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4 Ways To Monetize Your Brand On Instagram In 2021

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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

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.”

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Badges

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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.

Instagram Badges

Instagram Badges

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Instagram

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.”

Brand Partnerships

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.”

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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.”

Video

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.

Shopping In Reels

Shopping In Reels

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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.

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August

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Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …

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Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a pic.twitter.com/2chGZP9hr4

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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