Have you noticed the ‘Paid Partnership With…’ tag on Instagram yet?
Odds are you’re wondering what this means and how it can be used to help your brand - so that’s exactly what we’ll show you!
Instagram created this feature to a). Help influencers disclose sponsored posts and b). Help brands collect insights into how their sponsored campaigns perform.
Rolled out to a select group of creators in 2017, this feature was soon expanded and made available for all accounts “with high levels of engagement”. For your brand, the Paid Partnership tag can become a powerful advantage for growing your reach and delivering campaign insights.
If you’re ready to tap into a market worth an estimated $16.4 billion (an 18.8% annual increase) and reach the 49% of consumers who rely on influencers for purchasing decisions, read on to find out how you can use the Paid Partnership feature to tap into new audiences, boost engagement rates, and drive conversions.
Check out Instagram’s official take on using brand partners here 👈
Alright, let’s get a few definitions out of the way.
A Paid Partnership on Instagram is when an influencer shares a post or story and tags a business account. This generates a ‘Paid Partnership With…’ tag above an in-feed post or story which means the influencer who shared the content has been compensated in some way. This could be financial compensation, but it could also be products, discounts or other types of payment.
A Paid Partnership tag will appear at the top of an influencer’s image or story (in the spot where the location normally sits). Any followers will see ‘Paid Partnership’ tagline underneath the account’s username with a clickable link that leads to the partnered business’ page.
Here’s an example of what that looks like on an in-feed post and IG Story…
Instagram created this feature to bring greater transparency and consistency to sponsored content which, let’s face it, hasn’t always been crystal clear. For your brand, applying this tag increases transparency and helps remove the risk of negative consequences that come with sponsored posts (like the failure to fully disclose a professional partnership).
If you partner with influencers, odds are you already know the importance of transparency.
According to the Australian Association of National Advertisers, “advertising or marketing communication must be clearly distinguishable as such to the relevant audience”. This covers all social media platforms, so any commercial partnership can’t sneakily camouflage the fact that it is advertising.
More than a slap on the wrist, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has the power to prosecute for a breach of the Australian Consumer Law. Get on their bad side by failing to disclose a commercial partnership and the penalties include a maximum fine of $220 per post for an influencer or blogger, and $1.1 million for a brand (ouch!).
Does that mean a Paid Partnership tag is just about staying out of trouble?
Not at all!
Used correctly, this handy, free feature has some pretty exciting advantages.
We’re not breaking any news by saying your audience hates ads (you’ve probably been known to skip a YouTube pre-roll ad in your time too). Using the Paid Partnership label helps you tap into a trusting relationship between an influencer and their audience. Instead of being served branded ads that make people roll their eyes, an influencer’s content is viewed as more authentic and credible which can help overcome ad fatigue and help sway purchasing decisions.
Half the battle of using social media marketing is knowing what works and what’s crashing and burning. Using the Paid Partnerships tag, you’ll receive performance data relating to that post.
➢ Engagement (likes and comments)
➢ Impressions (broken down by age, gender and location)
For brands tagged in a paid partnership, reach and engagement (likes and comments) insights normally visible to the influencer only, are available in a brand’s Facebook Page Insights. For Instagram Stories, tagged brands have 14 days to see metrics including reach, taps forward, taps backward, replies and story exits. In both cases, these insights provide real-world data on the effectiveness of your campaign and help you make informed decisions on where to go next.
As a brand, setting up a Paid Partnership relationship gives you more exposure than you could have achieved on your own. Instead of using branded content exclusively, you’re tapping into an influencer’s ready-made audience. Not only does this improve your reach but helps drive conversions because you’re targeting an audience that’s relevant to your brand. As an added bonus, you can repurpose your influencer’s content to be used in your brand IG Stories and Reels for even more exposure.
Worried you’re not getting the most from your influencers? Check out the top mistakes to avoid
Getting set up with Paid Partnerships is straightforward and simple - assuming you’ve been approved by Instagram as a partner. You’ll need to apply for access to the Paid Partnership Label within the app. This means meeting Instagram’s Partner Monetisation policies before you can start collaborating with influencers.
Once you’ve been approved, you have the option to turn on a “Partner Approval” setting. This gives you the power to approve or disapprove of sponsored content partnerships before any tagged post goes live. Approval is turned ‘off’ by default. To partner with influencers and receive performance insights, here’s how you turn on your partner approval settings.
Step 01: Go to ‘Options’ and find ‘Business Settings
Step 02: Scroll down and find ‘Branded Content Approvals’
Step 03: Toggle the ‘Require Approvals’ button on to approve Paid Partnership tags
Now, tap ‘Approved Accounts’ to control which influencers you want to work with. Once you’ve approved an influencer, any future post they tag you in using the Paid Partnership feature will trigger a notification.
It’s that easy!
Setting up your own Paid Partnership feature is easy… but getting the most value from this feature isn’t always as straightforward. Here’s a few of the most common mistakes we see that can cripple your campaign before it ever gets off the ground:
✗ Don’t… launch an influencer marketing campaign without a clear plan or strategy (or you’ll burn through your ad spend with nothing to show for it)
✗ Don’t… choose influencers just because they have a ton of followers (make sure they align with your brand instead)
✗ Don’t… overlook micro-influencers on audience size alone (they can help you connect with small but highly engaged audiences)
✗ Don’t… micromanage the entire process yourself when there are platforms and agencies who can do it for you (you’re reading about one right now 😉)
Getting started with Instagram’s Paid Partnership feature can help you whether you’re launching a new brand or you’re an established business looking to diversify your social media marketing strategies. If you’re ready to partner with influencers who have built large and much-loved followings, get in touch to learn more about our flat-rate influencer packages today.
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