How To Use Instagram Branded Content For Your Business

Branded content creation

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Wanna take advantage of branded content on Instagram? You’re in luck because there’s a whole suite of branded content tools in IG that are ready for you to use. But before we jump into that, let’s do a quick overview:

Instagram’s branded content tools:
Help brands and influencers work together.

For brands:
Branded content is anything you paid for or commissioned from an influencer. This includes ambassadors and content creators.

For influencers, ambassadors, or creators:
Branded content is anything a brand paid or commissioned you to post.

Even if you haven’t used branded content tools in IG, you’ve seen these posts around. They say “Paid partnership with brand” right below the username, like this:

Branded Content

The point is to make relationships between brands and influencers crystal clear. But there’s more to it than that.

So let’s talk more about Instagram’s branded content and how it’s a great marketing resource. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. What is branded content on Instagram?
  2. Instagram branded content tools
  3. Who can use Instagram branded content tools
  4. Setting up Instagram branded content approval
  5. View IG Insights from an approved branded tagged post
  6. Using branded content in ads

What is branded content on Instagram?

Branded content is Instagram’s way of saying sponsored content. It’s a post, a video, a story, or any other kind of content that a business paid a creator to publish on IG.

Now, a paid partnership describes the relationship between brands and creators. If a brand pays an influencer or anyone else on IG to post branded content, they have a paid partnership.

Brands can manage branded content on Instagram. These tools let brands tag posts, see insights, and control campaigns all in the IG app.

Plus, brands are in charge when it comes to who can tag them as a paid partner. This prevents fraudulent sponsorships from popping up. Or, “wannabe” influencers pretending to have a paid partnership with a brand when they don’t.

This also gives brands more control over the content that’s posted with their name on it. And branded content tags make it super obvious to IG users that a post is sponsored.

All in all, IG branded content makes influencer marketing more transparent and trackable.

Instagram branded content tools

Let’s talk about tools! If you have a business or creator Instagram account, here’s how to find the branded content tools:

  1. Open the app
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Click Business or Creator
  4. Tap Branded Content

From here you can:

  • See whether you’re eligible to use the paid partnership label
  • Toggle whether you want to manually or automatically approve content creators
  • Review Tag Requests
  • Create a list of Approved Business Partners
  • Learn more about IG branded content

You can also check out the Branded Content Ads tab to promote your posts to other audiences. 👈 More on branded content ads in a minute.

If you’re concerned about whether branded content labels will hurt your campaign, don’t be. In fact, it’s actually better for your brand, your audience, and the influencers you work with because:

That means about half of everyone on Instagram is part of Gen Z or they’re a Millennial. And the only thing they love more than avocado toast is some serious transparency.

In the end, transparent paid partnerships benefit everyone. Plus, proper disclosure is strongly recommended by government agencies in some countries.

Who can use Instagram branded content tools
If you have a business or creator account, chances are you can use the IG branded content tools. But you’ll have to apply for access first.

Here’s how to find out if you’re eligible:

  1. Open the app
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Click Business or Creator
  4. Tap Branded Content
  5. Check your eligibility status at the top

If you’re ineligible, tap the arrow to get more information and apply.

Branded content tool eligibility

Here are some eligibility requirements as a heads up:

  • You must have an account that’s been active for at least 30 days
  • You, and whoever you choose to partner with, must have a Business or Creator account
  • You must have a sufficient number of followers
  • You, and whoever you partner with, must comply with Instagram’s Community Guidelines

There’s also a special rule about government officials. So if you want to partner with a politician, you might run into some trouble. This is especially true if they’re subject to government rules and ethics … just sayin’.

Setting up Instagram branded content approval

Another cool thing about IG’s branded content tools is that it puts you (the brand) in complete control. You get to choose which posts are tagged, and you get to choose who can tag you.

The default setting is that you have to manually approve each branded post that tags you. It’s recommended you keep this toggled on even if it’s an inconvenience. This way you control what gets approved and what doesn’t.

You can also make a creator lineup. This pre-approves certain creators to list you as a paid partner on branded content.

But if you want to turn this Instagram setting off, you can. Here’s how:

  • Open the app
  • Go to Settings
  • Click Business
  • Tap Branded Content
  • Toggle Manually Approve Content Creators so it’s in the off position

You can add and remove approved partners on Instagram at any time. And when a partner tags you in branded content, you’ll get a notification in the app.

Neat, huh?

View IG Insights from an approved branded tagged post

You know how you can see content analytics via Instagram Insights if you have a Business account?

Well, you can do the same with branded content posts 🥳

When an influencer tags you in branded content, tap the notification to view Insights.

Alternatively, you can:

  1. Go to Insights
  2. View the Branded Content section
  3. Tap the post you want to see Insights for to access data

Use this information to learn about what’s working, what’s not, and what to try next time.

For example, you notice content from one creator gets better reach than another. You can use these insights to adjust your strategy as you go.

Using branded content in ads

If you REALLY like an influencer’s branded content post, you can promote it as an Instagram ad. This gets you more bang for your buck and shares your message with new audiences. But you’ll need permission from the content creator first.

Alternatively, brands can create branded content ads without publishing them as posts first. Here’s how it works:

  1. You send a request for Ad Creation Access to an influencer
  2. The influencer accepts the request
  3. The influencer receives a copy of the ad and approves it

The cool part is that all of this 👆 happens in the Instagram app.

Note: When branded content ads are approved, they don’t show up in creator profiles. But they do have the creator’s username on them.

Now, if you want to set up a long-term advertising partnership with an influencer, you can. It’s a two-step process that lets you promote a creator’s content as an ad without permission each time. Here’s how:

  1. You approve an influencer as a Content Creator in Instagram
  2. The influencer then allows you (the Business Partner) to promote their content as ads
  3. Head over to Ads Manager (Facebook)
  4. Choose an objective (Brand Awareness*, Video Views, Reach, Conversions, and so on)
  5. Choose to promote organic content as an Instagram ad
  6. Find the influencer’s branded content under Use Existing Post
  7. Preview and confirm the ad to run it

As always, keep an eye on ad performance. Use data to make adjustments as you go if necessary. And don’t be afraid to let insights help inform future strategies.

*If you’re used to using Ads Manager, you’ll notice a new campaign objective pop up. It’s called Brand Awareness Objective (BAO)

Branded content Instagram: Final thoughts

Yes. If you own a business, you should be using branded content on Instagram. It can be posts, ads, or a combination of the two. And here’s a quick recap of why:

  • Branded content makes your partnerships with influencers transparent
  • Most users on Instagram are young, and they value transparency and authenticity
  • You can promote branded content as Instagram ads
  • Paid partnerships help businesses reach new audiences, increase sales, and strengthen brand awareness


Unleash the power of Valuable Creators.

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