The Creator Economy is positively impacting solopreneurs, small business owners, and creators alike. With 50 million people worldwide considering themselves to be creators, social media platforms have implemented tools and features for monetization, allowing content creation to become a viable form of revenue generation – no matter your follower count. As a result, creators are crafting engaging and interactive content to build community and ultimately increase sales for their products and brands. Here are four ways Instagram supports creators making money on their platform.
Instagram Shop allows anyone with a business profile to create a customizable storefront, increasing product discoverability and a streamlined checkout via Facebook pay, making it easy for followers to become customers.
“People are now making more and more purchase decisions online without ever experiencing products in person,” explains Layla Amjadi, Director, Product Management for Instagram Shopping. “The various ways that people consume content on Instagram can help build confidence in those purchase decisions that show the products in action and on different body types and skin tones. We’ve added shopping capabilities to make it easier for people to shop in the moment without interrupting their Instagram experience.”
Co-owner of Ouai and author of Blowing My Way To The Top: How to Break the Rules, Find Your Purpose, and Create the Life and Career You Deserve, Jen Atkin echoes this, “When launching anything as an entrepreneur, whether it’s a book or a company like Ouai, I’ve always looked to Instagram as a way to connect with people and get feedback on what they enjoy. I try to be experimental when thinking of new projects to bring to market, and Instagram allows me to do that while also helping to drive sales. It can be an all-in-one platform for creators and entrepreneurs to grow and find success.”
Already a popular concept in China, badges are the next frontier in social commerce. Badges have made their way to Instagram and are currently only available for a selected group of creators. Badges provide another way for fans to show their love during live videos. Fans who purchase badges in Instagram Lives stand out in the comments and unlock additional features, including placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart. With badges, creators can generate income from the content they’re already creating.
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Alok Vaid-Menon, author and performance artist, is one of the first to use badges to connect with their community during Lives, “With badges, it’s kind of like getting tips at a live show. It’s a tangible way for people to support my art, which has become particularly helpful during the pandemic when live venues have shut down. Badges encourage me to take my live videos more seriously because live streaming has become a part of my income. For Lives with badges, I try to focus on a particular skill set that I have like an academic lecture or a poetry performance, so my audience feels like they are experiencing something they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.”
For influencers, participating in brand partnerships allows for another revenue stream. Instagram provides capabilities to have product tags on posts, allowing for followers inspired by their looks to purchase directly in-app.
Kristen Noel Crawley, Founder of KNC Beauty and influencer, shares, “Working with top tier brands to develop creative content, has been extremely integral to my growth as an influencer. Having the opportunity to collaborate with brands that are established and align with my creative outlook has been such a meaningful part of my work over the last few years. As an ambassador, I feel a sense of importance when curating content that surrounds a brand or product, and this attention to detail has allowed me to grow within this space.
I partnered earlier this year with Versace to help promote the release of their new Medusa Handbag, which was particularly exciting because this was the first time I’ve collaborated directly with the brand. The product was so incredibly cute, and I loved the content we came up with.”
Influencers are also launching their own products. Crawley did just this with KNC Beauty, “I developed the idea for KNC Beauty after discovering Japanese lip masks while on a brand partner trip to Tokyo. After launching our Collagen Infused Lip Mask, I saw the sudden and excited response that resonated across social media. I knew I could expand this concept into other areas. My followers definitely did their job by posting and sharing themselves in our under eye mask which to this day is our most successful product. I think this domino effect across social media absolutely contributed to our sales.”
Social selling can happen through inspiring and entertaining video content and the integration of product tags. There are many ways to do so on Instagram. With Stories, utilize behind-the-scenes and authentic content to build trust and follower count. When you reach 10,000 followers, you have access to the ‘swipe-up feature that links to websites with products and merchandise. Reels are gaining traction as the newest Instagram feature, and you can add products to your 30 second or less quick, fun videos. And, through going Live, whether on your own or adding up to three others, you can share more information about your products and sell directly through the Live.
Future of Social Commerce
With the Creator Economy in full force and social media platforms like Instagram providing a multitude of ways to generate revenue through content creation, the sky is the limit for the solopreneurs, small business owner, and creator who wants to make money on social media.