Product Placement on Instagram: The Right Way

Marketing specialists are excelling in coming up with amazing ideas to promote their products and services. They have to because it is easy enough to get lost among a great variety of things and remain unnoticed now. In some period brands decided to shout out their benefits, flicker everywhere possible, and launch several marketing campaigns at once. At present, an average person is no longer amenable to ads easily and the loud praise of the product even annoys him. But product placement – that’s another story. Appealing visual content on Instagram flavored with a couple of pleasant words from an influencer still works and has an impact on those convolutions of the brain that are responsible for our desires. Why does product placement on Instagram outperform other forms of advertising and drives sales? Let’s figure it out.

What is Product Placement on Instagram?

brand Nike
Product placement gained its popularity in the second half of the last century when mentions or images with an advertising touch displayed on postcards and in newspapers. Later it captured cinema and TV shows and appeared in various forms to increase brand awareness and loyalty of the audience. At present, it has reached social media as well and become a powerful tool for advertising on Instagram.

Basically, product placement on Instagram is the method of hidden advertising when the product is implemented into the posts, videos or stories in influencer’s accounts. It was proved that advertising that does not look like advertising works best. Influencers try to pose product placement as a recommendation or informative content and as if without an intention to sell something but just to introduce and show it off. Product placement on Instagram is about unobtrusiveness and confidential tone. There is an advertising message but it is disguised and does not cause rejection from the audience.

Does Product Placement Work?

If it didn’t work, it would not be a relevant topic. In a word, product placements achieve better results than some classic methods of advertising. Influencers put the product in the shot and sometimes do not make an accent on it at all. However, followers notice it and tick off as something worth paying attention to. Product placement works in close conjunction with an influencer. His image, style, target audience are decisive factors to take into account before offering him a collaboration. The more followers perceive an influencer as a trusted source, the more chances that your product placement will succeed.

There are cases when it creates negative buzz. People start talking about “staged” advertising, the inappropriateness of a product on the picture, and accuse influencers of fraud and dishonesty. This is a double-edged sword: your product has become a splash story but in a negative light.

If you want to avoid unpleasant situations, study the experience of other brands, especially their ups and downs, assess the audience and tone of voice of the influencer, and create as natural PP (=product placement) as possible not to turn it into a dummy.

Kylie Jenner product placement
Influencers know how to make us desire something. First, they portray their perfect way of life and all the things that help them remain so flawless. We strive for the same, hence believe that it is necessary to purchase all the products that an influencer has in order to approach the ideal. The product we do not have yet is believed to solve our problems. That’s why we do not cease buying. That’s how it works.

By the way, sometimes influencers generate product placements because of sincere affection for the brand without being paid for it. Such advertising could even perform better being based on honesty without any sort of sponsoring.

The message in the form of product placement broadcasted with the aid of influencer will be definitely heard and will evoke a warm response.

How to Do Product Placement on Instagram?

This type of advertising is quite complicated. First of all, it is vital to find an original approach and, having creatively comprehended the task, to “weave” an ad into the natural environment of the influencer.

Here’s a breakdown of points to consider before executing product placement on Instagram to help you move in the right way and build a noticeable but not pushy marketing campaign.

  • Once you come with the idea of product placement, carry out exploratory work. Define how you would like your ad to look, what message to bring to the public and how it should perceive this message. Search for references and pictures that might be used for inspiration in the process.
  • See how top brands and your competitors do product placements and analyze them. It will give you a vision of what is good and what is not.
  • Determine the format of product placement. It might be a video, several posts on Instagram stories or in a publication in the feed. Also, decide whether the product will slightly appear in the shot or will be used for its intended purpose.
  • Search for influencers to offer cooperation. You should be guided not by personal preferences but by relevance to your product and brand. Take into account the tone of voice, target audience, engagement, the image of the influencer on Instagram and offline. All these small details are much more important than the number of followers that could be fake.
  • Find out an average price for product placement in order to compare it with one of the chosen influencer charges. Do not hesitate to bargain. Sometimes it works.
  • The main asset of product placement is naturalness. Make your product harmoniously fit into the life of the chosen influencer. As if he had been using it all this time, but did not put it on public display.
  • Discuss every detail of your product placement so that both you and the influencer understand everything pretty clear. From the location of the product in the photo or video to the hashtags that must be included.
  • Always ask an influencer to show you a draft for approval before posting the content.
  • Provide the influencer with the necessary information about the product so that he can answer the questions in comments or direct messages and look professional in front of his audience.
  • Make a contract with an influencer to protect yourself from the unsatisfactory performance. Once words are marked down on paper, they cannot be taken back.

Product Placement on Instagram
Product placement which bears fruit is real when your brand aligns with the way of life of the influencer and will evoke interest in his target audience. Make sure that the content will be appealing, natural and relevant. I hope you understand that influencer who advocates a healthy way of life will hardly agree to promote Burger King, do you?

Instagram Product Placement Ideas

Actually, there are so many channels to draw inspiration for advertisements that we might say without hesitation that ideas are boundless. Basically, everything depends on your product and message you would like to convey to the audience.

  • Sponsored Post
    You can ask an influencer to take a picture featuring your product including a description of how helpful it is with particular tags. It could be a flat lay, the presence of the product in the room, in influencer’s hands, etc. Sometimes it is more relevant to take a staged shot but in some cases, it looks as if your product got into the photo by accident and is not placed in the foreground.

    Nowadays it is possible to also mark in the Location that the publication is sponsored but it depends on your requirements. It usually works with tour agencies, hotels, events that arrange a trip for an influencer in exchange for advertising posts.

  • Instagram Stories allows displaying directly the use of some products and talking about their benefits. Influencers practice doing #unpacking on camera to show their favorite things in natural surroundings like in their kitchen or bathroom. Sometimes influencers may tell how their day has gone, but in the background, there is a certain technique, cosmetics, household goods. They happen to get there by accident or these are the usual tricks of marketers.
  • IGTV
    This long-form video format can also be used for advertising purposes. You can ask an influencer to make a video on any topic but your product has to appear there somehow. This a good option for fashion brands, cosmetics, FMCG, and others.

Vine videos are extremely popular on Instagram. They are intended to show ridiculous moments that may be relevant to the life of everyone. With the help of vine videos, you can sell any product in a funny way that is likely to stick in the memory longer than an ordinary staged pic.

Pros and Cons of Instagram Product Placement

No matter how marketers praise a particular tool or method of advertising, each has its own pros and cons. Product placement on Instagram is an effective method of promoting goods and services, which can significantly enhance the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. However, you’d better evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages before jumping on board. Here are some of the key points to keep in mind.

Product Placement Work


  • Product placement provides you with natural and authentic engagement and completely reverses the perception of the advertising message. It is a delicate way to convey the information to consumers, introducing the brand into the life of a particular influencer.
  • If you have chosen the right influencer and created content that perfectly fits in his way of life and Instagram feed, people will perceive it as some advice from a trusted source. They are likely to buy the product and test it to be on the same wavelength with an influencer and to keep pace with current trends. In a word, product placement with an aid of an influencer gives you access to the right audience, helps create an image of the trendsetter and provokes as much trust and loyalty as the audience has to his social media idol.
  • Brand awareness. People may not even be aware of the existence of such a product as yours. But if only it appears on the influencer’s Instagram account, the buzz will be immediately spread throughout the social network and offline as well. Being associated with an influencer who is known for his positive image, your brand will be talked about in a positive way by default.
  • Product placement allows your imagination to run wild and embody crazy ideas. Fortunately, there are a lot of influencers who advocate creative approaches and bold methods even if it comes to “complicated products” or delicate topics.
  • Long term action. The content produced by an influencer remains online and continues to gain views and comments, even years after publication.


  • There is no 100 percent guarantee that the audience will be focused on the product and memorizes it. Each person has a different perception of the content. They might see it but forget in a few minutes. Instagram is overloaded with information and our brain is not able to remember it all.
  • There is no way to mention the product very often. In the case of the radio and TV, everyone has already got used to that the same ads are repeated every hour. On Instagram, it will look like an imposition and followers usually do not tolerate this.
  • In the case of “too complicated” products and “delicate” topics, product placement is a double-edged sword. If the influencer, for example, advises some medications, he can be accused of incompetence in the matter, when the brand will get a reputation as unconcerned for the health of customers.
  • The results will not be instantaneous, as it is usually the case with direct advertising. Product placement is not set up for a quick effect. People take time for thinking and rethinking, especially at present, when there is a transition to conscious consumption.


Marketers are absolutely convinced that Instagram is an excellent channel for product placements, and they are right. You can sell everything on Instagram because there is a target audience for any product. Put your imagination in motion, find a relevant Instagram influencer and the right way to present your product, and take advantage of the method to maximize the visibility of your brand.

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