Branded Content: what they are and how to use them

Branded contents are images, videos and posts whose ultimate aim is to advertise a brand and/or product online in a more effective and targeted way than traditional advertising.

branded content InstagramThese are advertisements on social media that fit well within the feed in which they are uploaded, allowing companies to have access to insights, i.e. data relating to the effectiveness of the campaign and the target users reached.

If you want to know how to use the means made available by the main social platforms, I recommend the Social Media Manager course.

Based on the identikit of your company and your audience, you can choose the social network that best lends itself to increasing the visibility and trust of your brand.

What is Branded Content on Instagram

On Instagrambranded content also known as branded content can be posts, videos or stories from content creators or editors created for a company for a fee. The advertising nature of such contents must be signaled through specific tags such as “in collaboration with”, “sponsored” or “adv”.

The use of branded content has seen strong growth due to Instagram’s ability to tell the story of brands in a broad and effective way. Wide because using third-party profiles the coverage of the branded content it also extends to the followers of the ambassadors and testimonials; effective because the tools and insights to which you have access allow you to monitor and optimize the campaign before, during and after its sharing on the network.

How Branded Content works on Instagram

Instagram offers the possibility for companies to promote the organic posts of content creators and to regulate the procedure it has developed a series of tools and steps to follow whose aim can be summarized in two fundamental steps:

  1. content creators must have access to the branded content tool ;
  2. the company must approve the content creator in order to allow him to tag the brand and share the created content.

A very important consideration to keep in mind is that both of these steps are necessary but not consecutive. In fact, content creators need access to the branded content tool to create ads, but it’s not enough for a business to be tagged.

The expert in communication strategies on social media is the Social Media Manager.


How to create Branded Content

Starting in 2019, all Instagram profiles with access to insights can create ads. This means that all you need is a business profile to have access to the necessary tools. Initially, only users with certified profiles could collaborate with brands, but later value was also given to micro-influencer categories with fewer followers but better content and a higher engagement rate. In essence, it is the quality of the editor’s interaction with his followers and not the quantity of the latter that can help companies increase their visibility and trust .

Once the editor has access to the tools necessary to create a collaboration, he will be able to create his content as a post or story on his profile. This will be assembled following either the nature and the “tone of voice” of the testimonial or the brand will have the guidelines. The assembly, beyond the directives or the creative flair of the editor, is that of any post or story, only that a tag must be inserted at the time of publication:

  • If you want to promote a post, just click on the 3 dots at the top right, select “promote the content” and choose the tag of the company you want to collaborate with.
  • In stories, on the other hand, just click on the icon with the 2 chains at the top, select “promote the content” and tag the company.

Content approval

In the Brand Account settings under “branded content approval” activate the “branded content approval” option. Then in “approved accounts” enter the name of the accounts with which you want to create the advertisement so as to allow the content creator to add the company tag.

In this way you will have under control the partners who refer to the company name avoiding that your name is associated with harmful images that can harm the company’s brand awareness strategy.

To learn more about effective brand management and building a strong brand identity, consider enrolling in a comprehensive brand management course that can provide you with valuable insights and strategies.

How to tag a business partner/brand on Instagram

On the content creators’ side, on the other hand, to create sponsored content, in addition to inserting the company tag, it is necessary to signal the collaboration by inserting one of the various sponsored tags . The tag can only be inserted after obtaining authorization from the brand which will thus have the possibility of converting the post into a sponsored advertisement or in the Instagram feed or stories.

Last but not least why you need to tag your business is access to ad insights. Thanks to access to the data, you will be able to understand how the campaign is progressing, measuring the KPIs and possibly optimizing your strategy.

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Use Branded Content on Facebook

If you are a company and you want to sponsor on Instagram, one of the necessary criteria is to have a connected page on Facebook. The procedure is similar to what we have illustrated previously, also because Instagram has been part of Mark Zuckerberg’s social family since 2014.

In the meantime, you need to fill out a form for for branded content and for these insert a tag that will often appear under the wording “paid” . From here on you can indulge yourself with videos, posts and images and have access to insights in the business manager account which, in the case of Facebook, offer a well-segmented overview of the target and the objectives achieved.

What you can’t do when creating sponsored posts and videos on Facebook

Beyond the versatility of sponsored adverts on this social network, we must add some practices to avoid in order to produce an effective campaign that complies with the rules:

  • you cannot add a banner separate from the content within images or videos;
  • in case you want to promote a video in the first three seconds it is not possible to insert an interstitial unit with the name of the commercial partner or company;
  • videos and audios cannot contain ads before, during and after the video.


Benefits of Branded Content

Why does sponsored branded content have so much value within corporate marketing strategies? Reading the article, some of the advantages will have already caught your eye but it is good to summarize them to underline the scope of each of them for your company.


As we have already underlined at the outset, branded content has an indisputable advantage over traditional advertising: measurability. Through the tag, the company has access to the statistical data of the campaign, being able to measure its effectiveness and impact on the audience.

Not only that, measuring also means optimizing. Once the campaign has been analyzed, audience segments can be adjusted and optimized for the chosen target. Instagram and Facebook are certainly two of the platforms with a high capacity for segmenting the corporate audience.

Native advertisement

The new form of advertising on social media has the revolutionary feature of being native. You will surely have come across advertising content on your account’s feed or stories, often without noticing it.

Above all, Instagram is one of the most used means for native advertising precisely because advertising harmonizes with the contents of the feed and aligns with the user’s interests.

In fact, the great advantage of branded content is precisely this, not being perceived as advertising, avoiding that annoying sensation of being intercepted by promotional messages when you are least willing to listen.


The ability of advertisements to blend in online is due to their high degree of intercepting a specific target. The tools made available on Instagram and Facebook allow you to accurately choose who to show your campaigns to. Segmentation does not take place only on the basis of socio-demographic characteristics but above all on the basis of user interests . In this way you have greater certainty of intercepting an audience interested in your service or product.


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Branded Content: ask for Coaching

Of course, the platform where you decide to promote your company will depend on the profile of your company and the buyer personas you are addressing. Each platform has different logic and advantages that it is good to analyze before diving into the work. From the point of view of sponsored content, Instagram is certainly the master thanks to its popularity and the versatility of its tools. We must not forget that users devour online content and the best strategy for your business is to offer them in the right place at the right time.

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