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The Attitude of Gratitude: Branded Content

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A Global Reach Illustration of Instagram's new Branded Content

Posted on 11/25/2020 at 09:57 AM

New Ways to Utilize Social Media...

When it comes to utilizing social media to create strong brand awareness for you and your company, never has there been a better time to get after it than right now. As platforms like YouTube and Facebook have worked hard to develop mature advertising and revenue streams, other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and even Tik-Tok are beginning to catch up.

In fact, Instagram recently launched a brand new effort to expand its revenue options for creators, called “Branded Content Tags”. What does that mean for you as a brand and your marketing strategy? Learn more below.

Monetization: It Makes the World Go Round

Part of the way to measure the success of social media sites comes down to how many users are actually on and using the platform; how many people across the entire globe are posting, commenting, dropping hashtags, sharing videos and photos, etc.? In the age of the internet, the more the merrier.

With so many various platforms vying for our attention, what makes one platform more popular than another? It comes down to one word: monetization. 

Like most things in the world, money matters. So, to put it more bluntly, the platforms that have figured out smart ways to pay creators (i.e. “users”, like you and me) for posting content of any kind, the more likely that social media platform finds success. 

As a general rule of thumb, if someone has the chance to earn money simply by uploading a video or chooses to share photos for millions of other people to see, who will turn that down? In the end, if done well, it really can become a seamless, beneficial brand strategy between brands and users.

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Instagram Ups the Ante

Instagram is already a major player within the social media world. This is largely due to the fact they already have great systems in place to generate revenue for their creators; they have a clear understanding of social media marketing. However, within the last few days, Instagram has released another advancement: Branded Content Tags.

As previously mentioned, it’s a battle for users’ attention among all the platforms out there. Specifically, the rise of TikTok has forced Instagram to really step up their game. This new concept is one of the ways they plan to move ahead.

The new content tags will allow creators to develop more deals with large brands or a small business, which in turn will generate revenue for them immediately. Instagram believes this will draw more people onto their platform and away from TikTok because, as previously mentioned, money matters.

Not only that, but Instagram has also created a new process that will allow creators and brands to work collaboratively on content creation. This means a brand can push forward their products or services in new, creative ways as opposed to having to promote a pre-existing post. This allows a brand to be in the driver’s seat a little bit more, maintaining its brand identity and generating successful brand messages they already know speak to their audience.

As explained by Instagram:

"Until today, Branded Content ads could only be created by promoting the existing posts from creators. Instagram is now launching a new workflow where advertisers can create Branded Content ads without the need for creators to post organically on Instagram first. Now brands have more flexibility with fewer constraints when they want to run Branded Content ads."

How It Works

It may sound like advertising will be completely driven by ad agencies and brands, leaving creators on the side of the road, but that’s not the case. The posting power will remain in the hands of the creator because they will maintain the ability to both approve and pause any ads published from their Instagram handle. In layman’s terms, here’s how it will work:

  • An advertiser sends a request for Ad Creation Access to the creator

  • The creator accepts (or denies) the Ad Creation Access request, and a notification is then sent back to the advertiser upon acceptance

  • Once the advertiser has completed the development of the ad, the creator receives a notification about the created ad for their approval (or not)

All things considered, this entire process is incredibly collaborative and could be the beginning of large partnerships between brands and creators.
On top of the ability to work with a creator to produce highly effective promotions, branded content in Instagram Stories and content posts with product tags are changing, too. Essentially, Stories that include brand content will now have tappable elements, such as @mentions, location, and hashtags. This will allow a brand to have a more organic reach.

As far as content posts by creators that included product tags, brands can now financially promote those posts, too. This makes it even easier for the target audience to shop directly from the creators that they love and follow.

Be Grateful for Branding Options

Thanks to these new updates by Instagram, as a brand or small business that may be promoting a particular service or product there is a lot to be grateful for. “How so?” you may ask. Well, people follow people, both in real life and on social media platforms.

The stories we share (literally, in the case of Instagram) matter. People want to connect with other people, and relating to one another is hugely important, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.

Utilizing a free tool like Instagram that now also gives you the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most influential content creators, is a big deal. It will generate more leads or more sales revenue, while also developing a working partnership with people telling stories. Teamwork, otherwise known as collaboration, is what makes the dream work.

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