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A guide to Instagram Branded Content – Partnership with influencers

What is Branded Content?

Instagram has recently launched a new way for brands to sponsor posts created by celebrities and influencers – Branded content ads. This new offering is part of Instagram’s broader strategy to connect advertisers and creators in more formal partnerships. Instagram has been developing its platform around advertising and influencers more lately and this adds to the list.

The Facebook-owned platform announced the update for businesses and “influencers,” the web celebrities who have built mass and niche followings on the platform. Until now, brands could hire popular Instagram users to work on ad campaigns and promote products with branded content, but the posts would only reach the followers of the influencer. Branded content ads let the advertisers promote these Instagram posts just like they would any other ad.

With over 80% of people following a business, brands are an important part of the Instagram community. According to Instagram “Businesses and creators thrive on our platform because they’re able to build relationships by tapping into their audience’s interests and passions.” Businesses and brands make meaningful connections is by partnering with creators (influencers and publishers) to launch branded content campaigns (also referred to as Influencer Marketing). Through these partnerships, Instagram users are able to learn about products and services from the voices of creators they follow.

The Branded content consists of tools with a tag to help creators disclose when a post is the result of a partnership and insights to help businesses access the performance of their branded content campaigns. Instagram agrees that these tools bring transparency around Branded Content to the Instagram community.

Branded Content Ads for Advertiser

The first thing to get out of the way would be these 3 steps

  1. Businesses need to get influencers permission to tag them in the branded content posts

  2. Influencer, in return, have to allow access to their business partners to promote their post

  3. Businesses should be able to see the influencer’s post in Facebook Ads Manager under Existing Posts and can choose whichever kind of ad they are looking for (Story, feed or otherwise)

Giving permission to the influencer as an advertiser

You need an Instagram Business account for this step. Open the app, go to Settings and select Business Settings. 


Select Branded Content from the options.


Toggle the Require Approvals button to “on” and then select Approved Accounts.


In this window, Here you can add the influencer’s Instagram handle that the brand will be partnering with.


Creator or Influencer accessing Branded Content

Now that the first step if out of the way, the influencer has to provide permission to the organically posted content to the brand. The brand can now advertise this as a branded content ad.

There are two methods in this step. Let’s look at both

Method 1: Creating a New Branded Content Post

You have your content ready and are ready to post. Now prior to sharing, select Advanced Settings at the bottom.


Add the Branded Content tag onto the post by tapping Tag Business Partner and search for the business. Be sure to select the name of the correct business/brand associated with the post. The name will only appear if the brand has already given access to the influencer. 


In the final step, toggle the “Allow Business Partner to Promote” to on and give access to the brand to promote the posted content.


Method 2: Adding a Branded Content Tag to an Existing Post

If you have already posted the content on your feed and looking to give permissions, then go to the post, click on the ellipsis button (the three dotted one) on the top right corner and select Edit.


Now select Add Partner.

Add the Branded Content tag onto the post by tapping Tag Business Partner and then searching for the correct business associated with the post.

Note: If the business appears in the search results, but doesn’t allow you to tag it, you must contact your business partner and ask to be approved.

Under the Branded Content Partner Permissions section toggle on the Allow Business Partner to Promote button to give the brand/business access to promote your Branded Content post.


Once you’ve given permission, your business partner now has the option to promote the branded content post.


How to Create Your First Branded Content Ad

Once an influencer has tagged your business in a branded content post and given the brand permission to promote it, the content ad can be started on Ads Manager.

Open Ads Manager and click Create.

Pick one of these objectives for your branded content ad: reach, brand awareness objective, video views, engagement, or traffic.


Continue creating your ad. At the Audience step set your targeting and at the Placements step select Instagram Feed.


At the Ad level, your Branded Content will appear in the Use Existing Post section.

Click into the Use Existing Post section then click on Select Post/Change Post in the Creative section.


In the Select Post window navigate to the Branded Content tab. You’ll see the list of the branded content posts that a creator has given you permission to promote. Choose the branded content post that you want to promote on Instagram.


Once you set your ad live, your influencer partner will receive a notification in the Branded Content section of the Instagram app that the ad campaign has been created.

You’ll also be able to access all of your organic metrics like you normally would for branded content posts in your Instagram Insights.


Branded Content helps the brand immensely in terms of reach. Before this launch, brands had to rely solely on the influencer’s audience. This combines both the audiences, thus giving the campaign or post immense leverage over the previous method.

Have you run a branded content ad on Instagram yet? Let us know what you think of this new feature in the comments!

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