The way we do business has changed significantly over the past decade. Traditionally, small businesses and large corporations would set up online stores or buy shelf space in a retail store to sell their products. Brand marketing was done entirely on print media and television. Prior to the advent of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, if you didn’t have an online store or a contract with a retailer, it was very difficult to run a business successfully.
However, trends over the last several years have changed consumer preferences and behavior significantly. Young people have shifted their attention away from the television screen to their laptops and phones, which means that potential customers can no longer be reached through traditional marketing channels.
While these trends have caused significant changes in the way we do business, they also present an opportunity to small business owners to engage with customers outside of traditional means of communication. Nowadays, content producers are selling their products directly through social media platforms, while others are monetizing the applications through sponsorship and paid promotions.
Here are 5 easy ways to make money on Instagram:
Partner with brands to promote new products
One of the best ways to start making money on instagram is to partner with existing brands to promote new product lines. The first step toward brand partnership is to become an influencer. An influencer is a user on a social media platform that has a base of followers with whom they have significant credibility. In the same way that people purchase products endorsed by professional athletes, consumers will purchase goods and services that are promoted by people they trust.
For instance, in the swimwear community, models are often used to promote new products to a community of users that are most likely to become customers. Influencers like @sahara_ray and @alexisren have hundreds of thousands of followers, so swimwear brands pay them to promote their new products.
Brand promotion extends well beyond clothing lines, though. Electronics manufacturers will pay tech reviewers to do unboxings and demos of their products for their followers. Popular restaurant owners will pay celebrities to eat at their restaurant and take pictures of their food to increase business. There are limitless opportunities to add value to a brand by increasing their exposure to potential customers through content distribution. And to track which posts get the post engagement, you can receive an Instagram analytics report from Owlmetrics.
Promote premium content through trailers and previews
Some content producers have turned to instagram as a means of generating interest in their product through previews. For example, a musician releasing a new song on a subscription music service like Spotify or Apple Music may release a 30-second preview of their music on instagram to build interest. If followers like the new song, they’ll go to their favorite music streaming app to play it. By driving traffic to subscription based services where they can more easily monetize each song play, musicians can make a significant amount of money with little investment.
Attract new clients by posting your best work
A great way for designers to monetize instagram is to post their work to attract new clients. Instagram is a great platform for sharing new designs with an incredibly large community. Designers can build a base of followers that are interested in their content to spread awareness of their ability as a designer. Eventually, their work will get exposure with potential clients like businesses that need design work or marketing agencies looking to hire new talent.
Take, for instance, a freelance graphic designer named John who specializes in logo design. Prior to using instagram, John primarily prospected new clients by placing advertisements in local newspapers and posting links to his online portfolio on Facebook. John decided to start posting his work on Instagram, and eventually he develops quite a following with other members of the graphic design community.
He becomes an influencer and is recognized by a design agency looking to develop a new logo. This is a great, not uncommon example of how easy it is to generate new business through instagram content.
Create an online instagram store
Instead of monetizing instagram through partnership, previews, or client attraction, users can sell products directly to followers through the application. If you have a product or service that you’re looking to sell, you can post informative content to help customers learn about your business. To make this strategy successful, you first have to develop a strong following in the community that you’re looking to sell to. To do this, engagement should be your number one priority.
Start liking and commenting on posts that are related to the product you’re trying to sell. Connect with influential users in your relevant community. You can even start direct messaging users that comment on popular posts in an effort to drive traffic to your profile. By engaging with members of your relevant community, you can quickly develop an organic base of followers to market your products to.
Now that you have a base of followers, you can begin offering promotions and discounts to convert them into customers. You can also offer them incentives to get their friends to follow your account or purchase your products. Focus on producing high quality content and demonstrating use of your product in a relatable, friendly way. If customers can see themselves in the stories you share through your content, they’ll be more likely to purchase your products.
Offer your knowledge of instagram as a consultant
If you’re an instagram marketing expert, you can start making money by offering your consulting services to brands and companies looking to build their online presence on the platform. Many marketers have quit their full-time jobs to become independent instagram marketing consultants and have been very successful.
If you’ve successfully implemented marketing campaigns on instagram in the past, you can start helping brands spread awareness of their products to users without leaving the comfort of your own home.