A young woman wearing thick eyeglasses and a yellow T-shirts sits at a round table in a restaurant or cafe and looks at her smartphone with a slight smile on her face.
Instagram is an great way to show off how your products and services look. But the site also has plenty of features that will take your customers from "just looking" to buying. — Getty Images/GaudiLab

Instagram is the go-to platform for perfectly curated photos and videos. It’s also a prime space for small business owners to build relationships with potential customers. As such, the natural next step is to monetize Instagram, so you earn money from your content, recommendations or advertisements.

Each monetization method takes a different investment, both time and financial. Like earning money on other platforms, choosing a few different tactics can diversify your income streams and help you achieve consistent revenue. Here are a few ways to level up your Instagram game and generate a quicker return on your investment (ROI).

Instagram Shop: Showcase your products

An Instagram Shop delivers an interactive, visual shopping experience, which is a good reason why, according to Instagram, “nearly half of people surveyed use Instagram to shop weekly.” Business and Creator accounts can create an Instagram storefront.

The three key features on Instagram Shops are:

  • Collections: Make it easy for Instagrammers to find items by grouping products. Highlight the latest seasonal trends or new arrivals within a dedicated category, or recommend gifts for different demographics and holidays.
  • Product detail pages (PDP): Compose interesting and informative product descriptions on your PDPs. Include prices and sizing details, or add a customer testimonial to use your product detail pages to convert potential customers.
  • Checkout on Instagram: While you can still send people to your website to check out, Instagram’s in-app service lets customers complete transactions without leaving their favorite app. This feature also enables businesses to announce an upcoming product launch, and Instagrammers can set reminders.
  • Instagram Shop tab: Get noticed with the shopping tab on Instagram’s home screen. Users see a personalized feed and can explore new brands and products.

[Read more: 9 Steps to Starting a Business Instagram]

Turn on in-stream video ads

Earn money on your Instagram videos by enabling in-stream video ads. In return, Instagram said, “you’ll get 55% of the ad revenue generated per view that will be paid monthly.” The minimum length for your video is two minutes, but Instagram recommends two to four minutes as the “sweet spot.” Certain content doesn’t qualify, including static images, looping videos, slideshows, polls and text montages.

You can make money from sharing content highlighting a brand, product or service.

Design shoppable posts

Monetize your existing and new Instagram content by tagging products in your Instagram Stories, posts and ads. Instagrammers can tap on the image or video to learn more about an item or purchase it. Add up to five tags per image post or 20 products per carousel post.

Optimize your shoppable posts by:

  • Putting a product tag and reposting, with permission, content from influencers and customers with your products.
  • Using multiple tags so that users can check out each aspect of your Instagram post quickly.
  • Instagram turns on the “Shop” tab on your Instagram profile once you have nine shoppable posts. Users click on the tab to view all your shoppable posts in one spot.

Use affiliate marketing and sponsored posts

Join affiliate marketing programs and insert links in Instagram Stories using stickers or the Swipe Up feature. However, Instagram limits links in your profile bio to one. Get around this using Linktr.ee. Once an Instagrammer clicks on your profile link, Linktr.ee brings up an in-app page with your links, including trackable ones.

Your affiliate partners may provide promo codes, as well. In this case, you can share them on your Instagram posts, including in the comments or in Instagram Reels. Depending on the program, you may be paid per click or per purchase.

Sponsored posts are another option. You can make money from sharing content highlighting a brand, product or service. Connect with individual companies to pitch your social media platforms’ reach or join influencer marketplaces, such as Fohr, indaHash and Grapevine Village. Explore sponsored post examples by searching the hashtag #sponsored on Instagram.

[Read more: 7 Businesses You Can Start and Grow on Instagram]

Go live to sell your products

If you love connecting to your audience in real time, then why not monetize it? Turn any live video into an interactive shopping experience by tagging products to feature during your livestream. Instagram shows each tagged item at the bottom of the screen, so Instagrammers can simply tap the screen to purchase.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

man standing looking down at phone
A message from
A 401(k) your employees can manage from a phone?
About time. Give your employees access to a personalized retirement plan and tools to help them save and invest.* And you? You’ll be able to manage your employees’ 401(k)s in one easy-to-use dashboard. Win-win.
*Investing involves risk.
Learn More
Published January 26, 2022