Creating fresh and fun content on Instagram takes time and as some like to say, “time is money.” To support creators and businesses, Instagram offers them several ways to monetize their accounts.

Social media networks are heavily investing in the creator economy. Meta announced that it plans to invest $1 billion into the creator economy by the end of 2022. For influencers and content creators, this means that you can get paid for your creative work.

On the business side, the tools provided to you by these networks allow for easier partnership collaboration with brand creators. In this mutually beneficial relationship, everyone wins in the creator economy.

In this article, we’ll discuss eight ways to make money on Instagram. As a business, it’s important to be familiar with these methods so you can use them in your own marketing campaigns.

  1. Sponsored posts and branded content
  2. Brand ambassador programs
  3. Instagram Shopping
  4. Affiliate and Creator Shops
  5. Badges
  6. Subscriptions
  7. Reels Bonuses
  8. Instagram Ads

But first, set up your Instagram Professional Account

Before you get started on any of the monetization opportunities listed here, you need to turn your account into a Professional one. Professional Accounts are either Business or Creator Accounts. Switching your account to this type allows you access to features like the Professional Dashboard and Insights. Both provide data on how your content and account are performing.

Keep in mind that some of the methods listed here are still rolling out.

To see which tools are available to you, use Instagram’s mobile app and navigate to your Professional Dashboard to the “See All Tools” menu item to get a list of all the tools available. As you start using them, you’ll also be updated with information on releases and updates.

image of instagram performance dashboard
Source: Instagram

1. Sponsored posts and branded content

Businesses pay influencers to create brand-centric posts or content. On Instagram, branded content is set apart by having the “Paid Partnership” label. This label gives post-performance data to both the creator and tagged business partners.

Influencer marketing is one of the most common and familiar ways that businesses use to make money on Instagram. It’s the platform of choice for 72% of creators, making it a great place for a brand to get involved in the creator economy. With 75% of brand marketers planning to dedicate a budget for influencer marketing, it’s also a strategy that you don’t want to get be left behind on.

Instagram’s new branded content features include the ability for creators to list the preferred brands they want to partner with. And in return, brands can discover new collaborators. Finding the right influencer for your brand can be a challenging step, which makes this search capability a valuable tool.

image of instagram feature find creators
Source: Instagram

How much do Instagram influencers make?

Influencer rates vary based on several factors including follower counts and industry specialization. According to one report, the breakdown is as follows on Instagram:

  • Nano-influencers (1k-10k followers) earn $10-$100 per post
  • Micro-influencers (10k-50k followers) earn $100-$500 per post
  • Mid-tier influencers (50k-500k followers) earn $500-$5k per post
  • Macro-influencers (500k-1m followers) earn $5k-10k per post
  • Mega-influencers (1m+ followers) earn $10k+ per post
  • Celebrities can earn over $1 million per post

Tips

  • If a creator’s post is performing well, a business can turn it into a Branded Content Ad. Mixing it with a brand has been shown to be over 90% more likely to drive cost-effective action than either tactic individually.
  • Use analytics reports like the ones offered by Sprout to measure campaign performance. Tag scheduled campaign posts and incoming messages. After doing so, the messages’ performance is compiled in the Tag Performance Report.

2. Brand ambassador programs

Influencer marketing and brand ambassador programs are not the same. Influencer marketing relies on a one-off post or a few posts from someone, while a brand ambassador program asks for regular promotion. Ambassador programs often have other perks like product previews and affiliate links.

The business benefit of a brand ambassador program is that you receive content on a regular basis from a reliable source. Contracts are longer, so the brand ambassador also has a consistent income stream.

FUJIFILM uses brand ambassadors to promote its X-Series cameras and Chenille Rojas is one of them. In addition to a dedicated profile page in the X-Photographer area, she has the role in her Instagram profile. Posts that are part of her brand ambassador responsibilities are tagged with #fujifilmx_creator.

image of fujifilm creator profile with instagram collaboration

Tips

Social commerce is expected to reach over 100 million people in the US by 2023.

If you have digital or physical products to sell, setting up Instagram Shopping opens the door to several opportunities. With this feature enabled, you can tag your products on your posts, in your captions, and in Stories and ads.

image of instagram shops

Source: Instagram

To extend your Shop’s reach, utilize the Shopping Partners feature. This allows accounts to link to your Shop, tag its products and provide post insights to the Seller.

Additionally, if you join in on the livestream shopping trend, you’ll be able to tag products and sell directly to customers while doing an Instagram Live. Creator @NikitaDragun hosted a Live Shopping event that attracted 43k fans to watch and 5k products added to shopping bags.

image of instagram live shopping
Source: Instagram

Tips

4. Affiliate and Creator Shops

In the affiliate program, creators are able to tag products in their posts and can also set up a shop of recommended products. Brands can also set custom commission rates, create affiliate campaigns and view performance insights. On top of the brand commission, Meta will make an approximate commission match and will pay $40 for each new piece of affiliate content.

Creator Shops appear in a similar format to a brand’s own Shop with a few key differences. Creator Shops can feature multiple brands. Its products are denoted with the “eligible for commission” label.

Brandy Gueary is a digital creator and designer who features the “View shop” CTA button on her profile which leads to two shops: her recommended products and her clothing brand. When someone purchases a product via her Shop link, she’ll receive a commission.

image of recommended products on instagram

Both the affiliate program and Creator Shops on Instagram are being tested and may not be available to you yet. Learn more about the affiliate program for creators and check if your business is eligible.

5. Badges

Badges are available to Creators for Instagram Live videos as another way for fans to show support for their favorite streamers. Supporters who purchase Badges have heart(s) displayed next to their username. In addition, they unlock special features like being added to the creator’s badge holders list.

Because this is still a relatively new feature, keep an eye out for expanded availability and updates from Instagram.

Badges are also available to some creators. Learn more about the program from Instagram.

6. Subscriptions

Content creators who have a highly engaged fanbase may want to take advantage of Instagram’s Subscriptions program. With this program, creators can set their own monthly rates and allow fans to sign up through their profile pages. Subscribers will have access to exclusive content and benefits like Lives, stories and badges.

For creators, subscriptions offer the ability to earn money by releasing exclusive content. It rewards your most engaged supporters and provides consistent income to creators.

Creator @AlanChikinChow’s profile displays a “Subscribe” button, which then leads to more info on what you receive for $0.99 a month.

image of subscription via instagram

Subscriptions are available to select Creators. Learn more about the Subscriptions program and how to enable them.

7. Reels Bonuses

As part of Instagram’s push to encourage creators to make more Reels, it introduced Reels Bonuses to a select group of Creators. The amount of money earned is based on reel performance but Instagram has not yet published any data to back up the success of this feature, however, according to this media company earnings range from $600 to $35,000.

image of instagram bonuses feature

This feature is still being tested so you may not have access to it yet. Read more about Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program.

8. Instagram Ads

Sometimes you have to pay to earn more money. Thankfully,  Instagram ads offer a wide selection of customization features from placement to audiences, making earning money very accessible. Some of the newest placements include boosted posts linked to WhatsApp, Reels and in-stream videos.

Here you can see clothing brand Feroldis running a sponsored Reels ad.

image of instagram reels advertisement
Source: Instagram

In-Stream video ads are also available to some long-form video creators. These ads appear in videos that are longer than one minute and provide brands with access to high-intent audiences.

If you’d prefer more control over your ad placement, consider boosting Branded Content posts like mentioned earlier. Or, promote your own high-performing posts.

Tips

  • Make sure your Instagram ads’ creative assets are optimally sized for best performance.
  • Explore all the placements and formats that Instagram offers.

Time to monetize your Instagram account

Instagram is constantly updating its monetization efforts to support creators. What does this mean for brands? With new tools and features, brands have more opportunities than ever to work with influencers and content creators.

When 71% of monthly mobile Internet users strongly associate Instagram with following influencers and celebrities, brands that tap into this potential may reap significant benefits. Partnering with creators may expand your brand awareness and with these new tools and give you in-depth access to content performance.

Running multiple campaigns across several networks can get complicated quickly. Sprout Social can help you with campaign management, leaving you with more time to plan and engage.