BRANDED CONTENT ADS

Your guide to promoting branded content on Instagram

Introducing Branded Content Ads on Instagram

With creator permission, businesses can use Ads Manager to promote branded content as an Instagram feed or Stories ad.

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At Instagram, we’ve heard feedback that branded content delivers significant value to brands, and we've seen more and more brands investing in branded content as part of their overall marketing strategies. Businesses want to share their brand story from the creator’s point of view and use that authentic content in their ad strategies.

Now, we're inviting businesses to promote creators' organic branded content posts as feed or Stories ads on Instagram. Businesses will now be able to scale these posts beyond a creator's audience, target specific audiences and measure performance using the tools in our ads platform. Additionally, creators will also be able to promote their own posts to reach a wider audience.

Why Branded Content Ads?

Up until now, branded content on Instagram has been entirely organic. Now advertisers can use tools in the ads system to drive business outcomes with Branded Content ads.

REACH

Scale a creator’s post with Branded Content ads to resonate with your entire audience - regardless of which accounts they follow.

TARGET

Leverage ads’ targeting capabilities to bring a creator’s post to your specific audience’s feed or Stories straight from Ads Manager.

MEASURE

Inform your Branded Content ads strategy with the same measurement capabilities as other ad products and optimize toward a variety of objectives.

Products

Promote a creator’s organic branded content as an ad that appears in your target audience’s Stories or feed.

Branded Content feed Ads
Example of an Instagram Branded Content feed Ad
Branded Content Stories Ads
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Advertisers How To

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Step 1: Branded Content Approvals

Give the creator permission to tag your business in their branded content feed post or Story.

  1. In the Instagram app go to your business profile Settings page and select Business.

  2. Select Branded Content and make sure the Require Approvals button is toggled on. This will grant specific creators permission to tag your business. The toggle will be turned on by default.

  3. To enable a creator to tag your business, select Approved Accounts.

  4. Search for and select the creator’s Instagram handle that you will be partnering with.

  5. The selected creator will now be able to tag your business in their posts. Note that by giving creators this permission, you also give them the ability to promote their posts as ads.

When a creator makes a branded content post on Instagram and tags your business, they can also opt to Allow Business Partner to Promote. This will give you permission to promote the creator’s organic branded content feed or Stories post as an ad.

Step 2: Campaign Set Up - Ads Manager

Once the creator has tagged your business in a branded content post and given permission to promote it, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Ads Manager and create an ad.

  2. Select from one of the available objectives (these include Brand Awareness, Video Views, Reach, Conversions, Traffic and Engagement)

  3. At the Placements step, you can choose to promote an organic post as an ad in Instagram feed, Stories or Explore. Note that if you want to use an organic Stories post, you can only promote it as an Instagram Stories ad. By the end of October 2019, advertisers will be able to promote creators’ Facebook organic branded content posts as ads on Instagram - and, vice versa, it will be possible to promote Instagram organic branded content posts as ads on Facebook.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. Creators who want to promote their own branded content will see their posts appear here as well. Choose the branded content post that you want to promote on Instagram. Note: As of September 2019, brands can now promote creator feed posts as ads in feed, Stories and Explore. Please note that at this time, creator Stories posts cannot be promoted as ads in feed or Explore.

  6. You'll see a preview of your ad. If everything looks good, finish creating your ad and click Confirm.

Note that by the end of October 2019, publishers and creators will have the ability to create ads with the branded content format in Ads Manager, without needing to promote a pre-existing organic post. However, this capability is not yet available to advertisers who want to run a Branded Content ad coming from an individual creator’s Instagram handle.

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As of September 2019, you can now also promote organic feed posts as Branded Content ads on Stories and in Explore.

Example of an Instagram Branded Content feed Ad

Original feed ad

Example of an Instagram Branded Content feed Ad

How the ad appears as a Story

Example of an Instagram Branded Content feed Ad

How the ad appears in Explore

Once you've created your ad, it will be reviewed by Facebook and you'll be notified when it's approved. The ad will then appear in the Instagram feeds and Stories of the audience you chose. You won't be able to manage or delete likes and comments that appear on the promoted branded content feed post or Story.

Note: As of December 2019, it is possible to promote static images, videos and carousel posts as Branded Content ads. For Stories, @mentions, hashtags, emojis, GIFs and stickers are also not supported at this time.

Measurement

Once your ad is live, you'll have access to all of the standard ad reporting metrics in Ads Manager. Insights for organic Instagram branded content will be available within Brands Collab Manager, which can be accessed from the Facebook Pages Settings.

Creators How To

Creators on Instagram can now allow businesses to promote their organic branded content feed and Stories posts as ads on Instagram. This means that when you partner with a business to create a branded content post, you can give them permission to turn that post into an ad.

Creators can now promote both their Facebook and Instagram organic branded content posts as ads on Instagram directly from Ads Manager. If you want to promote your own post as an ad, navigate to Ads Manager and select your post in the Use Existing Post section. Note that at this time, it is not yet possible for creators to promote their Instagram organic branded content posts as ads on Facebook. Refer to the Ads Manager section for more information.

Getting Started - Promotion Approvals

Give your business partner permission to promote your branded content.

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Creating A New Branded Content feed Post

  1. In the Instagram app select a photo or video or carousel post and add the accompanying caption, effects and filters.

  2. Before uploading the photo, tap Advanced Settings. To add the Branded Content tag onto the post, tap Tag Business Partner.

  3. Search for the business account you are partnering with and be sure to select the correct business/brand account associated with the post.

  4. Return to the Advanced Settings page and toggle on the Allow Business Partner to Promote button to give the brand/business access to promote your branded content post as an ad. Please note that if you want to promote your own organic branded content posts (feed or Stories), you do not need to turn on the toggle.

  5. Once the business is tagged and the Allow Business Partner to Promote button is toggled on, publish your content.

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Adding Permission To Existing Branded Content feed Post

  1. Navigate to the branded content post and tap three dots at the top right and select Edit from the menu.

  2. Tap Add Partner to tag a business account in the post.

  3. To add the Branded Content tag onto the post, tap Tag Business Partner.

  4. Search for the business account you are partnering with and be sure to select the correct business/brand account associated with the post. .

  5. Once your business partner is tagged, return to the Business Partner Settings page and toggle on the Allow Business Partner to Promote button to give the brand/business access to promote your branded content post as an ad.

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Creating A New Branded Content Story

  1. Select the branded content photo or video to add to your story.

    Note: You cannot type a hashtag, @mention any account as text, use stickers, GIFs, music, emojis or polling stickers.

  2. Select the link icon that is located at the top of the story creation screen to open the More Options screen.

  3. Tap Tag Business Partner and search for and select the correct business/brand you are partnering with.

  4. Navigate back to the More Options screen and toggle on the Allow Business Partner to Promote button to give the business access to promote your story. Please note that once the advertiser runs the campaign, you will not be able to change this toggle setting.

    Note: At the present time, creators are not able to promote their own Stories as ads.

Note: Stories Archive feature must be set up in order for businesses to be able to promote your Story as a Branded Content ad. For instructions on how to enable this feature click HERE.

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Using An Existing Branded Content Story

  1. View your organic branded content story you’d like to promote.

    Note: Edits cannot be made to an expired Story even if it is saved to your archive.

  2. Select the three dots that are located at the top of the story creation screen to open the More Options screen.

  3. To add the branded content tag, tap Tag Business Partner and search for and select the correct business/brand you are partnering with.

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

  4. Navigate back to the More Options screen and toggle on the Allow Business Partner to Promote button to give the business access to promote your story.

Note: Stories Archive feature must be set up in order for businesses to be able to promote your Story as a Branded Content ad. For instructions on how to enable this feature click HERE.

Getting Promoted - What To Expect

Now the business partner has the option to promote the branded content story or post.

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Feed Posts

You won't see a preview of what the Branded Content feed ad will look like, but it will look similar to this.

You are able to edit or delete the post before the business partner has promoted it, but once promotion begins you will not be able to edit or delete the post until the end of the advertiser’s campaign.

If you do not want the branded content post to display on your profile, it can be archived at any time.

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Stories

You won't see a preview of what the Branded Content Stories ad will look like, but it will look similar to this.

After the first 24 hours, the branded content Story disappears from your profile, but is saved to your archive. Advertisers can promote your Stories post as an ad after the post expires as long as it is in your Stories archive.

Note: If the business partner has already launched a campaign, there is not a way to prevent the advertiser from running future campaigns.

Finishing Up - After Your Branded Content Post Is Promoted

Notifications

When your business partner promotes your branded content post, you'll get a notification in the Branded Content section of the Instagram app that the ad campaign has been created.

When you tap on the notification, it will say that the business partner has “promoted your post.“

Insights

In the Insights section of your app, you'll have access to all of your organic metrics like you normally would for branded content posts.

Creator Permissions: Branded Content feed Ads

Once the Branded Content feed ad campaign ends, your branded content post is eligible to be promoted again by that same business partner, unless you toggle off the Allow Business Partner to Promote option. In other words, as long as you give permission, your post can be promoted more than once.

Note: You won't be notified when the campaign ends.

  • Edit and delete: After your branded content post has been promoted, you cannot edit or delete the content while the campaign is running or after the promotion ends. You can only edit or delete the content if the business deletes the ad completely.

  • Archive: You can archive the branded content post at any time when the ad is running or after the campaign ends.

  • Promote your own post: As of September 2019, it is now possible for creators to promote both their Facebook and Instagram organic branded content posts as ads on Instagram. Note that at this time, it is not yet possible for creators to promote their Instagram organic branded content posts as ads on Facebook.

Creator Permissions: Branded Content Stories Ads

Once the Branded Content Stories ad campaign ends, your Story will still be eligible to be promoted by the advertiser. Unlike Branded Content feed ads, there is not a way for a creator to prevent the advertiser from running additional campaigns, after the first campaign has already run.

  • Edit and delete: After your branded content post has been promoted, you cannot delete the content while the campaign is running.

  • Archive: You will need to enable archive so your advertisers can promote the branded content Story as an ad. Advertisers will be able to promote archived branded content Stories, so you do not need to create a new post every time a business partner wants to promote.

  • Promote your own Story: At this time, it is not possible for creators to promote their own organic branded content Stories as ads.

FAQ

Q: How can a Creator gain access to the Branded Content Tag?

As of September 2019, all users on Instagram will be able to apply for access to the Branded Content Tag within the app; navigate from Settings -> Branded Content Tools -> Branded Content Tag and follow the instructions to apply for access.

Q: Is it possible to promote a creator’s Instagram organic branded content post as an ad on both Instagram and Facebook?

By the end of October 2019, it will be possible for an advertiser to promote a creator’s Instagram organic branded content Feed post as an ad on Facebook. Note that publishers/creators will not yet be able to promote their own Instagram organic branded content posts as ads on Facebook.

Q: Is it possible to promote a creator’s Facebook organic branded content post as an ad on both Facebook and Instagram?

It is now possible for an advertiser to promote a creator’s Facebook organic branded content Feed post as an ad on Instagram.

Q: Is it possible to promote a Carousel branded content post as a Branded Content feed ad?

As of December 2019, it is possible to promote carousel posts as Branded Content Feed ads.

Q: Is it possible to create a Branded Content ad on Instagram without the creator having to post organically first?

By the end of October 2019, it will be possible for a creator/publisher to publish a Branded Content ad in Ads Manager without posting organically first. However, it will not be possible for an advertiser to create a dark post Branded Content ad on Instagram that comes from a creator’s handle without first having the creator create an organic branded content post on Instagram.

Q: Are Branded Content ads available for all objectives?

At this time, Branded Content feed ads are available for the following objectives: Brand Awareness, Reach, Video Views, Conversions, Traffic and Post Engagement. Branded Content Stories ads are available for all of the above objectives excluding Post Engagement. At this time, Mobile App Install are not yet available.

Q: Is it possible to target a creator’s audience using Branded Content ads on Instagram?

At this time, it is not possible to explicitly target the creator’s audience. It is possible that a creator’s followers will still see the ad if they fall into your standard ads targeting.

Q: Is it possible to edit the caption or moderate comments for Branded Content ads?

At this time, advertisers cannot edit the creator’s caption for their organic branded content post. It is also not possible for advertisers to moderate comments for Branded Content ads.

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