Instagram is changing the way we market brands and ourselves. It even appears that now, there is a very fine line between the two because of influencer marketing. The social media giant has grown significantly since its launch in 2010.
It’s now no longer just a photo-sharing platform – it’s an actual profit-generating business. Statista reports that Instagram has one billion monthly active users, with its main demographic consisting of teenagers and young Millennials. On a global scale, 41% of its users are 24 years old and below. Similarly, Pew Research also discovered that 76% of Instagram users between 18 to 29 visit the app daily, while 60% visit it multiple times a day. It was only a matter of time before users and brands started capitalizing on this.
A money-making hobby
Earning money on Instagram depends on the number of followers you have and what niche your personal brand is catering to. A blog post by Petal Card talks about how much money an Instagram influencer can make: influencers with fewer than 10,000 followers are called micro-influencers who can make an average of $88 a post.
Not many of them charge brands upfront because the goal is always to grow a larger audience and a stronger long-term presence. You can think of it as a money-generating hobby. Influencers here may get recognized by brands for potential collaborations, sponsored posts, and free perks.
Obviously, to grow your following you will need to post fresh, interesting content pretty regularly. For some, this might be an easy task (especially DIYers) but for others, it may entail eating at fancy restaurants, traveling to luxurious destinations, and maybe even renting exotic sports cars for makeshift photo shoots. In other words, it takes money to make money. You may want to download and customize a free budget template so you don’t venture beyond your budget.
Making it big
When you get to 100,000 followers, brands will frequently get in touch about endorsements, which they can pay for via freebies. Once you’ve hit this mark, rumor has it that you will earn $10 for every 1,000 followers. Monetary payments can depend on your deal with a certain brand, but you can estimate around $200 for every post.
Influencer Sarah Tripp of Sassy Red Lipstick says that there are more ways of making money on the platform than you might think. You could do sponsored content, commission for promoting other brands, and even sell your own products should you have any. Growing your follower base from here could mean that you may earn over $600 per post.
Instagram activates certain features for influencers who are close to 1 million followers, from awarding a ‘verified’ status, to swipe up features that lead to product pages that followers can purchase products from.
Joe Gagliese is the co-founder of influencer agency Viral Nation, and says that influencers are now infiltrating celebrity territory. Endorsements from these public figures, although they may not be as popular as established celebrities, are valuable for their ability to engage audiences and boost brand recognition.
It actually helps that their names may not be as big as that of an actress or athlete because this gives them a relatable edge. Average Instagram users are likely to feel more in touch with these influencers and trust their endorsements.
This is also a great cost-cutting strategy for brands. They can cover more ground by employing the help of multiple influencers than they would if they entrusted the job to a singular celebrity.
Making money on platforms like Instagram is not exactly a new concept. People have been doing this with YouTube, via DailyMotion, blogs, and other social accounts for quite some time. It can be agreed, however, that the landscape is far more competitive today than ever before. If you want to make it big on Instagram, you need to work hard on boosting your own brand before promoting the big ones.