Instagram’s 300 million active users (more users than Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest) is expected to continue growing year on year. With a 64% growth rate in 2014 makes it one of the fastest growing social media sites. This blog post will explain how normal people (like you!) can capitalise on this and start earning from your Insta account.
Firstly, why do companies want ordinary people to endorse their brands rather than celebrities?
Pointing out the obvious, it is much cheaper for companies to pay a social media micro-influencer with a less than 100,000 followers to post about their product or service than it is for them to pay a celebrity to do the same thing. One post from a high-profile celeb like Kylie Jenner can set companies back over £200,000, whilst a successful micro-influencer may only charge around £10-£1000 depending on their following size and ability to influence their following.
Not only is it cheaper for businesses to use non-celebrity influencers, it can also be more effective. Sometimes the followers of micro-influencers have watched the influencer grow from 100 followers to 100,000 which makes their bond even stronger than those who have just started following a celebrity because of the general hype surrounding them.
As well as this, brands can build a long-lasting commercial relationship with the cheaper micro-influencers that endorse them. Offering micro-influencers free products and/or discounts should encourage them to post multiple times about how much they enjoy a company’s product or service. Consumers are far more likely to trust a brand if it is endorsed by someone who is a genuine consumer themselves whereas one sporadic post from a celebrity is not as likely to convince potential consumers that a brand is worth trying out.
So, how can YOU start making money from Instagram?
First of all, you need to grow your following (to at least a few thousand followers), and there are some simple hacks to achieve this. Posting quality content on your account every day is a sure-fire way to increase your following, as frequent activity will keep your current followers engaged and will be more likely to attract new ones. However, timing is key. To have the maximum impact, it’s important not to post several posts all at the same time, but rather to spread them out throughout the day. Don’t spam your audience!
In terms of the images themselves; it is helpful to develop your own signature Instagram style. For example, this could involve consistently using your own custom filter, shooting all your images from a certain angle, or even using a unique piece of equipment to take your photos, such as a fishbowl camera lens. The captions are also important. The number of users who view your photos will drastically increase if you use relevant and popular hashtags. You can start to gauge trending hashtags by exploring Instagram yourself, but there are also websites, such as tagsforlikes.com, which suggest popular combinations of hashtags, and also separate popular hashtags into clear categories, e.g “Animal” and “Food”, which makes it very user friendly.
Engaging with your followers is also crucial if you want to grow your following. Take the time to show that there is a real human being running the account: reply to questions from your followers, follow some of them back and above all, publicly show your appreciation for their continued support.
Once you have grown your following, start making money.
There are a number of ways in which you can do this. One option is “sponsored posts”. This involves using your account to promote a product or service by posting a photo of yourself with it or using it, and the company will pay you to do so. For example, if you run a fitness account, a company may ask you to promote a new protein supplement, and all you have to do is post a photo of yourself adding it to your morning smoothie.
Another way of earning money on Instagram is to participate in a “brand take-over”. This time, rather than posting on your own account, you “take-over” a brand’s Instagram account, and post photos of yourself using their products on there. This is beneficial for both brand and influencer, as the post will reach the brand’s followers directly, but will also offer you, as an influencer, increased exposure to users who may not already follow you.
Social Wage offers you the ability to earn from your social media account (not just Instagram!) through our network of clients seeking to be endorsed. Social Wage is an influencer marketing agency that works closely with micro-influencers and celebrities that can be truly deemed as influential. Visit us at SocialWage.com to find out how you could start earning from the strong following you have grown.