A Marketer’s Guide on Instagram Branded Content for 2024

Branded content is a key strategy for expanding overall online brand reach as partnering with other brands and influencers helps introduce your business to new audiences. While branded content has taken many different shapes and forms over the years, Instagram is working to streamline the process with their new set of tools.

Instagram branded content tools help make creating and sharing collaborative content and paid partnerships as easy as possible—while also staying compliant and ensuring audiences are aware of advertorial or sponsored content.

Throughout this article, we’re going to talk about what branded content looks like on Instagram, what its tools are and how they work, as well as how you can create your own Instagram branded content.

A Marketer's Guide on Instagram Branded Content for 2024:

What is Instagram Branded Content?

According to Instagram itself, they define branded content as “a creator or publisher's content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value.”

This exchange of value could be monetary or it could simply be a way to reach both brand audiences. You’ll be able to tag Instagram branded content in two different ways, whether it’s a mutually beneficial collaboration or a paid partnership.

A collaborative post includes both involved accounts and the post is shared to both feeds. This can be used by any account, even personal accounts, when wanting to share the same post to two feeds. It’s useful for content featuring two different creators.

Here’s an example from Oprah and actress Quinta Brunson.


The other option only posts to a single account but includes a disclaimer “Paid promotion by [brand]” at the top of the post.

Here’s an example of a post that the Netflix show Wednesday paid to promote on a popular meme account.

Netflix paid partnership ad

What Are Instagram Branded Content Tools?

The Instagram branded content tools that we’ll be describing throughout this article are the options that allow you to add collaborators or paid partnerships to your Instagram content. Brands and content creators can access these in the post settings when creating a new piece of content.

First is the option to add a collaborator to your post. When you’re creating a new piece of content, the option to tag another account in the post has been available for years. However, now when users tap the Tag people option, the following options will appear: Add tag or Invite collaborator.

Tag people option instagram

Tap Invite collaborator to invite someone to share the post with you. You can go ahead and publish the piece of content, but it will only show the second username and publish to their profile once they approve your invitation.

Invite collaborator function on instagram

The next available tool is to add paid partnerships. You’ll do this in the Advanced settings of your post. After creating your piece of content, tap this option at the bottom of the Add caption screen.

Then, scroll to the bottom of the advanced settings options to find the Add paid partnership label toggle. Turn this on.

Add paid partnership label on instagram

You’ll then be taken to an area to tag the brand you’re partnering with. Or, if you’re new to Instagram branded content, you’ll see a screen like the one below sharing your eligibility status.

Instagram branded content

If you’re eligible, simply tap the Enable button to get started.

Who is Eligible to Use Instagram Branded Content Tools?

Speaking of eligibility, how do you know if you’re eligible to use Instagram’s branded content tools or not? Their eligibility guidelines are relatively straightforward.

  1. You must have a business or creator account to be eligible for Instagram branded content tools.
  2. You must have an established presence with authentic, original content.
  3. You must remain compliant with Instagram Community Guidelines.
  4. You cannot be a government official; there are other rules and ethics officials must abide by.

How to Set Up Instagram Branded Content

There are a few different ways to showcase your branded content, whether it’s a feed post, Reel, Story, live video, etc. We’ll walk you through each one as well as how brands can approve branded content requests.

Influencers and Content Creators

As an influencer or content creator, you’re going to want to enable your branded content and ensure you’re eligible well before you begin a paid partnership with a brand. This will help avoid any awkward encounters if it turns out you’re not eligible.

To do this, you’ll need to:

  1. Make sure you have a professional Creator account.
  2. Go to your Creator dashboard.
  3. Tap the menu to access additional settings.
  4. Tap Branded content then tap Set up branded content.
  5. Tap Enable if it states you’re eligible.

You’ll then see this screen:

Set up branded content

The Branded content tab will also now appear in your Creator dashboard:

Creator dashboard on instagram

Now you can add brands you’re partnering with to each of your promotional posts.

How to Create Branded Feed Posts

  1. Tap the + icon in the top navigation bar.
  2. Choose the photo you want to add to your feed then tap Next.
  3. Add filters or make edits to your photo then tap Next.
  4. Write a caption, tag products, and make any other necessary additions.
  5. Tap Advanced settings and scroll down to Add paid partnership label.
  6. Toggle the option on, then tap Add brand partners to tag up to two brands.
  7. Publish your post and wait for the brand(s) to approve your partnership.

Note: You can add the paid partnership tag to your post without tagging a brand if you choose.

How to Create Branded Reels

  1. Tap the + icon in the top navigation bar.
  2. Tap Reel at the bottom of the screen to record your video.
  3. Record your Reel (adding any sounds, filters, etc.) then tap Next.
  4. Make any additional edits to your video then tap Next.
  5. Scroll down and tap Advanced settings.
  6. Toggle the Add paid partnership label option on.
  7. Tap Add brand partners to tag up to two brands.
  8. Publish your Reel and wait for the brand(s) to approve your partnership.

Note: All videos added to your feed are now published as Reels. To do this, choose a video from your camera roll and follow the steps under “How to Create Branded Feed Posts.”

How to Create Branded Stories

  1. Tap the + icon in the top navigation bar.
  2. Tap Story at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Upload your graphic/image/video or take a photo/video in the app.
  4. Tap the person icon at the top of the screen.
  5. Toggle the Add paid partnership label option on.
  6. Tap Add brand partners to tag up to two brands.
  7. Publish your Story and wait for the brand(s) to approve your partnership.

How to Create Branded Live Videos

  1. Tap the + icon in the top navigation bar.
  2. Tap Live at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap Details (the paragraph icon) on the left of the screen.
  4. Tap Add brand partners to tag up to two brands.
  5. Go live and wait for the brand(s) to approve your partnership.

Note: With live videos, make sure you coordinate ahead of time so that someone on the brand’s team is online and can auto-approve the partnership. Or make sure you’re added to their list of creators that they’ll auto-approve partnerships for.

Brands and Businesses

If you want to be able to place the paid partnership label on your own posts, you’ll need to also be eligible for branded content. However, even if your brand is newer and is ineligible, you can still be tagged in content creators’ posts.

There are two options for being tagged as a brand in partnership posts: manually approving creators or curating a list of creators to auto-approve content from.

tag as a brand in partnership posts on instagram

You’ll be able to search for Instagram users that you want to add to your list. When you know you have a big influencer marketing campaign coming up, adding those influencers to your list is a great way to make sure you don’t delay being tagged in any paid partnerships.

influencer marketing campaign on instagram

If any accounts tag you that have not been added to your auto-approve list, you will receive notifications under the Activity tab so you can manually go in and approve or deny the request.

As a brand, you can also create branded content ads to increase the amount of reach that your paid partnerships receive. You’ll be able to create an ad as you normally do in Ads Manager, then tag creators before the ad goes live.

Start Creating Instagram Branded Content

Taking advantage of Instagram branded content tools can be a great way to grow your audience, reach new people, and ensure transparency in all of your partnerships. To make sure you’re not missing out on any other Instagram marketing tactics, take a peek at our complete list of Instagram features you can utilize.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you get paid for branded content on Instagram?

Instagram branded content can work one of two ways—creating a branded collaboration that is mutually beneficial by introducing two complementary audiences to each brand or via a monetary paid partnership.

Mutually beneficial collaborations are typically done between two brands while the paid partnerships are reserved for brands working with influencers and content creators. If you’re looking to increase your influencer income, paid branded content is the way to go.

How do you qualify for Instagram branded content?

To qualify to publish Instagram branded content, you must have a business or creator account, follow community guidelines, share authentic content, create an established presence, and you cannot be a government official (as different rules apply to those accounts).

What is an example of branded content?

This post showcasing a plant grow light is a great example of branded content on Instagram. You can clearly see the “Paid promotion” disclaimer letting us know this is a collaboration between an influencer and a brand.

What does it mean when Instagram says you can’t use branded content?

This error will appear if your account is not eligible to publish branded content. Review the eligibility guidelines to see if there are any changes you need to make.

How do you request branded content approval?

When you go into your post’s advanced settings, you’ll be able to turn on the paid partnership toggle and tag the brand sponsoring your post. The brand will receive a notification to approve it on their end.

About the Author
Chloe West is a digital marketer and freelance writer, focusing on topics surrounding social media, content, and digital marketing. She's based in Charleston, SC, and when she's not working, you'll find her reading a romance novel or watering her plants.