In March of this year, Instagram confirmed it was testing a new ad format with a small number of brands. As of 4 June, This new ad format was officially launched and is known as branded content ads. For the first time ever, brands can create ads based on organic posts influencer posts that they have existing partnerships with. The rollout has begun, while branded content ads for the Stories feature will be implemented over the next few months.

How do advertisers get access to the feature? Those who create the content can grant partner brands access to promote their posts via their advanced settings. Once this access has been granted, brands can login to their Ads Manager and choose the post to run as an ad via the ‘existing posts’ option. The ad can be run both in the newsfeed and in the upcoming months, in the Stories format.

This new ad format has been in the pipeline for sometime, as Instragram revealed recently that it has been one of the biggest requests from brands until now. A welcome and much needed addition to Instagram advertising, influencer advertising in the form of branded content ads is a new way to capitalize on the power that social influencer’s hold. Consumers are far more likely to trust the opinions of these influencer’s and this format opens up all sorts of marketing possibilities.

According to Instagram, “With branded content ads, businesses have an opportunity to tell their brand stories through creators’ voices, reach new audiences and measure impact. Using the tools available on the Facebook ads platform, businesses can reach targeted audiences beyond the people who follow the brand and creator accounts. And by running ads, they’ll have access to measurement and can optimise and test their campaigns against their set goals for more effective marketing campaigns.”

In an aim to provide more value to businesses and consumers alike, branded content ads are bringing organic posts to the forefront of social advertising. According to a survey by MediaKix, 2019 is the year influencer marketing reaches new heights. Results found that 80% of marketers find the strategy effective, while nearly two-thirds are increasing their influencer marketing budgets, and Instagram is set to be the channel focus for many. Already a popular form of advertising, with only more popularity to come, Instagram has stepped up influencer advertising a level to meet industry needs.