Research has shown that the average person spends around two hours a day on social media, which isn’t surprising when you realise there’s an estimated 2.62 billion active users across all platforms. However, if you're a business or a brand with a strong social media strategy you have to stick to, you're likely to spend much more.
To many in the business world, social media still doesn’t seem like a strong money-making source. This is far from the truth, as there are many ways you can monetise your social media content to create an additional source of income for your brand.
Instagram Shoppable Posts
Once a casual, visual led social platform, Instagram has recently transformed into a full-scale sales opportunity for businesses. Since the launch of shoppable posts in March 2018, the feature has become increasingly popular among brands and businesses, in particular e-commerce and retailers.
This feature allows brands to tag up to five products in their organic posts, giving consumers the chance to shop directly from their feed. Up until now, Instagram has always been seen as a limited social platform when it comes to click throughs, sales and revenue, as the only way for brands to add a clickable link was directly in their bio (more recently the linkin.bio feature).
The new ‘shopping’ feature allows users to purchase products and complete their buying journey without ever leaving the app. Instagram users will also be able to browse the ‘shop’ feed directly from a brand’s profile. All posts with tagged products will be collated into one feed for users to shop on – just like a mini e-commerce website.
Shoppable posts are only available to those with an Instagram business account, and must be connected to a product catalog within a Facebook shop, allowing Instagram to pull all the product information and website links from Facebook through to the Instagram post. If you’re an e-commerce brand, this is a great way to make money directly through your Instagram posts while still creating quality content that will offer inspiration to your audience and potential new customers.
Create Information Products
If you show authority in a specific niche, an informative product such as an eBook, webinar course or email series would be an extremely beneficial product to create for your brand, and a great piece of content to sell through your social channels.
If you’re looking to create an eBook, your first point of call may be Amazon or Kindle, where you get 70% off the final sale price and can be exposed to a huge audience. However, who really knows your business better than your followers on social media? You don’t necessarily need tens of thousands of followers to generate sales, in this case it’s definitely quality of followers over quantity.
Hosting a free, informative and comprehensive webinar or online course is another great way to attract new customers to your business. Make sure you present your most relevant and useful information for around 30-45 minutes - enough that the user will feel like they have learnt a lot and can take something away from the lesson but are still keen to learn more.
The way to monetise this type of content is to offer a paid product at the end of the course, or offer a second, advanced webinar for a fee. As you have the contact details of everyone who signed up, you can directly follow up with anyone who didn’t purchase and offer them a discount or limited time offer.
To promote your free webinar on social media, it’s best to integrate this campaign into your current posting schedule. Whether you choose to boost your organic posts, or add a bit of budget behind paid advertising, getting the word out about your informative and free webinar is essential.
YouTube Ad Revenue
YouTube can be an integral part of your brand’s income strategy, but only if you know how to monetise your content correctly.
The first step to earning revenue from YouTube is to read and agree to YouTube’s Partner Programme terms and enable monetisation, preferably when you first set up your account. You can then create a new AdSense account (or connect an existing one) to your channel. Setting your ad preferences will allow you to control what type of adverts show on your videos, meaning you can keep on brand as much as possible.
Next, confirm you want all current and future videos to be monetised, then you’re good to go! Once your channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months, and 1,000 subscribers, your account will be reviewed for the YouTube Partner Programme.
This partner programme allows brands/influencers/creators to monetise their content and earn money through ad views across all existing and future videos. You will receive a 45/55 split for all ad content shared on your channel, where Google keeps 45 percent and you receive the remaining 55 percent. For 1,000 ad views, you can make around $8, 10,000 ad views will make $80 and so on. The higher ad views you get, the more money you can make.
Work with Brand Ambassadors
Introducing brand ambassadors into your social media marketing strategy is a great way to monetise existing and upcoming content. Prior to contacting your chosen influencers, make sure to research what type of niche you want to target and always have a clear objective of what you want to achieve from this partnership.
The topic of micro and macro influencers will always come into play when discussing which bloggers to work with, and making an informed decision will ensure your campaign is a success. As a brand, do you work with one 100K+ influencer who has an impressive following, or work with multiple smaller (micro) influencers who have slightly smaller followings, but their engagement rate and quality of followers is much stronger?
Depending on the campaign you’re running, working with multiple micro influencers will generate 60% higher engagement and conversion rates than one macro influencer would. Micro influencers are authentic and believable. When they share content, it’s usually a product they already use and love, and their followers know it’s genuine. They’re also much cheaper than macro influencers, with the average cost around $250 per post.
Take time to choose the right influencers for your campaign, focusing on those who already use your products or similar, as you know their content will be genuine… and so will their followers.
If you’re looking to monetise your social media content in other ways, make sure you download our validation checklist. How many of the techniques listed do you already use within your social media strategy?
Sophie Parker is a digital PR executive at Zazzle Media