There is no doubt that Instagram can be a really quick way to get some money… and to be honest, who would say no to that?
Yet, is it that easy? What does it take to monetize your Instagram account? How many followers do you need to have to start earning money? Are you better off having more followers that are random or fewer followers that are accurately and specifically targeted? If you want to find the answers to the questions below, then keep reading.
So what do experts say in terms of monetizing your Instagram following?
This is the first and foremost thing you should care about – having a targeted audience is much better than broadly targeting every single user on Instagram. Many times, accounts with only a few thousand followers, often referred to as micro-influencers, are doing a much better job than someone who has 10K followers.
Invest Effort and Time to Build Your Audience
Building upon step 1, you should spend some time and money into building the right audience. It’s important to understand that having a small following (which can sometimes be as little as 1K followers) is enough to start monetizing.
As you might have guessed, you need to stay away from fake followers. There is no point in actually spending money to get your follower count up. What you should be looking for is high-quality, loyal followers that are interested in your content.
Make Your Content Engaging!
Make sure that your content is speaking to your audience. You need to ensure that every single post out there is high-quality, relevant, and appealing. How can you achieve that? Here are some ideas?
- Use relevant, catchy captions that will grab the eye of your target audience
- Make use of hashtags that are of course #instagrammable
- Encourage engagement by asking questions
- Make use of Stories – they offer great interactive features! Check out a cool, interactive story from @asos.
Niche pages that focus on a specific interest have much greater potential than broad pages. For instance, it is unlikely that an account focusing broadly on food content will start to monetize its following. On the other hand, an account that is niched down into healthy finds or vegan recipes is much more likely to build a loyal following that will start bringing money in.
So, focus on your product or service and think about what value it provides the customer with. Here is a great example of @kayla_itsines who is a personal trainer who specializes in providing workout biking body guides #bbg. People seem to love her!
Use Brand Shoutouts
This is influencer marketing at its finest. If you are a brand that needs a bit of help when it comes to Instagram following, then search for people who are relevant to your field, are credible, and they have a high influencing potential over your target audience. If you are lucky enough to find some ideal people, then contact them and ask them if they could give you a brand shoutout in return to a sweet exchange.
By using influencer marketing to promote your account, you are leveraging the influence of admired or recognized people; whether this is because they possess an expert level of knowledge, or because they have previous hands-on experience in the field; or simply because they have social influence. Remember, that influencers can be anyone; from an amateur photographer to a well-known celebrity. You are going to spend some considerable time searching for the right people, but once you find them you will soon start to enjoy the rewards!
Use Instagram to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
So, how about using Instagram as a branding channel to get more people to your blog? Building a loyal following is our top priority, so your great content should be driving traffic to your blog, and in turn to clicks, conversions, and sales.
Make sure to add the link to your Instagram bio (and make sure your followers know that). This way they can hop on to your profile feed to find the link to your website or blog. This tactic is very often used for e-commerce stores.
Watch Out for Your Engagement Rate
It’s crystal clear by now that you should not be paying attention to your follower count; but rather the quality of your followers. Within this note, you should also be monitoring your engagement rate which is the total number of likes and comments on particular posts, divided by the number of posts, divided by followers, and multiplied by x 100. (You can also make your life easier by using an online calculator).
If you have a high engagement rate, then it means that your followers are interested in what you are posting out there; they are commenting, liking and sharing and this is exactly what you want. Loyal followers are much easier to convert to future buyers.
Sponsoring your posts is another way to get some income from Instagram. By investing a small amount of money to promote your Instagram posts, you will be increasing your reach and engagement rates, and your followers’ count will surge noticeably. Make sure that the content of your sponsored post is appealing, eye-grabbing, and of course relevant to your field.
Before sponsoring a post, make sure to check the right target audience not only according to demographics and location but also according to behavioral characteristics, like interests. This will allow you to reach people that will care about your content, increasing the probability to follow your page. As a last note, ensure that you check your CPM (Cost Per Impression) before sponsoring a post to avoid unexpected costs incurred.
Here is how a sponsored post will appear:
Think About Using Instagram Monetization Tools
If you have trouble finding influencers to promote your Instagram account, then there are some effective tools that you can put into use.
For example, Buzzhole is an influencer marketing platform that helps brands find influencers relevant to their field. Buzzhole does the hard job for you, and it provides you with an array of influencers with which you can partner up to enjoy mutual benefits.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Last but not least, you should be using relevant hashtags so that people can easily discover your account through their news feed. Although this might sound quite straightforward, many brands overlook this point.
For instance, taking the example of a brand focusing on the healthy food niche – hashtags like #healthyfood #healhtylife and so on will help your content appear on people’s news feed that are interested in this area, and thus potentially interested to your account
The truth is, that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. There is no preset limit of followers that you need to have to monetize money on Instagram. What you should be watching out for is that your target audience is actively engaged and targeted. This instantly translated to higher brand awareness and sales potential.