Almost all brands and marketers have leveraged influencers to create branded content for them at one point or another. And, the most common form of influencer content is sponsored posts on social media platforms like Instagram.
These posts are similar to the native content that a person posts on their channel, with the only difference being that this content is paid for. So, influencers need to disclose this fact and mention “sponsored” or “ad” somewhere in their post.
Such posts are very potent as they help a brand reach an influencer’s audience by being mentioned in a positive light by that influencer. And, these are used to influence the audience to try the brand or product mentioned in the post.
The only inherent disadvantage of such branded content is that it only appears on the respective influencer’s followers’ feeds. That has been a limitation on the reach of such content that Instagram has recently removed.
In this post, we will discuss how you can amplify the reach of such sponsored posts by using Instagram’s new branded content ads feature.
What is Instagram branded content ads?
In June 2019, Instagram rolled out a feature that allows marketers to promote influencers’ branded content or sponsored posts as feed ads. This allows you to amplify the reach of your branded content as now they can be shown to a much wider audience.
So, if you had any doubts about the benefits of influencer marketing, it became extremely beneficial after the launch of the branded content ads feature.
You can now leverage influencers to create sponsored posts for you that will not only be visible to their audiences but to a broader audience. Similar to regular Instagram ads, you can showcase these ads to your intended audience.
This is also beneficial in the sense that it saves time and effort while creating Instagram ad campaigns. You can simply reuse your influencer content and post it as ads.
How to leverage Instagram branded content ads
Before we get into the process of how you can amplify the reach of your influencer content, you need to find relevant influencers who can create good-quality branded content for you.
To find the right influencers for your brand, you can use a tool like Influence.co. It has advanced search filters that can help you find influencers in a specific niche, location, etc.
Once you have found and collaborated with influencers to create branded content, you can then promote that content and use it in your ads. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can leverage influencer content to create Instagram ads targeted at a relevant audience.
1. Allow influencers to tag your business in their organic branded content posts
The first step is to allow influencers to tag your business in their Instagram posts so that you are counted as a business partner for them. You can do this via your Instagram account settings using the below-mentioned process:
1. Go to your advertiser profile on Instagram and click on edit profile.
2. Select the Business settings option from the menu.
3. Click on “Branded Content”
4. If the “Require Approval” toggle is on, then you will see a list of approved accounts.
5. You can add all your influencer accounts in this list of approved accounts.
After you have given the required approval, influencers will be able to tag your business in their posts.
2. Ask them to allow your business to promote their posts
The next step is to get influencers to create branded content for you and give you permission to promote that content. This is a security feature to ensure that only the intended business partner is able to use an influencer’s post for Instagram ads.
When influencers create sponsored posts for you, they need to tag your business and allow you to promote the post.
3. Create an Instagram Branded Content Ad
Once the influencer has given you permission to promote their post, you can follow the below steps to create a branded content ad.
1. Go to the ads manager and select the “create an ad” option like you normally would, for Instagram ads.
2. Select the goals that you want to achieve via your ad. There are numerous objectives that you can choose from:
3. Keep following the instructions and move through the steps of creating an ad, as these are quite self-explanatory.
4. You will also get the option to select your audience and target only relevant people through your ads.
5. When you reach the actual ad level, you will have the option to upload new media or use an existing post.
6. Click on the “use an existing post” option and then select the post that you want to use for your ad from the list of branded posts that you can see. These should include all such posts where an influencer has allowed you to promote their content.
7. After selecting the post you will see a preview of your ad.
8. Make any changes you need and finish creating the ad.
This ad can now be targeted to your intended audience, just like any other Instagram ad. So, your influencer content’s reach will be amplified and you can get much broader visibility for your branded content.
Currently, these branded content ads are shown only as Instagram feed ads. However, in the future, Instagram has plans to roll-out this feature for Instagram Stories as well. So, you will be able to place branded content ads both as feed ads and story ads.
4. Measure Performance
You can not only amplify your branded content’s reach by using it as ads but can also measure exactly how successful your ads are.
Instagram provides both “creator insights” and “business insights” for such ads. So, both you and the influencer who created the content can see how well a particular ad has performed.
You can view these insights from your Ad Manager account.
Instagram Branded Content Ads are an effective way to boost the reach of your branded content. You can select your target audience, just like for any other type of ad, and use your influencer content for your Instagram ads.
This not only lets you get the best out of your influencer content but also saves the time required for creating ads from scratch. So, leverage this feature and amplify your influencer marketing to reach a much larger audience.