Instagram Influencer Marketing

5 of the Best Examples of Branded Content Ads on Instagram (Partnership Ads)

Instagram branded content ads (now Partnership Ads) turn your best creator content into picture-perfect promotional posts. Below we break down five ad examples and takeaways for your own strategy.

branded content ads on Instagram cover photo

Update:  Branded content ads were officially renamed "Partnership ads"  by Meta as of May 2023.

Chances are you see your fair share of ads during your hourly Instagram scroll.

Like, probably more than ever before.

And let’s be honest: it’s second nature to gloss over those ads without a second thought.

This highlights a huge challenge for brands. That is, you can’t win customers without grabbing their attention. Doesn’t matter how compelling your offer or cool your product is!

That’s exactly why branded content ads on Instagram (now "Partnership ads") are so valuable.

By boosting influencer and user-generated content, your ads don’t feel like ads at all. 

In this post, we break down examples and best practices of branded content ads on Instagram.

5 Instagram Branded Content Ads (Partnership Ads) to Inspire You

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s review a few basics:

  • Branded content ads turn organic creator content into paid Instagram posts
  • Creators get attribution for their posts with a “paid partnership” or “sponsored” label
  • These promotions are run entirely through Instagram’s native branded content tools

Note: running branded content ads on Instagram is not the same as whitelisting creator content. For more information on using creator content in ads, check out our post on repurposing UGC.

The concept here is simple: you boost a creator’s Instagram post and run it as an ad. 

This gives your paid social strategy a much-needed sense of authenticity. Fact: recommendations from friends and influencers are among the most-trusted marketing messages. That’s why people-centric ads are particularly powerful right now. 

Now, onto the good stuff! Below are five examples of how to run branded content ads on Instagram the right way.

1. MONDAY Haircare

It’s no secret that creator ads are the cornerstone of most beauty brands’ social strategies.

Check out the example below from MONDAY Haircare. This post feels like an organic snapshot versus a traditional ad. 

Again, consumers trust recommendations from real people. Consider how creators can highlight real-life results from beauty products in their posts. This social proof is much more compelling than a brand-produced photo.

branded content ads for beauty   branded ad on instagram example

Source: @kiarablanchette 

Tips and Takeaways for Branded Content Ads on Instagram

  • Show and tell. Note how the ad shows off the MONDAY bottle while the creator highlights how well the product works. The brand’s distinct packaging is visible along with real results.

  • Mind your color scheme. The creator’s color-coordinated pink outfit really brings the ad together.

  • Branded content captions should be value-packed. The creator’s caption predicts and answers a ton of customer questions from the word “go.” This includes what makes the product different, what’s in it and where you can buy it. 

2. Branch Furniture 

While industries like beauty and fashion dominate IG, ads are fair game for niche products as well.

Fact: companies of all shapes and sizes successfully run branded content ads. For reference, check out the ad on behalf of Branch Furniture below.

Partnering with a popular creator from #Bookstagram, this picture-perfect post earned a lot of love from fans and followers.

branch furniture branded content ad on instagram

Source: @emilybookedup

Tips and Takeaways for Branded Content Ads on Instagram

  • Work with niche creators. Makes perfect sense that a book influencer would have a specialty desk or bookshelf, right? There are countless creators out there for any industry you can imagine. The more targeted your ads and audience, the better.

  • Consider using a Carousel to show off products from multiple angles. Again, one of the key benefits of branded content ads on Instagram is the ability to bring your products to life. Carousels provide a better illustration of what your products look like in person.

  • The best IG ads feel like organic posts. No surprises here. The creator manages to seamlessly feature the product in her post without sacrificing her style. Her personality and aesthetic are still on display. Not only that but the content itself is clearly valuable to her audience based on the flurry of positive responses.

3. ARC 

Paid campaigns help brands achieve a variety of goals — there is no “right” endgame here.

Brand awareness. Lead generation. Oh, and don’t forget retail support.

In fact, we’re seeing a lot of brands run Instagram branded content ads to bolster their retail partnerships. Below is an example of a creator promoting ARC’s strawberry toothpaste at Target.

arc branded content ad example branded content ad caption example

Source: @curvesbyzo_

Tips and Takeaways for Branded Content Ads on Instagram

  • Don’t neglect your narrations!  One of the most notable features of posting Reels is the ability to feature both music and custom narrations. The creator takes advantage of audio to compliment her post and likewise highlight the product she’s promoting.

  • Personality makes branded content ads feel less “salesy.” Skilled creators can find a brilliant balance between advertisement and entertainment.  

  • Partner with creators that know your industry. Doing so means that your promotional content will fit perfectly with their personal posts. Not only that but creators know exactly what to say to make your product look like a million bucks to their audience.

4. Pattern Beauty

Another big benefit of Instagram branded content ads is creative freedom.

Want creators to make something pretty and polished? Go for it.

Looking for something more authentic and off-the-cuff? That works, too!

The ad below for Pattern Beauty is a great example of unpolished content can crush it. This post feels like something you might see in your Stories.

As an added bonus, ads like this make it easier for viewers to imagine products in their hands.

branded content ad for pattern beauty

Source: @lexislays4c

Tips and Takeaways for Branded Content Ads on Instagram

  • How-to videos are always a safe bet. This format educates, entertains and provides value to viewers at the same time. These types of ads naturally grab the attention of scrollers that want to see the end result of the video.

  • When content is lo-fi or unfiltered, it doesn’t feel like an ad. Simple as! 

  • Always emphasize a key selling point. The creator makes note of the product's texture, ingredients and why it’s so useful. Creators know best when it comes to what to say and what their audience wants to see. This rings true for the products they promote, too. 

5. Dunkin’

Big box brands arguably benefit the most from branded content ads. 

Again, campaigns featuring creators provide your marketing with a valuable human touch. Creators can build brand awareness beautifully and are likewise rewarded with better engagement and reach by the Instagram algorithm

dunkin branded content ad example

Source: @bostonfoodbae

Tips and Takeaways for Branded Content Ads on Instagram

  • Instagram giveaways featuring creators are a brilliant way to drive engagement. This includes likes, comments, tags and even user-generated content. 

  • Branded content benefits creators and businesses alike. For companies, these ads result in authentic and engaging content. For creators, they’re a chance to earn more exposure and grow their following. It’s a win-win!

  • No brand is “too big” for creator partnerships! 

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How to Run Branded Content Ads That Resonate

Connecting with your audience through ads is easier when you prioritize personality and authenticity.

And it’s no coincidence that the best branded content posts feature real people

If you want to put together top-tier Instagram ads, look no further than content from creators.

Integrating influencer and user-generated content central to ad strategy is becoming a matter of "when" and not "if" for consumer brands. The more posts you earn, the more options and opportunities you have to create authentic IG ads that people will actually engage with.

Of course, sourcing a high volume of content that's ready to run as ads is easier said than done.

That's where Stautsphere can help. Through our advanced matchmaking software and vetted creator community, brands can get rights-ready content at scale in a fraction of the time.

Statusphere Influencer Targeting Example

Our micro-influencer marketing platform has already generated over 75,000+ pieces of authentic content on behalf of 400+ brands.

Want to learn more about our solution? Schedule a call with one of our experts to see exactly how our software can help you get rights-ready content from micro-influencers at scale.

This article was first published in October 2022. It was last updated May 1 ,2023.

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