How to Monetize Instagram: 5 Steps

Instagram began as a small space for sharing photos and inspiration. Since then it has grown into one of the largest social media platforms with approx. 1 billion active users per month. One of the most appealing things about Instagram is its features, which make creating content and interacting with one’s audience much easier. In addition, it improves engagement rates with the same amount of work that might be needed on other social media platforms. Many active Instagram users are trying to monetize their content. Here are 5 steps that could guide through the process of monetization: 

Step 1: Use Instagram Shop. This Instagram feature creates an in-app shopping experience, and increases brand visibility and sales. Instagram Shop directs customers to the brand’s website. Creating shoppable Instagram posts is one of the best ways to advertise your business on the platform. Such posts help users get to know your products faster. They also allow followers to shop straight from the Instagram app. All you need to do is to post an eye-catching photo of your product and tag it as a shoppable post. Users who will tap on the pop-up box will be taken to the product page, where they can finalize their purchase.   

Step 2: Focus on affiliate marketing. One of the easiest ways to monetize Instagram is by becoming an affiliate marketer. In essence, this means becoming a brand ambassador for some products that you use or believe in. Your followers might appreciate if you share a link or discount code for the products that you are promoting. Whenever someone buys something using your link, you get a percentage of the revenue. To simplify the process of running an affiliate marketing campaign, use ShareASale. This platform helps create campaigns for social media, apps and websites with just a few clicks. One of the most valuable features of this platform is that it helps track the progress of your campaigns so you can see how they are performing.

Step 3: Use video product placements. There are 4 types of video used for product placement on Instagram:

  • Instagram Reels: videos that last between 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Instagram Stories: videos that last 24 hours.
  • IGTV: videos that last between 60 seconds to 10 minutes.
  • IG Live: live videos that last for up to 4 hours.

What these 4 types of video have in common is the strategy: posted videos should present a product insight or an interaction with a product. Moreover, each type of video can communicate a different sentiment. For example, if you want to share a long-form video on Instagram, you can upload IGTVs or go Live. Here you can review a product or show how you are using it. Going Live also helps connect with your followers on a more personal level, and shows authenticity. 

Step 4: Find brands to work with. If your personal brand is solid, it is likely that brands will find you. But there is also the option to look for brands yourself. You can reach out to them and try to make a deal. Another option is to list yourself on one of the influencer marketplaces, which increase the chances of discovering you. One of such platforms is Fohr. Start by connecting your social media platforms to create an influencer card which shows all your profiles and total reach to brands. You can also access a list of brands and find out their needs, and reach out to them re collaboration.  

Step 5: Sell Instagram captions. Although many small business owners promote their products and services on Instagram, only a few can write good Instagram captions. If you are good at writing creative captions, you can sell your expertise to these companies. To attract their attention, write and post some captions on your own account. Also include those that have generated the most engagement. If a company is considering whether to hire you to write their Instagram copy, most likely, it wants to see some examples of your work. In terms of pricing, remember to charge for your expertise rather than your work time.   

References:  Neal Schaffer, | S. Dixon, | | Shane Barker, | James Johnson, | Michael Keenan, | Jennifer Xue,