Getting paid on Instagram is possible.
While you won’t be literally paid on Instagram like you could on YouTube as a YouTube channel can be integrated into Google Adsense, you could very well get paid for your presence on that platform.
I mean, the word “influencer” is a play on “influenza” which means that you’re part and parcel of making something go viral.
That said, let’s not kid ourselves that this will be an easy task.
In fact, it’s going to be a monumental task to become an Instagram influencer.
Once you get a good following on your Instagram account, then and only then can you think of how to get paid on Instagram.
Table of Contents
- What is Instagram?
- How do you build an audience and create engagement?
- Increasing Instagram followers
- Create a sponsored post
- Affiliate links
- Sell merchandise on IG
- Direct revenue opportunities
What is Instagram?
Instagram is an app and social media platform that has become the social media platform of choice for many people. It’s easy to use, and it allows you to connect with friends via personal posts. Instagram also offers a way for brands to share their products with followers in a fun and creative way. This blog post will explore how your brand can get more exposure on Instagram by using some helpful tips from professional influencers who have created successful campaigns on the platform.
How do you build an audience and create engagement?
Instagram is a great platform for content marketing and an even better tool to build your brand, but it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing algorithm. In this blog post you will find some of my best tips on how to get more followers on Instagram.
1) Use hashtags that are relevant to your business or industry.
2) Create a diverse mix of images that include lifestyle shots, product shots, behind-the-scenes action and stories from customers.
3) Follow other users in your niche so they’ll follow back.
4) Post at least once every day if not more often – consistency is key! Post an Instagram story too!
5) Make sure each post has a caption/description about what’s happening in the photo so people get a quick sense of what it’s all about
Increasing Instagram followers
You can’t get anywhere on social media unless you have enough Instagram followers.
The whole idea of “Doing it for the ‘Gram” is real.
Not only do you have to go out of your way to get the best shot and most clickworthy stuff, you’re also going to have to accumulate followers gram by gram (not even ounce by ounce).
It’s a slow process but you need that 10K Instagram followers in order to unlock the Brands Collabs Manager.
One of the things that you’d always find with social media platforms is that they are constantly improving and creating new avenues where content can be presented.
Heck, if you think about it, Instagram used to be all 1:1 square photos and now they’re a lot less restrictive.
Instagram’s latest Instagram Reels is one to look out for.
As the space is still relatively new (in relation to, say, IGTV), the space isn’t as saturated and you can get quick hits of attention there just a little bit easier.
Reels are pretty much like Tiktok videos. They’re meant for mobile and they are meant to be fun and fast.
Instagram’s algorithm will help users find content that they have shown to like and if you are in one of these niches, you might be able to get a slither of that crowd’s attention and perhaps gain followers.
Search engine optimization
It used to be that you couldn’t search up keywords, only hashtags.
If you live in the UK, US, Ireland and Canada, plus two other countries, you can now search up keywords.
So this really means you have to double down on your keyword research.
What really matters is the type of content, captions and when it was posted along with other factors.
So make sure your content has certain keywords. I’d start with either looking at what people are searching on Google or YouTube and go from there.
You’d also want to avoid controversial keywords like politics, cults, medicine, etc. Those get banned from the search results.
Create a sponsored post
The epitome of Instagram marketing is through a sponsored post or paid partnership.
This is a situation where a brand deals with you directly so that you create Instagram content (aka branded content) to promote a product to your engaged followers.
Now, you don’t even need to have a ton of followers to get to this point. But the further away from having any weight, let’s say, 10k followers, in this space that you’re in, the more likely a business owner will give you peanuts (“we’ll send you our sun cream if you shared this with your followers”)
Now, your Instagram account is probably in a niche. Your account might just be 100% pictures of you, and so you’re probably just going to create a post with 100% you plus a picture of the products and some captions that describe what it is you’re promoting.
Of course, if your Instagram content is specific, say you’re a comedy videos maker or a comic strip artist… you’ll have to somehow add that into your videos or comics.
The first step is really to start reaching out to brands. Change your mindset to think that DMs are always open.
You might be surprised. I’ve seen big companies like Sephora recruit many a micro influencer.
There are also agencies out there that will help you match products, brands and businesses to an Instagram user.
And once you have hit the 10K mark for followers, you will eventually have access to the Brand Collabs Manager which means you will have access to a great pool of brands that you can work with.
The criteria to qualify for the Brands Collabs Manager is that you need a business or creator account (i.e. not a personal account — you’ll know if you have a grey line below your name saying “Photographer” or “Blogger” etc.
You’ll also need 10K follower count, over 100 hours of video watches or 1,000 combined engagement in the last 60 days and no content violations.
Ever heard the phrase “link in bio”?
It kinda speaks to the one place where you can directly link to a page where stuff gets sold.
I mean, on the most crude level, you could just sell Amazon stuff, but it would be pretty limiting given the lack of links that you can include on Instagram.
On the other hand, Instagram is rolling out the Affiliate feature that will allow “creators to discover new products available on checkout, share them with their followers and earn commissions for the purchases they drive — all within the Instagram app.”
It’s all integrated into Instagram’s photo system. You take the photo, post it up and then
For now, they’re only trying this out with a small, select group of people, so if this is successful, you might be able to feature your stuff on your photos.
Sell merchandise on IG
Influencer marketing can also be about marketing your Instagram shop.
You’ve seen it before. A person makes a channel. Then suddenly, you can buy a bunch of merch from them with their logo or some very funny slogan.
Again, you can do it on a basic level by linking to your shop in your bio.
This is pretty great because you can tell everyone about ite very time you do an Instagram post.
However, Facebook is rolling out its Shops feature too that they describe as “for creators who already have their own product lines, they can now link their shop to their personal profile in addition to their business profile. This allows them to display and sell their products directly to fans.”
This is available to all users as of now.
You can also set up a new shop and promote exclusive product launches by linking your account with one of their four mechandise partners including Bravado/UMG, Fanjoy, Represent, and Spring. Instagram aims to roll this out to all US users by the end of 2021.
Are you… funny?
Do you… make sense?
Are you… controversial?
Then you might not be able to sell any products!
But that said, if you can’t sell products, then YOU could be the product.
Go on YouTube and you’ll see so many people who are making money off their content because it’s entertaining.
And while there are multiple sources of income when you’re good at what you do, you can also get monthly crowdfunding to boost your income.
Now, you’d have to migrate to Buy Me a Coffee, Patreon, Ko-fi in order to do this, but Instagram will still serve as a funnel.
The Instagram strategy here is to use it to post content that would give people a taste of what you’re about.
Then, you’d link your crowdfunding site in your Instagram bio and then tell them to go there to get some exclusive non Instagram videos or non Instagram photos.
If people love your content, boy oh boy will they pay for your exclusive content.
Direct revenue opportunities
While Instagram is lagging behind its competitors in direct revenue streams, it seems that change is afoot.
Over time, Instagram plans to add a bunch of new features including IGTV ads. Currently, you’ll still have to depend on traditional methods to make money on IGTV unless you are the select few creators in the US.
Here’s how Instagram describes their IGTV Ads, “IGTV ads will initially appear when people click to watch IGTV videos from previews in their feed. The video ads will be built for mobile and up to 15 seconds long.
“We’ll test various experiences within IGTV ads throughout the year – such as the ability to skip an ad – to make sure the final result works well for people, creators and advertisers.
“We’re committed to making IGTV an effective and brand-safe space for advertising, so that we can help creators make money and connect people with great products.”
There are also other incentives including paywalled content and a subscription model for your followers to get exclusive content that are planned for the future.
In fact, you can currently use the livestream Badges features if you are doing live broadcasts.
They’re a bit like those hearts and comments that you can send during a broadcast, but this time it’s like throwing money at the creator (i.e. you). Another way to think about it is that it’s like a YouTube livestream where you send money and get your comment highlighted.
Here’s how Instagram describes it, “Badges will appear next to a person’s name throughout the live video. Fans who have purchased badges in Live will stand out in the comments and unlock additional features, including placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart.”
Have you ever wondered how some Instagrammers are making thousands of dollars a month just from posting pictures on social media? Now that you know the answer, it’s time to start exploring ways to make money with your own account.
As you can see, Instagram is a powerful platform that has many advantages for marketers. It’s also one of the most difficult platforms to get your content on and make money from because it requires consistency, patience, creativity, and some luck if you want to succeed.
With so many Instagram influencers making money off of sponsored posts, it’s easy to forget that there are also some people who have managed to make a living off of their account, even if they are just new and small time.
You can too!
It just takes patience and hard work. Start by taking your time building up your following on the platform (or get someone else with an established following for you).
First thing I’d do is to go follow @creators and keep up to date with the new methods of monetization. Second is to keep cranking out content and banking those followers.
Once you finally feel like you’ve hit critical mass, start pitching brands that align with your niche or audience. There will be no shortage of opportunities once they know about you!
As the competition for sponsored content grows, so too does Instagram’s need to provide new revenue streams.
With a focus on diversifying monetization strategies and an increased emphasis on creators who are earning money from their audiences rather than brands, Instagram is poised to continue growing as both a marketing tool and creative platform.