With over a billion active users per month spending an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform, there is no denying the amount of reach potential Instagram has.
And it’s not just Instagram ads and shoppable stories that bring potential customers to your store. Instagram sponsored posts can be a huge traffic driver.
Not convinced of their potential? Let’s look at another two related Instagram statistics:
- There are currently 500,000+ active Instagram influencers
- 50% of all Instagram users have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service on the social media mega platform
Therefore, by combining the reach of paid partnerships (previously known as sponsored posts) and the power of Instagram itself to drive traffic, you could be onto something.
In this post, we answer all your important questions about Instagram sponsored posts and discuss if and how you can integrate them into your overall eCommerce ads strategy, including:
- What are Instagram sponsored posts, and are they worth it?
- Types of sponsored Instagram posts
- How much do Instagram sponsored posts cost?
- How to set up a Paid Partnership sponsored Instagram post
- How to boost Instagram influencer marketing results and double your traffic with Facebook Ads
Let’s dive in!
Newbie Tip: If you are brand new to Instagram marketing, setting the Facebook pixel, creating user-generated content, and other marketing strategies, we suggest you start with these guides first:
- Ad strategy for eCommerce
- How to market a new online clothing store
- Beginner’s guide to Instagram influencer marketing for online store owners
What Are Instagram Sponsored Posts, and Are They Worth it?
An Instagram sponsored post is created and paid for either by a business account (from your Facebook Ads Manager), an Instagram influencer, or from a brand partner’s account (AKA another brand you partner with).
Their aim is:
- Help you reach new audiences within your specific niche
- Capitalize on accounts with larger groups of engaged Instagram followers
- Bring potential customers back to your store
In short, they are able to reach wider audiences and generate leads with high buying intent.
When it comes to influencer marketing specifically, there are millions of sponsored posts per year, and this is growing substantially year on year.
Influencer sponsored posts are skyrocketing so substantially that Instagram rolled out their Branded Content tool to enable creators (like celebrities, influencers, public figures, and publishers) and their business partners to streamline influencer marketing and better track insights.
Important Side Note: The FTC requires that all sponsored content is displayed, so it’s vital that brands choose influencers that use this tool on Instagram. This will ensure both parties are protected from any potential fines or liability.
Instagram sponsorships can be extremely effective. And yes, they are definitely worth it. The trick is tweaking your strategy based on your specific needs, brands, and market – and test, test, test!
An eCommerce brand that understands just how to do that is MeUndies. They continuously use the power of sponsored posts and UGC within their overall Instagram advertising and content marketing strategy.
If you can tap into big niche trends, it’s even better. Here’s just one viral example of the types of Instagram sponsorship campaigns that have proved highly successful.
MeUndies’ “Celebrate Yourself” Awareness Campaign [Instagram Sponsored Post Case Study]
During pride month, MeUndies ran their “Celebrate Yourself” social media campaign.
For this campaign, they partnered with LGBTQ influencers and the True Colors Fund (where they donated a portion of their proceeds) and pushed limited edition designs to raise donations, using the #TrueColorsMoment hashtag.
Offering limited edition designs that included a portion of proceeds going to LGBTQ charities, they reached out to big community influencers.
The results of this social media campaign?
- Reach: 4,765,233 Instagram followers
- Likes: 714,952
- Comments: 7,562
- Engagement rate: 7.13%
The most popular sponsored post in this campaign (from Instagram influencer Hayley Kiyoko) generated an engagement rate of 17.26%.
Ultimately, yes, Instagram sponsored posts are very worth it. The secret is finding Instagram influencer partnerships or PPC targeting and tapping into very specific niches.
Types of Instagram Sponsored Posts: Paid Instagram Partnerships
There is one primary type of Instagram sponsored posts: paid partnerships. However, it’s vital to consider Instagram ads as well as they do play a role in your Influencer marketing strategy. Let’s take a deeper look.
What Are Paid Instagram Partnerships?
[Source: Social Media Examiner]
In a nutshell: paid partnerships are where Instagram influencers or creators post content to their followers on your brand’s behalf for a fee.
In other words, it means partnering with niche-specific influencers to reach new audiences and a way to engage with their Instagram followers while featuring your products.
Paid partnerships can be hugely successful in terms of ROAS.
Gap, for example, harnessed the power of influencer marketing with Instagram in-feed posts, Story ads, and Reels content to drive awareness to their New Ease collection and drive traffic (and sales) to their eCommerce retail site.
Gap achieved 44x ROAS for this influencer marketing campaign, as well as a 3.1% boost in brand engagement.
Pro Tip: When influencers and creators use this branded content feature to create paid partnerships, brands cannot only see content from ads management, but can access the post’s engagement and reach metrics as well.
What Do Sponsored Posts [Paid Instagram Partnerships] Look Like?
Quite simply, these are Instagram posts that include the Paid Partnership Label right under the creator’s Instagram username. These can be applied to posts, reels, and Instagram stories.
What About Boosted Posts and Instagram Ads?
Another, perhaps smaller, piece of your influencer sponsored post strategy is Instagram PPC campaigns and boosted posts.
For creators, paid ads help ensure their sponsored or paid partnerships posts reach the largest possible number of Instagram followers.
For brands, this could mean setting up retargeting campaigns to push these new targeted audiences further into their sales funnels. Or, if they’re running a co-branding campaign with another online store, they can boost their own posts to widen audience reach.
Have you considered Instagram co-branding partnerships? The concept of co-branding marketing is not new. It’s done to mutually increase reach and boost sales by capitalizing on each other’s equity.
Instagram paid partnerships can be organized between brand accounts with similar markets and products that don’t compete. It can also be done when product sales success is aligned.
Brands can now use Branded Content Ads to expand branded content reach beyond that of the creator’s organic audience. They give you a lot more bang for your buck and are an absolute must for eCommerce stores.
But more on using eCommerce Facebook ads to boost paid partnership and sponsored posts later. [Or you can jump ahead here.]
How Much Do Instagram Sponsored Posts Cost?
In a very general sense, eCommerce brands are looking at around $100 per 10k followers. In other words, one paid partnership post by an influencer with around 10k followers will cost $100. You will also need to take into account the costs of any paid ads you run for that post.
However, there are no cookie-cutter prices, with a lot of other factors coming into play. They include:
- Whether the influencer was found through an agency, and the fees involved
- The amount of effort needed on the part of the creator/influencer
- Engagement and reach of the Instagram creator
- Amount of post elements (music/video/images) needed
- Number and type of posts commissioned
- The number of followers an influencer or creator has
Here’s an average idea of the different tiers you can expect for Instagram influencers according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
- Nano-influencers: These are creators with between 1,000–10,000 Instagram followers and will cost around $10–$100 per Instagram sponsored post.
- Micro-influencers: These are creators with between 10,000–15,000 Instagram followers and will cost around $100–$500 per Instagram sponsored post.
- Mid-tier influencers: These are creators with between 50,000–500,000 Instagram followers and will cost around $500–$5,000 per Instagram sponsored post.
- Macro-influencers: These are creators with between 500,000–1,000,000 Instagram followers and will cost around $5,000–$10,000 per Instagram sponsored post.
- Mega-influencers: These are creators with 1,000,000+ Instagram followers and will cost around $10,000+ per Instagram sponsored post.
- Celebrities: This varies from celebrity to celebrity but can range from $300,000 to $600,000 on average. In fact, it is not uncommon to find celebrity paid partnership sponsored posts reaching past the $1 million mark.
How to Set Up a Paid Partnership Sponsored Instagram Post
To recap, tapping into Instagram sponsored posts (paid partnership) will enable you to:
- Access new niche segments and trends
- Promote products with word-of-mouth recommendations from reputable sources
- Tap into bigger, more engaged Instagram follower pools
To reap the rewards, you first need a pro Instagram influencer marketing strategy.
So, how do you find and set up paid partnerships on Instagram? By following these three simple steps.
Step #1: Define Your Influencer Marketing Objectives and Niche
The first thing you need to do to set yourself for success is to define the objectives of your paid partnership and Instagram sponsored posts. What do you hope to achieve with influencer marketing? Or in marketing terms, what ROAS are you expecting?
This can include:
- Reaching new potential shoppers with brand awareness
- Building your Instagram audience
- Establishing brand identity or authority within a specific niche
- Getting more people to your online store (lead generation)
- Building brand loyalty
- Increasing Instagram engagement
- Increasing sales for a specific product or category
Additionally, to really succeed performance-wise with influencer marketing and paid partnerships (and corresponding paid PPC ads), you want to make sure you are drilling down the niche or audience segment you need to reach to fulfill these objectives.
And like with any eCommerce marketing strategy, the more segmented or niche, the better.
Why is this an important step to do before finding your influencer for your sponsored posts? Because the number of followers an Instagram creator has – and their engagement – won’t matter if it’s not tapping into precisely the type of target shopper your product or eCommerce brand speaks to.
Step #2: Find the Right Instagram Influencer for Your Online Store
Next, it’s time to find the right Instagram influencer for your eCommerce brand market. You need one that will help you meet your objectives for the budget you set.
This means you will need to research potential influences on Instagram itself or use an influencer marketing agency and third-party tools such as Upfluence, NeoReach, or The Shelf.
Alternatively, check out Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager to find Instagram influencers.
Pro Tip: More followers isn’t always better. As we mentioned, the more followers an Instagram creator has, the more expensive your sponsored posts are likely to be. Additionally, the more followers they have, the more broad their audience may be.
This is what makes micro-influencers so popular: they have smaller groups of followers that are more like-minded, which improves the chances of your messaging or product to be in line with what they are looking for.
Once you have narrowed down your influencer shortlist, you will want to do the following before committing:
- Assess if your target audience is already engaging with any of the Instagram influencers
- Review their most popular posts and engagement and look at their key performance metrics
- Determine if they fit into your budget and have ROAS potential that meets your objectives
You can read more about how to find the best influencers for your eCommerce brand here.
Step #3: Set Up for Branded Content Sponsorship on Instagram
Once you have chosen the right influencer for your sponsored posts, decided on a format, and negotiated a price, it’s time to get set up.
You will need to set up your Instagram business account for branded content by accessing your ‘approved business partners’ and adding your selected creator.
You can choose for your PPC and social media marketing team to either manually accept any tag (highly recommended) or to automatically approve all tags.
Once your Instagram influencer marketing campaign is loaded by your chosen creator, you will get a notification and access to the post’s performance metrics. You can then also create a branded content PPC campaign from this post to increase campaign reach and drive more traffic beyond just their followers.
How to Boost Instagram Influencer Marketing Results and Double Your Sponsored Post Traffic With Facebook Ads
To really make the most of Instagram paid partnerships in terms of both traffic and sales, you’re going to need to incorporate Facebook ads.
There are two key PPC marketing opportunities you can use to boost your Instagram sponsored posts:
- Branded Content ads
- Facebook retargeting campaigns
Let’s dive deep into each.
Facebook Branded Content Ads [Broaden Reach]
The first Instagram ad campaign you should test is Branded Content ads.
As we touched on earlier in the post, Branded Content ads are an Instagram ad placement that allows marketers to create a campaign from an influencer’s or creator’s paid partnership post.
Important Note: If you want to create a Facebook Branded Content ad for your influencer marketing campaigns, you will need to ensure the following:
- The influencer or creator who you have partnered with for your sponsored post has enabled businesses to promote their branded content.
- The post needs to have been shared (live), and your brand should be tagged in the post.
- Turn on Stories archives if you want to create a Branded Content ad campaign for Story posts.
- The paid partnership post needs to be a single image or single video post.
The major benefit to running these Instagram campaigns is that the sponsored post will not only organically reach an influencer’s followers, but also allow you to also reach a much broader audience through Instagram targeting.
Facebook offers three placements for these ads:
- Instagram Feed
- Instagram Stories
- Instagram Explore
To run Branded Content ads, marketers create campaigns through Facebook Ads Manager as you would any other promoted post. Here is a quick rundown of the steps:
- Select ‘create a new ad’
- Choose your campaign objective
- Allocate your target audience
- Select Instagram Feed, Stories, or Explore for ad placement
- Choose “Use Existing Post” at the ad level
- Preview and confirm ad
Bonus Tip: How to Measure Paid Partnership and Branded Content Ads Performance
Through Facebook’s Business Manager, advertisers can view paid partnership insights and campaign results from the ‘Branded Content’ tab.
With regards to sponsored Stories posts or Story ads specifically, brands will have two weeks to see the following sponsored content metrics:
- Forward and backward taps
- Replies and exits
Instagram/Facebook Retargeting Ads [Boost Conversions]
Before your paid sponsorship and your Branded Content ad are live, you should make sure you have retargeting campaigns set up to ‘catch’ engaged Instagram users.
The idea here is to create custom audiences based on post engagement. Therefore, all engaged users will automatically move into your sales funnel and receive further Instagram campaigns and sponsored posts designed to convert them or bring them back to your store.
How to do this? Follow these steps:
- Create Custom Audiences from engagement with your Instagram business profile.
- Build an Instagram ad campaign that retargets these Instagram users.
- Create an ad, using specific messaging to personalize your ads.
You will also want to make sure you harness the power of dynamic retargeting Instagram ads and other ad placements across all your PPC channels to promote your products to people who have expressed interest and visited your store after engaging with Instagram sponsorship content.
Alternatively, consider using PPC management software like Traffic Booster to automate your entire campaign creation, management, and optimization process.
Final Thoughts: Combine and Add Instagram Sponsored Posts and Paid Partnerships to Your Digital Marketing Strategy
There is no denying the important role influencer marketing plays in your overall Instagram advertising strategy.
When it comes to social media marketing, influencer campaigns through paid partnerships have huge potential. The secret to their success, though, is combining these sponsored posts with the converting power of PPC.
Simply put, paid partnerships and Instagram campaigns should work together to reach new audiences, bring traffic to your store, and convert shoppers.
Partnering with Instagram influencers allows you to tap into the magic of UGC to broaden your reach, and your campaigns will then work to turn new audiences into high-intent potential customers.
These Instagram marketing campaigns should include retargeting and cover a wide range of ad placements, such as:
- Branded Content ads
- Instagram Story ads
- Instagram feed ads
- Boosted posts
- Instagram video ads
- Dynamic retargeting ads
- Instagram Shopping ads
Have Instagram advertising questions? Post them in the comments section, and our team of social media marketing experts will help you out!