Top 5 tips on how to monetize Instagram in 2023
With social media audiences at an all time high, there’s no better time to start making money from your Instagram account. Here, Chris Poohachoff (CEO, YoFan) explains how to monetize Instagram in 2023 using some of the freshest tools and techniques—even those that are still in the making.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, it caused spikes in unemployment rates globally. Having lost their jobs, many people started looking for alternative sources of income in order to make ends meet and provide for their families and themselves.
The creator industry was one of those that saw the biggest influx of new participants. Unable to go out due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions, people took to social networks instead.
But even before 2020, influencers were a pretty big deal. They helped businesses of all sizes reach their target customer audience, showcase their most recent products, test numerous marketing hypotheses, and boost sales and loyalty.
Needless to say, posting on social media has become a full-fledged profession itself. And after turning pro, bloggers become full-time entrepreneurs. A new market—one for creators—has been established.
According to Forbes, the creator economy is currently worth a whopping US$100 billion, with the number of content producers around the world standing at 50 million. What’s interesting is that 96% of them are amateurs, which means that the entry barrier is really low and anyone can challenge their creative self.
Among social media, Instagram is one of the giants that ranks fourth in terms of monthly active users—or MAU for short—and enjoys being visited by almost 1.5 billion people every month.
In this guide, we give you our top five tips on how to monetize Instagram, along with a bonus tool that hasn’t dropped yet.
1) Collaborate with brands
The only way to earn on Instagram is through collaboration with brands in one way or another. Whether a brand is eyeing to conduct a fresh product launch or re-animate an existing one, you can profit off that by highlighting its features and providing an honest review. Many times, you’ll even be gifted a sample in order to try it out.
Additionally, you can engage in brand awareness, promotional, and educational campaigns aimed to spread the word about your customer and its mission. Another thing you could do is encourage people to take part in fundraisers and attend events (online and offline alike), a number of which are held for a good cause.
The number of areas for a potential product placement is vast. You can write a post tagging the brand’s official account in your feed, create a Story with a clickable CTA (call-to-action) button, shoot a short Reel video depicting the product’s peculiarities, or simply put a link with all the details in bio—you name it.
Before you decide to start your creator career, please pay close attention to Instagram monetization requirements, also known as Instagram Partner Monetization Policies. When setting off to craft your very first ad, also make sure that you follow all the Community Guidelines.
It is essential that you comply with the requirements to monetize an Instagram account set out in the documents above. Otherwise, your account might be temporarily or permanently suspended, and you’ll lose access to the audience that you’ve struggled so much to build. With regards to the legal side of things, here’s a piece from PwC— one of the ‘big four’ consulting firms—that covers some of the most pressing considerations.
2) Promote what you love through affiliate marketing
In July 2020, Instagram rolled out Shop —a designated e-commerce environment providing sellers with a built-in funnel and removing the need to leave the app on their consumers’ part. Now, one in two Instagram users shop on the platform weekly.
For creators, the arrival of a new shopping destination translated to yet another earning opportunity. Before, advertisers usually requested that the followers be sent to their page, app or website. Now, there was one more place to direct them to—and more money to be spent on sending them in the direction of Instagram Shop.
Instagram’s affiliate marketing program implies that creators earn a commission on each unit the brand sells with their help. Usually, the payout takes place within one to three months after the deal’s been sealed, and in a window that’s determined by a particular seller’s return policies. To learn more about making money from Instagram’s affiliate option and its eligibility criteria, see here.
3) Use livestream badges as a token of appreciation
Seeing the immense success of now-defunct Periscope, Instagram realized that the live-streaming market had a huge potential, so in late 2016, it introduced the live broadcasting functionality. The move allowed creators to talk to and be seen by their audience in real time.
As the tips and donations segment developed industry-wide, Instagram had to stay competitive and come up with even more monetization options. That’s how Badges appeared — tiny images next to people’s usernames. One of the ideas behind Badges was to give credit to the top fans who are devoted to following along with every detail of their favorite blogger’s life, letting them stand out from the crowd. To find out more about monetizing with Instagram Live and Badges, check out this page.
4) Get your slice of the Instagram Reels Ads pie
Reels were Instagram’s swift response to the skyrocketing popularity of TikTok. Highly-engaging, short-form clips quickly won the hearts of many by allowing users to explore concise visual content based on their AI-derived interests in an endless loop.
In light of the drastic shift to video content consumption habits, Instagram retired its YouTube competitor IGTV, merging all video experiences within the native app.
With IGTV monetization gone, currently, the only way to monetize Instagram videos is to be granted an invitation to enroll in the Reels Play Bonus program, which may reward you if a) your reel performs consistently well, b) the volume of reels you upload is considerable, and c) you accept a prompt to create a special reel dedicated to a certain event or holiday. You can read more about the bonuses that Instagram offers here.
Later this year, the platform will also start sharing income made from ads shown on creators’ reels.
5) Enable subscriptions to set your relations—and earnings—in stone
Instagram Subscriptions is a service that went live earlier this year. It echoes the identical service launched on Facebook by Meta—the two social networks’ parent company—two years ago. Over this period, Meta managed to obtain sufficient feedback to scale the business model for Instagram creators as well.
It works similar to Patreon. For a predetermined monthly fee, subscribers get faster availability of new content, access to exclusive content, and some other perks and benefits. They also contribute to their favorite blogger’s financial well-being and get a chance to receive a shout-out for doing so. In turn, creators not only monetize Instagram posts, but also set up a stable recurring cash flow.
Instagram page monetization for newbies
All the methods above work really well if you already have an audience. But what should newcomer creators do? How do they make a living? It’s no secret that the audience buildup requires at least some upfront investment, often significant.
For those who are just about to embark on their entrepreneurial journey across social media, we’d like to suggest checking out the YoFan platform as a way to kickstart their Instagram account monetization. Set to see the light of day in Q4 2022, in a nutshell, YoFan distributes revenues from AdSense partner ads displayed on user accounts.
The main competitive advantage of YoFan is that you don’t need to have a sizable audience to get started. Initially, the amount of payouts won’t depend on your follower or impression counts, either. The only things you need to do are 1) sign up, 2) set up a payment profile, 3) start posting, and 4) drive traffic to your YoFan profile—it’s as simple as that.
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