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Sponsored vs Organic Instagram Posts: Does it affect engagement?

The presence of influencers is increasingly important in social media marketing because influencer marketing provides a unique opportunity for brands to connect directly with consumers. So there are more and more influencers posting sponsored posts, and there are concerns among them that the mention of sponsored posts will reduce engagement with users. But is it true that sponsored posts will affect engagement? 

In this blog, let's take a look at the pros and cons of sponsored and organic posts.

What is Instagram Sponsored Post?

Instagram sponsored posts are content that influencer creates and publishes under their own account in exchange for some kind of reward. That's why "Instagram influencers" became active in the marketing world, which is how they use their Instagram accounts to build profitable careers.

Influencer marketing has become very popular over the past few years, raising concerns about transparency. To this end, Instagram has formed a brand partnership with companies on its platform and released a brand content function that allows Instagram influencers to attach brand tags to sponsored content.

Usually, Instagram sponsored posts are flagged with a "Paid Partnership with [Brand Name]" tag that appears just below your username or has an “ad” hashtag.

What is Instagram Organic Post?

Organic influencer marketing occurs when influencer of all sizes refers to or promotes a brand without a paid campaign contract. Usually, these influencers are already fans of a particular brand or share the experience with their followers without having to try a new brand and contact the brand first. 

Organic influencer marketing gives followers much more confidence because they are more like a word-of-mouth review from a trusted expert.

Pros and Cons

Industry players have demanded transparency in influencer marketing. Industry participants believe that influencers should show audiences a distinction between organic and sponsored advertising posts. In online searches, organic ads appear "naturally" in search results influenced by the most relevant keywords, and marketers pay for them to rank them higher than organic ads. 

Although organic social media advertising may seem more realistic to an influencer's audience, sponsored advertising helps influencer reach out to new followers, create opportunities, and attract transitions. 

When there are few sponsorship posts (posts 2-3 times a week), they tend to receive more positive responses. Too much, audiences tend to mute ads and their influence can change negatively. However, if the sponsored post is not disclosed, the impact will be different because the audience sees the post organically and accepts it as genuine. The downside is that this may not last long and if the declaration of support is made clear to the audience, they may not follow immediately.

Conclusion

What makes the influencer campaign successful is the use of extremely customized targeting and high-quality content. Collaboration that brings added value and builds a true affinity between brands and talent will create a good response from consumers regardless of whether it’s sponsored post or not. But remember that the brand and influencer must be responsible for finding a balance between this trust and promotion and delivering the message successfully without misleading the consumer.

HyeonA Kwak

HyeonA is the digital marketing intern of Avenue