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Instagram Branded Content and Paid Partnership Ads Overview
Instagram Branded Content and Paid Partnership Ads Overview

This article is a deep dive into Branded Content and Paid Partnership Ads and the benefits of boosting influencer-generated content.

Christine Santiago avatar
Written by Christine Santiago
Updated over a week ago

Introducing Branded Content on Instagram

Branded Content is defined as a post from a creator that features a business sponsor in exchange for payment, gifts, or products.

Meta's policies require that all users (whether they're on a creator, business, or personal account) who are sponsored or compensated by a business must tag that business in their Branded Content posts.

Paid Partnership Ads are ads that run from a creator’s handle with the ‘Paid Partnership’ label and feature content from a collaboration with a brand. To run a Paid Partnership ad campaign through Ads Manager, brands must receive post or account-level permissions from the creator in Meta Business Suite.

Aspire’s Integration with Meta streamlines and simplifies this process by:

  • Automatically requesting a Branded Content label from creators when briefs are sent through Aspire (can be edited by brands)

  • Allowing you to request advertiser access to social accounts directly in the collaboration briefs and the near future, request outside the terms.

  • Automating the process of granting and revoking advertising access (no more back & forth or sending instructions!)

  • Providing you with a dashboard to view all of the creators who have granted you access and their respective access date

  • Giving you complete control of your media buys and boosting activities

When you request Branded Content, creators must tag the relevant brand or business partner when posting, whether posting from a creator, business, or personal account.

What Brand Access Manager DOES NOT do:

  • Execute media buys on your behalf:

    • This tool only facilitates the process of granting and revoking advertiser access to a creator’s social posts

    • The actual media buying process is conducted by you and/or your paid marketing team

  • Allow brands to run any content in the ads you create with the accounts:

    • You must reach a mutual agreement with the creator regarding the content you plan on running in the ads from their social accounts; this does not mean they need to greenlight every ad variation.

  • Guarantee minimum results or conversions:

    • Many factors can impact the results of your media buys, and we cannot guarantee performance from any of the creators on the platform.

Note: If you are still interested in using the Brand Access Manager (Allowlisting), you can request permission from the creators.


How to request for Ads permission in Briefs

When proposing Briefs:

  • The option to add Branded Content label to all posts is selected by default within the briefs. We recommend always selecting this option because it allows you to easily request ad permissions for any content created outside your specific contracted deliverables.

  • Indicate whether the collaboration requires advertiser access by checking the Paid Partnership Ads and/or allowlisting options.

  • For Paid Partnership ads, Aspire, on behalf of the brand, requests the creator’s account-level permission; no start/end date is required.

  • For Allowlisting, you can set the access term dates. The recommended term length is two months.


Paid Partnership Ads FAQ

How much should I pay creators for Paid Partnership ads access?

You are not required to pay creators for access, but it is not unlikely to encounter creators who will not agree to briefs without compensation for access. It is up to you to negotiate payment with the creator. We are working on adding new pricing recommendations for access to Paid Partnership ads.

What does it mean to have a mutual agreement for the type of content being run from creator accounts?

This does NOT mean you need to get approval for every ad variation you need to run. This language means you and the creator should come to a verbal agreement when it comes to the general direction of the content and copy you’re planning on running in the ads.

Do these briefs allow me to use the creators’ followers for targeting?

The level of access you’re given to a creator’s social accounts will allow you to use their followers/engagers to create audiences.

What can I do with the level of access I’m given to the creator’s account?

You can run paid partnership ads from the creator’s account, jointly run ads from the creator and brand’s account, boost existing posts, and target audiences who’ve interacted with/followed their accounts.

Can I request both Allowlisting and Paid Partnership Ads while sending a term?

Yes, you can request Allowlisting and/or Paid Partnership ads when sending briefs.

What type of ads can I run with Paid Partnership Ads permissions?

The most common type of ad brands run with Paid Partnership access is boosting UGC under the creator's handle. You can also run Paid Partnership ads jointly under your brand and creators' handles. Depending on your briefs, you may also have access to download the content and run dark post ads.

What ad specifications should creators follow for branded content to be eligible for Paid Partnership Ads and boosting?

Partnership ads permissions allow advertisers to boost content directly from a creator’s handle to scale the reach of their collaboration. Creators on Instagram can allow business partners to boost their content into Partnership Ads or create new Partnership Ads within an existing ad post through Ads Manager.

There are a couple of important details creators need to follow when posting Branded Content:

  • Editing or Deleting a Branded Post. When the creator’s content is used as an ad, they cannot edit or delete that post. They can archive the post if they want to remove it from their profile.

  • Editing or Deleting a Branded Story. Creators can edit their story when it is used as an ad. Whether their story is active or expired, they can remove their business partner from the archived section to prevent their story from being boosted. Note: their story can only be deleted from the archive if it was never turned into an ad.

  • Using Incompatible Ad Creative. For a creator's posts to be boosted in their feed, they can use a single image, video, or carousel format. For Instagram Stories to be boosted, they must avoid certain creative elements. They can use up to five interactive elements: location sticker, hashtag sticker, tappable text and @mention sticker for the creator or the business partner's profile. Or they can use one countdown sticker. They can only use the polling sticker and the Swipe Up CTA on ads created without a pre-existing post. However, we recommend asking creators to avoid using emojis, GIFs, music stickers, link stickers, more than one sticker, and more complex creative tools.

  • Creating partnership ads without an existing post. When brands create Partnership ads on Instagram without an existing post, these ads won’t appear on the creator's profile.

A creator created a branded content post for me, but why is it ineligible to turn into an ad?

There are a number of reasons you might not be able to turn branded content into an ad. A piece of content cannot be turned into an ad if it:

  • Was published before 15 October 2021

  • Has a face/camera effect

  • Uses the Instagram music library. We recommend the use of royalty-free music or original audio for ads

  • Exceeds 15 minutes in length

  • Includes a GIF

  • Includes product tags

  • Uses a tappable sticker


The Collaboration Flow

For creators to give you Paid Partnership Ads access they must first authorize you through Instagram for Paid Partnership Ads. You can send authorization requests from briefs and creators can accept them once they have received an Instagram notification. Usually, these steps happen immediately.

The creator must authorize their social accounts with Aspire for us to manage advertiser permissions. When you request advertiser access, they'll see a "Grant Access" button within their collaboration briefs.

Once the creator posts new content, they have to add the Paid Partnership label and add brand partners through their Instagram account.

If the creator and brand have both agreed on Paid Partnership ads, the brand can boost or create ads once the content is live. Soon, brands will be able to request Paid Partnership ads permission for branded content posted outside the term.


Advertiser Access Dashboard

See all the creators who have granted you access and their respective access terms. Please note that previous advertising relationships with creators before using Aspire will not appear here. You can see a list of all creators and all different permissions you may have in Paid Partnership Ads or Allowlisting.


Granting Access to Facebook

  • Go to Business Settings > Pages in your Business Manager

  • Access to Instagram accounts is managed through the connected Facebook Page (you will not see the account under “Instagram Accounts”)

  • When you create or use Ad Set, you can see the post as available to promote in the ads manager

You can still see the post if the permission is removed, but approval will be required to promote it. This feature will be available through Aspire soon.

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