Instagram’s Paid Partnership: What Is It And Why Is It Important? (Plus More!)

06 October 2021

In 2017, Instagram introduced a paid partnership feature to increase the transparency of sponsored posts on the platform. During this time, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had started a crackdown on influencers who hadn’t made clear the paid relationship between them and the brands they were working with. Furthermore, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was looking to deal with sponsored advertising that violates its regulations. 

Instagram’s paid partnership feature brings greater transparency to sponsored content, offers access to campaign insights, and minimizes the negative consequences of sponsored posts, thus keeping the FTC and ACCC off your back. 

As an influencer looking to participate in several Instagram paid partnerships, understanding how the feature works will help you plan your campaigns appropriately to avoid getting into trouble with the law. Luckily for you, we have written this article explaining how the feature works, how to get yourself one of these partnerships, and tips on succeeding. 

Let’s get started!


Why Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature Matters

Influencer marketing has become crucial for brands to connect with their audience on Instagram. By partnering with influencers that match their interests and audience, brands can reach their target users more effectively and convince them to buy their products. On their part, Instagram users can learn about products from the voices they trust. 

This arrangement makes influencers a vital link for brands to build awareness, earn more followers, and generate sales. The brands usually pay influencers to promote their products or services to their followers. But sometimes, the creators aren’t forthcoming about their paid promotions and publish posts without mentioning the brands sponsoring the content. This can be misleading since users may end up buying the product thinking it’s an honest recommendation without realizing that someone has been paid to promote the product. 

So, to protect its users from false advertising and encourage greater transparency with sponsored content, Instagram launched the paid partnership feature in 2017. The feature was first released to a few influencers, but it was made available to all accounts a few months later. With Instagram paid partnerships, influencers can now disclose a sponsored post, and businesses can access insights that will help them tell if a campaign is working or not. 

Does Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature Follow The FTC’s Guides?

Instagram has marketed the paid partnership feature to bring more transparency, but they still have some way to go to meet the FTC guidelines fully. One of the things that the FTC takes an issue with is the placement of the disclosure. Instagram places the disclosure above the sponsored post, and the FTC finds that the location isn’t ideal for attracting viewers’ attention. They also say that flagging a sponsored post may not be enough, especially when it mentions multiple brands and not all of them are tagged. 

Since it may not be possible to meet all FTC regulations when publishing sponsored posts, the responsibility of fully disclosing a paid relationship on Instagram lies with the influencer and the brand, not the platform. Influencers should disclose any partnerships in their captions to ensure users understand they interact with a sponsored post. 

Paid partnership kendall jenner
Figure 1: The post has already been flagged as a sponsored post, but the influencer (Kendall Jenner) still mentions that it’s a campaign by Tiffany & Co. Source: Instagram

What Is A Paid Partnership On Instagram?

Before we share tips that will help land your first paid partnership on Instagram, let’s first answer the question, “How do Instagram paid partnerships work?”

Well, Instagram paid partnerships occur when an influencer shares a post or a story on the platform and tags a brand as a business partner. The paid partnership tag appears on top of the post, and followers will see the “Paid Partnership with [Business Partner]” under the account’s username. The Business Partner is a link that takes users to the brand’s page. 

Paid partnership tags
Figure 2: Example of Instagram Paid Partnerships.

Paid partnerships have become very common with influencers on Instagram. This has made Instagram the social media platform of choice for influencer marketing, as brands seek honest and authentic ways to tell consumers about their products. 

When should influencers use the paid partnership feature?

Influencers should use the paid partnership feature for all posts (feed and story) sponsored by a brand. Even if the brand isn’t specifically paying for the post, influencers should still use the paid partnership feature as long as they have a sponsorship agreement in place. This will help them maintain transparency and consistency with their followers. 

When not to use the paid partnership feature?

Influencers should not tag a brand in their posts when they haven’t brought them on as a brand ambassador for a campaign. The same applies in instances where the influencer is sharing information about a product received as a gift as part of a previous campaign. Influencers should discuss the specifics of their arrangement with the brand to ensure they don’t put each other in awkward positions. 

Unpacked: Benefits & Misfits Of The Paid Partnership

As a content creator on Instagram, here are some reasons to be excited about paid partnership feature. 

More money

The paid partnership feature provides brands with insights on how a campaign is faring. This has now made it easy for you to show potential brands how valuable you can be. As a result, you will earn more partnerships and make more money. 

More protection

When your post is labeled as a Paid Partnership, it protects you from falling outside of the law. 

More recognition

Instagram recognizes the undeniable value you bring as a creator when engaging users and providing brands with great content for their ads. You will upgrade to a Creator account and access exclusive features and analytics on the platform.  

To gain all these benefits, 

Do this!

  • Set some goals for yourself.
  • Be careful with whom you’re partnering.
  • Have a plan.

Avoid this!

  • Being swayed by money.
  • Listening to rumors about the algorithm.
  • Putting yourself in an unfavorable financial position when promoting a brand.

How To Get A Paid Partnership

Are you wondering, “How can I get a paid partnership on Instagram?”

Use these tips to attract the right collaborations and brand activations. 

Be authentic & transparent

Authenticity and transparency are essential when you are looking for Instagram’s paid partnerships. Brands don’t want to work with someone who pretends to be something they are not. So, be true to yourself, and you will attract the right partnerships. 

Partner with the right brands

When looking for a paid partnership, only go for the brands that you are passionate about. Don’t just work with a brand just because they are paying you a lot of money. Analyze their products and company values to ensure they match your own. This will ensure your sponsored content feels authentic, which will lead to more engagement and an increase in quality. 

Remember the importance of engagement

The brands that work with you will only get value for their money when your sponsored content gets a lot of engagement. This can be in likes, comments, shares, and clicks on the link that takes users to the brand’s website or the product page. Remember that your posts will only attract more interactions when you post about things you love and are passionate about. 

It’s okay to say no

How do you get a paid partnership on Instagram when you are constantly saying no to collaboration offers? Not every partnership is great for your brand, and that’s why you need to be selective about whom you work with. If a brand doesn’t match your interests and values, it isn’t the right fit. Tell them no and continue your search for the right partnership. 

How To Use The Paid Partnership Function On Instagram

Now that you know how to enter a paid partnership deal on Instagram, here’s how to use the paid partnership feature. 

Step 1: Tagging a business partner on your content post

  • Go to Advanced Settings on the last page of the creative flow to tag a brand on your feed post.
  • Tap the Business Partner field to open a search field.
  • Search for the brand you want to tag. Partners that need approval will be in grey and separated by a header.
  • Tap on a partner to tag them on your sponsored post. 

Step 2: Tagging a business partner in branded content stories

  • Go to the icon toolbar after creating a photo or video story.
  • Tap the link icon to tag your business icon. 
  • Search for your business partner and click on their name to add them to your sponsored story.

Pin These!

  • You can use the edit tool to tag your business partner in a post you have already published on your feed. 
  • You can also do the same with your sponsored content stories by clicking on the three dots and tapping the Business Partner option. 
  • Do not allow your business partner to promote your content before you are sure how the content will be used. 
  • Your business partner needs your permission if they are going to use your content as an ad. You also deserve separate payment for this. 
  • If you need the approval to tag a brand in your post, give them time to give their approval. 
  • Changing your account to Creator makes a lot of things easier for you as an influencer. 
  • But if your preference is to have a business account, that’s fine as well. 

Instagram’s paid partnerships instill trust among businesses, influencers, and users. The deals also support influencers to make more money and gain more recognition by helping them collaborate with as many brands as possible. 


As you work to find the right paid partnerships, you will appreciate the role Atisfyre – our AI-based influencer platform – plays in helping content creators identify suitable brands to work with. Sign up today if you need help managing your online profile and attracting the right partnerships. 

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