How’s this for some mind-blowing stats!?
- Instagram amasses an incredible 1 billion active users per month – it’s no wonder that so many people are after a piece of that pie.
- These users spend an average of 136 minutes on social media platforms every day.
- 7 out of 10 people rely on social media to make purchase decisions and nearly half of them rely on the opinions of influencers.
It goes without saying that the number of followers you have and the engagement that follows with it is a key factor in leveraging your account to monetize it, whether that is via sponsored posts, selling products/services or affiliate marketing.
Perhaps the most simple way of monetizing your Instagram account is via sponsored posts. This is where brands will pay you an amount to promote their product in an Instagram post on your account. As a rough guide, with a follower count of 30-80K, you could expect to charge hundreds of dollars per post. Once you reach 100K + followers, this figure becomes more like $1000 per post and this continues to increase almost exponentially once we start dealing with big-name celebrities.
Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has a whopping 187 million followers on Instagram and it is estimated that he earns about $50 million dollars per year on the platform. A single post can generate him up to $1 million dollars – such is the power of Instagram.
However, it’s not just follower count that counts! Engagement is a hugely important factor also. Better engagement means better product awareness and therefore better sales potential for brands looking to work with influencers.
The quality of the content you produce will reflect the quality of your engagement. Even if you have 100K + followers, if your engagement level is poor, brands will opt to spend their money with someone who may have a follower count of only 10,000 but significantly higher engagement, which means that the followers are actually paying attention to what you are saying.
There are lots of online tools to work out your engagement rates but the equation is:
the total number of likes and comments on a certain number of posts, divided by the number of posts, divided by followers, multiplied by 100.
Engagement rates of 2-3% are considered average and 4-6% is considered high. Anything into double digits and you’ve gone viral!
Where are your customers coming from?
The next step is being aware of where your traffic is coming from and what actions are driving traffic to your website or creating sales. What percentage of website visits are coming from social media? This is a statistic worth knowing so that you invest your time where it is likely to pay off. Integrating a shopping component straight into Instagram provides a super easy way to track these sales, with the bonus of making it convenient for your customers.
Identify your niche
Some of the most profitable niches within Instagram are health/wellness/fitness, travel, fashion, beauty, business, wealth, luxury and lifestyle. Some users within these brackets have also been able to develop a micro niche – for example “spray tanning” instead of “beauty” or “tacos” instead of “food” . This allows them opportunities for sponsored posts even with smaller follower counts due to the highly targeted and engaged followers.
Other ways to monetize your account
Co-branded content within your target demographic is another great way to increase your exposure to new followers and expand your reach. Identify some complimentary businesses and approach them about a joint offering, where all businesses stand to gain.
Co-branded content to a targeted audience of 5,000 or more followers within the correct demographics is enough to monetise your Instagram account.
There are other options besides partnering with brands – you can also set up as an affiliate partner. In this case, the brands will pay you a commission after someone buys a product that you have recommended. This is usually tracked by an affiliate link or promo code to identify your particular sales.
There is no numerical threshold you need to cross in order to consider yourself an influencer and start making money on Instagram, but it definitely pays to keep growing your audience. Growth is always a good indicator of a successful, thriving account and once you have 1,000 followers, a lot of monetisation options open up for you.
In the end, as long as you are seeing great engagement and creating quality content, you are on the right track to making money on Instagram.