How to Make Money on Instagram

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Looking to make money on Instagram? 

According to a recent survey by Facebook, 81% of users say that Instagram helps them research products and services. But with over 1 billion monthly users, a somewhat mysterious algorithm, and thousands of creative brands vying for consumer attention, it’s a competitive place to grow an engaged following and make sales. 

Here’s the good news: there are still plenty of ways that businesses can stand out from the crowd, attract and connect with their target customers, and make money on Instagram. 

Here are some strategies to try in 2020:  

Make Money on Instagram #1: Sell Your Products Using Instagram Shopping

Thanks to its visual-first design, high engagement, and the shopping-mindset of its users, Instagram has always been a powerful channel for e-commerce businesses looking to connect with (and sell to) their target customers. And it’s getting even better thanks to the recent-ish rollout of “Instagram Shopping,” a suite of features that help streamline the buying process.

Whereas in the past, e-commerce businesses had to rely on the link in their bio to make sales, Instagram has now made it possible to “tag” products in your organic feed posts and stories, or have people discover your products on the Search & Explore page. And thanks to Instagram’s new checkout feature, when you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app.

Here are a few tips on how to make the most of Instagram Shopping:

Tip #1: Experiment with Different Post Formats

The jury’s still out when it comes to which post format is most effective for driving e-commerce sales. Luckily, you have your pick: you can add shopping tags to your photos, videos, and carousel posts, and product stickers to your Instagram Stories.

If you’re just getting started with Instagram Shopping, it’s a good idea to experiment with these different post formats to find out which delivers the best return on investment. Some businesses like Vitruvi prefer to use shopping tags on their photo posts, while Glossier often uses a combination of photos, videos, and carousel posts to promote their products. 

Another consideration is the complexity of the product you’re selling. For example, if your online store sells a complex or hard-to-describe product, it might make sense to focus on videos, carousel posts, and stories – formats that allow you to “demo” your products in more detail. 

Catbird uses their stories to make sales from Instagram by showing videos of what their products look like in “real life,” showcasing features that may be hard to communicate in a photo and answering common questions.

Tip #2: Write Captions that Convert 

The simple act of including a call-to-action in your caption can go a long way when it comes to driving more sales through Instagram Shopping. For example, adding a simple “tap to shop” in your caption will remind your customers they can immediately purchase the product that they’re viewing. 

But we recommend taking it a step further and spending some time writing captions that really convince your followers to make a purchase.

While Instagram is undoubtedly a shopping destination for many, not everyone is ready to take the plunge and make an in-app purchase. By writing longer captions that highlight why you’re selling a product, what’s different about it, and why they should tap the “buy” button, you can build more confidence and convert on-the-fence prospects into customers.

Tip #3: Create Story Highlights for Different Products

Stories may disappear after 24 hours, but you can use Instagram Stories Highlights to showcase high-performing stories with shoppable “Product” stickers. 

This is a really popular strategy among fashion brands – like Kith, which uses Instagram Stories Highlights to promote various product collections, or Free People, which highlights their seasonal catalog.