Did you know that Instagram users “like” over 4.2 billion posts per day? With 1 billion users on the network (and growing significantly - daily Instagram users hit 500 million in September 2017, meaning the network has seen tremendous growth over the last year alone), there’s no wonder why businesses are flocking to this network as an awareness-driver for their brand. Yet, while driving top of the funnel awareness is great, it’s not paying the bills, keeping the lights on in your office or increasing the value of your business. When it comes to marketing strategy and implementation, generating revenue through your channels should be the core focus of any strategy.
If you have yet to take advantage of the revenue generation features that Instagram offers, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not too late. In fact, businesses are still getting their feet wet in the grand scheme of Instagram strategy, which means you can be an early adopter in discovering the secret sauce to generating revenue for your business through Instagram.
Here are 5 ways you can use Instagram for revenue generation
1. Create high quality content to build your following
We’ll dive deeper on why it’s important to build your following, though for the sake of this first tip - creating high quality content is more important than ever.
Behind the scenes content, along with a mix of product images, work really well on Instagram. Giving your followers a unique look into your business is something online networks like Instagram can offer. When it comes to your feed content, providing images that users can’t find anywhere else is what really drives engagement.
For example, this Canadian-based company, 52 North, taps water out of birch trees and packages it for public consumption. In order to get water out of these trees, a large team goes keep into the Canadian forest once per year to tap thousands of trees and package bags of water. Interesting, right?
Their Instagram account takes users behind the scenes in tree tapping, showing followers exactly how their beverage got from the cold Canadian forests to their front porch in the Summer. It’s a fascinating look into how it’s done.
2. Open a business account on Instagram
If you are using a personal account for your business, it’s time to make the switch to a business account.
Business accounts on Instagram give you plenty of data, insights and opportunity to generate revenue for your brand. These accounts get access to analytics that tell you where your followers are, when they engage with your account, gender/age breakdown and more.
In addition, business accounts give you the opportunity to run Instagram ads on the network. Here’s where revenue generation comes into play. You can promote your posts through the Instagram app with just a few easy taps on your screen. If you have a product post that you want to raise awareness and consideration of purchase for, Instagram business accounts give you the option to pay to promote these posts, increasing your engagement and your following.
3. Optimize your business account for revenue opportunities
When you’ve switched your personal brand account to a business account, your Instagram profile essentially becomes your 24/7 salesperson, your social media website, so to speak.
Business accounts give you so many opportunities to create further engagement with your audience. You can add a contact button near the top of your profile, which allows you to add directions, phone numbers or an email address. Drive awareness to this section of your Instagram profile when posting content. For example, if you are a retail brand and post new products that have just hit the shelves, encourage users to visit your profile and click on ‘directions’ to visit your store.
4. Build your following because it opens doors of opportunity
We promised an explanation as to why it’s important to build your following, and here it is - it helps open doors of opportunity.
When you build your following to over 10,000 followers, you can add embeddable links in your Instagram Stories. This is huge.
Embeddable links are great for e-commerce brands, or brands seeking to drive traffic to a website. This feature was once only available for verified Instagram accounts, though the network made the switch when business accounts were unveiled.
The Instagram Story above provides a great example. Barkbox - a subscription-based service for dog owners - has over 10,000 followers on their Instagram account, and can link through to their website through their Stories. It’s an incredible opportunity to increase engagement and generate revenue.
5. If you don’t have a large following, utilize bio links
If you are working your way to 10,000 followers on Instagram, don’t fret - there are still revenue opportunities for you.
Take advantage of the bio link that every profile has, from personal accounts to business accounts. Don’t be afraid to change the link you use in your bio from time to time, dependent on your recent posts. Some accounts will post a great photo of behind the scenes content, and link to a blog post that delves further into the story. Encourage your followers to visit the link in your bio by creating a CTA at the end of an Instagram post.
As users flock to Instagram and businesses further integrate Instagram into their strategy, the revenue opportunities on this network will continue to grow. Like any great marketing strategy, be sure to set your goals and objectives, and track your return on investment with this network.