11 Ways to Make Money on Instagram

By Sam Sprague

April 12, 2021

Instagram is the most engaged with platform, out of all the social media platforms.

The average user on instagram engages with around 67% of content.

Even just having a presence on IG will increase your brands perceived value by 79%!

So, in 2021, Instagram is a must for your brand and your business.

In this post, we’ll explore how you can make money on Instagram.

Depending on your unique brand of Instagram content, your audience, and your level of commitment, you can make money in the following ways:

  • Work as an influencer and promote brand products.
  • Be an affiliate marketer selling other people’s products
  • Become an entrepreneur and sell your own products

Stick to the Best Practices to Make Money on Instagram

Instagram is a visual platform, but that doesn’t mean that you can only post photos.

1. Videos are highly encouraged as well.

It is advised to post frequently; 15 to 20 posts per week is the most optimal number.

If you’re having trouble coming up with content, use third party tools like Canva and Gramfeed (aff) for your image creation and scheduling needs.

If you don’t have the bandwidth or time to manage multiple social media platforms yourself, consider hiring an intern or an assistant who can help you with this effort.

2. Use Hashtags and Stickers

Hashtags enable your posts to show up on Instagram algorithm searches.

Use hashtags in your captions, in your photos, and in the descriptions of your videos. If you aren’t using any tags on Instagram, start now.

Adding tags increases engagement and is important for finding new followers.

For photos that feature people: use people’s names in their captions and hashtags to increase engagement.

For photos that feature products or places: use the hashtag name of the product or place you are featuring (e.g., #skincareproducts will increase engagement).

Stickers and emoji are optional extras, but they do increase engagement by 50%.

Use all three elements in every post; hashtags, stickers, and emoji.

3. Use the Right Hashtag When You Post to Increase Engagement

If you want to drive traffic from your posts, use the right hashtag.

Using an unrelated hashtag will increase engagement from users who are part of that specific community on Instagram, but it won’t attract the followers you really want if they aren’t part of that community.

vegan recipes hashtag

Using a broad hashtag like #instafood will help bring in some new following, but it won’t be as targeted as a more niche tag like #vegetarianrecipes or #InstagramForBusinessTips (as shown in the above graphic).

4. Include a Link in your Posts and Have it Open in a Separate Tab

You can use links in your posts to drive traffic to your website.

Make sure you have those links on each post set up so that the link opens in a separate tab or window to ensure that it isn’t obstructed by any other social media elements (e.g., tags, hashtags, stickers).

Configuring your links this way will also increase conversions because users won’t have to re-enter their Instagram login information.

5. Use Hashtags that are Related to the Shoutout

While you should always use the hashtag(s) related to your shoutout, it is also important that you use relevant tags on your posts.

Try to find out from the influencer what they usually tag their posts with and include those tags in your post.

If they tag their photos with #organic, make sure you add that hashtag to your post.

If they tag their photos with #menwithtattoos, add that one as well (all in moderation of course).

6. Don’t Overuse Hashtags

Don’t abuse hashtags, just use the relevant ones.

Using irrelevant hashtags is a sure way to get your posts flagged by Instagram or Facebook.

7. Use the Right Instagram Algorithm in Mind When Posting Content

If you want to make money on Instagram by earning ad revenue, be sure you are posting content that will appeal to Instagram users who are part of the targeted audience of your product or service.

In other words, if you’ve made a post of a company logo or an advertisement for your product, that won’t get the same engagement as a photo captioned with #skincareproducts so you should think about what type of audience you want to reach when posting content.

8. Post-Publish Optimization (PPO)

Use PPO if you are running ads on Instagram.

By doing this, Instagram will optimize your ad after it is published.

This will help it show up more often and increase ad engagement, which can lead to increased conversion rates from those that see your ads.

9. Use Instagram Stories and Live Videos

Use stories on Instagram to give users behind-the-scenes looks at your brand’s life.

This will definitely increase engagement as people want to know more about the company that they are engaging with.

Make sure you notify users when you go live, this way you can engage with multiple people at once using live video.

Live videos have a higher ratio of engagement than regular videos on Instagram, so use them for your best chance of success.

10. Get Other Influencers to Promote Your Brand or Products

This is the best thing you can do.

Have an influencer promote your business by tagging your business on their posts or mentioning it in their stories.

This will give you access to their followers and also create engagement with your own followers since they will be enticed to check out this influencer’s products and see what they are selling.

Influencers are specifically targeted in Instagram ads, so if you get an influencer to post about your brand, you’ll be getting a lot of highly targeted traffic for free.

11. Use Instagram Attention Graph Tool

Instagram has a tool that tracks users’ attention when they view your posts and how well your content is received.

Use it because it will help you know what type of content is working for you and what isn’t helping your engagement rates.

You can also use it to find influencers who are interacting with your content on Instagram so you can get in contact with them later.

In the end, this tool will keep you updated on the engagement trends of your content, which will help you make better decisions regarding future posts.

Summary

At the end of the day, there are a million ways to make money on Instagram.

Whether you’re selling other peoples products or services, or your own, it’s 1000% about understanding your audience, their problems, and how to communicate with them.

No matter who you are or how big your audience is, you can absolutely crush it on IG if you know this information.

Even 100 engaged people can drive insane value to you, as long as you’re driving insane value to them.

Sam Sprague Administrator
CEO & Founder , Sprague Media
Sam is the Founder & CEO of Sprague Media. He has over 10 years of experience in the Digital & Social Media Marketing world, on the agency and client-side. A Marine Veteran and Father, Sam is an avid Football and Basketball connoisseur who likes nothing better than to spend quarantine watching games!
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