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Instagram, which started simply as a photo-sharing app, has become a powerful digital marketing tool, thanks to brands and influencers using it to reach a wider target audience. Today, Instagram has over a billion monthly active users. Approximately 80% of these users follow a brand, and nearly 60% of them turn to Instagram to discover new products.
With the right knowledge and tools, you can grow your following and make money from this platform, even if you’re not a well-known celebrity. Here are five proven ways to make money on Instagram with a decent amount of followers. You can combine these sources of income to maximize your profits:
Related: 5 Ways to Turn Your Instagram Account into an Income-Generating Machine
1. Sponsored publications
Brands use influencer marketing to promote their products, because it is very effective. Instant Famous says people trust word-of-mouth recommendations and content shared by people they know more than brands themselves. As a result, shoppers seek referrals from their peers when purchasing an item.
Because of this, brands turn to influencers to promote their products instead of doing it themselves on their profiles. On the other hand, organizations that protect customers, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), require influencers to disclose sponsored posts or content to create the transparency that users crave.
You can make money on Instagram if you have an already established community of engaged followers. Honestly, you don’t need a huge following to start earning as an influencer, because brands focus more on engagement rate than following. Therefore, having face-to-face interactions with your followers can attract more brands, which means more deals, even if your Instagram account has less than 1,000 followers. Then use those loyal followers who get hung up on every referral you post to your account to find great brand partnership opportunities.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Sponsored posts aren’t the only way to make money on Instagram. Working as an affiliate can help you monetize your account. You can actually post sponsored posts on behalf of brands and their affiliates.
You earn money with affiliate marketing when your follower buys a product that you have recommended in your content or account. They can do this by clicking on the affiliate link or by using a promo code when purchasing the item. The brand tracks the number of sales made through your referral and pays a commission. This can be a percentage of the profits that the company makes after these sales.
Affiliate marketing can be an easier way to make money because you can start with products you know or already use. To get started, just research if your favorite brands are part of affiliate marketing networks, fill out an application form, and if approved, start promoting their products on your Instagram account and other channels
Also, you can search for the best affiliate programs in your niche and join them. Some of these programs include Amazon Associates, Shareasale, Impact, Clickbank, Sage Financials, FragranceNet.com, and BH Cosmetics. Simply insert a clickable link in your bio or create clickable stories and proceed to promote those affiliate links in your posts and profile.
Related: Here’s What’s Driving the Next Wave of Affiliate Marketing Growth
3. Sell your own digital and physical products
Some Instagrammers make money by selling their own digital products. The good news is that this social media platform focuses on visual things and users visit Instagram for inspiration and to discover new products. Therefore, selling on Instagram is easier as long as your products have a strong visual appeal.
Some trending digital products on the platform are graphic design, LUTs, presets, fonts, fonts, etc. Trending physical products include beauty, apparel, accessories, home decor, outdoor and sporting goods. Alternatively, you can offer services such as fitness training, online courses, photography, recipes, etc.
Fitness enthusiast Lucy Davis sells ebooks on Instagram. The Instagrammer earned more than $22,000 from his e-book, which he created and marketed on Instagram. So, if you’re having trouble building followers to attract sponsored posts, try creating digital products and promoting them on Instagram. You’ll get more followers, keep them engaged and more likely to buy your products.
4. Serve as a brand ambassador
Sponsored posts are common on Instagram. However, some brands prefer to establish long-term partnerships with influencers. As a result, they use them to promote their products as their brand ambassadors.
The high level of influencer marketing on Instagram makes it a great place to get brand ambassadors. Therefore, you can look for opportunities to collaborate with big brands on Instagram to promote their products. These companies will send you free products to review and promote on your account. Lifestyle blogger Jay Alvarez posts videos and photos on his various channels. Brands invite you to be their brand ambassador, a great opportunity to earn money.
Related: 6 Immediate Hot Topics for Instagram Influencers
5. Offer marketing services on social networks
Brands have added social media marketing to their marketing strategy because of its strong sales potential. They use these platforms to promote their brand, products and services, because they can find their target audience on these networks.
It’s not easy for brands to run ads or post engaging content on Instagram, and the competition is growing every day. However, it is easy to overcome with professional assistance. For example: Instagram expert Jenn Herman has been providing social media marketing services to big brands. These services include training, consulting and social media strategy development. You too can make money on Instagram by working with brands as a social media expert.