Nowadays Instagram became one of the most influential and active platforms with more than 1 billion registered users. Making money on Instagram and using it as a marketing platform for promoting products/services happened to be a new wave of digital marketing strategies. Instagram has passed the phase of being just a simple photo-sharing application, and now it is one of the best social media monetizing channels. Individuals and businesses started to monetize their Instagram accounts and made it an extraordinary source for getting income.
In this article, we are going to examine different aspects of how to grow an Instagram account, what steps are crucial to follow, and how to monetize Instagram using different platforms as well.
Instagram in numbers
To get a wider understanding of an influential role Instagram plays, let’s check some statistical information. Instagram is proven to be the second-most downloaded free mobile application (after YouTube), and this shows the continuous growth and attractiveness it has. The numbers are astonishing and there is no wonder why businesses are partially investing in their Instagram accounts as a part of SMM strategy.
No doubt that it is possible to make money on Instagram by strategically promoting your business or yourself, generate more sales and revenue.
How do I grow my Instagram?
Before starting to monetize your Instagram, you have to make sure that your account is sustainable and competitive. It would be better to have a dedicated and loyal audience even before you decide to monetize your Instagram. Let’s check the main factors you have to take care of to build, grow, or improve your Instagram account.
Correctly fill your BIO
Your BIO has to depict all the necessary information in a short way for customers to understand the core of your business/service. It is the really first moment that catches customers’ attention and inspires followers to catch up with your page.
Make sure that your name is your actual real name! It applies the same way if you are running a company’s Instagram. Don’t include lots of confusing numbers in your username, because it will just confuse the audience. People who are willing to find your Instagram account will search for your name and will type it in a clear way. Another point is that Instagram searching queries only display fields with your name and username in search results. It is essential to include the explanation of the main business/services you provide to your customers. Attach your webpage link or any other link you want people to click on. Besides, you can add the location. It can be just a city and country or the detailed physical location of your office.
Your relationship with customers has to be effectively constructed. To do so, you need to regularly update your posts with new and interesting information. The statistics show that the more you post on Instagram, the faster your followers’ rate will grow. Create your strategy for posts in advance: topics, pictures, descriptions. Keep posting during the most active time and “rush hours” for your followers. This will allow you to get more visibility since your post will appear just on the exact time your followers are online. Regular posts are connected to the engagement activity as well.
User engagement is one of the most important factors because it is genuine, creates brand loyalty, and draws attention.
The engagement should be a 2-way relationship and consist of mutual actions. You need to encourage the followers to spend time and be active on your Instagram profile. This is directly related to the content you produce. Another way is that you can get content inspiration from your audience. You can use different tactics by encouraging your audience to use your product. They can be featured on your profile or can receive a promo code after using your product/service. In addition to that, the audience has to know that you care about them, listen to them, and put your attention to their actions. Be active with the comment section by answering on their question, like back their photos or write a warm comment on their profile. This will help you to gain loyalty and being noticed.
Instagram started as a photo-sharing platform, however, nowadays, the video content is taking over. Instagram allowed you to post a video up to 60 seconds, but the features are keep improving. The Stories were introduced and a Carousel post (multiple images or video posts). These features enable a user to post multiple contents all together and give more options for video content to be published. Videos have a dazzling effect on user engagement and it is more interactive.
Instagram allows you to post up to 30 hashtags. Don’t use random hashtags, but rather try to choose the most relevant and competitive ones. Competitive hashtags can be divided into 3 categories: low competitive (less than 12k existing posts), medium competitive (12k-100k existing posts), and highly competitive (more than 100k existing posts). Prepare your hashtags in advance, and try to use them from each category. This will give you an opportunity to be ranked higher with low competitive hashtags and to get a chance to achieve a bigger audience with high competitive hashtags.
You can also create your personalized hashtag. Of course, it has to be related to your business activity. It can be your branded hashtag with the company name or a particular hashtag when you want your followers to be featured with your product/service.
Establish connections with businesses and influencers
This external help from other known people from your niche will be beneficial for you to make your account grow faster. By establishing a connection with powerful Instagram account holders, you can achieve win-win cooperation. There are a couple of ways to do so. The first one: you can agree to do a reciprocal promotion when you will post a photo/video mentioning another account, and in exchange, that account will do the same. Another way is that you agree on the one-time charge when you simply pay them to advertise you on their accounts. This is called a shoutout for a shoutout (S2S). This way also can work for you to make money on Instagram and we will discuss it later in this article.
Practical tactics to monetize your Instagram
You have to understand that it is not that easy to start making money on Instagram if you have an empty and fresh profile. You have to follow the steps, which we have mentioned above and grow your Instagram community. And now, it is time to analyze the ways you can monetize your Instagram account!
1. Selling Shoutouts
After creating a legit and competitive profile with a loyal audience, you can start making money on Instagram by selling shoutouts from your profile. In this way, you can simply give information to your audience using Stories and mentioning the business who contacted you for this purpose. But conditions might be different based on the agreement you came up with. The hardest part is that first, you have to grow your audience. Therefore, if you decide to start in this way, be professional and mention your contact details for future inquiries and collaborations.
2. Selling Instagram Accounts
It is another way of making money on Instagram. Many people are interested in buying an existing Instagram account with a lot of followers and then customizing it for their interests. There are 2 ways of implementing this strategy. The first one is when you are growing an account, getting more followers by yourself and then you sell it to someone, who is interested in this. The second method is that you buy an existing account for a low price and then resell it at a higher price. And that’s the way to get a profit. But be aware of scammers who have more bot-followers that have just a limited amount of time for existing on Instagram.
3. Instagram Virtual Assistant
Lately, this particular way of monetizing Instagram became a trend. The idea behind it is that you will take care of all the necessary aspects of someone else’s Instagram profile. A lot of small businesses and big companies are seeking to find a professional person, who will work on their Instagram page from scratch. The duties will be scheduling posts, create customized pictures, participate with followers on behalf of a company, making the entire page visually appealing, and many other detailed factors. Usually, it considered to be a remote work, but the reports on the activity and engagement have to be tracked.
4. Sponsored (Promoted) posts
This tactic will work really well for you if you already have a lot of followers and became an influencer. Usually, this kind of posts includes #sponsored or #ad hashtags. In this tactic, you are making money on Instagram by promoting branded products/services on the agreed conditions. This way is more profitable than shoutouts because based on the number of followers you have, you can charge a higher price for brands. In 2017, Instagram has launched a new option, which is “Paid Partnership”. It allows an influencer to tag the company at the top of the post (instead of the location feature). This feature brings more transparency to the post and helps businesses track how their promotion is performing.
5. Sell your photos
Stock photos were important before and will be demanded in the future as well. The photography niche has a high demand and high competition as well. Don’t expect to find customers immediately and get paid with a reasonable amount in the beginning. However, Instagram is an amazing platform to promote and advertise your photos and get featured and noticed by other users. Above all, to get a sustainable competitive advantage you have to be selective, creative, and unique with your photographs.
6. Sell your own product/service
If you already have an existing business, you definitely have to create a business account on Instagram and other social media platforms. By having a personal Instagram account, you can mention in your BIO the information about your business account and its activity. In addition, there is a good chance that your existing followers will visit your business account and will be more likely to purchase your product/service.
7. Monetize your own experience and hobbies
Your own experience and hobbies can be a driving force to create an Instagram account and stand in the chosen niche. Let’s say you are a traveler or your hobby is knitting. By showing and explaining everything from your own experience, you will establish an audience of people who have the same interests. Later on, your hobbies can become a perfect source of income with the help of Instagram. In this way, there is a huge chance for you to become an influencer in a chosen niche, which later will drive more money opportunities for you.
8. Affiliate marketing
This is one of the most famous ways if you want to monetize your Instagram. In this particular way, you become a representative or an “ambassador” of a company. As a result, your income will be related to the number of products that were sold through your Instagram page. The commission varies from 10% up to 50% from each product sold. Usually, you will be given a special promo code you have to mention in a post (generally your name will be included in a promo code to make it easier to track sales), percentage of discount users will have using this promo code.
Monetize your Instagram with different tactics and platforms
Let’s discover what platforms you can use to monetize your Instagram. These platforms are divided into different Instagram tactics depending on your choice and interests.
For Affiliate Marketing:
This platform has a variety of products to promote in different niches. It shows you detailed information on commission, an average price per sale, sale statistics, and a company’s information.
Provides an option for sign up both for affiliate representatives and merchants. Products are represented across 40 different categories. Also, you will be able to track promotions on social media.
For Selling Photographs:
This famous marketplace allows you to sell your photographs with a wide range of customers and companies all around the world. You will keep your rights for a photo and you can resell it a few times. It is possible to sell your photo at a price of 2$ or participate in photo challenges with high competition, but also the reward will be higher.
The platform with authentic custom photos. In the beginning, you have to upload as many high-quality photos as possible. To be easily discovered by brands, you have to use the right hashtags. You will have an option to either sell your photos directly via Snapwire platform or upload photos that match brands’ request. “Recently purchased” option allows you to see what photos were recently sold and get some motivation.
An influencer platform, which allows you to search for brands that match your niche. There is a dashboard in your profile where you can see the analysis of your page with what topics are more suitable for your profile.
This platform is unique in its approach. Instead of you searching for brands and post opportunities, brands will show their interest in working with you and you will be notified. You can choose multiple topics and subtopics to include in your dashboard. Other information as total reach, cost per engagement, location, and rating position is also displayed in a convenient way.
It is considered to be the fastest-growing branded marketplace platform. It connects creative agents and influencers. The price will be directly related to the number of followers you have. The minimum number of followers are required to have is 3K with the minimum rate per post 75$. There is no exact maximum price, but it is mentioned to be more than 1200$ per post.
One of the most famous platforms that connect you with the top influencers with a large audience of followers. Some of the influencers are famous actors and singers. The influencers’ information is easily accessible and transparent, you can immediately see what price are they charging, how many followers they have, and their Instagram name. Prices are starting at 5$ and could reach more than a few hundred dollars.
The platform offers different services like shoutouts, likes, mentions, organic growth service, followers, and others. These services are available for 2 platforms, which are Instagram and Facebook. If you have more than 50K followers, you can become a partner with this company and start selling your shoutouts.
For Selling Accounts:
This company is cooperating with more than 2000 companies who are ready to buy or sell influence accounts. Has 4 different type of payment, so it gives more option for money transactions. Besides buying/selling Instagram accounts, it also gives the same option for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube pages.
One of the leading platforms, which provides offers to buy and sell not only Instagram accounts, but also YouTube and Tiktok accounts. You can easily find the information on the selling price, the number of followers, and when the offer was added to the website. It provides safely encrypted transactions and 24/7 post-purchase support.
In this article, we have explained various ways of how to monetize your Instagram account using different tactics, how to grow and improve your account, and what platforms will be helpful to make money on.
Let our Earnado team know what tactics you think are more useful to implement!