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How to make money on Instagram during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many economies are struggling to figure out how to survive the potential financial turmoil. As an Instagram growth agency, we wanted to provide as much value to those in need by sharing some methods business owners and individuals can use to strengthen their positions during these tough times.

At Ampfluence we understand the need for fiscal responsibility, therefore, while governments and organizations are developing an 18-month plan to combat the economic impact of COVID-19 on a global scale, it goes without saying, that every individual and household is likely following suit.

We crafted this post to specifically remove the fluff and focus solely on core revenue-generating activities. First, we’ll start with how existing local brick and mortar businesses can leverage Instagram to continue generating revenue. Then address how solopreneurs or newly minted remote contractors can make money using Instagram.

Here’s a quick outline of our guide below.

  • How Businesses Can Make Money On Instagram During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Different Strategies to Attract Customers on Instagram
  • How Individuals Can Start Making Money on Instagram During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • 3 Simple Tactics You Can Use To Start Generating Income on Instagram

Now that you understand the direction of this guide let’s jump into the first topic.

How Businesses Can Make Money On Instagram During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As a traditional brick and mortar business owner no doubt the pandemic, as well as quarantine orders and isolation requirements, have deafened normal business foot traffic. Although your clients or customers are staying home and likely preserving spending money they are not completely out of reach. If you do not have an existing online presence you may be starting from scratch but the effort is worth making as Instagram is a prime opportunity to reach both new and old clients. Let’s jump into how your business can leverage Instagram to attract and maintain customer relationships during this time.

Different Strategies to Attract Customers on Instagram

Be Apart of The Conversation

While indoors or at home, it’s likely your clients’ or customers’ attentions are on their phones and favorite social networks. Now more than ever people are turning to social to get information on COVID-19 updates, economic news, and emergency preparation news.

As a business owner, it’s always important to address relevant realtime concerns. Instagram is the perfect place for these types of updates. Therefore, focus on promoting products or services that have a positive impact or products that are immediately relevant to your consumer base. This may be a time to pivot, provide forbearance opportunities, offer extensions,  launch special programs, or simply provide access to your products or services remotely.

For example, if you are a credit union or bank you might consider offering Micro relief loans. Alternatively, simply use Instagram to share how members and clients can access services remotely. For example, Redstone Federal Credit Union shares alternative methods for conducting banking transactions remotely. They also took the opportunity to showcase how the credit union is supporting the community during a time of need. Community Karma will go a long way on social as clients and customers want to support businesses that have a vested interest in their communities.

Redstone COVID

To find new customers locally it’s important to include your brand or business in the conversation. What can you do to add value to your local community? This is an excellent method to start building valuable customer-centric relationships on Instagram while doing good.

Use Instagram Business Account Features

If you’re new to Instagram Business Account you may be surprised to learn that Instagram has many different business features you can use to promote your products or services. Features that will be useful during these times include, Click To Call or Email CTAs, Product Catalogs, Quick Replies, and Shoppable posts. Let’s address these features in further detail below.

Click to Call or Email CTAs

Instagram Contact Options

Instagram allows business accounts to set call to action buttons on the profiles. This makes it easy for potential clients and customers to reach you using your preferred contact method. Although Instagram messenger is an excellent way to remain accessible, customers often want to call or email you directly. Therefore, be sure to set up the proper communication channels which allow customers to get in touch with you quickly.

Shoppable Posts

Instagram Shoppable Posts

If you are new to Instagram you might be surprised to learn that you can now create shoppable posts on Instagram. Posts are linked to products that can link directly to your e-commerce platforms making it easy for people to discover products on the gram. When it comes to making money on Instagram half the battle is being able to give people an easy way to discover products and shop on the app. Shoppable posts make this possible. The process of setting up shoppable posts is relatively simple. You can learn how to do it by visiting this shoppable posts guide by Instagram.

Direct messaging and Instagram Quick replies

Direct messaging is a great way to answer customer inquiries quickly. However, on Instagram, it’s important to be responsive. Consequently, Instagram allows accounts to setup Quick replies. This is a great opportunity to increase information accessibility, you can share canned replies related to business hours, charitable efforts, or urgent updates. To setup Instagram, quick replies navigate to “Account Settings -> Business -> Quick Replies” (see image below).

How to Setup Instagram Quick Replies

How Individuals Can Start Making Money on Instagram During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

While there are many different and creatives methods for individuals to make money on Instagram there are only a few actionable classifications, this includes: making money as an influencer, making money as an affiliate marketer, or selling your own product or service. Of course, there are many different variations within these classifications. On Instagram, the more creative you can be the better. Let’s explore these options in greater detail below.

Making Money On Instagram as an Influencer

To work as an Influencer your job is to ‘influence’ followers. Most Influencers are selected for their large following, which means they have greater potential to influence their audience. However, engagement is paramount. If you have a micro following you can also make money promoting or representing niche brands.

In general, an Influencer’s responsibility is to post content such as videos and images featuring a certain brand(s) or product(s). Paid influencer posts typically include captions like “Sponsored By XYZ @Brand” or use is tagged with a partnership tag. While many people are familiar with larger influencers like celebrities or YouTube stars there’s a huge market for micro-influencers with a highly engaged following. Keep in mind, when building an audience to influence brands will typically pay based on your follower count and engagement metrics. To make money as an influencer the prospect is simple but definitely requires a great deal of elbow grease. Start by building an engaged niche following (e.g. a foodie audience, fashion and beauty audience, parenting audience, etc.). Think about how your personal brand can ‘partner with’ other larger brands that can pay for your influence. Once you have a substantial following 10k or higher you can begin to explore larger brand opportunities. While you are building your audience you can also explore influencer marketing platforms like Izea, Triberr, or ShopYourLikes. If you have a smaller but highly engaged local following take the opportunity to pitch local businesses and brands. Below we’ve included examples of sponsored posts.

Sponsored post example

Making Money on Instagram as an Affiliate Marketer

An affiliate marketer is similar to an influencer in concept. However, they make money based on actions or sales. Affiliate marketers, CPA marketers, and network marketers essentially get paid a commission or bounty for a sale or email optin. To begin affiliate marketing join platforms like Amazon Associates, Clickbank, or ShareaSale. There are many different options available online, it’s important to find a product or service you can stand behind and can, of course, you should be able to naturally promote these products using Instagram. For example, Abigail Watson shares a fall outfit. Notice in her caption she states the outfit is from Amazon, she also directs her audience to her blog where Amazon links are likely included. If a person purchases any item included in that blog post by clicking on Abigail’s associates link she will then receive a commission.

Amazon associate on Instagram

Making on Money on Instagram By Selling a Product or Service

Making money by selling a product or service on Instagram goes hand in hand with running your own business. However, it’s important to mention that Instagram sellers can run a completely digital business (selling digital products or services) without the need to ship physical products or manufacture items which may be a challenge in the current time. For example, if you are a dance or fitness instructor you can host completely online classes.  In the photo below Emanuel shares his online dance course which he makes available via Zoom. His profile also utilizes payment platforms like Eventbrite for easy purchasing. The key to selling digital services online quickly is to keep it super simple. You can execute this entire process for free using Instagram, Zoom, Paypal or Eventbrite, and some good old elbow grease. Also, focus on skills or talents you are already an expert on, it makes selling courses and live activities simply because you are already an expert on that topic.

Online classes promoted on Instagram

Final Thoughts on Using Instagram To Make Money Remotely

As we step into uncertain times it’s important to remember the current landscape and consider how we can help our customers or add value to their lives. The more empathy you can apply when marketing your products or services the better it will resonate with others under the current circumstances. Overall, keep it positive! We hope this post was helpful. Feel free to share your feedback in the comments below.

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Andrea Naomi

Andrea is a digital marketer with a passion for content and social. She loves deciphering puzzles, new tech, working with startups, #beachlife, and of course Ampfluence.

Andrea Naomi

Andrea is a digital marketer with a passion for content and social. She loves deciphering puzzles, new tech, working with startups, #beachlife, and of course Ampfluence.
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    3 Responses

    1. Instagram is among the fastest-growing social media platforms with the highest engagement,
      so it’s simple to generate income on the platform if you use it properly. From sponsored posts to social media marketing services,
      there are lots of imaginative ways for anybody to make money Instagram.

    2. Instagram is among the fastest-growing social media platforms with the highest engagement,
      so it’s simple to generate income on the platform if you use it properly. From sponsored posts to social media marketing services,
      there are lots of imaginative ways for anybody to make money Instagram.

    3. Of course I’m trying to make money through social media. But I would like to take a loan to open a business. What will you advice me?

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