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How to Make Money with Instagram Marketing

Chapter 5 by Nicole Martins Ferreira

Instagram is the most important social network according to 32% of teenagers. With over 1 billion monthly users, mastering Instagram marketing can prove to be a powerhouse for your online business. About 26% of Instagram users make over $75,000 a year making it great for marketers. Instagram recently celebrated the milestone of 1 million advertisers. This number is expected to grow over time making now the best time to start advertising on the platform. About half of all Instagram users follow at least one brand on the platform while 60% of users have discovered new products through the app.

Instagram Example: Letterfolk, a letter board brand, runs a creative yet consistent Instagram account. Their Instagram account consists of letter boards with funny, inspiring or everyday slogans in different settings.

Whether it’s a letter board celebrating a child’s first day at school or engagement photos, their letter boards are shown off as people celebrate milestones. They show the versatility of the letter boards by showing them on bookcases, on walls, held in photographs, on desks and more.

It’s not just a piece of decor. It’s almost like the letterboards are an extension of life’s little and big moments.

Instagram marketing

Instagram Tips:

Post content like an influencer in your niche would. Influencers amass large audiences with stunning pictures of themselves or awesome pictures of products they love. If you pay close attention to how they place certain products on backdrops like marble countertops or how they pose with apparel, you’ll quickly realize that there’s a proven way to take pictures. There’s a certain aesthetic that does well on Pinterest. Niches all have different styles. Here are a few Instagram accounts to use as inspiration: Go Pro, Dynamite, Tous Jewelry, MVMT, and Tiffany & Co.

Analyze how brands Brands like Bauble Bar and Lavish Alice use their Instagram accounts to highlight their brand qualities and share product photos. The best brands often use a mix of items being used or worn and the product in a lifestyle shot. It’s not uncommon to see quotes, videos and other varieties of content to have a diverse selection of posts.

Lavish Alice, for example, includes their customers’ Instagram images on their product pages. This helps customers see other looks for the same outfit. By seeing different styles of how it’s worn, it provides context for how and where Lavish Alice’s products can be used, subtly communicating how you’ll feel when you’ll use it. It tells a story and helps prospective customers see real people enjoying their products improving social proof and trust. It proves to their potential customers that people not only love the product but they love it enough to share it on social media.

Instagram - Lavish Alice

Kelly Mindell’s Instagram account is vibrant with color, positivity and unique DIY inspiration. She promotes her products with quirky, one of a kind images that suit the product’s fun personality. She sells DIY products such as balloons, costume pieces, iron on patches and more. The vibrancy of her Instagram is consistent throughout her store’s website which you should consider doing for your own online store.

Instagram - Studio DIY


Keep your image quality high and consistent. Instagram is the platform for beautiful images. Include your product in lifestyle shots to build your brand. Avoid using pictures of your product on a plain white background because this doesn’t typically fit well with Instagram’s aesthetic. What’s the common theme of your Instagram pictures? You can post minimalist style images, vibrant and quirky images or black and white with a color pop for your product. Create an image branding guide to help you maintain a high level of consistency throughout your branding. In the guide, include the fonts you’ll use, color scheme, image style and more.

Work with influencers. Finding a profitable influencer is hard. This is because many accounts have fake followers so the audience pool is smaller than it seems. And big audiences by themselves aren’t enough. They need to convert their audience into buyers. Make sure you send influencers samples of your most popular products since it’s already proven to sell to increase your odds of conversion. You can use tools like Recliq to find the best Instagram influencers. These type of tools make it easier to find profitable influencers as you can leave reviews about your experience.

Reach out to influencers and offer them your product for free in exchange for a picture. This will help you build social proof on your own Instagram account. You can use their quality pictures for your ads, and access to their audience. Make sure you get a written agreement and build out your Instagram account with their pictures. If they ask for payment, simply move onto the next influencer. After contacting several influencers, you’re bound to find a few who are interested.

If you’re on a tight budget, convince Instagram influencers to be your affiliate. This will allow you to only pay them a percentage of each sale. You’ll need to offer a sizeable commission as the average influencer makes around $300 with each sponsored post.

Engage with people in your niche. Top brands all grew their accounts by liking, commenting and following relevant people within their niche. When starting out, you’ll likely need to spend a couple hours each day engaging with people on Instagram to build your following. Avoid using bots as it violates Instagram’s Terms of Service. Don’t forget to engage and respond to people who comment on your page.  

Encourage your customers in post-purchase communications, to use your hashtag and Instagram handle when posting their product pictures.  By building out your hashtag, you can have a great collection of customer photos which can be shown on your store’s website to show your potential customers.

Post Instagram Stories. You’ll want to be consistent with your posting of Instagram Stories to ensure that your brand always stays at the top of your customer’s minds. If you get your Instagram account verified, a cool feature is that you can link out to your store. For example, if you feature a product in your Instagram Story you can add the product link so that customers can buy the exact product.

Make sure you create a business account instead of a personal one. You can pull your store’s information from Facebook while also including shoppable links. In addition, you’ll get access to data insights for engagement on your page.

Aim to have at least 11 hashtags in your first comment when posting images on Instagram. I usually post between 25-30 hashtags though. The more hashtags you can add, without exceeding the limit, the greater number of people your post can potentially reach. Hashtags are one of the best ways to promote your content for free.

According to Latergramme, the best time to post is 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST and Wednesday tends to be the best day.

According to TrackMaven, the Mayfair filter gets the most engagement. No filter comes in second.

Instagram Tools:

Later is an Instagram scheduling tool. It optimizes your posts based on the best times to post for your specific audience. You can add multiple images to a single post. It features which allows you to have a shoppable Instagram feed so you can drive more sales from Instagram. The tool even allows you to repost other pages’ content. Later has several other features and also works on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Instagram - Later

Shoppable Instagram Galleries allow store owners to create Instagram galleries on their website. When a customer clicks on the link in your bio, they can find the Instagram post with their favorite product. If there are several products such as several models wearing different pieces of clothing, each item on your store is tagged to a product page so customers can easily access the products they love. It allows for a seamless customer experience while also helping increase conversions by showcasing all the products in the image. It also helps remove the hassle of constantly changing the link in your bio with every new post.

Instagram - Shoppable Instagram Galleries

Repost is a great Instagram tool for those who want to repost other pages’ content. For example, if you sell dog products you might repost images of other dogs on your Instagram account to grow your followers. You can also repost images that are relevant to your branding. It helps you keep your page active without you having to take or upload your own pictures.

Hootsuite allows you to save your time by automating your social media posts. You can easily schedule posts on the platform for Instagram and other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It allows you to easily manage all of your social on one platform simplifying the process of posting on your accounts.

Instagram - Hootsuite

Power Editor is an advertising tool where you can manage and create Instagram and Facebook ads. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, you get access to powerful tools where you can narrow your targeting, zero in on your demographics, retarget customers on Instagram and more.

Instagram - Power Editor

Icono Square is an Instagram analytics tool and influencer sourcing tool. You can find relevant influencers within your niche to collaborate and promote your products. With IconoSquare’s analytics product, you can measure your follower growth, track how many followers you gain and lose each day, and understand where your customers come from for better marketing opportunities. You’ll also see which hashtags are getting you the most attention, the best times for publishing, and a seriously powerful media management tool. You can also schedule your Instagram posts and manage multiple accounts simultaneously. Instagram - IconoSquare

Boomerang is an Instagram tool where you can turn pictures into a loopable video. The piece loops so you can keep watching the same clip over again allowing you to create unique posts. You can find the app within Instagram’s Stories section.

   Instagram - Boomerang

Instagram Resources:

Oberlo’s How to Hack Instagram Marketing: 60 Instagram Tips You Should Know is where I share some of the best tactics on how to market on Instagram. This guide was made for beginners and shows the step by step way to use Instagram and market successfully on the platform. It’s one of the most in-depth Instagram articles you’ll find online.

Acceleration Partner’s 3 Ways Affiliates Can Monetize Their Instagram Channel dives into how you can ask your affiliates to monetize their Instagram accounts. You can use the strategies in this blog to reach out to Instagram influencers to become affiliates.

Photo Slurp’s Instagram Marketing Examples is a great resource for those looking for inspiration in the type of content they should be posting on their social media. You’ll see how ecommerce stores style their products, what type of posts they include and how to inject personality into your Instagram profile. You’ll see examples from top brands like Ipsy, Cluse, BeardBrand and more who all carve out their own unique personalities on their brand pages.

SelfStartr’s 15 Instagram Marketing Tips to Spread Your Ecommerce Brand Like Wildfire is a great blog post that covers every aspect of Instagram marketing from hashtags to maintaining a color scheme. The post is vibrant with images and infographics to educate you on Instagram’s popularity, how many hashtags your posts should include and more.

Neil Patel’s 4 Easy Ways to Generate eCommerce Sales from Instagram dives into how to make money with Instagram account. You’ll learn the exact types of posting you should be putting out to build an audience you can promote your brand to.

Oberlo’s How to Do Instagram Influencer Marketing educates users on which tools you should use to find influencers, how to market on Instagram, and how to get influencers to promote your brand. You’ll learn how to find quality influencers and how to build strong relationships with them.

Instagram Influencer:

Instagram Expert - Matt Smith Matt Smith, the Founder of Later, shares his advice for those looking to get started in influencer marketing. He says, “When you are looking for Instagram influencers to work with there is a few things that we’ve learned. First, the right audience matters more than the size of their following. For example, micro-influencers (with 5k-50k followers) may not have the massive following of some celebrity but are going to give you a much higher ROI because you can target influencers that are more focused on your ideal customers. Think quality of followers over quantity, the perfect influencer is someone whose followers largely represent your ideal customers.

Second, you want to make sure the influencer has a good relationship with their followers, if they are hawking some random product every other week their followers are less likely to trust their recommendations. Trust is the most powerful part of this relationship and if the influencer doesn’t have the trust of their followers, just keep moving.

Finally, you want that post they are going to share about your product or brand to be as authentic as possible. Do your best to give that influencer a top notch experience so they are more likely to post about you. If you can surprise micro-influencers with a custom gift or product, they will often post about it in return. This content is gold for your business because it’s authentic. You want influencers to be posting about your brand because they genuinely love your product, not just because it was free.”

Instagram Helene Helene of Helene In Between shares, “My number one tip for anyone looking to grow is wind up on the explore page. The way to do that is by increasing your likes and comments. My suggestion for this is to write a caption that asks a question or begs to be given input. This way, people will engage and react whenever you post.


next: Chapter 6

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