If you’re looking to get an even bigger ROI on your influencer marketing, you may want to check out Instagram’s new branded content ads!
Announced on Tuesday, the new feature allows businesses to promote organic posts from influencers as feed ads within the app.
According to Instagram’s press release, “businesses will now be able to scale [sponsored] posts beyond a creator’s audience, and will be able to target specific audiences and measure performance using the tools in our ads platform.”
Ready to get started?
Here’s everything you need to know about the new branded content ads on Instagram and how to run your own branded content ad campaign:
What are Branded Content Ads on Instagram
With 68% of people saying they come to Instagram to interact with creators, it’s easy to see why so many businesses partner with influencers to create branded content — it’s a great way to reach new audiences quickly.
Unfortunately, until today, branded content on Instagram has been entirely organic, meaning that businesses had no way of “advertising” or even boosting the sponsored posts their influencer partners created.
Well, that’s all changed now!
Thanks to the new branded content ads feature, businesses can now promote influencer posts as ads on Instagram via Facebook Ads Manager.
This obviously has big potential for businesses and could result in a much bigger ROI on influencer campaigns.
Rather than relying entirely on an influencer’s audience, businesses will now be able to target specific audiences with their sponsored content and measure performance using the tools in Facebook’s ads platform.
In other words, businesses can take advantage of Facebook’s targeting capabilities to reach people beyond those who follow the account of the specific influencer.
According to Instagram, “By running ads, businesses will have access to measurement and can optimize and test their campaigns against their set goals for more effective marketing campaigns.”
Ready to run your own branded content ads on Instagram? Here’s everything you need to know:
How to Run Your Own Branded Content Ads on Instagram
There are 3 main steps for creating branded content ads. First, businesses need to give influencers permission to tag them in branded content posts. Then influencers need to enable their business partners to promote their post as an ad.
Once they do this, the business will be able to see the post in Ads Manager under Existing Posts and can choose to run it as a feed ad.
Getting Started With Branded Content Ads as an Advertiser
Before you can run branded content ads, you need to give your influencer partners permission to tag your business in their branded content post.
Open your settings within the Instagram app and select Business Settings.
Now select Branded Content.
Toggle the Require Approvals button to “on” and then select Approved Accounts.
Here you can add the creator’s Instagram handle that you will be partnering with.
Getting Started With Branded Content Ads as an Influencer
Once you’ve been “approved” by a business, you can give that business permission to promote your organic branded content posts as branded content ads.
Here’s how to do it:
Option #1: Creating a New Branded Content Post
In Instagram, select a photo or video and add the accompanying caption, effects, and filters. Prior to sharing, select Advanced Settings.
Add the Branded Content tag onto the post by tapping Tag Business Partner and search for the business.
Note: Be sure to select the name of the correct business/brand associated with the post.
Next, toggle the Allow Business Partner to Promote button to “on” to give the brand/business access to promote your branded content post.
Option #2: Adding a Branded Content Tag to an Existing Post
Navigate to the post, tap the ellipsis button in the top right corner, and select Edit.
Now select Add Partner.
Add the Branded Content tag onto the post by tapping Tag Business Partner and then searching for the correct business associated with the post.
Note: If the business appears in the search results, but doesn’t allow you to tag it, you must contact your business partner and ask to be approved.
Under the Branded Content Partner Permissions section toggle on the Allow Business Partner to Promote button to give the brand/business access to promote your Branded Content post.
Once you’ve given permission, your business partner now has the option to promote the branded content post.
How to Create Your First Branded Content Ad
Once an influencer has tagged your business in a branded content post and given you permission to promote it, you can get started with creating your first branded content ad. Here’s how to do it:
Start by opening Ads Manager and clicking Create.
Pick one of these objectives for your branded content ad: reach, brand awareness objective (BAO), video views, engagement, or traffic.
Continue creating your ad. At the Audience step set your targeting and at the Placements step select Instagram Feed.
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.
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. Choose the branded content post that you want to promote on Instagram.
Once you set your ad live, your influencer partner will receive a notification in the Branded Content section of the Instagram app that the ad campaign has been created.
You’ll also be able to access all of your organic metrics like you normally would for branded content posts in your Instagram Insights.
Just getting started with Instagram advertising? Check out our step-by-step guide on how to run your first Instagram ad campaign!
Why Businesses Should Run Branded Content Ads on Instagram
What it really comes down to is reach.
Prior to the new feature, when a business partnered with an influencer to create a sponsored post, they could really only leverage that influencer’s own audience.
But now that businesses can promote their sponsored posts as ads on Instagram, there’s really no limit to who you can reach!
You can also leverage Facebook’s optimization tools to drive more specific business goals with your sponsored content, whether that’s traffic, engagement, brand awareness, or something else.
Basically, the new feature gives you everything you loved from traditional influencer marketing (i.e. the ability to promote your brand and products in a more authentic way) plus the added ability to optimize your campaigns towards a specific audience and objective.
It also remains to be seen how the new ads will affect how businesses and influencers work together. The feature essentially gives more control to businesses over who sees their sponsored content — and at the same time takes control away from influencers.
On the other hand, when a business runs a branded content ad, that becomes “free” exposure to the influencer since its likely the business that will manage the ad spend.
Have you run a branded content ad on Instagram yet? Let us know what you think of this new feature in the comments!
Learn more about how your business can use Instagram influencer marketing to increase your brand awareness, follower base, and drive major sales!