You’ve created the perfect Instagram account for your brand. You have eye-catching images, a great bio, and the right audience following you.
You’ve done all the hard work. All that’s left is for you to figure out how you’re going to monetize the account and how to sell on Instagram.
You’re probably wondering: should I run a shoutout campaign? Or should I go all in and offer sponsored content instead?
If you’re having trouble figuring out what to do — don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
What to Do Before Monetizing Your Account?
Before you start monetizing your Instagram account, you have to double-check and make sure you’ve completed the steps below.
Write a Compelling Bio
Instagram gives you 150 characters to write a compelling bio.
This isn’t just for fun — the bio you write plays a significant role in converting your profile visitors into followers and customers.
The idea here is to make each character count. While the 150-character limit may seem restrictive, that’s plenty of room for a brief introduction, a dash of personality, and a call to action.
Here are a few tips to help you write the perfect profile bio:
- Explain what your brand is offering or what it does in no more than two sentences
- Showcase your brand’s personality and value
- Highlight your top-selling product
- Mention campaign or branded hashtags
- Use the opportunity to build authority and cultivate trust
- Tag co-brands, partners, and media resources
- Use action words that are likely to catch the attention of users
- Add a call to action to help users take the next step
Instagram only allows you to include one link in the bio. So choose wisely.
You may link to your website, blog, or online store. But you could also link to a specific product or landing page.
Other people prefer linking to a splash page from Linktree or a social media profile like Twitter.
Post Consistently on Instagram
Before you start monetizing your Instagram account, you have to make sure you have a steady audience. One way to attract this audience is by posting consistently.
Ideally, you should be posting at least once a day. That will help keep your followers engaged and make sure your account remains top of mind.
Not so sure on what to post? Here’s a running list of content ideas to help get you started:
- Share images of your latest products
- Showcase before and after shots of your work
- Celebrate holidays or seasonal events
- Promote your latest blog post, video, or podcast
- Feature brands or partners you like
- Post screenshots of customer testimonials
- Show followers how to use your product or services
- Showcase discounts, sales, or limited-time offers
- Give a behind-the-scenes look at your business
- Share tips or advice related to your industry
- Host a contest or giveaway
- Post humorous images or videos
- Share infographics or data visualizations
- Repost user-generated content
The idea is to figure out how to turn these ideas into a content calendar, complete with creatives and copy.
Figure Out the Right Time to Publish Your Content
The time you publish your content also matters.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. You should always test to see what works best for you.
Should you be posting multiple times a day or just a couple of times a week or month? Most brands prefer to post a couple of times a week to give their followers enough time to see their posts.
It’s tempting to post when you feel like it. But you’re better off identifying the right times to post and sticking to a schedule.
Not sure what the right times are? Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Post when your followers are most active
- Post during the times when most of your target audience is likely to be online
- Post when there are major events or holidays taking place
- Research the best times to post for your specific industry
To estimate the best days to post on Instagram, use a social media tool like Agorapulse.
It’s simple: just log into your Agorapulse account, and navigate to “content report.” Next, scroll down to publishing recommendations, where you’ll find the best times to post based on your account’s analytics.
Make a note of the optimal times to post throughout the week. Next, draft an Instagram schedule based on these findings, and be sure to stick to it.
Create High-Quality Content
If there’s one thing you should never compromise on, it’s the quality of the content you post on Instagram.
No matter how great your products or services are, you won’t be able to monetize your account if the quality of your content is poor.
That’s why it’s crucial to invest in high-quality visuals, compelling copy, and engaging videos.
It helps to do a little bit of planning.
Tools like Canva can help you easily create visuals that are both high-quality and on-brand. And if you’re not sure what to do, here are some solid tips to help you create high-quality content for Instagram:
- Start by creating a simple style guide that defines your brand’s aesthetics. Use this guide to create photos and videos that your followers can instantly identify and associate with your brand.
- Make sure all of your visuals are high quality and correctly formatted. That includes using the right dimensions, colours, and fonts.
- Experiment with different types of content. Not everything you post needs to be a photo or video. Try experimenting with infographics, data visualizations, and even memes.
- Use hashtags to reach a new audience. Hashtags are a great way to reach people who aren’t already following you. Use them to tap into relevant trends and connect with other users interested in your content.
- Go slow on stock images. While it’s tempting to use stock images, try to avoid them as much as possible. That’s because they aren’t unique to your brand, and they can come across as inauthentic.
And if you have to, do it sparingly. You can find high-quality stock photos from sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, and Stocksy.
Use Hashtags to Improve Your Reach
You don’t necessarily need millions of followers on Instagram to make money on Instagram.
But you have to try and connect with as many people as possible.
One way to do this is by using hashtags.
Follow these tips to use hashtags to improve your reach:
- Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags, including a mix of descriptive, branded, and trending terms.
- Research the right hashtags to use for your brand. Make sure they’re relevant to your target audience and that they have a high reach.
- Use Agorapulse to create hashtag groups when reusing a list of terms. This will help you save time.
- Don’t use too many hashtags on all your posts, or your posts will look spammy. A couple of strategically placed hashtags should be enough.
- Use branded hashtags to connect with people who are interested in your brand. These hashtags are specific to your brand and can only be used by you.
- Use geo-tagging to connect with people in your area. Instagram allows you to add location tags to your posts to reach people nearby.
- Use hashtags in the original post caption, not comments
Develop a Strong Following
It’s much harder to monetize an account with a small following.
That’s why it’s important to focus on developing a strong following.
Here are some tips for building a loyal following on Instagram:
- Being authentic: Embrace your brand’s identity and use it to make genuine connections with followers. Share your struggles and challenges.
- Be Consistent: Post regularly and stick to a schedule. That should help keep your followers engaged.
- Be Engaging: Respond to comments and questions. Show that you’re interested in what your followers have to say.
- Be Creative: Experiment with different types of content. Not everything you post needs to be promotional. Try sharing behind-the-scenes footage, user-generated content, and humor.
- Be Patient: Building a following takes time. Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately. Keep at it, and you’ll start seeing growth over time.
- Start Conversations: Instagram isn’t a broadcasting platform. But a platform for conversing with people. So, make sure your posts spark discussions. Ask questions where necessary. Set up polls and contests. And make sure there’s an interaction between you and your followers.
- Start Highlight Fans: Your Instagram posts don’t necessarily have to be about you. Showcase your followers by starting a “Fan of the Week” series or highlighting customer stories. Give your followers shoutouts and use their photos and videos in your posts, especially those they take at your business premise.
- Have a Clear Purpose: Your Instagram account should have a clear purpose. What are you trying to achieve with it? Are you trying to drive traffic to your website, promote a product, or build brand awareness? Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can better tailor your content strategy.
- Use Paid Ads: Try using paid ads if you’re not getting the results you want from organic methods. Instagram offers a variety of ad formats, including photo, video, carousel, and Stories ads. You can target your ads to people based on their interests, demographics, and even their purchasing behavior.
Connect with Instagram Influencers
Another way to reach a larger audience is by working with Instagram influencers. Influencers have a large following they can influence to take action, hence the name influencer. They can be a great way to promote your products or services.
Use Agopapulse social CRM to identify the most influential people in your niche and build relationships with them. You can also use our hashtag analysis tool to identify the hashtags your followers engage the most with.
Be sure to go through their Instagram profiles to see if they have the influential power you’re looking for.
15 Ways to Monetize Your Instagram Account
Now that you know how to build a following on Instagram, it’s time to learn about the different ways to monetize the account.
Here are 15 ways to make money with Instagram:
1. Sell Products or Services:
The most obvious way to monetize Instagram is by selling products or services directly to consumers (DTC). It’s even better when you have an eCommerce store.
That said, here are a couple of options for selling your products and services on Instagram:
- Try Instagram Shopping: This option works best if you have an eCommerce site to direct your customers. Start by adding your product descriptions and images to your Instagram account.
Next, create collections to highlight trends or themes, and tag your products in the posts to make them discoverable. All a user needs to do to make a purchase is to click on the link, and they’ll be directed to your website, where they’re to make a purchase.
- Close Sales Via the DM: If you don’t have an eCommerce store, then the only option left for you is to close sales via DMs. That can be a little tricky, but it’s doable. You’ll need to create an offer, add a CTA in your bio, and make sure your profile looks good.
Uses can DM you to make an order. You’ll then direct them on how to make payments. After which, you’ll send them the product or offer the requested service.
2. Teach Your Followers to Do Something
Do you have a skill or knowledge you can teach? If so, Instagram can be an excellent platform for you. You can create video tutorials or even shorter IGTV videos on various topics.
Some of the things you could teach include:
- How to make a particular dish
- How to fix a car
- How to sew a dress
The possibilities are endless.
Sell an eBook: You can compile the tutorial in an eBook. Add eye-catching images. Now put a price on it and sell it on your website or Amazon.
Share the link with your Instagram audience and promote it in your posts:
- Teach a Course: If you want to take it one step further, you can create an online course and teach your followers how to do what you know. It’s a great way to make passive income.
- Several platforms allow you to create and sell online courses, such as Teachable, Kajabi, and Udemy. Again, share the link with your Instagram followers and promote it in your posts.
3. Encourage Your Followers to Pay for Select Content
You could also monetize your Instagram account by charging your followers to access select content. That can be in the form of a premium membership or even a one-time payment.
One way to do this is to offer exclusive content to paid subscribers. You can also create a VIP group for your most loyal followers and offer them special perks, such as discounts, early access to products, and more.
If you opt to take this route, make sure you have a plan for content that’s worth paying for.
4. Sell Advertising Space
If you have a large following, you could sell advertising space on your account. This could be in the form of a sponsored post or even an ad in your bio.
The great thing about this option is that it’s a recurring revenue stream. You can set the price for your advertising space and negotiate a deal with potential sponsors.
You can also sell advertising space on Insta stories. This is incredibly lucrative if you have a lot of followers who watch your stories.
5. Become an Instagram Influencer
Instagram influencers are people who have a large following and can sway the opinions of their followers. As an influencer, you could work with brands to promote their products or services.
There are a couple of ways to become an Instagram influencer:
- Become a Brand Ambassador: If you have a blog or a website, you could become a brand ambassador for a company. All you need to do is agree to promote their products or services on your Instagram account. The company can either give you free products or pay you a commission for every sale you make.
- Become an Affiliate Marketer: Another option is to become an affiliate marketer. This is where you promote other people’s products in return for a commission on each sale. You can find products to promote on affiliate networks such as Commission Junction and Clickbank.
- Start a YouTube Channel: If you want to monetize Instagram and don’t have a blog or website, you could start a YouTube channel. You can create videos about your favorite products and link them in your bio.
6. Sell Customized Merchandise
If you’re creative, you could sell customized merchandise on Instagram. This could include things like T-shirts, phone cases, and even hats.
All you need to do is come up with a design or slogan and then put it on a product. You can then sell the product on your website or a site like Teespring and use Instagram to promote it.
7. Offer Consultation Services
If you’re an expert in a particular area or field, you could offer consultation services to your followers. This could be in the form of an online course or even just one-on-one consultations.
You can find potential clients by posting your services on social media or running ads. You can also list your services on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
8. Explore Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize Instagram. With affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s products in return for a commission on each sale. You can find products to promote on affiliate networks such as Commission Junction and Clickbank.
You want to start by researching the type of content you’ll create. Afterward, go to an affiliate site such as ShareASale or CJ Affiliate, sign up for an account, and search for a product to promote. You can create a custom link and add it to your Instagram bio or post it on your website or blog before promoting it on Instagram.
9. Offer Instagram Live Badges
Instagram Live badges are a great way to monetize your account. With a badge, you can charge people for the opportunity to join your live broadcasts.
Whether you prefer to chat with your followers independently or in a Live Room, live streaming offers excellent opportunities to make money.
In addition to pitching your products or recommending the brands you like, you can sell live budget to fans starting at $0.99.
When a fan buys a badge, they’ll get a feature in your list of supports and a special heart icon. Since Instagram highlights comments with badges, you can prioritize your top fans and keep them engaged.
10. Sell Sponsored Posts
If you have a large following on Instagram, you could sell sponsored posts to brands. A sponsored post is where you promote a brand’s product or service in return for money.
To get started, reach out to brands you’re interested in working with and send them your media kit. Your media kit should include information like your follower count, the demographics of your followers, and examples of your past work.
If a brand is interested in working with you, they’ll likely ask you to create a sponsored post. You’ll then need to come up with a creative idea for the post and send it to the brand for approval.
11. Leverage Instagram Ads
Instagram Ads are a great way to monetize your account. With Instagram Ads, you can promote your products or services to a large audience.
To get started, create an ad campaign and choose the objective of your campaign. You can choose from objectives like website clicks, app installs, video views, and reach.
You can access Instagram ads via Facebook Ads Manager. Once you’re in Facebook Ads Manager, select Instagram as your advertising channel.
Next, set up your ad by creating a name for your campaign, setting a budget, and choosing the objective of your campaign. You’ll then need to create an ad account and select a target audience. Finally, create your ad by uploading an image, writing a caption, and choosing a link.
During the setup process, you’ll be asked to choose where you want the ads to show. You have the option to let the Ads manager automate the placement or to manually select from the below options:
- Explore tab
- Instagram feed
You can save time by opting for automatic placement. But to drive better results, it’s often recommended to test different placements to see which works best for your business.
You also want to experiment with different ad copy, link, creative, or background colors.
12. Promote a Giveaway
Hosting a giveaway is a great way to get people excited about your brand and products. Plus, it’s a great way to monetize your account.
To host a giveaway, you’ll need to come up with a creative idea and choose a prize. Next, create a giveaway post on Instagram and promote it on your other channels.
You’ll also need to create a landing page to collect email addresses. This will be used to notify the winners of the giveaway.
13. Share Your Instagram Expertise
If you’re an expert on Instagram, you could monetize your account by sharing your expertise. You could do this by creating a course, writing a book, or launching a coaching program.
You’d be surprised by how many people are looking for Instagram advice. By sharing your knowledge, you can help them improve their Instagram strategy and grow their account.
There are two ways to go about it:
- Become an Instagram Coach: As a coach, your job is to help people improve their Instagram strategy. From building their Instagram profiles, and creating content, to growing their following, they have a lot to learn from you.
You might even help aspiring Influencers take their first steps in the industry.
- Launch an Instagram Agency: Instagram agencies provide a range of services, from profile audits to content creation. They can also help you grow your following and get more leads.
If you want to start an Instagram agency, you’ll need to be familiar with all aspects of Instagram marketing.
14. Create Custom Brand Videos
A great way to monetize your Instagram account is to create custom brand videos.
With custom brand videos, you work with a brand to create a video that promotes its product or service. The video can be anything from a commercial to a behind-the-scenes video.
To get started, you’ll first have to reach out to brands you’d like to work with. Next, create a proposal that outlines your ideas and what you can offer them.
Once the brand has agreed to work with you, it’s time to start filming. Make sure to film in a high-quality setting and use good lighting. You should also use a tripod to keep the video stable.
Once the video is complete, it’s time to edit it. Use good video editing software to create a well-polished video.
When the video is finished, upload it to your Instagram account and promote it on your other channels.
15. Sell Your Photos
If you’re a good photographer, you can monetize your Instagram account by selling photos.
You can sell your photos to brands, magazines, and other businesses. You can also sell them on stock photography websites.
To get started, set up an online portfolio and start pitching your photos to businesses. You can also post your photos on stock photography websites.
When someone buys one of your photos, you’ll receive a commission.
How to Prove ROI on Instagram Ads
Once you’ve decided how to monetize your Instagram, it’s time to track and report on ROI.
ROI, or return on investment, is the amount of money you make back for every dollar you spend on marketing. It’s essential to track and report on ROI if you want to improve your Instagram marketing strategy.
Luckily, there are a few ways to do this:
Social Media Reports: Most social media reporting tools will track how much money you’ve spent on Instagram and how much revenue it’s generated. This is a good way to get an overall view of your ROI.
One good example is the Agorapulse reports, which lets you calculate ROI based on the metrics you decide on. Next, assign a monetary value to each of these metrics, as shown below:
- Impressions: $2.0 per 1000 impressions
- Audience growth: $0.5 for every new follower
- Engagement: $0.25 per comment or like
- Hashtags: $0.25 per campaign hashtag
- Brand awareness: $2 per branded hashtag or mention
- Website clicks: $5 per click to the website
- Conversions: $10 per conversion
You can download your Agorapulse report and share it with your team. Now, based on the generated revenue, do a little bit of math to determine the ROI percentage.
Third-Party Tracking Tools: If you’re not using social media reporting tools, you could use a third-party tool like Google Analytics. This will track how many people visited your website from Instagram and how much money you made from it.
Once you have this data, you can calculate your ROI percentage.
You also have to decide on the metrics to track and assign a monetary value to each:
- Visitors: $0.25 per session
- Content: 0.5 per landing page view
- Conversion: $5 per subscription
- Revenue: the revenue generated from each e-commerce purchase
Ecommerce Revenue: You may also want to track the total revenue generated from sales on your website. Depending on how you decide to monetize your Instagram, you may need one of the following tactics to report on the generated revenue.
- Google Analytics: Enable eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics, and it will track all the revenue generated from sales on your website.
- Shopify: If you use Shopify, it will automatically track all the sales made on your store. You can then see this data in your Shopify reports.
- Instagram Ads: If you’re running Instagram ads, break down the revenue generated from each ad campaign. This will let you see which campaigns are the most profitable.
Instagram may be monetized by anyone, regardless of their niche or the nature of their products and services. To make money on Instagram, you can do everything from selling things and creating sponsored posts to teasing paid content. Is there a particular strategy you would like to try out first? Maybe you can hire a social media marketing agency such as MediaOne to help you with your campaign!