Instagram marketing is a big deal. As 2015 came to a close, there were 400 million active monthly users and 75 million active daily users on the social media platform, thereby marking its growth as nearly 10 times faster than Twitter and Facebook. Each Instagram post gets 308 percent more engagement than a Facebook post, and 1,313 percent more engagement than a Twitter post. It’s no surprise that businesses are turning to this site to market their goods. What may come as a surprise, however, is how you can translate Instagram’s popularity into money for you, an average user. Here are the steps to making it a reality.
If you’re serious about making a profit from Instagram marketing, the first thing you need to do is gain followers. Successful marketing is directly proportionate to the length of the list of people checking out what you post. Most brands expect you to have a large group of loyal followers before contracting with you. At a minimum, expect to have 1,000 people on your list before being taken seriously.
To gain followers, spend a substantial amount of time marking “like” and making genuine comments about other users’ photos. Focus primarily on people who are in your niche by checking out hashtags and viewing the friends of your favorite Instagrammers. Host a contest, such as asking people to provide the best caption for your photo. Geotag your photos so other people who have posted in the same area can see your pics. Link your Instagram account to all of your other social media and online networks.
Sponsorship is a huge source of revenue on the social media platform, with companies plunking down $1 billion to $1.5 billion each year on sponsoring content on Instagram. Put simply, sponsorship means that you post pictures and videos highlighting certain products and brands. Each picture usually comes with a favorable caption mentioning the brand and how it fits into a person’s lifestyle. Often, the images are accompanied by a hashtag, link, or @mention. Payment varies, depending on the scope of a project, the brand involved, and the influential power of the Instagram user (or “influencer,” as the industry refers to them). Some programs only offer free swag, whereas others pay $5 to $10 for every 1,000 followers, and yet others offer $100 for 100 followers.
An app named Takumi guarantees to help you get money from sponsored posts as long as you have at least 1,000 followers. With a guaranteed payment of nearly $60 per post that fluctuates according to the number of people following a person, people with more of a following wind up with substantially more money. You can choose whom you work with and avoid brands you’d prefer to stay away from.
TapInfluence helps pair Instagram users who want sponsorship with brands. After creating a profile with a description of you and your content, brands who are interested in working with you will issue an invitation to their program.
Another helpful program, Influenz, provides a platform for Instagram marketing users to browse available campaigns. Influencers can then choose which brands to sponsor and receive payment accordingly.
Since you can’t set up shop directly on the site, establish another way for people to purchase your Instagram pics. Each photo you post should have a link in the caption to the store where your photos are available. Use TinyURL or Bit.Ly to shorten the link so that it’s a manageable length.
Possible ways to establish an online store include:
Utilizing a site like inSelly, which allows you to link directly from your Instagram account to a virtual store.
Creating a personal website with your photos from Instagram.
Selling your pictures directly through a service such as Twenty20 or Community Foap. These services provide the printing and shipping and turn approximately 20 percent of the sale over to you.
Develop a portfolio that exemplifies your ability to take photos that are appealing, clear, and positive. Contact companies directly that may be interested in being featured in your content. Offer the companies information about how many followers you have and how often you post to your Instagram feed. A variety of services, including Popular Pays, Quglu, and Quickshouts, help connect organizations with aspiring Instagram marketers.
If you own a business, use Instagram to your advantage. Here are some clever ways to do so:
Create a unique hashtag and promote it through your business. Ask your clients to post pictures of your business and use your hashtag. That way everything gets circled back to your business Instagram marketing account.
Post pictures from behind the scenes. People love to see what they aren’t usually privy to. Include photos from the process of making and delivering the product.
Make exclusive offers that are only available via Instagram. Doing so ups the number of followers (bonus for multiple reasons) and increases traffic to your business.
Another quick and easy way to make money is to sell another company’s products or generate leads for it. Make an account for free on Peerfly so that you can browse current promotional offers. Choose a company you’d like to promote, post its URL into your Instagram bio’s website section, and be prepared to make some commission. When your followers choose to check out the website, purchase something, or enter their personal information, you could wind up earning cash.
If you’re ready to be done with the whole social media platform yet don’t want to give up on all the effort you’ve put forth to build a following, consider selling your Instagram marketing account. Some people will pay substantial money to have access to all of those potential customers or viewers. Viral Accounts and Fame Swap are good sites to help you navigate this.
Having all this information is enough to get you started on building your Instagram empire. Continue to draw followers as you stay true to your personal goals and intentions. Remember that the rest of the world is a potential collaborator and the more you understand what you have to offer, the more you will receive.