The Future of Brand-Influencer Partnerships
Social media has become so much more than a form of microblogging: We use it to communicate and to keep in touch with friends and family. We use it to stay informed about what’s happening in our communities and globally. We use it to discover and even to purchase new products.
In fact, 37 percent of users between the ages of 18 and 34 — a range that encompasses the most active age groups on social media today — have already started buying products directly through social media. Meanwhile, platforms like Instagram continue to develop new tools with which brands can more easily and effectively reach their target audiences.
That’s where Instagram branded content comes in.
What is Branded Content on Instagram?
Parent company Facebook defines Instagram branded content as a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value.
In practice, this content usually features or showcases the brand partner’s product or services to one degree or another.
The term “value” refers to compensation, which is often, but not exclusively, monetary compensation that the content creator receives from the brand or business partner. By exchanging “value,” these brand partnerships are advantageous for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Instagram ensures transparency by requiring the brand partner to be tagged on the post, which signals to the audience that they’re looking at branded content.
How Does Instagram Branded Content Work?
Much of the benefit of branded content on Instagram comes from the content creator or influencer. Or, more specifically, his or her audience.
When at its greatest effect, branded content can be the product of a brand partnering with a content creator whose values and audience overlap with those of the brand. A recent example of this is fitness influencer Elizabeth Akinwale creating branded content for health and wellness education company ISSA.
Although the content wouldn’t exist without the content creator, the brand, company, or business still plays a major role. Remember, the brand “influences” the content, which means the brand guides the content creator or influencer in the creation of branded content. Because even though brand partners often want the creator to showcase his or her own unique style, they must also remain aware of being on-brand and potential ROI (return on investment).
Of course, Instagram is where these brand-influencer partnerships come to fruition. Using Instagram branded content, brands can tap into an influencer’s audience, which, due to the frequent overlap of demographics and interests, is often a more qualified audience than you see with standard Instagram advertisements. Building off the trust that the audience has for the influencer or creator, the brand often gains many new and happy customers.
Creating Branded Content on Instagram
The process of creating branded content begins and it progresses much like a standard Instagram post. However, before finalizing the post, there are a few additional steps to take to tag a brand partner.
- Create a new post as usual.
- On the final screen, locate Advanced near the bottom of the screen. Then tap Tag Business Partner.
- Search for the brand or company you wish to tag on the post.
Note: If you are creating content for multiple brands, make sure you’re selecting the correct brand.
- Select whether or not to allow the brand partner to promote the post as a paid advertisement.
Tagging a Brand Partner in an Existing Instagram Post or Story
If you want to tag a brand partner in content that’s already posted to Instagram, simply follow the steps below.
- Open the Instagram post or story, then tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner to open the post’s settings.
- Select Edit.
- Choose Add Partner.
- Select Tag Business Partner.
- Search for and select your brand partner.
Setting Up Instagram Branded Content Approval
It’s typically recommended that brands and businesses set up branded content approval. With this feature active, a brand must approve creators before they can tag the brand in branded content. This gives brands control over the content with which those brands are associated.
- Navigate to your account settings and select Business.
- Select Branded content approvals.
- Move the Require approval toggle to the “on” position.
- If there are creators who you’d like to approve, you can do that here as well.
Why You Should Be Using Instagram Branded Content
By now, you’re probably asking yourself a very basic question: What is the real benefit of using branded content on Instagram? As it happens, branded content is valuable for both brands and businesses.
Value for Brands
Advertising will always have a place on social media, especially as platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter continue to make their native advertising tools more accessible and easier to use. However, the drawback of advertising on social media is that conversion — or the rate at which those exposed to the ad end up becoming a customer by making a purchase — tends to be low. Think of it this way: thousands and thousands of people may drive past a billboard each day, but the percentage of those people for whom the billboard is relevant is probably rather small.
Influencer marketing with branded content on Instagram is a way for brands to reach a more qualified audience. Instead of wasting ad spend reaching people for whom the product or service isn’t relevant, a brand can utilize Instagram branded content to reach consumers who are more likely to buy that product or service. Even if the brand is spending the same amount on branded content as it would on standard social ads, higher conversion means that the ROI is much better.
Value for Creators
Branded content isn’t just beneficial for brands. For content creators, there’s validation in brand-influencer partnerships. When a major brand approaches a creator for a brand partnership, that creator’s expertise is validated and given tangible worth.
Additionally, creators often benefit from the exposure that comes with being associated with a major brand or company. This is especially true when a brand uses the branded content as a paid advertisement, which is extremely easy to do using Insense Pro. Because once that branded content becomes an ad, the creator’s content is put in front of an exponentially larger audience.
How to Use Instagram Branded Content with Insense Pro
Insense has streamlined the experience of brand-influencer partnerships on both ends. For content creators, this platform is a tool for building relationships with brands, ensuring that they’re creating content that meets each brand’s criteria, for submitting completed content, and for giving brands the ability to post content or run branded content as paid as at their leisure. Then when it comes time for compensation, using this platform content creators receive their dues. Overall, these tools make brand partnerships a much smoother experience for creators.
This tool makes finding ideal candidates for a brand-influencer partnership easy with the built-in hashtag system. Brands can filter and search Insense creators by specific characteristics and attributes. Then creating and submitting creative briefs is just as simple. Meanwhile, this platform keeps lines of communication open at all times, allowing for a fruitful collaboration between brand and creator.
When it comes time to post the branded content, the brand remains largely in control. Because of the whitelisting feature, brands have immense access to branded content in addition to gaining valuable insights throughout the campaign.
Case Study: DCB Lab & Jean-Patrique
After two decades, Jean-Patrique — an established kitchenware brand — had stagnated and was experiencing no growth. Then in 2019, the company was acquired by DCB Lab and began updating Jean-Patrique’s very outdated business model, which relied almost exclusively on catalogs and mail-order.
The struggling company was overhauled, receiving a new acquisition funnel, business model, and digital channels. But a major part of DCB Lab’s strategy for Jean-Patrique was influencer marketing.
As intended, the content created through these partnerships put Jean-Patrique products in front of a highly qualified audience, resulting in a rapid increase in sales.
DCB Lab commissioned over 100 pieces of branded content with Insense, achieving 2.3x ROAS (return on ad spend) and a 300-percent increase in Jean-Patrique’s quarterly growth. Needless to say, this was a major turnaround for the company. But equally as important were the invaluable insights into what worked (and what didn’t work) that was obtained through influencer marketing with branded content.
To Wrap It Up
As you can see, branded content on Instagram can be a real asset to building or growing an audience for your brand. Through partnerships with experienced and talented creators, you can tap into audiences that are highly qualified, resulting in more exposure for your brand and, in many cases, a substantial boost in sales.
Of course, finding influencers and creators for brand-influencer partnerships can be a daunting task. Because how do you find the right creators for your brand? And how do you maximize your returns on your marketing spend? Especially when you’re new to influencer marketing, this can feel a lot like taking shots in the dark. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Choose smart platforms to help you out. These tools facilitate the brand-influencer partnership from start to finish, beginning with your search through a database of experienced creators and ending with your influencer partner delivering high-quality and original content.
Dane O’Leary is a writer, journalist, marketing specialist, and branding coordinator. He frequently writes for Insense about influencer marketing, advertising, content creation, and the power of social.
Influencer Marketing: Instagram Branded Content
We tell you how by an influencer marketing strategy you can get awesome Instagram branded content to get more engagement and wider audiences for both content creators and brands!Instagram Templates