New Instagram Branded Content Rules for Influencer Marketing

In terms of influencer marketing, you'd be hard-pressed to find an opportunity more viable right now than Instagram branded content. According to one study, an incredible six out of every ten online adults has an Instagram account to call their own. Most of these users are between the ages of 18 and 29 years old - the coveted demographic that not only has money to spend, but is also fiercely loyal to the brands they develop relationships with over the years. There are over 600 million Instagram users worldwide, 400 million of whom are active every single day.

Based on these statistics alone, it's easy to see that Instagram branded content is an investment that is more than worth your time. It is also, however, a marketing effort that requires you to keep a few key things in mind - particularly as far as Instagram's own rules are concerned.

Instagram Branded Content Rules: What You Need to Know

Earlier in 2017, Instagram took the plunge and created its own branded content policy - something that it had yet to do at any point during its history. Anyone who has experimented with branded content on Facebook will no doubt be pleased to learn that the two policies are virtually identical. If you're already working with influencers on the world's largest social network, a lot of this will be very familiar to you.

The most important of these rules to understand is that branded content may only be published to Instagram accounts, profiles or pages by way of the first party "branded content" tool. Branded content is defined by Instagram (and Facebook) as "any content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value." If something that you're about to post matches that description, you can't post it to a profile the same way you would with your personal account. You need to go through the branded content tool or that post will likely be removed.

Additionally, any branded post that is added to your business's Instagram account must meet the following requirements:

  • That content cannot have any pre, mid or post-roll advertisements. This is especially true in terms of video and audio content.
  • Any videos or images that you post MUST NOT include banner advertisements.
  • Title cards must not be posted within the first three seconds of a video.
  • Interstitial ad cards cannot be longer than three seconds in length and cannot be posted to the Instagram Stories feature.
  • The branded content tool can never be used to tag a brand, a business partner or another page without the prior consent of that entity.
  • All Instagram branded content must comply with ALL applicable laws and regulations.
  • You must provide all necessary disclosures to indicate the commercial nature of the content that you're about to post, no exceptions.
  • A lot of these rules fall under the "common sense" umbrella, particularly for a business operating in the digital age. Provided that you're able to keep these few basic requirements in mind, you'll be able to harness all of the power of Instagram branded content to your advantage and connect with your target audience in a much more meaningful, more organic way.

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