Jun 28, 2024

Understanding Paid Partnerships on Instagram: Benefits and Best Practices

Learn about the Paid Partnership tag on Instagram and how to best use it

Understanding Paid Partnerships on Instagram: Benefits and Best Practices

Ever wondered why certain Instagram posts grab your attention more than others and make you want to learn more about a product? Often, the magic behind these compelling posts lies in paid partnerships. Initially the paid partnership tag was introduced by Instagram in 2017 as beta testing to a handful of users. Eventually, with its success, all Instagram users had the ability to use this new feature. 

As influencer marketing continues to grow, Instagram's paid partnership tags have become a vital tool for brands and influencers alike. In this blog, we'll delve into the benefits of paid partnerships on Instagram and best practices for making the most out of them. 

What is a Paid Partnership on Instagram?

A paid partnership on Instagram is when an influencer or content creator collaborates with a brand to promote their products or services. These posts are marked with a "Paid Partnership" tag, indicating that there is a commercial relationship between the influencer and the brand. This can be either a monetary payment or a gifted collaboration. This tag enhances transparency which lets the audience know that the content they are seeing is part of a promotional effort. 

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Key Benefits of Paid Partnerships on Instagram

When this feature was initially launched, many users were skeptical of how this feature can translate into business. This hesitation came from this feature giving more discretion to consumers about their consuming choices and adding another layer of transparency. 

Many people think that labeling something as a paid collaboration will discourage buyers from purchasing the advertised item. However, this enhances trust between influencers and their audience. In fact, a new study from Harvard Business Review (2018) found that a growing trend of influencers faking sponsored content has emerged. This is to essentially gain brand credibility by faking sponsorships with big brand names and possibly secure any partnerships that they can get. Yet, not many are aware of the true benefits that the paid partnership tag offers both brands and creators. Some of the main key points that both brands and creators should be aware of when using the Paid Partnerships feature are as follows.

Firstly, all Instagram users have access to the paid partnership label via personal, business and creator accounts. From the brand side, the account must be listed as a business account on Instagram, and the brand will need to enable branded content tools on its account. The brand will then need to approve creator accounts either manually, automatically, or by approving individual accounts prior to the creator posting. Influencers and creators can also access the ability to tag brands as paid partners if they have either a creator or business account and have enabled branded content tools on their accounts. Any account, no matter the size, can upgrade to creator status, giving the account access to upgraded and additional features from Instagram. 

As a brand, the benefits of the paid partnership label are endless. When an influencer tags you in a sponsored post, the paid partnership is typically where the geolocation is and the Instagram handle of the influencer. Whenever anyone posts on Instagram, that is usually the first datapoint that the audience sees as they need to know who is posting. The versatility of the feature also allows users to apply the tag in a story. Similar to a static post, the tag also shows up at the top with the Instagram handle. After that, the influencer’s audience becomes your audience as they are visualizing your product. Additionally, collaborating with an influencer will increase your brand’s traction as they have a loyal built audience. Finally, after a collaboration has been completed, you can track data points and use those analytics to see which influencers work best for your brand’s needs.

As an influencer, the paid partnership tag allows influencers to make money through Instagram advertising while complying with the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Moreover, working with a diverse range of brands helps build your portfolio which creates a demand for your services. If a brand sees the work you have done, it builds your credibility and likeability as an influencer, encouraging other brands to work with you as well. Additionally, working with a variety of brands gives you the advantage of testing out products and services to see how they apply to your daily needs. This authenticity and genuine excitement of needing a product and also disclosing that it is sponsored, builds trust with your audience whilst also building your audience niche. Hence, paid partnership tags not only help the brand but also provide many advantages to the influencer posting.

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Best Practices for Paid Partnerships

1. Select the Right Influencers

Choosing the right influencer is key to a successful campaign. Look beyond follower counts and consider engagement rates, content quality, and alignment with your brand values. Micro-influencers, with their highly engaged audiences, can often deliver better results than macro-influencers.

2. Establish Clear Goals and Expectations

Before starting a campaign, outline your goals and expectations. Whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or promoting a new product, having clear objectives will help you measure success and guide the collaboration.

3. Create Authentic Content

Authenticity is essential in influencer marketing. Allow influencers the creative freedom to present your brand in a way that resonates with their audience. Authentic content is more likely to engage followers and drive action.

4. Use Instagram's Paid Partnership Tools

Instagram offers several tools to manage and track paid partnerships. Utilize the "Paid Partnership" tag to ensure transparency. Additionally, leverage Instagram's insights to monitor the performance of your campaigns and adjust your strategy as needed.

5. Monitor and Analyze Performance

Tracking the performance of your paid partnership campaigns is crucial. Monitor engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversions to understand what works and what doesn't. Use this data to refine your approach and optimize future campaigns.

How Embold Can Help

Embold simplifies the influencer marketing process, making it easy for Canadian brands to discover, collaborate with, and manage influencers. Here’s how Embold can enhance your paid partnership efforts:

  • Influencer Discovery: Access a curated network of over 9,000 Canadian micro-influencers. Use Embold's filters to find influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographic.
  • Campaign Management: Streamline your campaigns with Embold's comprehensive management tools. Engage influencers, monitor progress, and collaborate seamlessly using Embold's communication portal.
  • Content Management: Review and manage content submissions in one place, ensuring they align with your brand’s goals and standards.
  • Reporting and Payouts: Benefit from live campaign reporting, simplified invoicing, and easy payouts directly to influencers’ bank accounts or PayPal.
  • Managed Campaigns: Let Embold’s team handle your campaigns, from influencer engagement to content creation and reporting. 


Paid partnerships on Instagram are a powerful tool for brands looking to boost their reach and engagement. By following best practices and leveraging the right tools, you can create authentic, impactful collaborations that resonate with your audience. Embold offers a comprehensive platform to streamline your influencer marketing efforts, helping you achieve your marketing goals effectively and efficiently. Ready to take your influencer marketing to the next level? Discover how Embold can elevate your influencer marketing strategy and drive real results for your brand.

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