May 2023 / Blog / Influencer Marketing Strategy

The Complete Guide to Create Branded Content on Instagram

According to Instagram, 68% of people who browse its network interact with creators. For this reason, the platform has enabled the option of creating branded content, that is, collaborations between brands and influencers to promote products or services in an authentic and organic way. This strategy seeks to leverage the influence and emotional connection of influencers to reach the audience in a more effective way. To facilitate the content creation process for brands, there are a series of strategies and tools that you can find in this complete guide.

Key Takeaways

  • Branded content is a strategy in which companies collaborate with influencers and other celebrities to promote their products or services on Instagram.
  • To make branded content you can use paid collaboration tags or add contributors to your posts.
  • Check out our expert tips to maximize your branded content strategy on Instagram

What does branded content on Instagram mean?

Branded content is a strategy in which companies collaborate with influencers and other celebrities to promote their products or services on Instagram.

Unlike traditional advertising methods, branded content is managed through influencers, who receive payment or compensation in exchange for performing the advertising, which can vary in formats, from sponsored posts, to stories or videos.

Branded content on Instagram stands out for its focus on storytelling and emotional connection. Content creators selected by companies have engaged followers and a unique voice on the platform, allowing them to generate a higher level of trust and credibility among their audience. This, in turn, can influence purchasing decisions and generate a positive impact on brand perception.

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What is branded content used for in your Instagram strategy?

Branded content in any influencer marketing strategy serves to build awareness of your business and increase brand recognition among your target audience. By creating content that is relevant, creative, and consistent with your identity, you manage to stand out and be remembered by users.

On Instagram specifically, these are the main benefits we can highlight:

  1. Creators and companies have control over the content they publish and the sponsored collaborations they make. 
  2. Having more statistics and information about ad performance. This is because there is an increase in user interactions and insight metrics when your content becomes an ad. However, business profiles that choose to promote a post only have access to paid metrics through the “Ads Manager”.
  3. Increase reach. When influencers grant the necessary permission, businesses can promote branded content posts using the “Ads Manager.” This allows content to be displayed as ads in the Instagram News Feed of people using the platform. In addition to reaching the creator’s followers, advertisers also have the opportunity to reach people relevant to their business from their own profiles. 

Read also: Top 10 Instagram influencers.

What are tools for creating branded content on Instagram?

To facilitate the process in creating branded content, Instagram has developed some tools that business profiles and influencers can access through the post settings when creating a new piece of content. Below, we describe  the main options for branded content on Instagram:

1. Paid collaboration tag: How to tag business partners?

On Instagram, there is a specific feature called “collaboration tag” that allows influencers to disclose that a post is a paid collaboration of  a brand or business partner. This information is essential to maintain the trust of followers, have greater transparency, and comply with advertising regulations.

To use this in your campaigns, the first thing you should know is that this feature is only available for business and creator accounts on Instagram.

Before you get started, you’ll need to activate the branded content tools that include the paid collaboration tag. Note that the other profile of the business partner with whom you’ll be developing the collaboration must also have a business or professional profile to be tagged. Once verified, you will need to follow the following steps to make your tag depending on the desired format: 

  • For posts in the news section:  Select the content and tap “Next”. Then go to “Advanced settings” and activate the paid collaboration tag option.  Add up to two brands and, if desired, allow the brand partner to promote the post. Finally, select “Done” and share the post.
  • For Instagram stories: After choosing the photo or video, tap the tag icon and select “Add paid collaboration tag.” Add up to two tags and, if you want, allow promotion by the brand partner. When you’re ready, hit “Done.” Remember that ads in stories can now include clickable elements, such as @mentions, locations, and hashtags. Read also: Instagram Stories: increase interaction with these simple steps.
  • For Instagram reels: In reels, after selecting the content and customizing it, tap “Next.” Go to “Advanced settings,” turn on the paid collaboration tag option and add up to two brands. Choose the brand name and, if applicable, review the Reels Play bonus program rules. During a live video, press “Details” and select “Add Brand Partners.” Search for the brand you want to tag, but note that you can only tag brands that have been approved.


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par SOFIA (@sofia_suescun)

This is an example of a paid collaboration between Spanish influencer Sofia Suescun and cosmetics brand Maybelline, who through a video shows how the company’s famous multi-purpose concealer has saved her from unforeseen events and the various ways in which she uses the product.

2. Adding collaborators or tagging people

Another option for creating branded content on Instagram is collaborative posts, in which advertising is shared, at the same time, on both accounts. In this case, any creator account, business or personal, can create these posts; you don’t need to be a recognized social media personality.


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Dior Beauty Official (@diorbeauty)

In the above photo, you can see an example of a collaborative publication between Dior Beauty and Chinese singer, dancer, and producer Liu Yuxin who launched this campaign to promote the Dior Grey fragrance. The collaborative tag allowed the video to appear on both profiles, expanding the spread of the message to the more than 12 million followers resulting from the sum of both accounts.

To employ it you just need to create a post and when you get to the “Tag people” section, the following options will appear: Add tag or Invite a collaborator. Click on “Invite a collaborator” and add the other profile.  When finalizing and publishing the content, the collaboration will only be visible when your business partner approves your invitation.  

How to approve branded content on Instagram?

If you have  a business profile, simply access the settings section of your profile and select “Businesses.” Then, choose the “Branded Content” option and look for the “Approve Content Creators” section. Here you will find a list of creators who are waiting for your approval. To approve them, click on the approval button next to their username. 

If you are an influencer, you will need to enter the advanced settings of the publication, activate the paid partnership feature, and tag the brand sponsoring your publication. The brand will receive a notification to be approved.

About branded content ads

On Instagram, branded content and ads are not the same thing. However, creators have the option to allow their business partners to promote their branded content. This means that if a creator collaborates with a business to create a branded content post or story, they can give that business permission to turn that content into an ad. In addition, creators themselves also have the ability to promote their branded content posts as ads in different parts of the platform, such as the news section, stories, or the “Explore” section.

To get better results from influencer posts, Instagram suggests combining branded content strategies with Instagram Ads. This will allow you to expand the reach of your posts and get a higher return on investment (ROI). However, it’s important to make sure you get the creator’s permission to promote their content and that the content meets the requirements set for ads on Instagram. By doing so, you’ll be able to maximize the potential of influencer collaborations and maximize the impact of your ad campaigns on the platform.

To create a branded content ad, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Ads Manager and create a new ad.
  2. Select one of the available objectives for branded content: recognition, traffic, interaction, app promotion, or sales.
  3. Then, in the audience section, you can choose to use the audience that already interacts with the content creator.
  4. If you want to choose placements manually, select Instagram and choose between News Feed, Stories and Reels, or all of them.
  5. At the ad level, click the “Branded content ad” button within the identity section.
  6. Under “Primary Identity”, click “Select Identity” and choose the account you want viewers to see as the primary account in the ad header.
  7. Click “Done. If you have the code for a branded content ad provided by the creator, you can click “Enter branded content ad code” instead.
  8. Under “Partner Identity,” repeat the above process. Choose the account you want to appear as a secondary in the ad header.

If you want to convert an existing post from your news section into a branded content ad, follow these steps:

  1. In the “Ad Settings” section, click the drop-down menu and select “Use existing post.”
  2. In the “Ad content” section, choose “Select publication”.
  3. Go to the “Tagged Content” tab to select the desired post.
  4. Click “Close”.
  5. Adjust the media content by cropping it according to the corresponding locations.
  6. Click “Done”.

If you prefer to upload new content for the branded content ad, follow these instructions:

  1. In the “Ad Settings” section, click on the drop-down menu and select “Create Ad.”
  2. Under “Format,” choose the ad format you want to use for the content.
  3. In the “Ad Content” section, choose “Add Media” to upload the content. You can choose to upload an image or a video.
  4. Click “Upload” to upload the media.
  5. Adjust the media by cropping it according to the corresponding locations.
  6. Click “Done”.

Remember that you can get more information on Instagram’s helpdesk.

Our expert tips help you to maximize the results of your branded content

To achieve the best results for your branded content, we share some practical recommendations to make it easier for you to make strategic decisions.

Combine branded content ads with branded ads.

Combining branded content ads with branded ads on Instagram is a recommended strategy to maximize the reach and impact of your marketing campaign. It involves using both branded content ads, which are promoted posts created by contributors, and branded ads, which are promoted posts created directly by your company.

Make branded content easy for followers to buy

This refers to the ability to facilitate the shopping experience directly from branded content posts or stories. This involves providing followers with quick and easy access to products or services promoted in branded content.

Include features within branded content that make it easier for users to buy, such as product tags or collaborative ads, giving your audience more tools to purchase on the spot or request information more directly.

Select and approve the right creators for your brand

Si deseas más información sobre cómo elegir los creadores adecuados para tu marca lee en nuestro blog:  Cómo buscar influencers en Instagram.

Choosing the right influencers is key to ensuring the success of your branded content. Instagram offers a brand contributor manager, but if you want a platform that offers a deeper analysis of the profiles, while optimizing the time invested in the search, we recommend you request a demo of our influencer identification platform, which includes a catalog of more than 3 million creators from the world, and allows you  to create a customized strategy based on the specific KPIs of your brand.

For more information on how to choose the right creators for your brand, read our blog:  How to search for influencers on Instagram.

Create relevant content for different types of audiences.

To create relevant content, you must be clear about  your Buyer Persona . By having your audience established, their diversities, and their interests, you will be able to create useful and relevant content that will connect better and produce the expected results. Branded content should be authentic, valuable, and of high quality. Avoid excessive or forced promotions. Instead, focus on telling relevant stories, providing useful information or entertaining your audience. 

Measure and analyze results

Use the analytics tools provided by Instagram to measure performance and better track your collaborations with influencers. Pay attention to metrics such as reach, engagement, conversions, and ROI. This data will allow you to identify which types of content work best and to adjust your strategy accordingly.


Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders).

Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors.

Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.