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!

8 Ways to Hack Your Way Into Instagram Stardom

In the old days, if you wanted to become famous, you had to be noticed by the right people. Usually, it involved lots of hard work trying out for parts in the movies, sending recordings to record labels in the hopes that you would get picked up, or competitively fighting for your spot in pro sports leagues.

However, there’s a new level to fame thanks to the popularity of social media. Instagram in particular is an exceptional platform where you can get noticed and become a star, even if you’ve never been on TV or scored the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl.

But if you want to be an Instagram star, you’ll still have to put in the work to make it happen. It starts with getting more Instagram followers and maintaining a consistent brand to keep them interested. Here are 8 ways that you can take your Instagram account from unknown to stardom.

1. Enter a niche that you love.

First of all, you can’t hope to be successful on Instagram if you don’t have a super-specific niche with a targeted audience to keep you going. Consumers follow brands that they can relate with and that provide high-value in a specific avenue, and if you go too broad, you’ll struggle to reach enough people to become famous.

Most importantly, Shane Baker of Medium says, “This needs to be something you’re passionate about. Something in which you have a good deal of knowledge and interest. Just because someone else is doing something and is successful, doesn’t mean you should too.”

If it’s not something that you’re passionate about, you won’t want to keep it going. You’ll see it as work instead of something you love doing, and your followers will notice the lack of enthusiasm—what a downer.

2. Start with a 10,000 followers goal.

According to Nicole Martins Ferreira of Oberlo, getting started isn’t easy. “Truth is, your first 10,000 Instagram followers are the hardest to get,” she says. “Why? No one knows who you are yet. You’ve still got to prove yourself as a successful brand and influencer.”

Once you’ve reached the 10,000 followers mark, if you stay consistent and use your resources the maximize your reach, getting more followers is a lot easier.

She recommends curating a strategy that include joining Instagram engagement groups, using automation, reposting others’ content, seeking promotional opportunities, leveraging user-generated content, and other excellent strategies for boosting engagement and getting followers to stick to you like flies on honey.

3. Improve your Instagram bio.

Once you’ve switched your personal account to a business account, your bio is essential to making a good impression on followers. However, you only have 150 characters to make this first impression, so you have to make those words count.

When considering what to say in this bio, think about how you would describe your business when introducing yourself to thought leaders in the industry. Use keywords and unique details to make your account searchable and relevant.

Most importantly, include a link to your website or blog if you have one. Consider using software to link to two pages on your blog or changing your links periodically to increase engagement.

4. Let your captions reflect your brand.

While your photos will catch followers’ eyes first, your captions will make them fall in love with you—as long as they’re totally on-brand. Brands with no personality will turn off or even confuse your users. It’s the fastest way to become forgettable or lose followers.

Develop a consistent voice, with keywords, key phrases, hashtags, and inflections that reflect your brand. The consistency will create a sense of familiarity, which in turn creates loyal followers.

5. Evolve with your brand.

It’s not uncommon for brands to shift perspective when they realize that what they’re doing isn’t working and there’s a more successful avenue ahead. It’s okay to make this change as long as you’re willing to be authentic about the change.

“About three years ago, my brand started to shift,” Nicole Loher (@nicoleloher), an Instagrammer who was once focused on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society shared with Hubspot. “I went from being a girl who worked in fashion and beauty, to a competitive triathlete. It wasn’t something I set out to do — it just shifted as my life shifted!”

Let yourself make changes where you need to, but don’t lose the spark that makes your brand clearly you.

6. Get better at photography.

Hubspot also interviewed Chelsea Martin (@passporttofriday), and she said that one of the best things she ever did to spur fame was work on her photography skills. “A professional camera and a great lens could make the difference between a good photo and an amazing photo — which has more potential of being reposted by other accounts, therefore growing your audience,” she said.

A good editing tool and the use of consistent filters can also help you get more Instagram likes. Since the billion Instagram users who are on the platform every single day log on to see great visuals, don’t disappoint with amateur photography.

7. Use Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories is a useful feature for many reasons, but one of the best is its ability to improve your storytelling abilities. It’s probably the biggest trend on Instagram, and for good reason. It increases the chances of engagement with consumers and maximizes your ad spending, particularly since Instagram’s algorithm gives priority to businesses that use this feature.

Stories offers many features, including live video, captioned photos, fresh filters, boomerangs, swipe polls, and more. One of the best features for those looking to increase their fan base is the swipe up feature. If a consumer finds your content particularly appealing, they can swipe up on a story to go to your bio where they can see more of your content.

8. Choose strong hashtags.

Hashtags are being used all over Instagram, so it’s important to have a good strategy to stand out. It’s good to choose hashtags with high search volume, but beware.

“High search volumes imply high competition too,” explains Shane Barker. “So the chances of your post being discovered using those hashtags is bleak. Instead, choose hashtags that have decent search volumes that maximizes your chances of appearing in the top posts. Ideally, use a combination of hashtags varying in search volumes from above 10,000 to 1 million.”

You can also create your own hashtags and encourage user-generated content. When you become even more well-known, users will jump on the chance to publish their own content with your hashtags attached.

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.