New Instagram Features Aimed at Influencer Marketing

Although Instagram is no stranger to influencer marketing, they’ve recently released some new features that directly benefit influencers and brands who work with them. The features symbolize a subtle nod towards the effectiveness of influencer marketing and hint at what is to come from the platform going forward.

Creator Profiles:

Currently, most influencers create business profiles to access analytics that aren’t available to personal account holders. However, business profiles were created with brands in mind, not influencers, which is why Instagram recently introduced Creator Profiles. Creator Profiles are similar to business profiles in that they provide access to exclusive features and in-depth analytics. The main difference is that the Creator Profile includes access to a Creator Studio with even more metrics such as engagement rates and demographic information. Also, for the first time on the platform, the profile will provide access to follow and unfollow data, providing insight into which posts are resonating and perhaps more importantly, which posts are not. Influencers utilizing this profile will also have advanced DM options, allowing them to prioritize messages from brands and close friends or organize chronologically. This feature will allow influencers to better organize their inbox and spend more time engaging in meaningful interactions with their followers and brands they love.

Augmented Reality Filters:

The build-your-own AR filter is another new feature with interesting potential. While some may scoff at it as nothing more than a fun new gadget to play with, it can be a valuable addition to your brand’s Instagram strategy. How so? Well, brands can create their own AR filters to promote the launch of new products. Consider a filter that allows followers to try on your newest style of jeans or a limited-edition shade of lipstick. Not only does a customized filter promote awareness, but it can also grow your following as users have to visit your profile and/or follow your account to access the filter. It’s a seemingly small feature with the potential for major impact and it’s easy to use so influencers and brands alike can take part.  

Instagram Checkout:

Last but certainly not least, is the newly released Instagram Checkout which has the potential to drastically change the influencer marketing game. Before this feature was introduced, followers had to jump through several digital hoops before finally making a purchase related to influencer content. This involved visiting an influencer’s profile, clicking a link in their profile, waiting for the webpage to load, entering payment information in and finally making the purchase. While these steps may not seem excessive to some, each step provides an opportunity for the consumer to change their mind and ‘buy it later’. Not only that, but it can potentially mean influencers miss out on a commission if followers either decide not to purchase or do so on a desktop where it’s easier to input information. Luckily for consumers, brands, and influencers alike, Instagram Checkout is about to make things a heck of a lot easier for everyone. The new one-click purchase model takes place entirely within the Instagram app. The seamless experience should significantly boost brand conversion rates, sales, and ROI for influencer marketing.

Prior to the launch of Instagram Checkout, the shopping tags that enable one-click shopping were only available to businesses. However, Instagram has now made them available to “public figures, creators, athletes, publishers, and artists”, which is great news for influencers and brands who work with them. For the first time, influencers will be able to sell products directly to their followers and be able to track their metrics through analytics shared with the brand.

Interestingly, it’s not only the brands and influencers who are set to benefit from the launch of Instagram Checkout. Currently, brands pay Instagram to promote sponsored content, including that of influencers. So, as more brands push money into the platform to further encourage influencer-led sales, Instagram may invest in conversion tracking to improve effectiveness and provide brands with a more holistic marketing experience. If applied, in-app conversion tracking has the potential to catapult influencer marketing to an entirely new level, but it’s not there quite yet.

Call us biased, but we’re beyond excited to witness the changes Instagram has made to advance influencer marketing. With direct-to-consumer sales and improved metrics, influencer marketing is expected to truly take off and we’re looking forward to taking part in the ride.

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