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Instagram Steps Up the Influencer Marketing Game

Instagram Steps Up the Influencer Marketing Game Blog Feature

Katie Pritchard

VP of Services, 8+ Years of Client-Facing Project Management & Digital Marketing Expertise

June 7th, 2019 min read

The term “influencer marketing” can make a lot of people roll their eyes.

Why? Because a lot of people immediately think of the Kardashians — or other major social media players — publishing a sponsored post for vitamin gummies or ‘health tea’... that they clearly don’t use.

In reality, yes, there are some major celebrities that fall into the influencer marketing category — but more often, there are much smaller influencers getting paid to do #sponsored posts and engage with their network. Even my friend’s dog (yes, really) has gotten free products to promote on Instagram, and you’ve never heard of him (IG @ace__adventures).

Influencer marketing simply means using real people and accounts with followers that represent your target market to promote your product. Tapinfluence says it well: “Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire/hire/pay influencers to get out the word for you.”

I’m sure you’re curious to know if companies doing influencer marketing have any real success or measurable ROI.

One thing is for sure — Instagram is making it clear how important it thinks influencer marketing is.

This past Tuesday, Instagram made an announcement that could mean more, well, influence for the influencer marketers out there.

Advertisers are now able to promote organic branded content posts as feed ads — meaning not only will the influencer’s network see a given post, but they can target an even broader audience by putting ad spend towards it.  For example, PupBox could sponsor a post for @Ace__Adventures and hit his 38k followers, but also reach even more people (depending on how much they spend) by utilizing this new feature and turning the organic post into an ad.

What Instagram’s Influencer Ad Update Means For You

To put it simply: More reach, more connections, and potentially more revenue.

Having more people see your brand could turn into more visitors to your site and more opportunities to convert to purchase.

If having an influencer promote your brand is successful for you, this may open the door for an expanded network to see your already well-performing posts.

If you tried influencer marketing but you couldn’t find someone with the right audience (or large enough to justify the spend) this could be an opportunity to maximize your chances of seeing success.

Why Does Influencer Marketing Work?

People are way more aware of brand advertising than they’ve ever been —  with tools like ad blockers making it easy to tune out or avoid traditional ads. 

Influencer marketing is different.

When it’s done poorly, well, see opening paragraph and the Kardashians. When done effectively, followers respond to a real person using a product, even if they know it’s promoted.  Think of Ace and PupBox.

With this new update that makes it easier than ever for a brand to reach an influencer’s followers (and beyond), Instagram is clearly acknowledging the potential value generated when these promotions are done well.  

Could This Be the Downfall of Influencer Marketing Success?

This update got us thinking; could this be the beginning of the end? With more ads showing up in our feeds every day, we may get fatigued by seeing people we don’t follow promote a product we’ve never heard of. (Marketers ruin everything. Am I right?)

In the end, the posts will still have the same elements that have made them successful up until this point; a real person/account, and followers who admire them. So, it’ll be interesting to see how promoting organic posts affects the entire strategy’s success. It could either offer greater return on investment with the expanded reach, or it could give us fatigue and eventually make the influencer marketing a thing of the past.

If you’ve tried influencer marketing or are currently doing influencer marketing, you have the potential to reach so many more people and expand your awareness with these new ads.


If you’re successfully doing influencer marketing or if you have thoughts on whether you’ll use this new feature or not, let us know in IMPACT Elite!

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