7 Branded Content Tips for Businesses From Creators at VidCon
Last month, Meta stopped by VidCon US to catch up with creators about how they like to work with businesses big and small on content like Instagram Reels. Our recent We Create video series shows a behind-the-scenes look at how creators can collaborate with brands, businesses and agencies on Instagram. At VidCon, we kept this conversation going by speaking with even more creators about branded content.
1. Deploy a multi-pronged approach.
Mexican creator Luann Diez shared that she aims to show up in multiple touchpoints when she works with businesses on brand campaigns. That means posting to Instagram Stories, Feed and Reels.
“I try to target all the different tools that Instagram has so that it's a more beneficial campaign, more authentic and more long-term—people don't just see it once and forget about it, but they have a more long-lasting effect on what you're trying to sell or the brand awareness that you want to create,” she said.
2. Let creators share their story.
Just like every business has their own backstory, every creator is on their own unique journey, and tapping into can be invaluable during collaborations. Letting the creators you work with share their perspective openly is an opportunity for businesses to amplify diverse voices and be authentic to their communities.
“I'm Mexican and I live in the US,” shared Luann. “I’ve lived in the US for half of my life and I feel like a lot of people can relate to that story. They have lived this story and they can relate to me, which creates a bond. And I think it can be very beneficial to brands to use my story.”
3. Ensure a creator’s values align with your brand’s values.
“I want to work with brands where I feel like they're trustworthy,” says comedian and actress Daphnique Springs. “They're very clear on their message so that I can convey their message back to my audience. I love working with brands that are diverse, that are very fluid and just relate to me and my people.”
Smile Squad founder Markian Benhamou added that brands should research creators and take time to immerse themselves in their communities to ensure values align on both sides. “Get involved with the content, learn about the community, learn who the influential people are,” he advised brands. Forming a connection with a creator over shared values can help ensure that the resulting body of work resonates with their audience and leads to results.
4. Leverage creators’ insights.
Daphnique shared that she leverages insights to showcase brands how engaged her audience is on Instagram, and that it’s in the brand’s target demographic.
“Meta is amazing at giving you precise analytics so that brands can know if you have the audience that they want to attract and work with,” she said. “I'm able to get the countries, the age groups, the genders. And all of that stuff is very important because a brand should not waste money on a creator that's not their target audience.”
5. Connect with creators IRL and online.
Luann shared that brands often slide into her DMs with proposals to collaborate, and she has done the same with brands she admires. They also email her—pro tip for businesses and creators alike: include a contact email address in your Instagram bio—though her “favorite [way to connect] is definitely at events, because you get to really meet the person that you're going to be working with and see if it would actually be a match to work on a campaign together.”
6. Ask creators to pin branded content to the top of their grid.
Daphnique said that the new grid-pinning feature is going to take her brand partnerships to the next level because now, branded content posts will be highlighted at the top of her profile grid.
“Every time someone comes to your profile, they can now see that you're working with that brand,” she said, adding that brands should bake the feature as a requirement into contracts.
7. Remember what businesses gain from working with creators.
“Brands gain trust from creators,” Markian said. “Creators have that authentic connection with their audience. Creators are people, they have personalities. For us, it's all about having a positive message with our content. If we can integrate a brand with that, then it's gonna be a seamless collaboration.”
Daphnique reiterated that message, saying that her connection to her audience is the superpower she brings to the table. By partnering with her, “you're able to gain someone who truly knows their audience and has the creativity to attract their audience.”
Learn more about our creator marketplace—a destination that allows brands to find creators they may want to connect with, currently available on an invite-only basis to brands active in the US.