How to Use Branded Content Tools on Instagram


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In 2020, experts predict that influencer marketing budgets will increase by 65%. When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram has long topped the charts, with 89% of marketers naming it the most important platform.

So it’s no surprise that the popular social media app has taken notice, creating Instagram branded content tools to help influencers and companies connect and work together!

If you’re a content creator looking to find brands or a business searching for influencer content, learning how to use Instagram’s latest tools is a must!

This guide teaches you:

  • How to get the Instagram branded content tool,
  • The setup steps you need to complete as a creator or a business
  • How to approve branded content posts and tags as a business
  • How to use Instagram branded content in ads!

What is Branded Content on Instagram?

Before you start creating sponsored posts on Instagram, it’s helpful to understand what counts as branded content on Instagram, meaning any content posted by a social media user and paid for by a brand.

“Paid for” doesn’t necessarily mean that money is exchanged. Sometimes goods or services, like clothing or a hotel stay, are provided in exchange for a post or posts about these items.

Now that you know what branded content is, it’s time to learn the Instagram branded content tool meaning.

instagram paid partnership label for branded content

Who Has Branded Content on Instagram Eligibility?

Instagram’s branded content tools help both brands and influencers manage any branded content. But these tools aren’t for just anyone; Instagram has strict eligibility requirements for who can use their tools.

You’ll need to meet the following requirements for using branded content tools:

  • Comply with Instagram Community Guidelines
  • Comply with Instagram Content Monetization Policies
  • Share accurate information: Posting false news or misinformation can make you ineligible to use branded content tools!
  • Monetize authentic engagement: Instagram users have been known to pay for followers. This rule keeps brands and creators from doing anything to fake or boost views and engagement.
  • Follow Instagram’s rules for making and receiving payments: To protect brands and influencers alike, Instagram has strict rules for making and receiving payments for content.
  • Develop an established presence: If you’re new to the Instagram game, you probably won’t be able to use the tools just yet. You’ll need to have an established presence and some Instagram followers first.
  • Follow rules for politicians and governments: Elected and appointed government officials, current political candidates or parties can’t use the monetization features. This also applies to registered political committees and political advertisements.
  • Avoid systemic violations: If any person, business, or page associated with either a brand or their partners has stacked up policy violations, everyone involved could lose the ability to use these tools.

If you don’t meet all of the above requirements, you’ll have to go back through them to satisfy each before your Instagram branded content tool “not eligible” status is reversed.

How to Use the Branded Content Tool on Instagram for Creators

If you feel that you meet these requirements, you can start the process of setting up branded content tools for Instagram. As a content creator, there are a few things you’ll need to do to set up and start using these tools.

Step One: Set Up Branded Content Tools

To access Instagram’s branded content tools, you’ll first need to set them up in your account, using the following steps:

  • Open the Instagram app and tap Menu
  • Open Settings
  • Tap Account
  • Select Branded Content Tools 
  • Tap Get Tools 

Step Two: Tag Your Business Partner in Your Post

Wondering how to tag branded content on Instagram? Now that you’ve added Instagram branded content tools to your account, it’s time to start using them. You can add a branded content tag on Instagram, meaning you can tag business partners in your posts.

After you’ve uploaded and edited an image and written your caption, go to your Advanced Settings. Tap Tag Business Partner, and enter the business you want to tag in the Search Box.

You can also let business partners promote your content in ads with a toggle switch!

tag branded content on instagram in settings

How to Get Permission for Branded Content on Instagram

Before you can tag brand partners in your Instagram branded content posts though, you’re going to need their permission.

Instagram now automatically sets up new business accounts so that they have to authorize any branded content posts. If your brand partner appears in the search results but you can’t tag them, you’ll need to reach out to that business to request permission.

Businesses can change this setting in their branded content tools (more on this later!)

How to Use the Branded Content Tool on Instagram for Brands

The process for businesses to start using branded content on Instagram and the tools that go with it is a bit more complicated. You’ll need to apply first, then follow a few simple steps to start using your new tools.

Step One: Apply For Facebook Brand Collabs Manager

Start by applying to Facebook Brand Collabs Manager. This awesome tool lets you search for content creators in your niche, check out insights, and even create branded content ads on Instagram from posts that you’ve been tagged in.

You’ll have to apply as a creator or a publisher (business) and follow the instructions for each.

After you submit your page, Facebook will review your business account. If your Facebook page is approved, you’ll be added to Brand Collabs.

Facebook Brand Collabs Dashboard

How to Review Partner Content Insights

After you’ve been approved for Facebook Brand Collabs Manager, you can start checking out insights from any partner content you’re tagged in. You can also use that content to create branded content Instagram ads.

Start by selecting Insights from the left menu. There, you’ll see any partner content you’ve been tagged in, as well as key metrics like reach, impressions, engagement, and demographics. For Story partner content, you can also view actions like taps forward, taps backward, replies, and exits.

Use these insights to decide if your paid partnership was a success. You’ll want to judge impact with their audience, and measure results and engagement with the post!

Viewing insights from branded Instagram content in Brand Collabs Manager

Step Two: Locate Branded Content Tools in the Instagram App

Don’t have Branded Content Tools enabled yet? You can still access the tool, just as long as a partner tags you in branded content.

To view your tagging settings in the Instagram app, go Menu > Settings > Business > Branded Content Approvals.

So what is branded content approval on Instagram, anyway? We’ll explain what it is, and the options for approval below.

Step Three: Review Your Branded Content Tags

You can turn your Manually Approved Tags on and off in your settings at any time. This allows every creator to tag you without requiring a review.

It also gives you the option to control tags by reviewing individual posts before they go live.

In your settings, you can see Tag Requests that are awaiting approval. You’ll also see your list of Approved Business Partners. Tap Approved Business Partners to review your list or to search and add profiles at any time.

Note that on the Activity screen, you’ll see “Branded Content.” This will show you branded content that your partners are currently running, as well as requests for tags.

How to Remove Branded Content Tool on Instagram

Second-guessing a business partner tag? No worries – removing one is actually super easy. Here’s what to do:

  • Open the Instagram app and go to your Activity Page
  • Tap Branded Content
  • Select the post you want to untag
  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner
  • Tap Remove Tag
  • Confirm removal

how to remove branded tag on Instagram

Step Four: Promote Branded Content in Ads

Now that you’ve double-checked your tags and insights, it’s time to run some ads! Here’s how to promote branded content on Instagram in ads and boosted posts:

  1. Go to your Facebook Business Page > Ads Manager > Create an Ad
  2. Pick your ad objective. Branded content can only be used for App installs, Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, Video Views, Conversions + Page Post Engagement.
  3. Complete the steps of ad creation, such as target audience, placements, budget & schedule.
  4. When you get to Ad, click Use Existing Post. Then, click Branded Content. Here you’ll see the organic branded content posts and Instagram Stories that a Creator has tagged you in with permission to promote.
  5. You’ll be able to preview your ad placements and see how the branded content Instagram examples look on different feeds in Instagram and Facebook. Finish creating, and click Confirm!

Preview branded content tool on Instagram ads

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Caitlin Lamb is a Content Marketer and Editor with a passion for helping businesses and individuals master social media and web marketing.

When she isn’t traveling around the world, you’ll find her at home in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and their spoiled rescue pup Briley.

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