The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on Instagram in 2019

Making money on Instagram can be tough and no individual or company does it in exactly the same way, but what is the best way?

How to make money on Instagram in 2019

What are the benefits?

One of the more obvious reason would be the money, however there are a variety of other reasons as to why you’d do this; a key one being its’ longevity. Unless you stop posting and engaging with your audience all together, it’s very unlikely that people will stop engaging with it completely. It’s also great because it’s another channel for you to push new products to your consumers!

A key to being on Instagram and using hashtags is that it allows you to inspire organic conversation; word of mouth is undoubtedly by far the best form of advertising, and native social media content is a great way to generate conversation around your brand. Using hashtags will allow you to better target niche’s and sell your product/service directly to the people who’d want to buy it!

How do I do it in 2019?

A fairly common way to make money off of Instagram is brand deals; Influencers will approach a brand (or vice versa depending on the size of their following/engagement and the brand) and they will negotiate the terms by which a promotion takes place!

This process also varies depending on what platform you’re looking at e.g. it’s easier to set loose requirements for a photo than for a live stream/video! Bar this, the underlying theme is that an influencer is being paid to post about something specific, or make content associated with a specific topic!

The amount you can ask for is usually dictated by the level of engagement you have, so as long as you can keep this us and your following is growing, you’re on to a winner!

Another way this can be done is through affiliate links; these are where a brand will give an influencer/influential account a code/link where people can get a reduction in price for goods. This is great for both the account and the Business as it will drive sales, but also when chosen accurately, heightens the influencers’ standing in their niche.

Company side, a slightly less direct approach but nevertheless successful, is just to drive engagement, this’ll bring attention to your brand and as we stated previously, it’ll drive word of mouth promotion.

The secret way to generate engagement

You can use hashtags in a variety of ways in the processes mentioned above; you can use them to analyze what your ideal customer is talking about/engaging with online. There are a few ways by which you can do this; one being going on the most popular hashtag relevant to you which you can find in feed or in the explore page, and then look at the top 9 posts and make note of the hashtags on those posts, and then do that for each hashtag you come across until you’re satisfied you have enough!

You can also make your own hashtags to help you understand how people are reacting to a product/campaign, and can help to measure ROI depending on the purpose of the campaign! As with anything in Marketing, calculating ROI is nothing more than an estimation, albeit a calculated one, but more so with influencer as it’s still a relatively new form of communicating with consumers! But with the right tools, there’s no reason why your brand can’t run a successful influencer campaign using hashtags!

So i think it’s safe to say we’ve established that hashtags are a handy tool when marketing a brand, but it’s important to establish which one’s best match your target audience!

How do I find out what they are?

We narrowed it down to 3 methods. We will be exploring the two current methods for hashtag research before introducing our time saving solution.

Method 1 – Competitor analysis

This is by far the most time consuming hashtag research method. Go through your direct competitors and establish what hashtags they use. You should evaluate which posts you’re analyzing have the highest level of engagement, and look at the hashtags for the posts where the engagement may not be as high; are they the same/different?

Engagement is really important when looking at all this content because although reach is important as is audience it’s important to make sure people are interacting with it and it’s also a good metric for calculating ROI. Once you’ve done this, click on those hashtags and review the top 9 posts for the hashtag. Look at who likes the photos; are these people your current audience? Are they the people you want to be targeting? If the answer is yes then you have found a good hashtag for you to use. Repeat this process over until you have a large library of hashtags you can refer to for your different posts.

Method review:
Time: 2/10
Results: 6/10
Scalability: 3/10

Method 2 – The staircase strategy

Another method when going through which hashtags to choose, is to use the “staircase strategy”. Start by picking 10 hashtags that have a lower average amount of likes then you do, and then 10 hashtags that have a similar amount of engagement to you on their top performing posts. Finally pick 10 hashtags that have much higher engagement than you on their top performing posts.

This method works by making you easily rank on the smaller hashtags. This sends positive signals about your post to the Instagram algorithm. Often, you will “Climb the staircase” and soon rank on the medium sized hashtags before eventually climbing that final step and ranking on the hashtags that have a much higher engagement than you on their top performing posts.

Method review:
Time: 6/10
Results: 4-7/10 (depending on how relevant the hashtags you choose are)
Scalability: 6/10

How we do our hashtags research?

We initially where using a mixture of the two methods developed above. This problem was that it was too time consuming and although we could make educated guesses, we never truly knew wether or not we were reaching our target audience.

We hired data scientists to develop a hashtag research tool that outputs the most relevant hashtags for your posts by analyzing:

  1. What hashtags are often used together in top performing posts
  2. What hashtags share the same audience and engagers

On top of that, we wanted to be able to filter the searches so we could still apply the stair case method. When searching we are able to filter by size of hashtags and average engagement on their top posts.

Method review
Time: 10/10
Results: 8/10
Scalability: 9/10

Conclusion

Instagram can without a doubt be a very lucrative channel of making money online. What you need to focus on first is on the strategy that you are going to employ in order to kick off your Instagram business. Then it’s time to put in the work and time to build the audience and reach the levels of engagement that will ultimately earn you a living, by doing what you want – being on Instagram!

5 Instagram Tactics So Effective They Have Literally Been Blocked

Instagram is usually the first social media platform marketers and businesses will run to as it is a perfectly viable platform to promote a business from. Due to its unique selling point of being image focused, smart teams will approach it carefully and with that angle in mind. Detailed in this article are 5 tactics you can optimize and craft successful marketing campaigns on Instagram.

SocialCaptain Instagram Bot

Instagram may not inspire the same awe from marketers that Facebook and Twitter does, but its still the most powerful platform for businesses and you should take advantage of it. You may want to consider it yourself if your company can present itself well visually, as Instagram holds sway with over 1 billion+ users around the world. If you do decide to leap into its waters, you’ll need to approach it carefully and deliberately. Here are 5 Instagram tactics so effective, you can use to grow your account on Instagram (before they are banned):

1. Leverage Cross Promotion

The best way to start marketing and growing your Instagram presence is to leverage your existing social media accounts. When you launch your Instagram account, share that fact with your followers and invite them to follow you there. You’ll likely get a good starting number of followers, as people following you on other platforms have already proven themselves interested in knowing what you have to say. This initial boost will not only lend your account credibility and legitimacy, it’ll also give you some critical early reach in the form of additional shares and interactions.

2. Interact Consistently Your Followers

Nothing gets people coming back for more like interactions. Do not underestimate the value and power of a quick reply. This makes people feel heard and welcome, which makes your page more appealing to visit. Even a “thank you” to a positive message can help. You can automate the whole process and save hundreds of hours by using an Instagram bot such as SocialCaptain.

In addition to that, you can create posts that directly encourage action from your audience. Asking them to tag friends who would enjoy your post, for example, puts you in front of people who would’ve not otherwise found your account. As an added bonus, its rarely intrusive and thus won’t put off viewers who are tired of advertisements or marketing campaigns.

3. Play with Hashtags 

Hashtags were originally designed to allow people to more easily find topics of discussion that they were interested in, but it has grown beyond those boundaries and transformed into a powerful marketing tool. Creating an intentionally interactive hashtag can net you a lot of responses and reach.

With one billion active users, Instagram is the place for savvy marketers to build their brand, according to a Statista report. If your company isn’t actively connecting with potential customers on Instagram, there is a good chance you might be losing out on opportunities to your savvier competitors. Instagram has become a must-use social media marketing tool, rather than a should-use outreach resource.

4. The Power of Comments on Instagram

If you are not engaging with your audience on Instagram, your ROI will be reduced and your audience growth rate will slowly decline. Instagram comments should be conversational and helpful, not promoting your brand and a hard-sell way. Focus on having a conversation on Instagram with your audience and you will soon discover how powerful the platform is for building relationships with your target audience. There’s also the smarter option of using SocialCaptain to automate your activity while you focus on other parts of your campaign. 

5. Focus on your Instagram Bio Link

While an Instagram bio link to your website is an excellent first step, developing a click-through strategy for Instagram is crucial. Instagram has specific rules about where you can add clickable links on their platform. We also highly advise our clients to add URLs to their Instagram Stories to optimize the account’s click-through rate and ultimately generate more inbound traffic. 

Conclusion

So how do you make the most of your visual marketing time on Instagram? How do you ensure your company’s time is well spent and offers maximum ROI (return on investment) for your growth marketing efforts? You can start by following the tips above and we highly recommend you check out these 4 hidden Instagram tricks to take your strategy to the next level. Integrate those strategies into your business’ Instagram marketing strategy and you can significantly increase your social media marketing return on investment. 

4 Hidden Tricks for Instagram Growth in November 2018

Instagram Marketing remains as relevant as ever to entrepreneurs and established businesses alike, and what makes most marketing campaigns successful is not just the choice of platform, but how they can utilize its features. Instagram is no exception.

If you decide to use this platform for your company’s marketing campaigns, you need to learn a few tricks. Here are four of them:

1. Save Time with an Automation Platform

This is exactly why we have developed SocialCaptain. Although it may sound surprising to you, most Instagram Marketers still don’t use automation to grow their audience. Among the benefits of using a robot like SocialCaptain is that you will save plenty of precious time, while getting real, organic results automatically. You get the best of both worlds! 

On average, you can expect a tool like SocialCaptain to save you over 150 hours of work per month by automating your activity (such as likes, comments, follows and unfollows). Therefore, your account can continue to engage with users on Instagram even while you’re focusing on other parts of your social media strategy. Totally worth it! 😉

2. Check Your List of Liked Photos

There are many reasons for your business’s Instagram account to like photos posted by other people. Interactions make your business more relevant and can generate reciprocal likes and follows, both of which are good for your campaigns. However, sometimes, you want to like pictures to create a conglomerate of photos or videos for a variety of purposes, from making curator-style posts where you share other things, to potentially scouting photographers you can hire.
The good news is that, unlike many other platforms, you can look at a list of things the account has liked so can find the one you’re seeking. Just go to the options menu of your profile, and click “Posts You’ve Liked.”

3. Post at the Right Times

Instagram, like all social media platforms, has peak hours. Posting during those peak hours increases the chances that your marketing campaign’s posts will be seen and go viral. However, because the majority of the user base is pretty much online all of the time, it can be challenging to figure out when exactly to put up your brand new image, at least on paper.

Statistics show that there are two days you should put up your big hook images: Mondays and Thursdays. You can do so at any time, except between 3 and 4p.m. We highly recommend you do your own research and find out the best time to post on Instagram for your specific account, in order to maximize organic growth in the long term.

4. Pre-Sort Filters

Instagram allows for a slew of options for photo manipulation, which can help you generate the image you want on your site without having to go through a third-party program. That can let you create posts much more efficiently. To further streamline the process, you should reorder your filters so you can get to the ones you use most often. While editing a post, click the Manage button (its icon is a gear) and then drag a filter up and down to reorder it. If you want to remove a filter from your options entirely, then uncheck it.

Top 5 Tips for Instagram Automation Growth

It is well known that when it comes to Instagram marketing strategies, automation is by far one of the best options to grow an audience organically. This is what makes Instagram such a powerful marketing tool when used properly. Here are 5 tips to maximize your growth when using automation.

Choose photos wisely.

Use photos that reflect your product, service or business This means limiting your posts to photos of products, promos, sales and discount info, BTS posts, or shout-outs to loyal or celebrity customers. Be creative with what and how you post, but keep it all things business. If you are an avid IG user, it is best to keep a separate personal account where you can make unrelated posts.

Use the right Instagram automation platform.

Needless to say that choosing the right Instagram automation platform is what will ultimately set you up for success when it comes to follower growth. That’s the reason why we’ve developed SocialCaptain into the smartest automation solution on the market. You can start your free 3-day trial and start getting followers from day 1!

Post on a schedule.

Regular activity on your feed is the secret to having a loyal following as you are building your brand. People easily lose interest with inactivity. Avoid having a stale gallery by updating your feed once or twice every week.

Engage, engage, engage

Make sure you have time to engage with likes and comments on your posts. Follow and like back, and reply to comments. It is also helpful to structure each post to encourage engagement. For example, ask questions, take a poll, or ask your audience to share similar experiences These can help you generate activity for every post you put out there. 

Keep it light and breezy.

Posts should be positive images put your product in the best light. Photos that are positive and light tend to get more likes and followers and are essential for creating a gallery that offers a positive, light and breezy influence.

Make hashtags your friend.

The one thing to remember with hashtags is that they must be relevant. Think of what people would type if they were looking for your photo, or what comes to mind when one is looking at the photo. Add these tags to brand or product-specific hashtags to make it easier for people to find your account. A great tip would be to include the hashtag in the description itself to increase visibility. We recommend using a tool like Keyhole to identify hashtags within your target audience.

Instagram is a useful and incredibly effective tool for any business. Whether you are a creative with your own small business or a local mom-and-pop enterprise looking to update your marketing with a new and modern twist, Instagram can be that vehicle. Take full advantage over this medium starting with the tips above.

I Analyzed 250 Instagram Accounts — Here’s What I Found

400 million people use Instagram Stories every day.

Let that sink in.

The entire population of the United States (plus some) is logging into the ‘gram and tapping on Stories from their friends, celebrities AND businesses.

It’s a golden opportunity to attract your ideal customer and start making sales.

And it won’t cost you a cent.

(Unlike on Facebook, where your reach is limited to the size of your pockets. Yeah, Instagram is the real MVP.)

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Instagram Stories is one of the best ways to grow your account, engage your followers and boost your business’s bottom line.

But before you can start making it rain with dolla’ dolla’ bills, you need a solid Instagram Stories strategy.

Not sure where to start? The answer lies in your analytics.

I know numbers aren’t the most exciting part of Instagram, but reviewing your efforts will pay off.

By carving out time each week to drill down into your performance, you’ll have a clear idea of what’s working and what has to go.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram Stories analytics so you can craft a winning strategy.

Where to Find Your Instagram Stories Analytics

If you want to tap into the power of Instagram Stories analytics, you’ll need to switch to a business account.

I know there are a lot of rumors out there that doing so will hurt your reach, but there is no actual proof that this happens.

And Instagram confirmed that there is zero impact on biz accounts.

If you’re still concerned, here are two questions to ask yourself:

  1. Would you rather suffer a slight drop in engagement (worst case scenario) and in return, receive juicy details on your audience that can skyrocket your growth and sales?
  2. Or would you prefer to keep using guesswork when it comes to understanding what your followers really want?

Once you’ve made the switch, you’ll be able to find your Instagram Stories analytics in two places.

1. THE INSIGHTS BUTTON

Go to your profile page and tap on the Insights button at the top right corner. Tap on the Content tab, and you’ll see data for your Instagram Stories from the past 14 days and data on your regular Instagram posts from the last year.

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2. INSIDE YOUR STORIES

If you want a more in-depth look at what makes your audience tick, open up a story before it vanishes and swipe up for its insights. It’s here where you’ll find the Instagram Stories analytics that will help shape your strategy.

Pro tip: Did you miss checking out your Story’s insights before it vanished? No worries!

Tap on the Archive button (located in the upper-left corner of your profile page) and view all your saved Stories.

Swipe up on any one of your saved Stories to see its data.

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What Do Your Instagram Stories Analytics Mean?

Have you ever opened up your Google Analytics account for your website and felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of information available?

Luckily, Instagram isn’t as complicated, but that doesn’t mean their analytics lack a punch.

Here’s a quick rundown on what the metrics mean and how you can use them to your advantage.

IMPRESSIONS

Impressions are the total number of views for that particular story.

Had great impressions on my Stories while I was in L.A… perhaps it’s time to consider a move? (Y’know – for the sake of my Instagram Stories and business, of course.)

This metric will tell you if someone has watched your Instagram Story multiple times.

It’s a good indicator to see if your audience is finding your content valuable and engaging.

REACH

Reach is the number of unique accounts that have viewed each story. This data tells you how many individuals are watching each piece of content you upload.

If your reach is declining, it’s a sign that you need to rethink your content strategy.

Take a look at what you enjoy watching on Stories, do some competitor research and try new things to keep your audience engaged.

Here are some engaging story ideas that you can try:

  1. Experiment. Play around with different apps that ~beautify~ your Instagram Stories. (My faves: Canva and Unfold!)
  2. Use the features available at your fingertips. Luckily for you, I’ve written a guide on the best Instagram Stories features that can drive traffic and increase your sales!
  3. Create high-quality video content. Instead of just uploading footage from the app or your phone, invest time into shooting and editing your videos. You might find that your audience prefers more cinematic content, and it could give you a competitive edge.

TAPS FORWARD

Taps forward are the number of times someone has tapped right to view your next story.

This metric can mean that users skipped to the next piece of media or finished reading/watching the story before the time was up (typically 15 seconds).

TAPS BACKWARD

Taps backward are the number of times someone has tapped left to rewatch your previous story.

This metric gives you an excellent idea of what content your audience finds useful.

If you notice a post has a lot of taps back, this is a great sign to keep this type of content in the mix.

NEXT STORY & EXITS

Next Story is the number of times users tapped to view the next account’s story.

Exits, on the other hand, are the number of times someone swiped out of your story.

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If a viewer is speed-tapping through your content, and hopping to the next account in their queue, it means they are not that engaged with your content.

It can indicate that you might need to reassess what you post or how long your Stories should be to capture a user’s attention.

Similarly, exits can mean your audience is bored with your content.

But it can also be that users may have run out of time to watch all of your Stories, or they have swiped up on a clickable link (yay!).

Use these two metrics to fine-tune your content strategy.

By keeping a close eye on your exits and next story taps, you can weed out your underperforming content, improve your engagement rate and turn casual tappers into paying customers.

How to Calculate Your Instagram Stories Engagement Rate

There are no likes, comments or saves on Instagram Story analytics.

But you can use interactions like swipe ups, replies, and sticker taps to calculate your engagement rate.

SWIPE UPS

“Swipe ups” are the reason everyone wants to hit 10K followers on Instagram.

Why?

Because it’s the only place other than your bio or in the description of an IGTV video where you can add a link.

But the “swipe up” feature is only available to Instagram business profiles who have hit that 10K follower milestone.

If you’re struggling to unlock the swipe up feature, I’ve written a foolproof guide to help your account grow to that coveted 10K followers. I go through my top Instagram strategies that have helped me and my InstaGrowth Boss students increase engagement, followers, and land paying clients (hello, sweet revenue).

Once you have the swipe up feature, your Instagram Stories analytics will track the number of times someone has swiped up on a story. This metric is a great way to see what content is the best for driving traffic to your website.

If you’re curious to see what everyone’s clicking over to, it was this blog post!

REPLIES

Instagram is all about creating a community.

If you want to build a successful one, you need to have conversations with your audience.

By posting Stories that encourage people to tap that reply button and send you a message, you’ll boost your overall engagement.

This Instagram Story featured me *totally casually* showing off my piano skills, and I ended up getting a few DMs from people who were surprised and loved the mini concert I put on. 🎹

Make sure you keep track of what kind of content encourages your audience to reach out to you.

It’s a powerful way to find out more about their problems, how your products or services can help them, and to form a community that appreciates how much you care.

STICKER TAPS

A sticker is a location tag, a hashtag or a tag mentioning another Instagram account.

In your Instagram Stories analytics, you will see the number of times users tapped on the stickers you used.

It’s a quick way to see how good you are at directing your audience to take action.

All these sticker taps actually led to @contentsupply booking in new clients! This ‘proof of return’ is perfect for anyone wanting to build up their IG cred as an influencer.

For example, if a brand pays you to mention them in an Insta Story, you can see how effective you are at driving traffic to their page. You can then use this data to show potential clients or brands the kind of results they can expect if they choose to work with you.

How to Boost Your Discoverability on Instagram Stories

Your Instagram Stories aren’t just for your current followers. When done right, you can use the feature to attract new people to your account.

The best way to boost your Story discoverability is to use the hashtag and location stickers.

Yes, these are very attractive screengrabs from my Stories, I know.

➡️ When you add a location to your Story or use a hashtag, other users will find it if they search for it.

➡️ When someone watches your Story from one of these sources, you’ll be able to see how many views you got in your analytics.

It’s an easy way to reach new users with your content and once you’ve got their attention, turn them into new followers.

Spend time on Instagram’s explore page and see which popular hashtags you can use in your Stories. Or simply add in your general location to your next Story (“Toronto, ON” location tag versus the exact cafe you’re working from at this moment).

It’s also a good idea to take advantage of any “timely” trends.

For example: if a huge football match is taking place and you can create relevant content around it, add the hashtag to your Instagram Story – and you’ll get a boost in traffic.

How to Fine-Tune Your Instagram Stories Strategy

Woohoo! You made it through Instagram Story Analytics 101!

Now that you have a better understanding of what all the metrics mean, you can start working on your strategy.

I want you to open up a blank spreadsheet and start tracking your data over the next week. Keep a lookout for any trends, experiment with different content, and assess your performance.

  • Did your reach go up?
  • How many people sent you a private DM message?
  • What type of content kept your audience most engaged?

Once you’ve analyzed your content, start tweaking it and set benchmarks for yourself.

As the weeks go on, your Instagram Stories strategy will grow, and you’ll have a better understanding of what makes your followers tap, swipe, and chat.


Let’s Increase Your Business Revenue Through Instagram

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When was the last time you earned money from uploading a picture to Instagram?

If the answer is never, I have three secret strategies that will help you find followers AND paying customers.

Sign up for my free Instagram masterclass, where I teach how to gain 1,000 new and engaged followers in just 30 days!

Yes… it’s totally possible.

Check out the results that @moms_stash achieved *just* by watching this free masterclass:

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