How Can You Make Money On Instagram? - You’ll Like This
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Can you make money on Instagram? Let’s get an early hint by looking at some of last year’s statistics.
Instagram images get an average of 23% more engagement than their Facebook counterpart while brands see engagement rates 10 times higher on Instagram than they do on Facebook, 70% of users look up new brands on Instagram. Plus 31% of people who make more than 75K per year are present on Instagram.
So, being constantly glued to your phone nowadays actually pays off. Sort of.
With over one billion active users, Instagram is proving to be a powerful marketing tool for businesses, whether new or existing, it can expand your presence and the visibility of your products because through its users, you gain reach and influence. And these are the two main avenues that offer great opportunities for Instagram creators to explore various streams of potential revenue and eventually earn money on Instagram, be it for their business or personal benefit.
So, before we delve deeper into understanding the ways to make money on Instagram, let’s first start with the basics.
First, the Basics
Just like any other project, in order to derive the true value of Instagram, it’s important to put first focus on building a solid foundation by going beyond an average Instagram user and consider yourself a real business. To be able to effectively monetize Instagram, you need to identify what will set you apart from the rest of the competition as you strengthen your brand identity. Having a strategy would be a good place to start.
a. Have a marketing strategy
Determine what your core business is. What are you hoping to gain out of Instagram? Have a plan on:
How Instagram can make a difference in your business compared to other social networks
Be clear on whether visual content works in line with your brand’s image
Have knowledge on whether your target audience is active on Instagram (demographics)
Is your plan to boost brand awareness or improve conversions as well?
Having an effective content strategy allows you to curve out your own marketing path in the vast marketing jungle.
b. Have a budget
Instagram is pretty much the vanity fair of the social media. You will need a budget to support your lifestyle, or that of your brand. No matter what your niche will be, quality does not compromise if you want to get paid for Instagram posts.
So, this budget could be for a good camera, locations, food items, clothes, shoes, gadgets, you name it.
Calculate a minimum budget that can support your strategy and work with it. And if you’re planning to leave your 9-5 job, then this budget will be bigger because it has to include your basic needs for a reasonable period of time before you start to make money on Instagram.
c. Your followers
If you don’t already have a substantial following, then you will have to grow one because very few followers mean low visibility. On the other hand you might have a huge following of inactive users and this will also harm your engagement rate. Regularly analyze your audience quality using tools like Skedsocial to identify and block bots, inactive subscribers and unhelpful business accounts. You can also consider your followers’ demographics to target your posts more effectively.
d. Reach and influence
As said earlier, the two most important things that any marketer is looking for at any given time is reach and influence. Your Instagram is a perfect place because they get your audience and the influence you have over them. So, again the emphasis is on the size of your following, the larger it is, the easier it will be to drive sales. Your influence is required to persuade them to make the purchase. This whole process requires skilful planning
How to Boost Your Instagram Reach (Build your following)
Having seen how important is reach in the success of monetizing your Instagram, here are a few tips on how to boost it.
Analyze your popular content
Understanding the content that works and the one that doesn’t will direct your ideas on what’s relevant to your audience, and what they like. From hashtags, to the use of videos, geo-tags or even frequency of posting will help you improve your content and subsequently your reach.
Know your audience quality
One thing that can hamper the organic growth and reach of your posts is fake accounts or inactive subscribers or both. How? Instagram displays your published post to 10% of your followers first. If you get many likes and comments, the rest of the 90% are shown. So, if your 10% is made up of inactive or fake accounts, you’ll not get any engagement, meaning that will be the end of the road for your post. No one will see it. So work on getting rid of such followers and gain new active ones.
Know the best time to post
Generally, most people are online at certain specific hours, e.g. lunchtime or evenings, and basically during free/ leisure hours. So, to get more reach, you need to be visible; this means you must publish your post at either of these times. To find out the most interactive time for you, try posting at different times and analyze the posts with the most engagement and repeat that time again to reaffirm your analysis. Leverage on this to have an impact.
How to Build a Sizeable Instagram Following
Instagram growth isn’t a very easy task; this is not meant to discourage you. On the contrary, with about a billion users and the ever changing smart algorithms, you have fellow creatives and brands to learn from as you compete to boost your following. It’s an opportunity for you to stand out and show off your brand by working harder and smarter. To make it easier for you, here are a few tips on how to grow your Instagram followers:
i. Have a complete and branded profile
Your Instagram profile is your first impression. If someone visits your profile, they’re able to decide within the first few seconds, whether they’re going to follow you or not, based on your bio. For you to convert these visitors into followers, you need to have a great Instagram profile photo, a bio that’s alive and effective (pulls you to want to see more), you need active Instastories and high quality and well edited photos.
ii. Use hashtags and Geo-tags on Instagram Stories
As Instagram grows, their developers are burning midnight oil to offer you more sophisticated features such as polls, shopping stickers, music, GIFs and much more. Taking advantage of such features helps you reach new followers.
If for instance you’re hosting a live event or you’re away for a holiday in a nice island, you’re able to publish it as it happens and show it to your followers. When you use say geo-tagging and hashtags, your story is added to location’s stories as well as hashtags page, this broadens your viewers and can earn you new followers.
iii. Promote Your Page
You have probably seen something like this as you scroll through your Instagram pictures, a sponsored page of someone you don’t follow, but their content is on your page because they paid to promote it there. This is what this is all about, more people will get to see you and when they visit your profile, they could easily turn into followers.
iv. Share selfies
Believe it or not, people want to associate with brands or influencers. Leverage this by making your page a place they can relate to. They might end up sharing the same selfie on their page and this will draw their followers’ attention to you. In fact, pictures with faces have up to 38% higher chances of getting likes as compared to other photos. So, flaunt those selfies, just remember they’re still part of your brand.
v. Post regularly and engage your viewers
When you keep your page active, it means your followers constantly have you in mind because they see you often. This helps in building brand loyalty and you get to retain their interests. It gets better when you engage them because you can get valuable feedback and this will enable you to offer them more relevant content in the future.
And once you build this credibility you gain their satisfaction. This is how influence is built.
So with all that said, finally, can you make money on Instagram? What do you think?
Here are the ways on how to monetize Instagram in 2019
1. Affiliate Marketing
Becoming an affiliate means getting paid each time someone makes a purchase because of a link that you shared. The way it works is that you get a unique URL and the affiliate program tracks the number of purchases completed through that link, and gives you a commission out of those sales.
So, affiliate marketing is more inclined to making sales for your partner brand and not just about creating awareness. What you need to be aware of though, is that Instagram doesn’t allow you to create clickable links within your post, but you can include it on your bio because you’re allowed only one link. This means you can do only one affiliate link at a time.
You can review products through Instagram stories or by publishing posts or a video that can be linked through your bio. You can also use your website to do much more but then link it to your Instagram bio where people can follow through.
Affiliate marketing is also the only way on how to make money on Instagram with Clickbanks or the other affiliate networks. Clickbanks is a platform with a network of high-quality products of all types that you can promote as an affiliate.
What’s important to note in affiliate marketing is that when you endorse or recommend a product or service, you’re associating your reputation with it, so it’s advisable to always recommend products you’ve tried and approved. And pick products that align with your niche, to be able to land the right audience. For instance if your niche is on beauty and beauty products, you won’t pick up a Shell engine oil product to promote.
2. Sponsored Posts
As explained throughout the article, when you intend to monetize your Instagram account, you have to build a strong brand and must have a specific niche. Also, you must already have built a good sizeable following of active users that you have some influence over. These are the characteristics that brands look for when considering you for sponsorship.
So, how does this work? It’s pretty simple, once you’ve been approached to make a sponsorship you:
Create a post, whether a picture or video with the promotion content
Include a branded hashtag, a geo-tag, a mention and a link (in bio) that promotes the brand
Publish it and share it with your followers
Get paid for Instagram posts
How much should you charge?
This might depend on a few factors like the content format, whether it’s a photo, a video or a story. But because you’ll be teaming up with diverse brands to help push their campaigns, you could create your own package for all the brands you will work with.
This should be guided by understanding the metrics they will be using to evaluate the success of your campaign. The following may be considered:
They will want to see your influence and can use Google analytics or UTM parameters to evaluate whether there is an improvement in their web traffic through your Instagram account.
They can check for increase in their Instagram following based on your endorsement and recommendation.
They will also want to see conversions that are linked to your campaign.
In addition to the above, you can also find out (if possible) the brand’s budget, how much fellow influencers in your niche charge for specific sponsorships and such kind of information, it will help you create reasonable packages
So, how can you find sponsors?
There are two approaches. First, you could try outreach. This involves creating a great portfolio and introducing yourself to different brands.
The second approach is via the influencer marketplace. Here, brands shop around the listed accounts for one they would like to work with. Such places include:
3. Sell Your Photos!
For starters, you wouldn’t be on Instagram if you didn’t love photos, right? As visual content continues to rule the content world, statistics have shown (2018) that most brands having included images in their posts secured 87% of all engagements on the social media platforms.
This means that for anyone who runs a blog or a website, there is going to be a need for authentic photos. So how can you take photos that will be irresistible to the buyers? If you’re an amateur then you may want to horn your photography skills. For your photos to sell, they really must be outstanding.
Strategies you could include in getting unique photos include:
a. Capture some emotion
You’re better of capturing emotions than situations with your photos because they stand out from among the rest of the pictures, and it’s easier to resonate with people’s emotions.
b. Try shooting into the light
I know you’ve possibly heard that the best way to capture an image is by letting the light illuminate on it. However, you can get some pretty dramatic pictures when you shoot while facing the light.
c. Create blur photos
I know this might sound misleading, but here is how it works. Assume a moving object on one side and another object on the other side to create the point of reference. If you’re able to capture the blurry image of the moving object but still keep your stationary object as your point of focus, you’ll have a very interesting photo that gives some tension effect.
d. Try flat rays perspectives
This is great when displaying a variety of items. The trick is in mastering the lighting and the palette color. The whole idea is more than just the assortment, for you the photographer it’s more about telling a compelling story.
So, how again can you make money on Instagram using photos? The answer is that Instagram becomes your great free portfolio. Once you’ve perfected your photography skills, post your photos using relevant hashtags. From there, you can get prospective buyers either through outreach, or through platforms such as Foap or Snapwire
4. Sell Your Own Products
For this one, you either have products already, or are inspired to create some, whichever way, you’re welcome to give the Instagram money calculator some serious work. This mode of making money on Instagram usually requires stocking some inventory. This means it requires capital to start.
It also means you that you will have to find a place to store up your stock, so rent options must be considered, if you don’t own the space. Unless of course, you create digital products.
With online retailing increasing by 13.7% in 2018, here are a few ideas to make your online shop a success.
Build a solid relationship with your audience that’s based on trust.
Involve them in all the stages of creating your products because this gives them a sense of ownership, they feel they’re part of the process and this encourages them to make purchases later down the road.
Show them what happens behind the scenes in the production of your amazing products, as well as behind the scenes of all the fun photo-shoots that you do.
5. Become an Instagram Consultant
As brands turn to social media for marketing, it’s inevitable that skills for running these social platforms are required especially as far as monetization is concerned. Helping Instagrammers and brands make money on Instagram, can be an exciting opportunity if you approach it with skillfulness. Here is what to take into account:
Have a strategy, this involves identifying your target, your niche and the tactics you will use in building solid relationships with Instagram influencers and brands.
Prepare your pitch: build a portfolio highlighting your unique methods that will guarantee delivery.
Market yourself on Instastories, with posts and also use other platforms to market yourself such as guest blogging, Facebook and YouTube too.
All the basics discussed earlier in this article need to be in place for your consulting to be a success. You need to have a reach that has influence and a sizeable number of followers. Without these, is like selling what you don’t have.
Instagram has evolved from a simple photo sharing platform to a multi-million money making place. All you are required to do is taking seriously the groundwork of building an engaged audience and creating trust between you and your followers as well as the brands that put their trust in you to improve their conversion rates. So if you were deliberating on how to make money on Instagram in 2019, now you have a pretty straight answer.