How to Monetize Your Instagram As Creators & Influencers? (1/2)

Monetize Your Instagram

Follow this step-by-step guide to monetize your Instagram and earn a living as a professional creator — starting today.

There are numerous methods for monetizing your Instagram presence. Even if your surname does not end in –ardashian, you can make a lot of money as an influencer. Instagram has pledged to invest $1 billion USD by the end of 2022 in order to reward creators and encourage them to make social media their full-time job.

Not to sound like a get-rich-quick infomercial, but by being aware of new monetization features, you can be among the first early adopters and have a better chance of earning good money with that feature. The early bird catches the worm fat paycheck.

So, whether you’re a beauty or fashion influencer, filmmaker, photographer, or another creative content creator, these are brand new and tried-and-true Instagram monetization methods you need to know.

To Monetize Your Instagram – What is It?

Working with brands, earning ad revenue on videos, accepting tips, or experimenting with the new Instagram Subscriptions feature are some typical ways to monetize your Instagram.

However, there is a significant difference between monetization and selling. Monetizing an Instagram account for creators and influencers does not imply selling physical or digital products to a social audience. It entails earning money for the content you already publish on the platform, such as posts, reels, and stories.

Selling products and services directly on social media (for example, through Instagram Shops or by connecting your online store to social media) is an example of social commerce. That is something you can (and should) do, but it is not monetization in this context.

Instagram is the most popular platform for monetizing content creation. In 2021, the global influencer market will be worth a record $13.8 billion USD, more than double what it was in 2019.

All of that money isn’t just for super-rich celebrities.

47 percent of Instagram influencers have 5,000 to 20,000 followers, 26.8 percent have 20,000 to 100,000 followers, and only 6.5 percent have more than 100,000 followers.

Instagram and Facebook’s parent company, Meta, are working hard to attract and retain creators on their platforms. The recently launched Creator Studio and bonus earnings programs demonstrate the rise of being a creator as a real job that anyone, not just those born with a silver spoon in their mouth, can do.

Many people are already making a living off of Instagram and other platforms. It’s not too late to jump on board because the demand for influencer marketing is increasing. Currently, nearly 75% of American marketers run influencer campaigns, and eMarketer predicts that figure will rise to 86 percent by 2025.

US Marketers Who Use Influencer Marketing, 2020-2015 - eMarketer graph

Source: eMarketer

7 ways to monetize your Instagram account

You can monetize your Instagram in two ways: through sponsored content from sources besides Instagram, or through the platform’s new creator tools.

Let’s take a look at the 7 ways you can make money on Instagram.

Work with brands

This is most likely what most people think of when they hear the terms Instagram monetization or influencer marketing. A brand may pay you for an in-feed photo or video, Story content, a Reel, or any combination of the above.

We’ve all seen the classic Instagram sponsored post, in which an influencer posts a styled shot of the product, brags about how great it is, and tags the brand.

Branded content is more creative, interesting, and authentic than ever before, thanks to tools like Reels ads and Stories. Your unique voice is everything as a creator, and it doesn’t get more authentic than Joy Ofodu‘s realistic skincare routine:

Because you have complete control, brand work is one of the simplest ways to monetize your Instagram. You can approach a brand in advance, negotiate your campaign fee and terms, and ultimately do as many brand deals as you can get.

Yes, you will need some marketing savvy in the way you approach deals, as well as a sizable number of followers. However, anyone can begin working with brands.

Eligibility requirements

  • In-feed or Story content that is sponsored by payment or a free product must include the “Paid partnership with” label.
  • The FTC requires that sponsored content include a #ad or #sponsored tag.
  • There are no specific requirements for follower count, but you should probably aim for around 10,000 as a starting point. Many are, however, successfully landing brand deals with less.
  • Prepare to pitch brands on why they should advertise with you and what you can offer them (besides your follower count).

Join an affiliate marketing program

In 2021, Instagram made two significant changes that drastically increased monetization opportunities:

  1. Making it possible for anyone to add links to Stories. (Previously, a minimum of 10,000 followers was required.)
  2. Launching Instagram Affiliate.

Affiliate marketing has existed for nearly as long as the internet. You share a trackable link to a product, and if a customer purchases the product after clicking on your link, you receive a commission for referring the sale. Easy.

Instagram Stories are ideal for incorporating affiliate links. Instagram allows this as long as you notify your followers that it is an affiliate link. You can also include links in your captions, like this example from the popular fashion affiliate network LikeToKnow.It.

As of early 2022, Instagram Affiliate is still in testing, but the company has stated that it will be available to all creators soon. Instagram is essentially building their own affiliate network, where you can discover products within the app, share a link to them, and earn a commission on sales — all without the need for third-party partners or awkward copy/paste links in your captions.

Instagram affiliate program preview across 3 screenshots

Source: Instagram

This is a very exciting feature, but there is no need to wait for it. You can begin earning money with affiliate links right now.

Eligibility requirements

  • Notice Instagram’s content guidelines and monetization policies.
  • Be honest with your audience and disclose when you’re sharing an affiliate link. The FTC suggests using a simple hashtag such as #ad or saying, “I earn a commission on sales placed through this link.” (When Instagram Affiliate is released, it will include an “Eligible for commission” label.)

Working with brands and affiliate marketing are two ways to make money on Instagram. Now, let’s look at how you can profit directly from Instagram’s built-in features.

Use Badges in livestreams

During live videos, viewers can support creators by purchasing what Instagram refers to as Badges. These are available in increments of $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99 USD. Once you enable this feature, it will be available for all of your live videos.

Because it’s still relatively new, make sure to mention it to your audience during your live stream and thank those who support you in this way.

To use badges, go to your Professional Dashboard by clicking on your profile. Turn it on by clicking the Badges tab.

Instagram badges navigation from Professional dashboardSource: Instagram

After that, you need to open a direct deposit payment account with your bank or PayPal. Then simply go live!Instagram announcing the introduction of Badges for Creators

Eligibility requirements

Badges have been available since 2020, but are still only available in the United States. Instagram is currently testing this feature with a select group of creators in some other countries. These countries include the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and more.

To use badges now, you must:

  • Be based in the United States.
  • Have a Creator or Business account.
  • Have a minimum of 10,000 followers.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Follow Instagram’s Partner Monetization and Content Guidelines.
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