Instagram is constantly innovating and introducing new features and updates that would allow for better brand-creator collaborations. This has led to the introduction of features such as the Paid Partnership tag and the Eligible for Commission tag as well as the ability for influencers to tag a brand’s products in their posts. Now it’s recently launched the creator marketplace with the goal to facilitate better collaboration between brands and creators on the platform.
Not sure what the Instagram creator marketplace is? Or wondering how it could make a difference for you? Whether you’re a creator yourself or you want to learn more as a marketer, read on to find out what the creator marketplace is all about.
What Is Instagram Creator Marketplace?
What Is the Instagram Creator Marketplace?
The Instagram creator marketplace, as the name suggests, is a place for brands to find Instagram creators to partner with. Essentially, it’s like an influencer discovery platform but within Instagram and focuses on the platform’s creators.
Brands can browse the marketplace to find potential influencers to partner with. It will enable them to negotiate deals and manage their collaborations. The marketplace also makes it easier for influencers to manage their brand partnerships and branded content opportunities. It allows them to set up a creator portfolio, using which they can showcase their work to potential brand partners.
Instagram began testing the feature in July 2022 and made it available on an invite-only basis to select business and creator accounts. As of writing this post, brands can now request to join the marketplace to connect with potential influencers for their campaigns.
However, businesses outside of the U.S still don’t have the option to register their interest in using this marketplace. As Instagram expands the availability of the creator marketplace, it will also introduce more tools to facilitate effective partnerships between brands and influencers.
What Can You Do with the Creator Marketplace?
Now you understand that you can use the creator marketplace for influencer marketing on Instagram. But what are the specific features of the marketplace? What can brands and creators really do that make it such a great addition to the Instagram influencer marketing toolkit? Let’s look at the key creator marketplace features to help you understand its value.
The partner discovery feature allows brands to search for creators who fit their requirements. This would allow you to conduct searches and narrow your results based on a variety of filters including
- Number of followers
This feature also lets you filter creators according to the demographics of their audience. This may include demographic data relating to the audience’s age, gender, country, city, and interests.
However, the partner discovery feature on the Instagram creator marketplace also goes beyond these basic relevancy filters. It allows businesses to narrow down influencers that are authentically connected with their brand, which gives it an advantage over other influencer discovery platforms in the market.
For example, you can use it to filter for creators who have expressed their interest in partnering with your brand. You can also easily filter for creators who follow you or have tagged you in their posts. That way, you can quickly discover influencers who are already familiar with your brand and can add a layer of authenticity to their promotional content. No more scrolling through heaps of tagged posts to find potential influencers to work with.
Another useful feature is the ability to find creators who share similar characteristics as the creators you’ve already found using those filters. Moreover, you can add your shortlisted creators to a saved list, which you can quickly access when you need it.
Meanwhile, creators will have to properly indicate the brands and topics that are most relevant to them. This will make sure that their profile gets discovered for relevant branded content opportunities. Creators on the creator marketplace can select up to 10 interests from a range of categories including beauty, fitness and workouts, games, home and garden, and many more.
Once you find the creators you want to work with, you can start creating structured projects for your creators, which will outline the details of your influencer marketing campaign. The creator project will include essential information such as the campaign overview and the expected deliverables. That means the creators will be able to see the number of posts and the types of posts they’re expected to create.
It will also include information about compensation and other important details that the creators should know about the project. This would include the project timeline i.e., the dates when they’re expected to publish their brand-sponsored content.
That way, the creators can get a clear idea of what they need to do and whether they’d be capable of delivering, which would allow them to decide more easily. This cuts back on the back and forth and helps to streamline the process of working with influencers. Essentially, what would typically take weeks to finalize would now only take a day or two.
After you’ve drafted the creator project, you can then send it to the creators you want to work with. This will go straight to the creator’s Partnership Messages inbox so they can review the project (but more on that in the next point).
Instagram has also made improvements to this feature, allowing brands to make their creator projects discoverable. With this new update, creators who meet the brand’s criteria will be able to find the project in the marketplace. They can then let the brand know about their interest in the project instead of waiting for the brand to approach them.
After viewing the project, a creator only needs to tap the “I’m interested” button, and Instagram will notify the brand about it. If they decide to opt out, the creator can just tap on the “I’m no longer interested” button to withdraw their notice of interest.
This makes it easier for brands to find interested influencers to work with. For the creators, this allows them to be proactive and easily find new partnership opportunities. The update is particularly useful for creators who are just starting out and haven’t had that many opportunities to work with brands.
Additionally, Instagram has also made it possible for brands to send out projects with fixed offers. Creators can then review these projects and immediately accept them to begin their partnership. This simplifies and speeds up the process of closing on branded content deals, allowing both brands and creators to save time.
Brands and creators who are a part of the creator marketplace will also have a new Partnership Messages folder in their main inbox. This makes it much easier to keep partnership messages organized so that they don’t get buried beneath heaps of messages from customers or friends. It also means that new opportunities don’t get missed because they’ll no longer end up in the Requests tab, where it’s normal for messages to go unnoticed for months at a time.
With this partnership messaging feature, creators and brands can coordinate right within the platform. No more switching between two different apps to communicate and coordinate with each other. That way, all your communications are streamlined so you can minimize confusion and ensure that all the important information is shared with the necessary party.
Instagram has also made it possible for brands to message multiple creators at one time using a prioritized partnership messages inbox. This feature will come in handy when you’re working on a large-scale campaign that involves a partnership with multiple influencers. You can send out creator projects and other important messages to several influencers in one go, allowing you to save time and streamline your communications.
Portfolio (for creators)
Instagram will also make it possible for influencers to set up a creator portfolio. Through these portfolios, creators will be able to share their unique stories while also establishing themselves as viable influencers to partner with. This makes it easy to position themselves for potential brand partnerships instead of simply relying on their Instagram profile and feed.
Creators will be able to include a quick overview of who they are and what they do, making it easier to express themselves beyond their Instagram bio. They’ll also be able to highlight their previous work and showcase other brands they’ve worked with in the past.
For brands, being able to see this type of information about creators makes it even easier to narrow down the most viable partners for their campaigns. You no longer have to scroll through hundreds of posts to check out the sponsored content that an influencer has created in the past. Now you can easily find examples of their previous work to see how effective their branded content was and whether the influencer will be able to deliver on your expectations.
Branded content ad code (for creators)
Many influencer marketing campaigns involve amplifying content created by influencers. This allowed brands to combine the effectiveness of paid advertising with the impact of high-quality influencer content. Now you’ll be able to do this even more easily with a new update that Instagram is making to the creator marketplace.
Creators will be able to generate a unique branded content ad code for their posts. They can then share this code with their partner brand, who will then use it to run paid advertising campaigns using the creator’s content. The paid ad will show up as coming from the influencer’s account, which will fit right in with organic posts on users’ feeds.
This further helps to streamline the process of working with influencers. For brands and creators alike, this adds an extra layer of security. Creators won’t have to give the brand access to their account to run the ad using their handle. Instead, the code will allow the brand to boost the creator’s post as an ad.
Keep in mind that as of writing this post, creators will have limited ability to edit the post once it’s boosted. Moreover, only one brand will be allowed to boost the post. So, it’s important to work out all the details before you decide to amplify an influencer’s post for your campaign.
Another feature that Instagram is introducing to the creator marketplace is the ability to send and receive payments right within the platform. Brands will be able to pay influencers directly through Instagram instead of having to use a different app or channel for payment. Similarly, creators will be able to receive payments directly on the app.
Creators will then have the option to access all these payment details through the “Tools” section of their professional dashboard. This makes it easier to keep track of their earnings and ensure that they’ve received all the relevant payments.
How to Join the Creator Marketplace on Instagram
Instagram now gives brands the option to register their interest in using the creator marketplace. However, at the time of writing this post, your brand must be in the U.S to be eligible. All you need to do is submit the creator marketplace form and wait for Instagram to get back to you.
For creators, there are a few eligibility requirements to meet before they can get partnership opportunities from the creator marketplace. This includes following the Partner Monetization Policies and Branded Content Policies. They must also be compliant with the platform’s Content Monetization Policies and Community Guidelines.
If all these requirements are met, creators can go to their account settings to check their eligibility for the creator marketplace. If they’re eligible, they can join the marketplace through their professional dashboard.