How to Master Brand Collaboration on Instagram

December 3, 2020
Hugh Stephens

Discover how to boost your audience by collaborating with other brands on Instagram.

Are you interested in boosting your Instagram engagement? Have you thought of running a brand collaboration?We all want to make the most out of our Instagram presence. But sometimes, it feels like we’re talking to the same old audience.That’s where brand collaborations come in handy.Here’s a guide on everything you need to know about brand collaboration on Instagram.

What Do We Mean By Brand Collaboration

Example of a brand collaboration on Instagram.

Image SourceFirst of all, how do we define a ‘brand collaboration’ on Instagram? Brand collaboration happens when two or more brands come together for a joint campaign or partnership for mutual benefit.It can be informal when two different internal teams join forces, but it can also be external when working with a brand or an influencer for a series of Instagram posts.Collaborative marketing can be key to your success on Instagram. It’s like influencer marketing, but this time it also involves brands.It’s the perfect opportunity to try out new ideas while reaching a new audience. There is an agreement between two brands to help each other grow and learn through their partnership.Let’s look at the benefits of running a brand collaboration on Instagram in more detail.

The Benefits of Brand Collaborations on Instagram

There are many reasons to explore brand collaborations on Instagram. Here are the main ones.

Reach a New Audience

A good reason to work on a brand collaboration on Instagram is to tap into a new audience. When you launch the collaboration, you are instantly gaining access to brand new followers.Brand collaboration is an excellent opportunity to reach many new pairs of eyes who might be interested in your brand. The increase of followers may not be your primary objective in a brand collaboration, but it can still be a benefit that you can’t ignore.Small businesses, for example, may consider working together to boost each other’s success. Or a bigger brand may discover an up-and-coming smaller brand and partner to engage a growing audience.What’s important is to partner with the right brands that will get you to reach people who may still be interested in your products. The closer their interests to your brand, the easier it becomes to launch a successful collab.

Boost Engagement

Many brand collaborations involve engaging activities. For example, you can run a contest, host a giveaway, or plan a live session.No matter what you pick, there is a great opportunity to boost your brand’s engagement.A brand collaboration should be engaging for both brands. That’s why it’s important to come up with appealing content that resonates with all audiences.What would be attractive to as many people as possible? Find the link that blends the two brands and make the engagement boost come naturally.

Increase in Sales

Brand collaboration can have direct and practical benefits. Conversion is one of the best benefits that you could ask for.Let’s say you’re about to launch a new product. You certainly want to promote it to your existing followers, who might be your most loyal customers. But you’re also looking for creative ideas to reach a new audience. That’s when you need to explore a brand partnership on Instagram.Finding the right brand for a joint campaign can bring you closer to prospective clients and new sales.All you need is a creative plan that makes it easy to promote your products authentically.

Find New Content

Every new collaboration can be an excellent opportunity to discover new content for your brand. What if you launch a brand collaboration that encourages your followers to share their user-generated-content? It’s a great way to think outside the box with a brand that you wouldn’t usually partner with while also involving both brands’ followers to find new content.Not every collaboration should aim for sales. Think creatively and pick the best partner that would help you boost your metrics.

Save Money

Here is a benefit that you may not have considered. Spending more time launching successful brand collaborations can help you reach the objectives you would usually achieve through paid campaigns.For example, product promotion to a new audience may be successful through a target brand collaboration. This means that you may reduce your paid budget to compensate for your organic content and the time you’re spending to make the collaboration work.It doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t need any advertising for your new products. However, you can still experiment with a balance between your additional organic work and the existing advertising strategy.

Tips to Run a Successful Brand Collaboration on Instagram

Example of two brands collaborating on Instagram.

Image SourceNow that we’ve looked at the numerous benefits of running a brand collaboration, it’s time to look at the key points that will turn your partnership into a success.Here’s what you need to consider.

Research on the Best Collaborators

This is a very important step. It takes time to find the right fit for your brand. You don’t want to skip a step that can determine the campaign’s success.Spend the right time to research potential collaborators. What does the perfect collaboration look like to you? Is the number of followers your only indication for success? How is the engagement rate of your potential collaborators?The more time you spend to learn your potential collaborators, the easier it becomes to run a relevant campaign.

Set Clear Objectives

As with every campaign, you need to be clear on your objectives. Before you start planning, you need to decide on your goals. If you aim for awareness, then the content and the partnership would help you increase your reach, followers, or clicks.If you aim for conversion, you need to work on a clear call-to-action to lead prospective customers to your Instagram profile and products.Your objectives will determine the direction of your collaboration.

Define Your Target Audience

Another critical step is to define your target audience. Who do you want to reach? Start writing down a list of the things that matter to you in your new audience. Is it about the demographics? Do you want to focus on a particular location? How about specific interests?For example, you may want to target young adults who are environmentally conscious of promoting your new sustainable products. You want to work with a brand that is already linked to this target audience.Start shaping the personas that define your target audience to make it easier to find the perfect brands to work with.

Be Creative and Open to New Ideas

Brand collaboration is an opportunity to think outside the box. You don’t want to follow the usual tactics that shape your campaigns. It’s the perfect time for both brands to come together and blend their creative ideas for new unique output.Your partnership is not just about meeting your set expectations. It should also be treated as a creative test that pushes you beyond your limits.How about trying an Instagram Stories takeover? Or maybe go Live with another brand?

Always Vet Your Partners

This is another crucial step. Your research on potential collaborators should be extensive. You need to make sure that you vet your partners to avoid any potential issues that may impact your campaign.Go beyond the metrics. It’s not just about the number of followers, the engagement rate, or the buzz a brand has.Do their values align with yours? Could the content alienate your followers? Is there any controversy that you want to avoid?You can even vet their creative process. Is their feed aligning with your aesthetics? Would it lead to a successful collaboration between the two brands?Pay attention to the details that could ultimately make your campaign a success.

Measure Results

As with every campaign, it’s essential to measure the results to determine whether you’ve met your objectives.Start by setting the KPIs that matter to you before the campaign. How will you measure your success?Review your stats once you launch your campaign and adjust your strategy if needed.It’s time to dive into your analytics right after the campaign, what worked well and what can be improved.Your learnings can help you shape even more successful partnerships in the future.

How to Get Organised for Your Next Brand Collaboration on Instagram

Ready to plan your next brand collaboration? This is the time to get organized to make the most out of your next partnership.Here are four elements to pay attention to.

Instagram Toolkit

Your toolkit should include all the details about your upcoming campaign. This is the easiest way for both brands to compile all the campaign elements in an easily digested guide.It can be a pdf, a presentation, or an infographic. Your toolkit should be the easiest way for your ambassadors and network to promote your campaign.It’s an easy way to explain what you’re working on and get both the brands to come together. You can include:

  • Messaging
  • Draft social media posts
  • Details about the campaign
  • Channels to follow

The creative direction is up to you!

Visual Assets

You need to organize all your visual assets in one place. How about creating a shared folder for both brands?Since there will be work from both sides, you want to make it as easy as possible for all designers to create and store all content.After all, it will also save time when you’re about to schedule your posts.


A brand collaboration needs to blend the branding from both sides. You don’t want your campaign to alienate your audience.Sharing your brand guidelines with the other brand can help you save time and agree on the creative direction.Use a document, a web page, or a quick reference to your brand to make sharing easier.

Media Kit

When you’re about to launch the campaign, it’s time to reach PR teams for media coverage. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to access all the necessary information about your campaign.A media kit can adjust to your existing toolkit, but this time targets media professionals and what they find interesting.You can include:

  • Details about the campaign
  • The collaboration between the two brands
  • What makes it a good story
  • Assets they can use
  • Contacts they can reach for additional information.

As with your toolkit, make it easy to skim and visually appealing to grab someone’s attention quickly.

Examples of Creative Brand Collaborations on Instagram

Two Brands Launching a New Product Together

Example of two brands co-launching a product together.

Image SourceLevis joined forces with LEGO to launch the #LEGOxLevis collection. The promotion was colorful to match LEGO’s brand, while the denim was instantly associated with Levis.The creative success lies in blending two brands that are focusing on separate industries to create a product that would be appreciated by all combined followers.

Thinking Outside the Box

Good Pair Days decided to collaborate with Manrags for Father’s Day to provide dads’ perfect gift.Knowing your audience and making the most out of awareness days can help you boost your sales.Two brands working together at the right time can lead to mutual benefits that can even go beyond sales, such as reaching a new audience and increasing your followers.

Brands collaborating on Instagram.

Image Source

Hosting Giveaways

Brands co-running a giveaway on Instagram.

Image SourceA smart way to launch a successful brand collaboration on Instagram is to host a giveaway on your account.Elle Effect partnered with Etoile to offer $1000 worth of products in a giveaway. Giveaways tend to work well as they allow you to cross-promote them on both brand accounts. Your followers can stay engaged and encourage their friends to join so you may boost both your branding but also your engagement.Make sure you mention the terms and conditions for your giveaway so that everyone is on the same page.


Brand collaborations on Instagram can help you take your brand to the next level. It’s an opportunity to be creative and reach a new audience that could turn out into your future customers.As with every collaboration, aim for a good partnership that both sides are happy and benefit from. Treat every brand deal as a prospect long-term relationship with the other brand and not just a one-time campaign.Authenticity always wins, so this is your chance to stand out and win a new audience.

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