Getting Started with Influencer Paid Partnerships

If you’re a brand you’ve likely heard many people stress the importance of paying the right person to represent your brand, delivering the perfect message to the right audience in the right way. It could be quite challenging to reach the right person, like how Haig Club needs a David Beckham, and L’Oreal seeks collaborations with someone like Eva Longoria. But it’s all about investing in your heroes for mass visibility and developing a distinctive brand identity. 

The effort will always be on the brand, and the power in the hands of the talent, celebrity or influencer. This is where paid partnerships or paid collaborations come in place, where brands and influencers collaborate to reach a mutual benefit and a value exchange. 

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about paid partnerships with influencers and content creators on social media like Instagram and TikTok. 

What is a paid partnership?

Paid partnership is a collaboration between a brand and an influencer or content creator to promote specific products or services in exchange for payment or commissions. Normally, the brand pays the influencer to promote their products on social media channels like TikTok and Instagram. Paid partnership content can take various formats including a static image, carousel posts, or video content—it’s all up to what works best for your brand, the influencer, and your target audience.

How paid partnership works?

Brands can do a paid partnership campaign with an influencer across various social media platforms depending on where their audience is. The most common social media to do paid partnerships are Instagram and TikTok. Here is what you need to know about paid partnerships on Instagram and TikTok:

Paid partnership on Instagram

Instagram paid partnership is when a brand compensates an influencer or a content creator to promote a specific product or service through branded content on Instagram feed, story, reels, or live videos. But what does paid partnership content on Instagram actually look like?

Instagram comes with a convenient paid partnership tool that simplifies your collaboration, makes it more trackable, and helps it stand out. This tool includes a tag that says “Paid Partnerships With…”. Influencers can use this tag to show that they have a commercial relationship with the brand, which also means they get compensation for their posts. This feature aims to increase the level of transparency and make it clear that the content is an advertisement. Brands could also incorporate a discount code or affiliate links into the influencer’s sponsored content to drive more sales or conversions. 

Paid partnership on TikTok

In addition to Instagram, brands can collaborate with TikTok influencers or content creators to promote specific products or services through the creator’s content and provide monetary compensation in return. TikTok's storytelling format has created valuable opportunities for brands and creators to work together in developing more personalised, natural, and engaging advertisement videos on TikTok.

On TikTok, ads created in partnership with brands are categorised as branded content and must follow the platform’s guidelines regarding sponsored TikTok posts. It needs to be clear which product or service you promote through the video or the caption. Also, influencers must disclose that the partnership video is a branded content by activating the Branded Content toggle on the app. 

In an effort to support advertisers, TikTok has recently launched several paid partnership programs. For example, TikTok Pulse is a new service that guarantees brands’ videos to appear alongside the top 4% of videos on the platform at any given time. Additionally, there is the “Branded Mission” initiative, which allows advertisers to source authentic videos from creators and convert the most performing content into ads. Then creators will receive cash payments if their videos are chosen. 

What are paid partnership benefits for brands?

Paid partnership is one of the most effective ways to collaborate with influencers. Here are the benefits brands can expect when partnering with influencers:

Raising brand awareness and exposure

Influencers have a large circle of niche audiences who are highly engaged individuals with specific interests. Partnering with an influencer to create branded or promotional content can get your brand in front of many new potential audiences and raise awareness of your products or services. The more people are aware of your brand, the more likely they are to engage with your products or services, consider your offerings when making purchasing decisions, and become loyal customers over time. 

Gain credibility and trust

Influencers are trusted by their audience, who regard their content as authentic and reliable. When influencers genuinely enjoy a brand’s offerings, they will provide authentic endorsements of the products and willingly promote them to their audience. Plus, influencers consistently create content that resonates with their followers. Therefore, partnering with influencers helps brands earn more trust and credibility with their desired audience.

Increase conversions and sales

Paid partnerships with influencers can help to drive more traffic to your brand’s website as your brand will be exposed to a new audience base that could be interested in your products or services. Also, endorsement content from paid partnerships can motivate audiences to make purchases based on the influencer’s recommendations, as they perceive the influencer’s content as credible. Therefore, by partnering with the right influencers, a brand can enhance their website traffic, boost conversions, and increase sales.

In most cases, influencers' paid partnerships can be tracked and measured, allowing brands to assess the impact of the collaboration on sales and ROI. Most of the social media platforms also already have a metrics tool to measure and analyse the results of the campaign. For example, on Instagram, you can see the paid partnership content insights which include the reach, engagement, impressions, reactions and comments, CPM, CTR, and many more.

Paid Partnership with Room Unlocked

Sometimes, the only thing you’re trying to sell isn’t the only thing they want to buy, and, in listening to our clients, they’ve held up a mirror to one of the truisms we’ve always championed.

For every one of you who’s heard us trumpet the benefits of paid collaborations, as sure as night follows day - the follow up is always our ‘but…’. Altogether, here’s the catch: “There are too many brands paying too much money to too many people to promote them.” This is where we come in with our unique selling point (USP): connecting brands and influencers for a mutual benefit, a value exchange. 

We’ve banged the drum, hung out the banners and advertised hard and in doing so, we’ve been told we’re ignoring a large piece of the jigsaw.  The importance of ‘meeting in the middle’ and mutual benefit, doesn’t need to live in the non-paid space only. Cue ‘light bulb moment’. 

Our longest serving client said they were really interested to see what Room Unlocked could do for their paid collaborations.  Brand love, they suggested, could still be factored into commercial relationships. So, after a bit of internal reflection, we ran a campaign for them.  And saved them 70% of their allocated budget because the perfect match was so desperate to work on the opportunity.

So we ran another, and the same thing happened - the client’s budget went far further because people who wanted to represent the brand offered their services at better rates.  And another brand, another example, same result.  

And so paid collaborations are now live at Room Unlocked - where brands will use us to unlock their influential advocates who are available, interested and keen to partner; for the love - not just the money.

That’s the beauty of Room Unlocked, the space where collaboration and brand love are still the most important factors.  So join us, save time and save your money.  Unlock your heroes to create your identity, and then reward your advocates to spread this message further and wider.

Business is always better when it’s a meeting, not a chase. Book a free platform demo today and find out how Room Unlocked can make a difference for your paid partnership campaign. 

The Rise and Fall of Threads: Is it Worth the Hype?

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media platforms, the story of Threads on Instagram is a captivating one. It's a tale of soaring popularity followed by a rapid descent, raising questions about its viability and value in the world of social networking. In this blog post, we'll delve into the journey of Threads, explore its features, examine its potential for brands, and ultimately determine if it's a platform worth investing in.

What is Threads?

At its inception, Threads burst onto the scene with immense promise. Developed by Meta, the parent company of Instagram, Threads was hailed as a revolutionary tool for intimate communication and content sharing. The platform allowed users to create custom "Close Friends" lists and share photos, videos, and messages exclusively with these select individuals. It aimed to be a more focused and personal alternative to the broader Instagram feed.

The deal with Threads?

Threads made quite a splash upon its debut, attracting millions of users who were intrigued by the idea of a more private and curated social experience. However, the initial excitement was soon met with disappointment as users encountered the platform's limited functionality. Within just three weeks of its launch, Threads faced criticism and a significant drop in active daily users. The numbers spoke for themselves: from a peak of 49 million users on July 7th to a mere 11 million by July 22nd. The primary complaint was the lack of robust features, leading to an exodus of users seeking richer experiences on other platforms.

What should you expect from Threads?

In response to the dwindling demand, Meta took action by introducing several new features to Threads. The addition of "following" and "for you" feeds aimed to give users more control over their content consumption. Expanded language translation capabilities were also implemented to enhance accessibility. Importantly, Meta pledged to continuously introduce more features, promising a better overall experience. Additionally, Threads unveiled plans for a stricter moderation policy, improved verification process, and enhanced ad-buying experience to address concerns about privacy and security. 

Why should brands be on Threads?

Brands can harness Threads as a powerful tool for various reasons:

Instagram integration

Threads is an extension of Instagram. It offers a unique opportunity for brands to seamlessly integrate their Instagram content into users' Close Friends feeds in the form of a text-based narrative. This close-knit setting allows for a more personal interaction, potentially enhancing brand-customer relationships. You can also easily transfer your existing Instagram profile and followers, so there’s no need to build an entirely new audience.

Direct customer interactions

Engaging directly with customers becomes more attainable through Threads. Brands can communicate exclusive offers, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and other personalised content directly to their Close Friends, fostering a stronger sense of community.

Boost reach and shareability

With its Close Friend feature, brands have the ability to filter and categorise their content to reach a smaller, targeted audience.This concentrated exposure can increase engagement and shareability, amplifying brand messages. Additionally, well-crafted Threads content has the potential to become viral or attract substantial attention. When users find value in content, they are more likely to share it with their own followers, thus expanding the brand’s visibility and reach.

Build credibility through collaborations

Threads presents brands with a unique opportunity to partner with influencers on topics that spark engaging conversations. This presents an invaluable chance for brands not only to gain insights into consumer sentiments but also to leverage these insights for tailoring their future marketing endeavours, making it a golden opportunity for meaningful engagement and personalisation.

Privacy and security

Threads' dedication to privacy and security can appeal to brands looking to protect their content and establish trust with their audience. Its privacy settings allow you to control who can interact with you and the option to filter out certain words from your replies. The promise of a stricter moderation policy and improved verification process can further enhance this appeal.

How are brands and influencers using Threads?

Customised “Close Friends”

Brands are leveraging the customisable nature of Close Friends lists to create tailored content for different segments of their audience. This approach allows for targeted messaging and a more personal touch.

User-generated content

Brands have the ability to inspire users to create and share content related to their branded offerings. This user-generated content (UGC) can take on various forms, such  as endorsements, critiques, or artistic expressions, all aimed at amplifying the brand's message.

Through UGC, brands not only amplify their own voice but also tap into the collective voice of their audience, encouraging them to actively participate and share content. This approach fosters brand loyalty, generates excitement, and creates a buzz around the brand.

Creating authentic and personalised content

Threads' intimate setting encourages brands to showcase their human side. By sharing authentic stories, day-to-day moments, and relatable experiences, brands can establish deeper connections with their audience. 

Gathering audience insights

Direct interactions on Threads provide valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and aspirations. Brands can use this feedback to refine their strategies and offerings.

Conversations and direct messaging

The platform's messaging capabilities enable brands to engage in one-on-one conversations with customers, addressing queries, concerns, and feedback in a personal manner.

Leveraging various content formats

From photos and videos to text-based updates, Threads accommodates various content formats. This versatility allows brands to experiment with diverse storytelling methods.


By repurposing content from other platforms for Threads' Close Friends, brands can maintain consistency across their online presence while tailoring content to fit the platform's unique vibe.

Is Threads worth it for your business?

While the journey of Threads has encountered bumps along the way, its value for businesses is not to be dismissed outright. Much like the trajectory of TikTok, which initially faced scepticism from brands and marketers, Threads has the potential to evolve into a robust advertising platform. To capitalise on potential future advertising opportunities, establishing an organic presence on Threads in advance is advisable. Just as TikTok proved its worth to brands over time, Threads could follow a similar trajectory of growth, especially among influencers and ads. 

In conclusion, the rise and fall of Threads is a testament to the ever-changing dynamics of social media platforms. The platform's journey reflects the importance of continually adapting to user demands and preferences. For brands willing to invest time and effort, Threads could hold promise as a unique channel for fostering deeper connections and meaningful engagement with their audience. 

Guide to Affiliate Marketing on Instagram

Affiliate marketing on Instagram can be an effective strategy for both brands and influencers. Read on to find out how affiliate marketing works and how to make the most out of your affiliate marketing strategies on instagram. 

Table of contents:

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is where brands pay someone commission for attracting people to buy their product or service. The amount of commission they receive is tracked through either a unique code or URL. One of the best ways to attract people to a product or service is through social media content, on platforms like Instagram. Brands can use affiliate marketing to collaborate with influencers who will promote their products or services. The commission can be paid for each successful sale, click or other action depending on the defined objective.

How does affiliate marketing work on Instagram?

Affiliate marketing on Instagram is an easy and effective way to make money from an Instagram account, whether you’re a content creator or a business. Instagram affiliate marketing works similarly to other channels where brands collaborate with content creators or influencers to promote their brands or products, and in exchange, these influencers earn a cut from the sales that roll in from their followers. Influencers use a unique coupon code or affiliate link in their content to track the sales amount. So when customers buy stuff, they can use these codes or links to get a special offer or benefit, which is how everyone keeps track of sales. 

How to start affiliate marketing on Instagram?

If you’re looking to grow your presence on Instagram with affiliate marketing, below is a step-by-step guide for brands and influencers to start a successful affiliate marketing campaign.

1. Create or switch to a professional account

First, you need to have a creator or business account on Instagram. You can either switch your current Instagram account or make a new one. Professional accounts are specialised for businesses, brands, influencers, and public figures; they can get additional features and tools to help them manage their online presence, connect with their audience, and analyse their performance.

Here are the steps to switch your personal Instagram account to a professional account:

2. Choose the right affiliate partners

If you’re a business looking to kickstart affiliate marketing on Instagram, your first move is to collaborate with the right influencers. It’s important to choose influencers whose followers are similar to your target market—this way, you’re reaching out to people who could really be interested in what you’re offering. If you’re currently searching for the right influencer to work with, explore how Room Unlocked can help you connect with a perfect match and book a platform demo today

As an influencer, you will need to find brands that run affiliate programs and are willing to pay commission on the sales you make from your content. You can find the perfect match affiliate partners in a few different ways, including:

1. Affiliate programs:

Many companies run affiliate programs on social media platforms. As an influencer, you can join these programs, then promote the brand’s products and earn commissions on the sales you drive. To get started, you can find more details about the affiliate program and sign up through the company’s official website. Some examples of affiliate programs are Charlotte Tilbury, Amazon Associates, Shopify.

2. Affiliate networks:

You can also become part of an affiliate marketing network or platform that helps connect influencers with suitable brands, such as Room Unlocked. At Room Unlocked, we streamline the process, provide a variety of brands to choose from, and offer tracking tools for your campaign performance.

3. Reach out to businesses directly

Another option is to approach brands directly through email or social media. Introduce yourself, explain your niche and audience, and let them know how your profile relates to what they offer. You should also highlight your reach, engagement metrics, and the value you can bring to the table. 

If you’re an influencer looking for a successful collaboration with a brand, apply and see how Room Unlocked can give you the opportunities to collaborate with top brands around the world. 

3. Create compelling content

Brands and influencers should work together to create appealing content that aligns with both parties' needs and requirements. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when creating content:

4. Use affiliate links

After partnering with a brand, influencers will receive a unique affiliate link or special promo code that is specific to them. These affiliate links are an essential part of tracking sales and conversions generated through influencers’ content. 

The benefits of affiliate marketing on Instagram

Instagram is a great place for affiliate marketing because over 2 billion people use it routinely and around half of them shop through the platform almost every week. It also offers various types of content, like posts, stories, carousels, videos, reels, and live streams.

Affiliate marketing benefits for brands

1. Boost sales

Affiliate marketing allows brands to showcase their products or services to a niche customer segment through influencers. Nowadays, people come to Instagram for inspiration, information, reviews, and shopping, making it a great platform for boosting sales. People trust the influencers they follow, so their followers will be more likely to shop with you if they give your brand a good review. Plus, they can easily purchase your products through those affiliate links in the influencer’s posts. 

2. Convert new customers

Affiliate marketing on Instagram is a smart move for brands to win over new customers because it allows brands to reach wider audiences who haven’t yet heard about their  brand through influencers' content. When the products match audiences’ preferences, they will be interested to know more about their  product, connect with their  brand, make a purchase and eventually become loyal customers. 

3. Track sales and campaign performance effectively

By utilising affiliate links or special coupon codes, brands can easily track the sales generated by the influencers. Instagram also provides insights into  the posts to see which content or products performed best. 

4. Build relationships

A successful collaboration with Instagram influencers could turn into a long-term partnership which can yield mutual benefits for both the  brand and the influencer. These relationships can help to build trust and establish credibility, which paves the way to further opportunities for more collaboration and growth, including regularly created creatives and promotional content.  

5. High ROI

Instagram affiliate marketing is a strategy that can make your investment grow rapidly at relatively lower costs. Starting an affiliate marketing program on Instagram doesn’t require a ton of cash upfront—you only spend when you see the results. Your spend will also depend on how many sales are generated from the affiliates' campaign, meaning you only pay based on results. 

If you want to know more about the power of influencers' collaborations on your marketing campaigns, download our Love Trust Barometer for free!

Affiliate marketing benefits for influencers

As an influencer,  there are a number of benefits of Instagram affiliate marketing, these include:

1. Monetise your Instagram account

You can earn money from commissions on sales when customers use your affiliate link or apply your special coupon code to purchase a product or service. 

2. High engagement rate

Collaborating with a brand to create content about products or services that your audience enjoys can drive higher engagement because followers will be willing to interact with your content—comments, like, share, or repost. This also helps build relationships with your followers. 

3. Collaboration opportunities

Successful affiliate marketing can strengthen your personal branding and lead to more collaboration opportunities with well-known brands, which will then increase your profile popularity and followers. 

4. Niche expertise

By leveraging your niche expertise, you can curate and recommend products that genuinely benefit their followers

5. Performance insights

Instagram’s insights provide valuable data about your profile and content performance that can be leveraged to optimise your affiliate strategies. On Instagram, you can dive into Content Insights to see how each of your posts is doing in terms of engagement and discovery, this helps you to see the top-performing content and which products resonate the most with your audience. You also can easily track your profile growth by checking out recent highlights, reach, engagement, and more.

Are you an Influencer looking for help with managing and tracking your brand partnership campaign? Room Unlocked can help with that, apply now and explore how we can support your growth. 

Affiliate marketing strategies on Instagram

There are several ways to do affiliate marketing on Instagram, depending on your campaign objectives and budget. Below are the most effective affiliate marketing strategies on Instagram:

Links in Instagram Bio

Lots of influencers like to put a brand’s website or affiliate links into their Instagram bio. Then, these influencers will simply ask their followers to tap that link in their bio whenever they share some relevant content in their posts—for example on their Instagram feed, stories, or reels.  This is one of the simplest ways to generate sales from their traffic. Some influencers also use Linktree to feature multiple affiliate links, coupon codes, or brands they work with. 

Coupon codes

Using a coupon code is everyone’s favourite affiliate marketing strategy whereby brands share an exclusive coupon code with influencers to promote their products. Commonly, an influencer’s special coupon code is a sweeter discount than any other, making it a win-win for everyone. Brands can get more products sold, customers will get a product at a lower price, and influencers get a higher engagement rate. Influencers usually share the coupon code through their Instagram posts, whether in the Instagram story, feeds, reels, or bio.  

Swipe-up link in Instagram stories

Business or creator accounts are able to use the swipe-up links in Instagram stories. Affiliates usually utilise this feature when showcasing a product or service through their Instagram stories, then encourage the viewers to swipe-up and visit the brand’s website. This is also one of the most effective ways to increase traffic and attract new potential customers since 70% of Instagram users watch Instagram stories daily!

Giveaways or Contests

Hosting digital activity like a Giveaway or Contest is a fun and engaging way to do affiliate marketing on Instagram. Brands collaborate with influencers to inspire users with creative challenges related to the affiliate products. For example, brands can get user-generated content from influencers who encourage people to post content using the brand’s affiliate product. The best content will be crowned the winner and receive a prize. This will help to create buzz around the brand, increase engagement, reach a broader market, and potentially drive more product sales. Another example of simple digital activity is encouraging users to follow an Instagram account or comment on posts in order to be in for a chance to win. This not only benefits the participants but also can improve both influencers' and brands’ organic reach and engagement. 

Shopping tags on Instagram posts

Tagging products on Instagram posts is also one of the most effective affiliate marketing strategies on Instagram. Brands often collaborate with influencers to create creative content featuring their products on influencers’ Instagram posts and tag the product with a checkout-enabled Instagram shop link or checkout on another website. By doing this, users can easily see how the products are used by the influencers, see the products' details, and  purchase the products easily. 

Affiliate marketing tips

Affiliate Marketing can be a great success when done right. Here are a few top tips for affiliate marketing on Instagram:

  1. Choose a niche 
  2. Understand your target audience
  3. Disclose affiliate links
  4. Use KPIs to track your progress
  5. Design a mobile-friendly campaign
  6. Offer discount codes

Affiliate marketing on Instagram FAQs

Can I do affiliate marketing on Instagram?

Yes, you can definitely do affiliate marketing on Instagram! Instagram is a popular platform for affiliate marketing, and many individuals, influencers, and businesses use it to promote products and earn commissions. Instagram also has many content formats, allowing you to explore and test various content formats creatively. 

Is affiliate marketing worth it?

Yes! As a brand affiliate marketing is a great way to reach new audiences, boost your sales and build lasting influencer relationships, all at a relatively low cost.

What are the benefits of having an Instagram Business Account?

You’ll need an Instagram Business or Creator account to start affiliate marketing on Instagram. Instagram business accounts provide additional features and tools beyond what personal accounts offer.  Here’s what you can get with Instagram Business Account: