You optimized your account, shared it relentlessly, kept a consistent content calendar, and spent hours creating the most compelling content.
And the crazy part is: it worked!
You’ve finally got an enviable number of followers, and it’s time to reap the rewards of your hard work.
How to monetize Instagram in a way that’s true to the brand you created and generates enough income consistently?
We’re glad we asked!
You’ve come to the right place to answer that question.
How to Directly Monetize Instagram Content
Instagram monetization can take place in several ways.
If you’re like most people getting off the ground, you’ll want to take advantage of the ways Instagram offers creators to make money on Instagram.
That is to say, avenues that are available to you directly through the Instagram social media platform to monetize content.
And we think using Instagram’s native ways to make money is a great way to start. So, we’re going to go over each of them briefly first.
But before we get into the fun stuff, here’s something you need to remember.
There are a lot of people in your position. A lot of would-be influencers are out there hustling day in and day out to make money on Instagram.
So, if you’re expecting to get rich quickly, this isn’t the way to do it.
If you want to monetize your Instagram account successfully, you have to be ready to work at it.
That said, let’s see how it’s done.
Monetize Instagram With Branded Content
When most people hear the words Instagram influencer, they’re thinking about people who monetize their Instagram account with brand partnerships and sponsored posts.
Here’s how that plays out:
From your Instagram Settings menu, tap either the “Business” or “Creator” option depending on what kind of account you own. Then, select “Branded Content Tools.”
From there, you can start tagging brand sponsors.
But, hold on… aren’t we skipping over a crucial aspect of this process?
How are you going to find Instagram brand partners? Well, you’ve got three main options.
The first is to start tagging brands that fit your Instagram persona. If you’re just being yourself on Instagram, that shouldn’t be too difficult.
These aren’t going to be sponsored posts, but the hope is that they will get brands to notice you.
If you’re going about it consistently and acting as a brand ambassador (i.e., answer questions about the brand), that should put you on their radar and pave the way for a working relationship.
🔎 Pro Tip: If you’re starting out, you might want to work on catching the eye of smaller brands. Large brands with millions of followers tend to have their pick of the litter when it comes to sponsorship deals, so you’ll have to face substantially more competition.
The other way is to simply reach out to brands you think would be a good fit for your account.
If you choose this approach, you’ll have to work on your pitch.
When you’ve found potential brand partners, you’ll need a way to quickly demonstrate the value of working with you and what you expect in return.
Once you’ve got the pitch down, start sending messages and emails to your chosen brand partners.
And, the third approach is to work with an Influencer marketing agency that pairs you up with suitable brand partners.
Viral Nation is one of the leading Instagram influencer marketing agencies and partners with influencers in every category.
The agency approach is the best way to monetize Instagram if your account is thriving, and keeping it healthy takes up most of your time and energy.
So, how much money you can make from sponsored posts depends on your follower count.
A rough average is around $10 per 1000 followers per post you monetize. So if you’re successful in reaching out to enough brands, that can add up pretty quickly, and it’s a great way to make money on Instagram.
Monetize Instagram With IGTV Ads
One of the most recent additions to the list of ways you can make money on Instagram is with IGTV ads.
If you’re unfamiliar with IGTV, it’s part of the Instagram family but also exists as a separate app. On IGTV, creators with 10,000 followers or fewer can post videos up to 10 minutes long.
Creators with enough followers can post even longer videos.
Recently, Instagram started rolling out the ability to place ads in your IGTV videos. These ads follow a simple revenue-sharing model in which you receive 55% of the ad revenue, and Instagram keeps 45%
Unlike you’d do with sponsored posts, you don’t get to choose the brands that run IGTV ads on your videos. However, it’s a much simpler alternative.
The process to turn on IGTV ads and start monetizing content with them couldn’t be simpler.
All you have to do is go to your account settings and allow monetization of your videos. Then, Instagram will take care of the rest.
You can set up payouts to either your bank account or PayPal account.
To be eligible for IGTV ads, you have to be 18 years or older and have a professional account.
Now, are IGTV ads going to make you rich? Probably not.
But they’re still a simple and easy way to make money with enough followers.
You can expect to make anywhere in the range of one to three dollars for every thousand monetizable plays per post. In the biz, we call that monetizable plays RPM (revenue per thousand).
Overall, this is one of the ways to monetize Instagram that requires the least additional effort on your end but works best in combination with other revenue streams.
Instagram Live Badges are another relatively new innovation that works a lot like YouTube’s live stream SuperChat stickers and donations.
When you stream on Instagram Live, you can let your viewers purchase badges that appear as hearts next to their names.
Supporters can spend $0.99, $1.99, or $4.99 on badges and purchase as many badges as they want.
If you use Instagram Live frequently, badges are an excellent way to allow your followers to support you.
It’s a great alternative to sponsored content or even ads because you’re not diluting your brand in any way. In fact, the more you start true to your persona, the more support you’re likely to see.
🔎 Pro Tip: Your potential to earn money with badges depends on the engagement rate you can get while streaming. The better you are at involving your supporters in the stream, the greater your earning potential will be.
To turn on badges, go to the Grow Your Business menu in your Professional Dashboard and select Badges.
Make Money With Instagram Shopping
If you have a direct-to-consumer brand, why settled for making branded content for others? Promote your own store.
The introduction of Instagram Shopping was a major event in the ecommerce industry.
It’s part of Facebook’s broader effort to become a self-contained ecommerce platform in addition to being the leading social media platform.
You’ll have to do a bit of work on the back end to create a Facebook business page and a product catalog, but once that’s done, you’ll be good to go.
Source: Mobile Marketing Magazine
You can make your images “shoppable” by placing tags on them. That way, your followers can purchase products by simply tapping on a tag.
🔎 Pro Tip: You can also invite other creators and brands to tag your products. It’s a great way to expand your reach beyond your Instagram followers and tap into new audiences.
Instagram Shopping is a powerful way to turn casual browsers into shoppers if you have an engaging brand. First, however, you’ll need a catalog of products to sell.
It’s not a viable option to monetize Instagram if you don’t sell products or you’re focused more on services.
While affiliate marketing may be past its heyday, it’s still a reliable way to make money for thousands of creators.
And, it’s one of the easiest ways to monetize Instagram because it involves promoting products and services you already use.
If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, here’s how it works:
First, you identify products and services that you believe in and would recommend to others. Then, you reach out to the makers of those products and enter into an affiliate deal with them.
Under an affiliate agreement, you’ll get a trackable link or promo code, and when people use your trackable link to discover and purchase from those brands, you’ll get a commission.
🔎 Pro Tip: There was a time when affiliate marketers didn’t have to prove much, but that time is long gone, and trust is a significant factor in affiliate success. Always put your brand values and long-term trust ahead of short-term earning potential when you choose affiliate partners.
Instagram’s engagement rate makes affiliate marketing wildly profitable on the platform, and Instagram supports affiliates from all the major platforms, such as Commission Junction, Rakuten, ClickBank, etc.
And, you can discover eligible affiliate partners directly from your Instagram account.
How much you earn is predicated on what kinds of products and services you successfully promote.
Generally, affiliate commissions are in the neighborhood of 10 to 30% of a sale.
How To Turn Your Followers Into Revenue
That essentially covers all the ways you can monetize your Instagram account directly through the platform.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Getting your followers to direct their attention to your other income sources on Instagram can be one of the most effective ways for you to make money on Instagram.
In other words:
Being tied to Instagram can only take you so far.
When you turn your Instagram followers into members of your tribe, that’s when you’ve reached the next level of success.
If you play your cards right, Instagram will set you up with a receptive audience. It’s up to you to make the most of it.
Leverage Your Bio Link
As you surely know, Instagram allows you to place a link in your bio.
That link is the single most valuable asset you have to make money on Instagram. And that’s especially true if you don’t have enough followers to share links through your Stories yet.
But that one link is pretty limited when you want to share more of your content with followers.
So, it’s no wonder there are so many tools out there to help you make the most out of that link.
In a nutshell, these tools let you create a landing page for your bio link that holds all your important links.
After trying out most of them, we were honestly a little disappointed.
See, we’re Instagram creators just like you. So, we created a new solution to the link-in-bio problem: Hypage.
And here’s how you can use it to greatly expand the possibilities of your invaluable bio link.
The most straightforward feature of Hypage is accepting donations from your followers.
Our goal was always to combine as many features as possible into Hypage, without making it overwhelming. And one of the features that many creators rely on is the ability to accept donations and requests from followers.
🔎 Pro Tip: Research suggests that men tend to donate more when there’s a benefit involved while women tend to give more if it’s tied to something they feel will support their values. Tailor your donation requests to your target audience.
Sell Digital Products
Hy.page also lets you market your digital products directly through your bio link.
Online courses, digital assets, music, art, and software tools are all examples of profitable digital products you can sell online.
Hy.page makes it simple and easy to upload your products and market them to followers.
If you don’t have a website already, you can use Hyax to create your digital products as well.
🔎 Pro Tip: Create digital products based on the demands and interests of your audience. Creating something you’re passionate about is great, but it doesn’t necessarily help you monetize your Instagram account.
Effectively, a one-time investment can generate revenue for years to come, and the more people you reach through Instagram, the more eyes you’ll get on your products and services.
Another way that creators have been monetizing their content for a long time now is through paid memberships.
Memberships give followers a way to support you consistently while getting recurring value.
Creating a membership program has its own challenges, but it’s more than worth it.
Once you have a substantial number of members, you’ll have a foundational recurring income stream. That lets you focus your efforts and attention on expanding your reach through different avenues without worrying about feverishly producing more content.
Some posts you make will involve a lot of production time and financial investment.
It’s only fair that you get to make some of that investment back, and Hypage allows you to do just that.
You can create an area with restricted access. Then, followers who choose to pay for access can see and interact with the featured posts.
Post gating is an excellent incentive to make premium content that you just couldn’t afford if it were part of your standard offer.
Build an Email List
As long as Instagram stands between you and your followers, you’re leaving money on the table. And while it’s a good idea to continue leveraging Instagram no matter how successful you become, your ultimate goal should be to be in control of your data.
An email list is the best way to do that.
Email marketing places few to no obstacles between you and your followers.
Beyond Medicine is taking lead capture to a whole new level with an interactive questionnaire embedded in Hy.page.
Using low-friction lead capture devices like this questionnaire can have remarkable results. And you can put them directly on your Hypage site.
And whether you have 100K followers or 10 won’t make it any less critical to retain control of that data.
🔎 Pro Tip: The key to retaining subscribers is to provide valuable content. Even if you don’t address your subscribers frequently, always make sure you reward them for staying on your list when you do. Develop a Web Presence
You already know how much time and effort it takes to be a successful creator.
A link-in-bio tool like Hypage creates a professional and polished web presence without the time and energy it would take to use a full website builder.
You can even use it to develop a presence for your business and promote everything from your blog posts to your memberships.
Like Top Growth Marketing does:
Think of it as the landing page for your personal brand.
Open An Ecommerce Store
If you don’t feel like being someone else’s brand ambassador and want more control over what you sell, you always have the option of establishing your own ecommerce presence.
Shopify is the platform of choice for starting online stores, but there are plenty more options out there.
Most brands’ typical route is to create a store and then create an Instagram account as part of their marketing efforts. But there’s nothing to stop you from doing it the other way around.
Once you have a dedicated following, it makes sense to create an online store if there are products you’re excited about selling.
That way, you’ll be your own brand ambassador.
And it’s a highly profitable way to use your bio link.
Instagram creator Vicki Li uses Hypage to promote her online store, serving as a constant reminder for followers who click her bio link.
With your own store, you won’t have to worry about figuring out ways to make another brand’s messaging work with your Instagram followers.
You’ll have all the motivation you need to make excellent content to support your brand. And, you can even set up purchases directly through Instagram if you choose Shopify to make your store.
Sell Photos and Video
Instagram is, first and foremost, an image- and video-sharing platform. The “media” in social media is precisely that: photos and video.
So, it stands to reason that it’s an excellent way to create exposure for your photography.
If you’re an amateur (or professional) photographer looking for an avenue to sell your assets and services, look no further than Instagram.
If you managed to create a substantial following on Instagram, you should know that you have a highly marketable skill.
There are many people out there who are still at the starting line.
You can sell training for burgeoning Instagrammers and teach others to get where you are. If you’ve been through the wringer and learned how to engage audiences, you may as well monetize that knowledge and experience.
It’s an excellent place to start monetizing your Instagram account until you set up other avenues of income.
Cross-Pollinate Your Audiences
For our last money-making tip, we’re going to cheat a little.
This one isn’t exactly a way to monetize Instagram.
Instead, it’s about using your Instagram account to power your other social media platforms and channels.
Ultimately, every revenue stream you have should (and probably will) serve to expand your reach at least a little. And by redirecting your traffic back and forth, you’ll feed each algorithm more data about how shareable your content is.
So what does all this mean in practice?
Pretty simple: whenever possible, direct your Instagram followers to also check out your other channels.
This is one of the key benefits of a link-in-bio tool, like Hypage.
By having all your important links on one page, you can direct traffic from your primary platform to all the others.
If it was only on a podcast syndication website, there would be little chance our audience would take the time to look us up on other channels.
Also, it’s a good idea not to post everything everywhere just for the sake of more posts.
Each platform is the “best” for a certain kind of content. And if you exclusively place that ideal type of content on each corresponding platform, followers will have a reason to go to your other outlets.
How to Monetize Instagram — The Future
Above, you’ve got a list of ways to monetize Instagram directly and indirectly right now.
But Facebook is investing a lot of time and money into figuring out new ways to help creators monetize their content and attract new creators to their platforms.
It’s always easier to be first than to try to outsmart your competition so keep your ear to the ground. New Instagram features are being released frequently, and the next one out could be just what you’ve been waiting for.
And remember, knowing how to monetize Instagram is only as valuable as how much time you put into actually applying that knowledge.
Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build email lists, social followings, and revenue using viral giveaways, referral, and reward programs. After millions of dollars spent testing different marketing strategies at his marketing agency. He then also co-founded Hyax a fast, conversion & design-focused course and funnel builder for creators.
From Amazon to Netflix to Dollar Shave Club, and everything in between, businesses are realizing the immense potential of a recurring revenue model.
And, the best way for you to access that kind of reliable income right now is with a membership site.