Are you interested in earning money on Instagram but not sure how to start? We’ve got you covered.
Although people first think of influencer marketing, that’s not Instagram’s sole monetization opportunity. In this article, we’ll dive into the current features the social app offers.
What is Instagram monetization?
Instagram monetization refers to the practice of earning money via Instagram through influencer marketing, affiliate programs, and other practices.
Although monetization on the platform can involve promoting products and/or services to increase sales, that’s not what it always looks like. With monetization, the focus is on the content whereas selling focuses on the products/services.
While YouTube is seen as the OG monetization platform for content creators, Instagram is making its way up there.
When we surveyed marketers for our 2022 Social Media Trends Report, 73% say they work with influencers on Instagram compared to only 61% on YouTube.
But as we’ll cover later on, that’s only one way to make money on the app. Before we get into those, let’s review monetization requirements.
Instagram Monetization Tools
Ever since Instagram transitioned to a creator-focused platform, they have tested numerous monetization tools. Some end up staying on the platform while others are sunsetted.
For instance, in June 2021, Instagram announced that it would test an affiliate program, in which creators could have their own Shop tab and earn commissions based on sales they influenced.
After over a year of testing, the platform announced that it would no longer be available after August 2022.
Another monetization tool was Reels ads, a move designed to encourage creators to post more Reels. It allowed them to earn money via ads displayed before and/or after their Reels. That has seemingly been replaced by the bonus play program (more on that later.)
Here’s a list of the monetization tools available or being tested on the platform:
- Influencer marketing
Instagram Monetization Requirements
Each monetization practice will have its own set of requirements, but there are general policies set by Instagram for any creator who wants to earn money on the app.
You cannot earn money on Instagram if you share:
- Sexual, violent, profane, or hateful content.
- Static and looping videos
- Image slideshows
- Unoriginal and misleading content
- Polarizing or inflammatory content relating to race, gender, age, or other sensitive subjects.
For more details on this, check out Instagram’s full list of content monetization policies.
How to Get Monetized on Instagram
1. Influencer Marketing
Becoming an influencer is the most popular way to make money on Instagram and from the marketers’ perspective, it’s one of the main ways they work with creators.
According to HubSpot research, 64% of marketers said they work with micro-influencers (those with 10K to 99K followers) when asked about their 2022 influencer marketing campaigns, and 57% work with macro-influencers (100K-999K).
The great news is that even if you have a smaller follower count, you can still be an influencer. 27% of marketers we surveyed say they worked with nano influencers (1K-9K) in 2022.
How much can you earn? The limit does not exist.
A Business Insider report found that Instagram influencers can earn anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to millions. It really depends on their rates, their follower count, engagement rates, niche, and more.
To be an influencer, there are no set requirements. Here’s what you should aim for:
- 500+ followers
- Have an engagement rate of 2% or more
- Rich, high-quality content
To encourage creators to post Reels, Instagram launched a bonus program, which rewards users based on how often they post Reels and how they perform.
Every creator will have personalized bonus goals, maximum payout amounts, and deadlines. Creators have reported payouts ranging from $600 to $35,000, according to a Verge article but Instagram has not shared how it determines payment and goals.
However, Meta did promise to invest $1 billion in monetization opportunities for creators in 2022.
The program is currently only invite-only and as such, isn’t available to all users just yet. It’s also not available in all languages. However, if it does become a permanent feature, additional tools will be added.
If you have been invited to participate, you will receive a pop-up notification that will lead to your professional dashboard. From there, you’ll have to activate it before your eligibility expires.
That involves agreeing to Instagram’s terms and conditions and then adding your business information and payout details. Note that you will get your payout once you’re earned at least $100.
From there, all that’s left to do is create your Reels.
To qualify for the program, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Live in the United States.
- Have less than 1 million followers.
- Share accurate content.
- Have authentic engagement.
- Have an established presence on the platform.
- Follow community guidelines.
Check out the full list of eligibility requirements for Instagram’s bonus program.
Love going live with your audience on Instagram? Now is your chance to earn money while doing it.
When you go live, viewers can buy badges ranging from $0.99 to $4.99 and support the creators they love – up to $250 worth of badges per Live video. The best part is that as of September 2022, creators keep $100 of their revenue from badges received.
Here are the steps to set your account up:
- Go to “Profile.”
- Tap “Professional Dashboard.”
- Tap “Set Up Badges.”
- You’ll only see this if you’re eligible.
- Set up your payout details.
- Note: You will only get paid once you’ve earned at least $25.
- Go Live.
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be based in the United States.
- Badges are available on an invite-only basis to creators in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Australia, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, and the UK.
- Have a Creator or Business account.
- Have at least 10,000 followers.
- Adhere to Instagram’s Partner Monetization policies and content guidelines.
4. Instagram Subscriptions
In January of this year, Instagram announced it was testing creator subscriptions with only 10 users based in the U.S. Months later, this subscription test has expanded to more creators but is still on an invite-only basis.
Here’s how it works: Creators can launch a paid subscription, priced at their discretion, which gives their followers access to exclusive content, such as posts, Lives, Stories, Chats, and Reels.
It allows creators to build a more intimate community and share content with their most loyal followers. Similarly to affiliate marketing, this can become a good source of passive income in the future.
Here’s how you get started:
- Go to “Profile.”
- Click on your “Professional Dashboard.”
- Tap “Subscriptions.”
From there, you can set your pricing, keep track of your earnings, set up your payout details, and more.
- For now, you must receive an invitation to participate in Instagram’s Subscription feature.
Business Insider recently reported that Instagram is testing a new monetization feature internally called “Gifts.”
According to app researcher and developer Alessandro Paluzzi, the tool would allow followers to send gifts to their favorite followers. This tipping feature is similar to Badges but seems like it would be on Reels and potentially Stories, whereas Badges are limited to Lives.
#Instagram continues to work on the Content Appreciation feature 👀— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) August 25, 2022
ℹ️ The feature has been renamed to "Gifts" pic.twitter.com/AJmTPZMLsl
While this tool isn’t yet tested with creators, it’s good to stay on top of upcoming features that could earn you money on the app.
As you can see, you can do much more than collaborate with brands on Instagram to earn money.
Before you jump on any opportunity, your first step should be producing high-quality content that appeals to your audience – that will set you up to be eligible next time Instagram’s looking for creators to test monetization tools.