Instagram’s Latest Features Boost Influencer Marketing

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A closer look at how Instagram’s latest features can be used to take your Instagram influencer marketing campaigns up a level.

What’s new in the world of Instagram

With 1 billion people using Instagram every month, it’s one of the most powerful social media apps around, with the addition of new ad formats to Instagram Shop upgrades, user-experience tweaks, and so much more, it’s easy to see why so many of us pop on for a bit of scrolling and shopping! 

Social media has never been a foreign concept to Gen Z as it has always been around for them. They are one of the most active audiences across platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok with social media stars being at the forefront of their world.

When it comes to engaging with influencers on Instagram, social media stars present a unique advantage for brands. Social media stars are self-made celebrities, they’re everyday people who use social channels to showcase their talents and broadcast opinions. Celebrities on the other hand are famous on a larger, more commercial scale and are better known for their ability to bring exposure.

If you take a closer look at the number of followers and the engagement rates that these social media stars receive compared to their celebrity counterparts, you will see that there’s a big difference. Celebrities may have a massive amount of followers but social media stars such as Charli D’Amelio, Baby Ariel, Zach King, and Amanda Cerny, all sport much higher engagement rates.

It’s because of this that Instagram has become the go-to platform for brands looking to reach their target audience using influencer marketing. 

Let’s jump in to a few of the latest features:

  • Instagram introduces a professional dashboard for businesses and creators

Businesses and creators on Instagram can now access a Professional Dashboard. Many of the resources and features already exist but the dashboard makes them accessible from one central location.

It can be accessed from a brand or creator’s profile page. Clever features include ‘Track Your Performance’, ‘Grow Your Business’, and ‘Stay Informed’, offering analytics, tools, and insights for best performance.

  • Instagram Stories could be changing direction!

Instead of swiping left, users could soon be swiping up to view the next story. In terms of UX, it would feel very similar to Instagram Reels or TikTok. It aligns with Snapchat’s recent launch of Spotlight, too.

  • Instagram tests removing the option to share posts to stories

If you love sharing your feed posts to your stories, then we’ve got some bad news for you! Instagram are testing engagement differences in stories that don’t feature feed posts. The option has been disabled in some markets, and users received a notification stating the community wanted to see fewer posts in stories.

The goal of our test is to better understand how people feel about this type of content and ultimately improve the Stories experience.

On the other hand, though, you could soon be able to add your Tweets to your Instagram Stories and Snapchat! Yay!

  • Instagram has added a Recently Deleted folder – finally!

If you followed through on your ‘felt cute, might delete later’ statement, and changed your mind, you’re in luck! You now have the option to restore photos, videos, reels, IGTV videos, and stories within 30 days. The folder can be accessed via Settings > Account > Recently Deleted. 🙂

  • An affiliate feature for creators 

An affiliate feature would allow creators to earn commission by creating affiliate content and sharing products. Instagram head Adam Mosseri discussed their approach to creator monetization in an interview published by The Verge in February:

“If we want to be the No. 1 place for creators, we need to make sure that we offer a suite of services that they find meaningful and valuable as opposed to just one type of unstable value, which is distribution, I don’t want to have our eggs in one basket.”

How to maximize influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram

Proven, highly effective campaign strategies

  • Unboxing. Brands across the globe are using influencers to showcase their products on Instagram. The basic idea is that you’ll send your product to an influencer who will then unbox it live via an Instagram Story. This is an interactive and personal way for new customers to get excited about your brand and your products. #unboxing
  • Product reviews. This tactic takes unboxing one step further by using Instagram Stories to actually review a product instead of just showcasing it. Since you can’t review your own products, this is an approach that is used in conjunction with influencers. A report by L2 found that 65% of top-performing brand posts on Instagram feature products.
  • Polls. Instagram’s interactive poll feature has become a firm favorite amongst users and amongst influencers who are collaborating with brands that are looking for consumer feedback.
  • Tutorials. Being able to offer your audience something of value is always a sure win, which is why tutorials have become such a popular format for Instagram Stories. Naturally, using an influencer to assist you with a tutorial will give it a whole new spin.
  • Announcements. Use Instagram’s Live Announcement Template to generate some buzz around an upcoming event or product launch. Influencers can of course help you reach a much larger audience.
  • Live events. Give your fans and followers an inside look into what’s happening at an event with the help of Instagram Stories. Even better if you can get an influencer to attend the event and do it for you.

As Instagram expands and grows, brands are looking for new and innovative ways to run effective influencer marketing campaigns on this popular social platform.

Below are three features that will most certainly be making a difference to influencer strategies for Instagram now and in the future.

Following the Fyre Festival promo disaster with Kendall Jenner, the FTC has cracked down on how influencers and brands are able to collaborate on Instagram, with transparency being the name of the game.

These new rules and regulations that were introduced by the FTC lead to the introduction of Instagram’s Paid Partnership feature. This feature ensures that users know when a post is sponsored by adding a tag underneath the name of influencers on all posts and stories.

So what does this means for brands running influencer campaigns?

Firstly, the Paid Partnerships feature gives brands much better insights into how their campaigns are performing, and secondly, it makes it easier for brands to respect FTC guidelines.

Shopify Partnership

Shopify and Instagram have joined forces to give users the ability to discover and purchase products from their favorite brands without having to leave the Instagram app.

With the help of Facebook’s product catalog, Shopify merchants will have the option to make their Instagram posts shoppable by tagging it with any of their Shopify products, directly inside the Instagram app. When users see a post with a tag, they can tap it to view more details and make a purchase on the merchant’s checkout.

Since influencer accounts are not linked to Facebook product catalogs, Shopify merchants will need to find an alternative approach to including influencers in these types of Instagram campaigns.

One approach would be to run Shopify-related posts in conjunction with your influencer campaigns. Promote your latest products and encourage conversions by tagging your Shopify products in your Instagram posts. Take this one step further by partnering with an influencer who can unbox or review your products in order to reach an even larger audience and generate more interest.

Instagram Scheduling

According to Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, scheduling is a feature that has been in demand by over 16 million of their customers for quite some time now and Instagram has finally come to the party.

While scheduling doesn’t extend to ads, this new feature is going to make the planning and management of your Instagram content and influencer marketing campaigns that much easier. Social media apps such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and SocialFlow now all have access to this functionality, which means that businesses who make use of these types of applications can gain more control over their content. This new scheduling function means you can make sure that influencers are publishing content on time and on a regular basis too.

The API is also available to all Facebook Marketing Partners and Instagram Partners.

As Instagram continues to evolve, it is clear that it’s going to remain one of the most popular and effective social media platforms used in the implementation of influencer marketing campaigns.

Read also: Selecting Your Influencers Just Became a Whole Lot Easier

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