Instagram started out as an image-sharing app with a tiny workforce, but over time it has become a groundbreaking avenue for e-commerce. Businesses are beginning to increase their Instagram advertising budget as it offers a tremendous return on investment.
Can you really make money from Instagram?
Although Instagram was intended as a photo-sharing app that targeted mostly young people, over the years it has evolved into one of the most formidable social networks, hence a highly dependable business platform. There are several stories of Instagrammers who are making it big from the pictures they snap and share every day. There are two factors that make Instagram fit for business; reach and influence. If you are ready to put in the time and commitment, then you can make serious money from your Instagram account.
Interesting statistics on Instagram
- There are more than one billion people who use Instagram every month
- More than 60% of users log in daily, thereby making it the second most engaged social media platform behind Facebook
- It was estimated in 2017 that Instagram revenue would reach nearly $4bn. By 2019, the platform ad revenue could reach over $10bn.
- Since its creation, more than 40 billion photos have been shared on the platform
- According to 2016 statistics, 95 million posts are made every day on the platform
- There are more than 25 million brands on Instagram with 80% of followers following at least one.
- More than 60% of users discover new products on the platform
- Users are ten times more likely to engage with brands on Instagram than on Facebook and 54 times higher than Pinterest.
- Instagram users are 70% more likely to use their mobile to purchase a product online than non-users.
- There are 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram
Steps to Prep for Instagram Income
Optimize your Instagram profile:
The first step towards prepping your Instagram account for income is to optimize your profile. Ensure that you choose a username with not more than 30 characters. Also, it should be consistent with the username that you use on other social media platforms. This is an excellent way to brand yourself and to ensure that you are easily found on social media platforms. Your bio is equally important. It should be up to 150 characters. You can also add a clickable link to it.
Build a following:
Take it or leave it, the number of followers that you have plays a vital role in your income. Compared to most other platforms Instagram is still largely an organic avenue, this translates to mean that a good amount of your followers would see and have a chance to engage with your post without you needing to promote. Therefore, the higher the number of followers you have, the better the chances of them seeing and engaging with your content.
There are a great number of ways to build sizeable followership;
-Participate in conversations related to your niche
-Use compelling captions
– Get creative with hashtags etc
Now that you have a sizeable and enviable following, what next? Simple, increase engagement. This can be done by publishing quality posts consistently. Ensure that the posts are styled in the same way and possibly always posted at the same time of day. The use of third-party social media software such as SocialFlow and Hootsuite can assist with scheduling posts. Also, you can decide to start a contest with a photo and offer prizes. You can start a special hashtag for the contest. Ensure that the rules are stated clearly.
Collaborate with influencers and learn from successful account:
You can collaborate with influencers and strike understanding for exchanged or paid posting. You can use the ideas that these accounts employed to gain success.
Consistency is key in building and retaining followership. Make it a habit to post at least once every day. If you are going to post several images within a day it is important that you don’t post it all at once if not this would work against you. You can evenly space the time of your posting. If you don’t trust yourself to remember, then make use of post schedulers.
Use good photos:
Your images say a lot about you or your brand. It makes absolutely no sense and it can be detrimental to you or your brand if you post low-quality images. Therefore, as much as it is possible get and use quality photos.
Utilize the link in your bio:
Due to Instagram’s reluctance to allow users to switch to another platform, you won’t find any other place to place a clickable link except in the bio. Therefore, it is important to make good use of this as it can add traffic directly to your online shop.
10 ways people like you are making money from Instagram
This refers to the act of promoting another company’s product and get paid per sale. This is popular with blogs but it has found its way also to Instagram. You can post attractive images of affiliate products on your account and drive sales using an affiliate link which would be provided to you by the affiliate. Some of the companies you can work with include Sharesale, Ebates, Stylinity. Arielle Charnas, 30, was able to make a fortune selling and promoting products off her Instagram account.
Create sponsored posts:
Another way to earn extra income via Instagram is through the creation of original sponsored content for brands. Sponsored content refers to a video or photo that highlights a brand or product. These posts usually come with branded hashtags or mentions. Rachel Mansfield makes $100,000 a year from sponsored posts.
This is one of the most obvious ways to earn an income on Instagram. As a photographer, amateur or professional, you can advertise and sell your shots to agencies or even individuals. However, for this to work you must have an active presence on the platform and ensure that the right type of accounts is following you. Adam Senatori is a pilot who loves to take photographs of places he has been to.
Promote your business, product, or service:
Instagram can be used as a platform for the promotion of your business, product, or service. You can use it to share photos of your products, behind the scenes of your business, or user-generated photos relating to your business. Twenty-five-year old designer Danielle Bernstein became popular for her blog We Wore That. She is one of the most famous fashion models on Instagram earning $15,000 per post.
Dropshipping is another business model that can be run with your Instagram account. Dropshipping allows you to run your store without the need to hold an inventory. After-sales are made your supplier simply ship the product from their warehouse directly to the customer’s doorstep. Without you having to ever store, package, or physically ship products. Hokage_store uses the Social Rabbit plugin to promote its dropshipping business on Instagram.
Sell your account:
Perhaps you think you have had enough of Instagram and wish to move on, it would please you to know that your hard work has not gone to waste. There are a couple of sites that can assist you with the sale of your account, if you choose to go this way, this includes Fame Swap and Viral accounts. ChrisRPhotography makes a living buying and reselling Instagram accounts.
YouTube has a clear system of rewarding top videos. Instagram can be used for the promotion of YouTube videos which can help improve the income of users. Prankster Jack Vale had been able to master this art and use it to great gains.
Organize contests or events:
An indirect way to earn an income via Instagram is to organize contests, discounts, or events. You can do this by offering exclusive deals for a short time frame and at the same time update followers on how time is passing. This form of urgency can move followers to make purchases. Valdo organizes contest where it asks its customers to take photos of their original cocktails
Leverage an Influencer:
An influencer in your niche can be a tremendous source of promotion for your business. You can ask them to share your product on their account and state why it is a good idea to use your product. Madewell was able to leverage Instagram influencer marketing to promote the anniversary of their tote bag.
Drive traffic to your website:
If you have a business website, you can use Instagram to garner followers and then direct them to your website, where sales and conversion can take place. In Birchbox’s Instagram bio, there is a link that directs followers to a customer appreciation day promotion on the company’s website.
Being a visually-influenced platform, Instagram is most apt for businesses in the fashion, beauty, or travel industry. But in actuality, you can make money off Instagram, as long as your business can be expressed visually and creatively for the purpose of marketing.