Branded Content On Instagram: Everything You Need To Know

Instagram has come a long way from the initial Instagram app. What used to be a simple photo-sharing app has become a massive branding tool that influencers, businesses, and aspiring individuals can use to grow their following and make money.

One of the most prominent features is Branded Content on Instagram. With this feature, content creators can easily collaborate with other brands to boost engagement and build consumer trust.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s look at branded content on Instagram and everything you need to know about this powerful tool.

What Is Branded Content On Instagram?

Branded content on Instagram refers to influencer or ambassador content that was created in exchange for some form of value. This value can be gifts, money, etc.

The Instagram Branded Content tools came as a response to influencers or brand ambassadors not disclosing their brand deals. Now, any type of brand-to-influencer exchange needs to be disclosed to the audience, even if it was in exchange for a free product.

Instagram-branded content is not the same as Instagram ads, though. While both can be promoted, the branded content works in conjunction with the “model”, like a business partner.

Monetization policies differ according to content. So it’s a good idea to scan through Instagram’s Partner Monetization Policies before posting branded content.

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How Does Instagram Branded Content Work?

Say an influencer on Instagram was approached by a swimsuit brand and the brand asked the influencer to post a picture with the swimsuit in exchange for $1. This content will be considered branded content.

The influencer then posts the branded content posts with the branded content tool. That’s when the paid partnership label appears on the post, with a tag to the brand partner.

Having this clearly stated helps increase engagement on the brand page and boosts interaction with the product.

The branded content tool is also an amazing way to be transparent about brand partners and branded content ads while increasing engagement.

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Instagram’s Branded Content Tools

If it’s only to add paid partnership labels, then how can it help businesses and influencers grow on the Instagram app? Well, the “tools” aren’t just the label.

Approve Brand Content

To add a paid partnership label to the branded content, it needs to be approved by brand partners first.

Both brands and creators can remove this approval from the app and terminate their branded partnership with the other.

View Instagram Branded Content Insights

When two accounts create branded content, they can both view the post metrics from their Instagram dashboard.

The metrics aren’t just limited to images but also include Instagram videos, Reels, Stories, and Live content.

The metrics for each post type differ.

  • For feed posts, businesses will have access to the post’s reach and engagement.
  • For Instagram Stories, the business partners will have access to the post metrics for 14 days.
  • Live content metrics are available for two years. If the content is deleted before the end of the two years, the tagged business partners will not have access to the insights anymore.

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Create A Branded Content Ad

One of the best parts of Instagram branded content tools is the ability to create an ad and promote the branded content. Both business partners – brands and content creators – can create promotions with the post and view the metrics.

With Organic Content

If you want to promote branded content posts on Instagram, you first need to make sure the creator has posted the branded posts. They also need to enable Business Boost With Business Partners for the brand to promote the ad.

Without Existing Post

Brands and influencers can also create an ad with the Instagram branded content tools without needing an organic post, to begin with.

With the brand tools, the brand can request approval from the creator. If it’s approved, they can create the ad with the branded content tools and the Ads Manager. The content creator will need to approve the ad needs as well.

Easily Measure Branded Content Post Performance

Once an ad has been posted with the branded content tools, the business and the creator will have access to the ad metrics. The insights they have will differ though.

  • Creators: They will have similar access and insights as what they have on their posts with a creator’s Instagram account.
  • Brands: They will have access to branded content posts’ metrics through the Ads Manager. They’ll only be able to see the ads’ performance.

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Who Can Use Instagram Branded Content Tools?

Unfortunately, not all content creators/influencers and businesses/brands can use Instagram’s branded content tools. To use these tools, both parties need to meet Instagram’s eligibility requirements.

Let’s check out the requirements.

  • Eligible Country: Both partners need to live in a country where these tools are available on the app. If you move to a country where branded content tools are not available, you’ll lose access to the features.
  • Promote Correct Information: If the content is flagged for being misinformation or fake news, Instagram will remove the content and the accounts could lose their branded content eligibility.
  • Follow Community Guidelines: If any posts violate Instagram’s community guidelines, whether it be the creator or the brand, they risk losing access to the branded content tools.
  • Established Online Presence: Both parties need to have a maintained follower base and an authentic and consistent online presence.
  • Follow Content Monetization Policy: Monetized content must meet community guidelines and additional monetization policies. These include stricter content guidelines.
  • Authentic Engagement: Branded content only works on content and brand partners with authentic online engagement. No artificial boosting is allowed. This is for any type of metric, including likes, shares, follows, comments, and views.
  • Comply With Payment Terms: Both the business partner and the creator must meet Instagram’s payment send and receive requirements.

If the above rules are repeatedly violated, the entities will lose access to branded content ads, tools, paid partnership options, and other monetization features.

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How To Set Up Instagram Branded Content

Finally, let’s cover how to set up branded content on your Instagram account. To start, you need to have either a business account or a creator account. The branded content won’t be available on the normal Instagram app.

Set Up For The Influencer/Content Creator

To post paid partnership content with the paid partnership label, all you need to do is post as you usually would.

  • Log in to Instagram with the app.
  • From the app home screen, follow the same steps you usually would post content on your feed or story.
  • Add your content and add the caption and edits as you usually would. But before you post, click on the Add Paid Partnership Label option.
  • If there is no such option, go to Advanced Settings and search for the option here.
  • Tag the brand partner – you can tag up to two brands – and post the content to your Instagram.
  • You can also post independently. There will be a paid partnership tag on the post but it won’t have the brand name available. You no longer have to wait for approval.
  • The partner will be notified of your paid partnership request and can deny or approve the tag. If they approve the tag, they will be added to the paid partnership tag below your username.

And that’s it! The content is now available to view and people will see the paid partnership label above the content. The business partner will also have access to the post metrics we discussed earlier.

Set Up For The Brand Partner/Business Partner

To approve branded content tags, your business must have a business account. Here is how to set up branded content on Instagram:

  • The default setting is that all brands need to manually approve brand partner requests. To double-check your setting or to turn the setting to automatic, open the Instagram app.
  • Go to your profile and then Settings.
  • Under Settings, go to the Business tab.
  • Next, go to the Branded Content section.
  • Here you can put Manually Approve Tags on or off with the toggle. We’d suggest keeping this setting on. You don’t want to automatically be tagged or partnered with individuals you don’t know.
  • Right below this is the Tag Request section. Here you check who has requested a paid partnership tag. You can approve or reject them.
  • Below this, you can also add Approved Business Partners to your account. Add content creators you frequently work with and approve their posts automatically. Fortunately, you can remove them if the partnership ends.

The process is super simple but extremely powerful. The brand will also have access to the post metrics and can create branded content ads with the creator’s approval through the Ads Manager.

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Benefits Of Using Branded Content On Instagram

Creating branded content isn’t just easy. It’s also very powerful for businesses. Here are just a few of the many benefits of using Instagram-branded content tools.

Overall Brand & Sales Improvement

Instead of posting an ad about your product and showing it to thousands of strangers on Instagram, you can use the influencer’s credibility to gain a foothold with your target audience.

Here, the engaged followers will take action the way they wouldn’t on traditional ads. With branded content, you’ll see more clicks to your Instagram and increase sales. This leads to increased brand awareness and improved brand retention.

Niche Branded Content

Instagram influencer marketing has proven to be extremely profitable. There are a lot of influencers on Instagram and every imaginable niche has a curated community with a vested interest in the topics they cover.

Partnering with the right influencer is about as powerful as targeted ads can get. You have a foothold with an influencer, who has people in the niche’s trust, and a product or service they could want.

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Long Lasting Partnerships

The Ads Manager and Branded Content tabs make it easy for brands to create long-term partnerships with influencers.

This helps Instagram users build more faith in the brand and builds a great online reputation. If they see a consistent and happy collaboration with their go-to influencer, they’re a lot more likely to press that buy button and trust the product.

Partner & Brand Transparency

People don’t like being duped. For years (and even today) creators and brands try to create “organic” partnerships by denying any partnership involved. This usually doesn’t work out well.

Partner and brand transparency builds trust. This is especially true if it’s a partnership that makes sense – like a skincare brand sponsoring a skincare influencer – and the partnership is consistent.

Scrolling through Instagram on mobile phone


Instagram monetization and branding have come a long way since 2012. Brands can now easily partner with their chosen influencers to increase sales and brand awareness, build trust through transparency, and access niche markets.

And you can too. Find the right influencer for your brand and use Instagram’s branded content tools for fast, easy, and powerful growth.

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