes people feel like they matter, and as a business, it is in your best interest to make them feel that they do.

Tools That Can Help Your INSTAGRAM STORIES Marketing Strategy

Although Instagram’s platform offers many built-in tools to perk up your stories post, there are many third party applications that can help boost your posts’ aesthetics. Moreover, using other tools to create your posts will set you apart from the typical filters and stickers that the Instagram audience are already accustomed to so well. Here are a few of our favorite tools for better and more interesting Instagram Stories for business.

TOOLS FOR BETTER INSTAGRAM STORIES