Instagram for Startups: 5 Ways to Generate Revenue on Instagram

Your company doesn’t have to be enterprise-sized to get value from Instagram for business. The visual-first social medium allows startups and small businesses to compete with the big leagues, as companies on Instagram get the same opportunities for exposure from over one billion active monthly users and 500 million daily Instagram Stories, according to Statista. In fact, because of those stats, startups should give Instagram a try when they have a limited amount of funds and resources.

In this post, we’ll talk about why you should use Instagram for business and how to do it effectively.

Why Instagram?

New data from the Instagram Engagement Report of 2021 shows that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business. More than 83% of Instagram users have discovered a new product or service on the platform.

Here we see that Instagram goes beyond personal use. It extends to a global platform that helps brands, especially startups, showcase their products, humanize their content, and engage their target audience.

Another reason startups should be on Instagram is that the platform can help grow brand awareness and introduce new products and services. Why? Because Instagram users go beyond just being active – they’re engaged. Fifty-nine percent of Instagrammers visit the site daily. They spend at least seven hours a week browsing relevant content and interacting with their friends and the brands they like. And every month, about 130 million Instagram users engage with shopping content.

Almost all businesses have an Instagram account these days. Using Instagram for business gives your brand more credibility, especially if the content is well-curated and engaging. With its visual nature, Instagram is the best social platform to showcase your content. If you promote your brand and product in an authentic way that comes off friendly and without hard-selling, you’ll find out how much potential Instagram for business has for your startup.

5 Ways to Generate Revenue for Your Startup

Startups can boost their brand, promote products and services, and increase revenue on Instagram with the right marketing strategy.  Here’s what you need to do.

1.  Create & Optimize Your Profile

First things first, before you start any kind of advertising, collaboration, or growing your organic Instagram followers with tools like Kicksta, you want your profile to look good so that when users do land on your account, they’re interested in checking it out or following you.

Turn your Instagram profile into your storefront and create an Instagram personality that reflects your company’s brand voice. Decide on your Instagram aesthetic that includes theme, style, tone, and feel.

You also want to be deliberate with what you put in your bio, so research Instagram bio ideas that best showcase your brand. After that, craft the right hashtags for your brand and posts.

Once you have the essentials, it’s time to post consistently with a consistent brand message. Branding your profile this way is vital for your Instagram presence.

2. Work with Micro-Influencers & Nano-Influencers

If you’re a startup, you won’t have the funds to collaborate with the big names, so start small. Influencer marketing works, and it’s one of the top forms of digital marketing when it comes to ROI. You should give it a try.

Influencer marketing is a plus factor to your marketing campaigns. Having trusted online personalities recommend or even just mention your startup will definitely ensure a wider audience learns about you. Plus, you’ll circumvent traditional ad blockers. Done right, your startup will stand out as a more human, authentic, and trustworthy brand because influence is earned and not purchased.

By 2022, brands will be spending up to $15 billion on influence marketing according to this Washington State University study. They note

“For every dollar spent on an influencer marketing campaign, brands earn an average of $6.50.”

Clearly, influencer marketing provides value.

Furthermore, stats have shown that:

  • 70% of consumers trust influencers more than traditional celebrities.
  • 60% of teens prefer the advice of social media influencers over celebrities.
  • 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations.
  • 40% of consumers purchase a product or service after seeing it on Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

A report on the state of influencer marketing states that the most common influencer budget is $1,000 to $10,000 a year and up to $100,000 to $500,000 a year. But let’s narrow things down.

Based on data, the average payment on Instagram for different types of influencers is:

  • Nano-influencers (1,000–10,000 followers): $10 to $100 per post
  • Micro-influencers (10,000–50,000 followers): $100-$500 per post
  • Mid-tier influencers (50,000–500,000 followers): $500–$5,000 per post
  • Macro-influencers (500,000–1,000,000 followers): $5,000–$10,000 per post
  • Mega-influencers (1,000,000+ followers): $10,000+ per post

3. Track Everything You Do

As you start to post and build your profile, try different types of posts. Whether it’s IGTV, Live, Stories, or in-feed posts, be creative and introduce new types of content so your audience will stay engaged. As you do this, make sure to track the analytics for every post you do.

Looking at your Instagram numbers helps you understand how the platform contributes to your marketing strategy’s success. Analytics also help you improve and grow your startup in the platform, especially when you need to build brand awareness, generate sales or leads, and build your social media community.

Furthermore, Instagram analytics help you understand how your content performs with your target audience. Your numbers will show important factors such as:

  • what your followers like and don’t like
  • what drives more users or clicks to your website
  • what times of the day your audience actively engages with your content
  • who is mentioning your brand or sharing your content, and more.

All this data helps you develop successful marketing strategies that eventually lead to getting more sales.

4. Run Low-Budget Ads

As a startup, ad funding can be a challenge. But to use Instagram for business successfully, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for an ad on Instagram. You can promote a post for even a few dollars so that it will reach more people, and in time, you can invest more in paid advertising. The important thing is to be strategic through advanced targeting.

Advanced targeting uses comprehensive demographic and geographic data so you can be more precise when targeting your audience. The information you can access includes behaviors and interests. You can even utilize your custom audiences that tap into your email lists or other sources to reach the right prospects.

Once you’ve specified your audience, you can focus on running Instagram ads even if you’re on a small budget. One thing you can do is repurpose organic posts for top-of-funnel Instagram ads. Identify the posts with the most engagement, then use the in-platform promotional tools to develop a sales funnel. A few dollars behind your top-performing posts will be enough. This advertising strategy lets you use audience interactions to create your Instagram ad funnel.

Another strategy is to track and test ad placements for cost return. Instagram has three placements for ads: Stories, Feed, and the Explore tab. Monitor where your ads are getting the most interaction, then optimize the placements accordingly.

Finally, develop ads that demand attention and make people stop scrolling. Look for ad inspiration from competitors or complementary businesses. When you don’t have a big budget, you’ll need to use every trick to make the budget work hard for you.

5. Let Followers Get to Know Your Brand

Since Instagram is a cornerstone of any brand’s social presence, you need to let your followers get to know you more and keep them engaged with your brand by creating authentic and meaningful content. Here are some content ideas that are great for users to get to know a business better.

Behind the scenes

Behind-the-scenes content is a great way to connect with your audience, as it puts a face to your product or service. The people and processes behind your brand are valuable assets. Documenting behind-the-scenes events shows your followers that your business is a community you want your audiences to be part of.

Examples of behind-the-scenes content are candid photography, process videos, sneak peeks, real customer photos, and out-of-office scenes. Showing this side of your brand builds trust and creates a sense of inclusion.

Share the story of how your business started and how it’s progressing

Instagram is the ideal platform to tell your brand story in an engaging manner. For your brand to thrive, you need to embed it into customer relationships that go beyond your product offer. So, don’t hesitate to share your success story and how it’s going so far. Sharing your memorable experiences strengthens your community.

Showcase staff members

When you showcase your staff members, you’re also showcasing your company culture, which is a fantastic tactic for strengthening consumer-brand relationships. In addition, introducing your staff members on Instagram inspires employee advocacy and acts as a valuable recruiting tool.

Remember, your company culture is what binds your organization together. So, show it off.

In Closing

Instagram is an essential selling platform that startups cannot ignore. With these strategies for using Instagram for business, you’re on your way to increasing brand awareness, gaining customers and followers, and thus boosting your revenue potential.