A few years ago it would have been unheard of for people to have sponsored Instagram posts. Instagram seems to have skyrocketed recently. Rather than Instagram being a social media platform people use alongside their blog, it’s now a standalone thing just keeps growing and growing. Some Instagrammers have a massive amount of engagement on each post (lucky them!). This is making brands look towards Instagram influencers for advertising their products more than ever before.
Instagram’s branded content tool makes it easy for users to identify which posts are a paid sponsorship post. I’m sure you’ve seen the tag ‘Paid Partnership with..’ on some Instagram posts under the username. This tool was introduced to a select number of creators and businesses in June 2017 and then rolled out to more accounts that have a high level of engagement in November 2017.
The Branded Content Tool is exactly what we need to make it clear to users what posts are paid and what posts are organic. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have this tool and we’re unsure how to disclose collaborations – both paid and unpaid.
When do you need to disclose?
- If you are receiving compensation to promote or endorse a brand – both monetary and in products.
- If you are invested in the brand in some way – if you have started it, are an investor or a brand ambassador.
- If it’s an affiliate scheme.
How to disclose:
The idea is to make it as clear as possible that the post is in collaboration or sponsorship with someone. Tagging #sp is not deemed as clear enough.
The best two tags to use are #ad and #sponsored.
These disclosures should be in a place in the caption that is easily seen, not hidden amongst other hashtags. You don’t have to make it the first word, but it would be best practice to do so as Instagram hides text after 3 to 4 lines.
Some brands create their own hashtag to be used by influencers and advise they all use it. This is deemed enough in terms of disclosure. It must contain the brand name and partner. Eg: #airbnb_partner.
You don’t have to use hashtags to disclose partnerships. Instead, you could write something like:
- Thanks to @asos for gifting me this dress!
The key is in making it clear it was gifted. Not just saying thanks!
My personal opinion is to just write #ad or #sponsored at the start of your caption! You’re an influencer, I am sure most people will be expecting some of your content to be collaborations so don’t worry about it making it look like you lack organic content on your feed!
You can read this official post from the ASA on what they deem as suitable disclosures for partnerships.