Instagram started out as a small social networking service, created to share photos. In 2012, Facebook obtained ownership over the app for $1 billion dollars. To date, the photo-sharing platform is estimated to be worth over $100 billion dollars, meaning Facebook received a 100-fold return for its incredibly smart purchase.
Now Instagram serves as a household name for social media users all over the world, to share Stories, direct messages, video-calls, photos, and more. In the past few years, content creators have quickly learned the power of social media marketing, and have leveraged their platforms to earn money on the app.
Grow your following
Content creators, influencers, affiliates, and digital marketers have all found ways to make money on Instagram, and you can do it, too. But it’s important that you have a sizable following before thinking about doing so. While influencers with a lower following, otherwise known as micro-influencers, are growing in popularity; we recommend that you try to grow your following to between 5,000 to 10,000 before thinking of making streamline income through the app.
Moreover, it’s important that you have a steady engagement rate of over 5%. This means you not only have the following, but the right amount of people are viewing and interacting with your content. This will also be important to the brands and businesses that you decide to partner or work with.
Brands reach out to influencers to tap into their audience. Influencers will typically recommend their products so that the brand gains credibility, exposure, and generates sales. If you’re big enough, chances are brands reach out to you. However, you can also look for brands to work with that are similar in levels of the target demographic, personality, brand voice, and overall values, so your audience isn’t deterred from ill-fitting content.
In a Shopify survey of 5,000 influencers, approximately 42% said they charged between $200 to $400 per post. However, this number will vary heavily depending on factors such as how big the brand you’re working with is, how large your following is, and your rate of engagement.
Unlike an influencer, an affiliate is more invested in making sales in exchange for a rate of commission. There are two ways a business can track your sales and cash out your cut: through code tracking or link tracking.
If your sales are tracked through a link, you can only focus on one product at a time. This is because Instagram only allows one link per bio and captions do not insert clickable URLs. One way around this is if you have the swipe-up Story feature, which is only accessible once you hit 10,000 followers.
Oftentimes, affiliate promotions through a personal discount code is a better option for Instagram, so you can incorporate them into your posts and stories (no matter how many followers you have).
Offer your own products or services
While this strategy is the most difficult, and can require a lot of time and money upfront, it’s no surprise that digital creators dive into the world of entrepreneurship.
For example, Huda Kattan turned into one of social media’s top social media beauty influencers and used her dedicated following to develop a makeup company, Huda Beauty. Now, Kattan’s business carries over 140 products and is estimated to be worth over $550 million dollars.
By selling products that you love and are passionate about, you don’t have to worry about integrating messages from other companies into your posting strategy. This is also becoming easier with the growing list of new Instagram tools and features available to build an audience.