With a rough estimate of 300 million users on Instagram sharing 70 million photos daily – five year old app Instagram is now more than just a photo-sharing social media platform. A lot of companies are turning to social media as the go-to platform for advertising, and we see the rise of ‘instagramers’ and ‘influencers’ – the individuals with huge audiences and follower count, monetising their social media platforms, turning likes into a living.
According to WWD.com, Instagram has been proven to be highly effective with regards to profitability ratio, also known as Return On Investment (ROI). As a free online photo and video sharing platform with no subscription fees, Instagram can now be considered a ‘career’ for influencers as brands will look to them for content creation and building brand awareness.
In recent years, there has been a shifting trend from advertising and marketing on traditional media such as print advertisements, television and radio commercials, to advertising on social media platforms, via content posted by influencers. In Singapore, blue chip companies and corporate brands have also integrated influencer marketing – utilising Instagram and Instagram influencers for marketing campaigns. Examples include Volkswagen and Etihad Airways.
Instagram As A Platform For Supplemental Income
Essentially, since most of us are well-versed with the ins and outs of Instagram, anyone can leverage on the social media platform to earn supplemental income.
A recent article on New York based magazine TrendingNY featured 6 Instagram stars and their Instagram career, where one of the stars Ali Maffucci (@inspiralized) revealed that she earns about USD $50k to $70k yearly from Instagram. Fashion blogger Eugenie Gray (@feralcreature) also revealed in the same article that her Instagram income is ‘enough for her to make a living’.
More often than not, these Instagram stars have a substantial number of followers, with Ali having about 110,000 followers and Eugenie having 447,000 followers on Instagram. With that, the question is posed – how do you build a substantial following on Instagram?
Here, we offer a comprehensive guide to how you can build your following on Instagram, monetise and earn from it.
Tips and Tricks on Monetising Your Instagram
1. Determine your brand
In this day and age, your Instagram profile is your brand and your ‘company. Build your Instagram profile by determining your interests, brand and your direction. Ask yourself – fashion, beauty, food, fitness, creative arts or entertainment – what do you want your focus to be?
Locally, here are some of the popular influencers whose Instagram feeds boost content with distinct brand direction.
2. Offer differentiation
By offering content differentiation such as short videos instead of solely photos on Instagram, it allows for an engaged audience. Since the launch of Instagram’s 15-second video sharing feature, many users have gone on to posting video content on their account. As mentioned by theguardian.com, videos are naturally engaging and have inherent shareability – hence building your audience and following.
3. Consistency with your profile feed
You might not know it, but one can tell a lot about you just by looking at your profile feed. Before someone starts following you, a thought that goes through his mind would be, “Do I want to see photos like these on my Instagram feed?” By keeping a consistent theme and colour scheme, it helps to improve the visual-appeal of your Instagram profile.
Here are some local Instagram feeds that features a distinctive theme and style.
Other than a having a consistent theme, one should also strike a balance between quality and quantity by having a consistent frequency of uploads, bearing in mind the quality of the content. Since most smartphone cameras are good enough for daily food or outfit photos, one can curate a library of photos in your phone to avoid having a lack of content.
While you may not see the need to do it, it is always good to collaborate with other photographers, Instagram influencers and other content creators for collaboration projects. This allows all parties to reach out to a bigger group of audience and garner new traffic to their respective social media platforms.
When reaching out to photographers or other influencers for a collaboration opportunity, always remember to be ethical and sincere in your approach.
5. Active engagement with your followers
As mentioned by WWD.com, an engaged community on Instagram boosts your ROI, and with a high ROI rate – brands are more likely to approach you for sponsored content. One can build an engaged community by actively responding to comments, leaving comments on photos posted by other users, and even asking questions on your own posts. Being creative with your captions is key.
6. Package and Rates
With a significant amount of following comes advertising or paid content-creation opportunities. Be prepared with a package rate that you can send to your clients for potential paid content on your Instagram account.
Instagram Influencers in Singapore
Depending on following, branding and brand association, the table below shows the estimated amount that local influencers earn through advertisements and sponsored content on their Instagram.
*This is not a conclusive list and it is not inclusive of any agency costs.
It is based on research and data collection from a sample size and does not necessarily represent the entire community.
It may not be a career choice for many, but as a student or project-based freelancers, it is a viable supplementary income avenue. With the essentials of growing and monetising an Instagram account, one can also learn the tricks of the trade and eventually apply similar knowledge in relevant career fields such as digital marketing, social media marketing and content management.
One does not need to have millions of followers in order to be an influencer – and while it takes time to build up a considerable audience size, with commitment and quality content, you can find yourself on the way to earning supplementary income through Instagram.