BRANDED CONTENT ON INSTAGRAM

Branded content on Instagram enables people to learn about a product or service through the voice of a person they follow. Businesses do this by partnering with our diverse community of creators (influencers and publishers). The posts and stories from these partnerships that are created in an exchange of value from the business are known as branded content.

When done right, branded content can help brands to win consumers’ hearts and minds.

There are three factors to keep in mind as you consider whether branded content is right for your business:

Audience Reach and Targeting

Keep in mind that people from other regions outside of where your product is sold, as well as people of different age groups and genders outside of your target audience might be following the partner that you work with. Therefore, your partner's followers might not exactly match your target audience, despite perceptions about who might follow a certain partner. An organic partner post will also not reach the partner’s full audience.

Measurement

Measuring the performance of organic posts is complex. Instagram can measure Reach and Engagement when partners use the branded content tag, but only Instagram Ads offer full measurement.

Perceived Promotional Content

In our user research, we have found that the Instagram community understands that your partners receive compensation for branded content posts. Note that Instagrammers may interpret these posts as advertising.

Branded Content as an Extension of Your Organic Presence

Think of branded content as one component of your overall holistic strategy, which includes ads, your organic content and branded content. Given challenges in measurement for organic content, we recommend viewing branded content as an extension of your organic presence. At Instagram we define organic presence as your actions on Instagram that are not supported by our paid advertising solutions. Your branded content partners can help enhance your organic presence by sharing your brand with segments of their audience.

Keep in mind that ads have the targeting, measurement and scaling capabilities to reach a specific audience that you define.

Tips and Tricks From an Instagrammer's Perspective

We chatted with Instagrammers and creators around the world to hear what kinds of branded content they like to see. Note that these tips and tricks are not from Instagram and they are not meant to drive ads performance.

Transparency: Good for the Community, Good for Business

To keep the trust of the Instagram community, advertiser and partner transparency is key. Instagram urges all advertisers and branded content partners to follow the Facebook policy and use the paid partnerships tag in all branded content posts.

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Relevance: Work With the Right Partner

We recommend working with partners who genuinely enjoy your products. If your product/brand seems out of left field for that partner’s audience, the post will likely not resonate.

You know your brand identity, and it's up to you to find the right partner match. Instagram supports businesses, but no one knows your brand better then you. We therefore encourage businesses to conduct your own research to find the partner who will best represent your brand.

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Authenticity: Ensure That Creative Looks Natural

We encourage you to make sure posts are relevant to your partner and show something authentic to their own brand. Trust your partner's intuition on which creative best practices resonate most with their audience in their organic posts.

Genuine Partnership: Work With Your Partner on an Ongoing Basis

Consider forming a long-standing partnership with partners who are dedicated to your brand, and who work with a limited set of brands, to build trust with their audiences. Limit the number of partners you work with to ensure that Instagrammers are not overwhelmed with many posts from multiple partners about one brand. We found in community research that people on Instagram think branded content posts are more authentic if they believe that the partner has a genuine relationship with the brand.

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Using Branded Content Tools on Instagram

Instagram offers branded content tools that bring consistency and transparency to branded content on the platform. These tools allow creators to tag business partners when creating a branded content post on their feed and/or story. In turn, this gives the business partner access to track the reach and engagement of the post. Learn more about branded content tools.