Instagram introduced advertising in September 2015 and since then usage of the social media app has doubled between 2016 and 2018. Today there are over 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram and 1 billion monthly active users consuming content.
In an increasingly saturated market, the feat to have your branded content seen is becoming more and more challenging. There is no doubt that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method. Research shows that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations and 40% have purchased a product after seeing it on social media. The challenge now lies in ensuring brands collaborate with the right influencers.
Influencer feeds are arguably becoming the modern day version of a magazine filled entirely with ads. The introduction of the ‘About This Profile’ feature should help provide transparency around exactly how much of an influencer’s content is sponsored, however, until this feature is rolled out in Australia, it is critical when selecting influencers to consider the ratio of branded and paid work versus organic content. Saturation rate or ‘sponsored content percentage’ as it is sometimes referred to, for this reason, is the new metric disrupting influencing marketing.
The metric captures the ratio of posts tagged with #ad or #sponsored out of an influencers total posts and compares the engagement rate of organic vs branded content. This new metric then helps to establish a true reflection of the engagement rate likely achievable through a brand collaboration and prevents branded content from being lost amongst a sea of other sponsored collaborations.
A disparity between organic and sponsored engagement rates often leave both parties disappointed in a collaboration. Instead, brands should focus on creating meaningful long-term relationships with influencers who genuinely value their products to create authentic, trusted and engaging content that will ultimately result in strong engagement for everyone.