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Originally just a photo-sharing app, Instagram has grown into a powerful digital marketing tool thanks to brands and influencers using it to reach a wider target audience. Today, Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users. About 80% of these users follow brands, with nearly 60% turning to Instagram to discover new products.
With the right knowledge and tools, you can grow your following and make money on this platform even if you are not a well-known celebrity. Here are five proven ways to make money with a massive following on Instagram. You can combine these revenue streams to maximize your profits:
Related: 5 Ways to Turn Your Instagram Account Into a Revenue Machine
1. Sponsored Posts
Brands use influencer marketing to promote their products because it is so effective. Instant Famous says people trust word-of-mouth recommendations and content shared by people they know more than brands themselves. As a result, buyers look for recommendations from peers when purchasing an item.
Because of this, brands turn to influencers to promote their products rather than doing it themselves on their profiles. On the other hand, organizations that protect customers, like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), require influencers to disclose sponsored posts or content to create the transparency users crave.
If you have built an active community of followers, you can make money on Instagram. Honestly, you don’t need a ton of followers to start earning influence because brands are more concerned with engagement rates than followers. So, having face-to-face interactions with your followers can attract more brands — which means more offers — even if your Instagram account has fewer than 1,000 followers. So use those loyal followers who follow every suggestion you post on 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. In fact, you can make sponsored posts on behalf of the brand and its affiliates.
You can make money with affiliate marketing when your followers buy products you recommend on your content or account. They can do this by clicking on an affiliate link or by using a promo code when purchasing an item. The brand tracks the number of sales completed through your referrals and pays a commission. This can be a percentage of the company’s profit after these sales.
Affiliate marketing can be an easier way to make money because you can start with products you are familiar with or already use. To get started, just research if your preferred brand is affiliated, fill out the 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 a clickable story, and continue promoting those affiliate links in your posts and profiles.
Related: Here’s What’s Driving the Next Wave of Growth in Affiliate Marketing
3. Sell your own digital and physical products
Some Instagram users make money by selling their 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. So as long as your product has a strong visual appeal, selling on Instagram will be easier.
Some of the popular digital products on the platform are graphic designs, LUTs, presets, fonts, fonts, etc. The most popular brick-and-mortar products include beauty, apparel, accessories, home decor, outdoor and sporting goods. Alternatively, you can offer fitness coaching, online classes, photography, recipes, and more.
Fitness enthusiast Lucy Davis sells ebooks on Instagram. This Instagram user made over $22,000 from the ebooks she created and marketed on Instagram. So if you’re struggling to build a following for sponsored posts, try creating digital products and promoting them on Instagram. You’ll gain more followers, keep them engaged, and they might buy your stuff.
4. Serve as a brand ambassador
Sponsored posts are common on Instagram. However, some brands prefer long-term partnerships with influencers. Therefore, they use them as brand ambassadors to promote their products.
The high level of influencer marketing on Instagram makes it the perfect place to find 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 different channels. Brands invited him to be their brand ambassador – a great opportunity to make money.
Related: 6 Instant To-Dos for Instagram Influencers
5. Provide social media marketing services
Due to its strong sales potential, brands have added social media marketing to their marketing strategies. They use these platforms to promote their brands, products and services because they can find their target audience on these networks.
It’s not easy for brands to advertise or post engaging content on Instagram, and competition is increasing. However, it is easy to overcome it with professional help. Example: Instagram expert Jenn Herman has been providing social media marketing services to big brands. These services include training, consulting and developing social media strategies. You can also make money on Instagram by working with brands as a social media expert.