A brief overview of how to use Branded Content tool on Instagram

With its user base of over a billion active accounts all over the world, businesses have to count on Instagram when planning an efficient social media strategy as a major platform to introduce their products and services to a larger audience. And partnerships with digital influencers have an important role to play in it. 68% of Instagram users say that one of the main reasons they come to the platform is to interact with content creators, while according to the recent surveys the majority of consumers in an age group between 18 and 34 admit that their decision making has been impacted by digital influencers at some point. Collaborations with content creators allow brands to reap the benefits of influencers’ higher engagement and genuine connection with their followers but may be limited by the size of a respective creator’s follower base (not to mention a certain lack of transparency when it comes to that particular metric).

Enter Instagram branded content ads: a feature that allows businesses to promote organic branded feed posts and stories as ads, amplifying the influencer’s authentic voice to expand their reach to the audiences beyond the brand’s and creator’s original following. These posts and stories appear on the feed tagged with a “Paid partnership with …” label that is displayed under their Instagram handle, openly disclosing that the creator has been compensated for the published content by a business partner for an exchange of value (whether in the form of money, services or products).

Additionally, Facebook ads platform gives brands a toolkit to customize their branded content campaign to target a specific audience and to assess its performance metrics, ensuring that it’s effective and optimized towards their objectives. It gives businesses an additional way to measure influencer’s ROI, while creators can see which of their produced content was the most impactful.

To sum up, using Branded Content Ads builds trust with the viewers by being transparent about the nature of the partnership between the business and the content creator, expands the potential reach of an organic post, and facilitates collaborations for influencer marketing on Instagram.

A brief overview of how to use Branded Content tool on Instagram

How to approve Instagram branded content and start a new partnership

There are a few steps you need to take to run branded content on Instagram as an advertiser. First, it is necessary to properly configure the settings of your business account to allow the content creator to tag your brand in their post or story. Then, it is the influencer’s turn to enable you to promote their content as an ad.

  1. Start by going to your business profile settings page in the Instagram app and select Business.
  2. Then you need to select Branded content and check if the Require Approvals toggle is on. Now, you can pick those creators you want to give permission to tag your brand. To do so, select Approved Accounts and search for the account that you are collaborating with. Tap on the account to add it to the list.
  3. Once the approval has been granted, that account will be able to create posts and tag you as their partner.
How to approve Instagram branded content and start a new partnership

How to set up an Ad Campaign via Ads Manager

After the partnership has been established, you will be able to manage the posts and run them as ads via Facebook Ads Manager.

  1. As soon as the permissions are given and the content is published, you can proceed to create your branded content ad. Head to Ads Manager and click Create.
  2. Choose one of the available objectives for your ad: Brand Awareness, Video Views, Reach, Conversions, Traffic, or Engagement.
  3. At the Placements step you can decide whether you would like to promote organic content as an ad in Instagram feed, Stories, or Explore.
  4. At the ad level, you will find your branded content in the Use existing post section. Select the Use existing post section, then click on Select post/Change post in the Creative section.
  5. You can find the list of the branded content posts that a creator has given you the approval to promote under the Branded content tab. Now, you can pick the branded content that you want to start promoting.
  6. Preview your ad to make sure that you are satisfied with the result and click Confirm.
How to set up an Ad Campaign via Ads Manager

How to get Instagram branded content tool and make branded Instagram content

As an influencer, you can get started with the promotion of your organic posts as soon as you get the approval from the business. But prior to that, you need to set up branded content tools on your account:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the top right-hand corner of your Instagram profile.
  2. Select Settings, then Account, then Branded content tools.
  3. Tap Get Tools.

Now you have activated branded content tools on your account and you can start tagging your business partners to promote your posts:

  1. Create a new post the usual way, but select Advanced Settings prior to sharing it.
  2. Tap Tag Business Partner and select the business associated with the post.
  3. To make sure that your organic content can be promoted as an ad, toggle the Allow business partner to promote option to “on”.
  4. You can also add a branded content tag to an already existing post: find the post, tap three dots at the top right and click Edit. Then, tap Add Partner to tag a business account, return to the Business partner settings page and toggle on the Allow Business Partner to Promote button.

Once your ad is launched, you can access all of the standard ad reporting metrics in Ads Manager. The organic metrics of these posts are also available for viewing in the Insights section on the Instagram app (for creators) and within Brands Collab Manager on Facebook (for businesses).

So, this is how you access the tool, produce branded content and launch an ad campaign.

Branded Instagram content for clothing brands

A good example of an industry that can illustrate the benefits of branded content ads is fashion. Being a highly visual medium, Instagram has solidified its position as a social media of choice for beauty, lifestyle, and clothing brands. While they have always been known for their meticulously curated content and partnerships with celebrities, these industries are now also tapping into the influencer market and are leveraging user-generated content to represent the vision behind their brands in an organic, engaging way.

Some brands practice a multi-tiered approach by involving in their campaigns not only the top-tier ambassadors but also underpinning them with micro and mid-level influencers who may have more freedom to get creative with the content they produce and interact with their followers directly and regularly. For clothing brands promoting posts from micro-influencers, who are genuinely passionate about the product, and acknowledging them as an essential part of the brand story can swiftly create a lot of new advocates and have a tremendous ROI.

However, identifying the right talent to deliver their brand’s message is one of the biggest challenges for a business that is preparing to launch an influencer marketing campaign.

Finding the talent to create branded content on Instagram

Some of the most fruitful partnerships in influencer marketing are a result of businesses supporting creators who are already embedded with their brand and have been producing organic content for it. Relevance to the brand is often cited as one of the most desired attributes in an influencer. The message that doesn’t feel genuine is not likely to stick and may even lead to a backlash. But finding these relevant influencers can present a certain difficulty, given the sheer enormity of this ever-expanding segment.

While many marketers continue to search for creators manually via social media platforms and forums, using specialist talent engagement tools, like Insense, can help the advertisers to navigate this difficult landscape and optimize their search for influencers and creators with a number of streamlined automated solutions. Insense provides a platform for businesses to identify the creators who are relevant both to the brand’s goals and target market, get in touch with them, work together to produce branded user-generated content tailored to the needs of the campaign, and then amplify the branded content in paid ads.

The unique feature of the service is the ease with which it connects an advertiser planning to launch a media campaign with a relevant creator of any kind, whether it is an influencer, a motion designer, or a video producer. First, the team at Insense reviews the submitted briefs, looking into such aspects as the brand identity, the campaign goals, and requests for a specific kind of content, and, if necessary, provides some input to the advertiser. Then, based on the brief and the request, the platform will find a match among those creators who are best suited for the task. It is also possible to filter the creators by various categories and even specific tags, i.e. “environment”, “fitness”, “fashion”, or “style”, allowing the advertisers to find precisely the talent they are looking for. Generally, responses start arriving within 1 to 3 business days and soon enough the advertiser will have a pool of matching creators to choose from. All communication with creators takes place in one streamlined workspace, making managing a campaign very time-efficient and allowing the advertisers to provide immediate feedback in a built-in chat.

The resulting user-generated content can be run immediately as branded targeted ads – in fact, with Insense being fully integrated with Facebook Ads, a whole campaign could be managed directly from the platform – or used on a website, social media feed, or a presentation.