Since Instagram discontinued its Reels Play bonus program, many creators are wondering how to monetize Instagram Reels. You might even be wondering if Instagram Reels is still a viable resource for monetization, or maybe you should be focusing more attention on TikTok or YouTube Shorts.
While the landscape of monetizing on Instagram Reels has shifted, we’re happy to report that in 2024, there are still plenty of ways to make money on Instagram via Reels.
In this article, we deep dive into the top seven ways to start bringing in some cash with Instagram Reels, including what Instagram’s new Gifts feature is all about, and how you can boost your digital product sales through Instagram Reels. Read on to learn how to earn money as a creator on Instagram Reels.
7 Ways to make money on Instagram Reels
1. Enable Instagram Gifts
Since Instagram’s Reels Play bonus program came to an end in 2023, the Instagram Gifts feature has become the new kid on the block for creators to make some money from Reels. So, how does it work?
Instagram Gifts are a way for creators to get support and earn money from fans who love their content. Creators who are eligible to receive Gifts will have a “Send Gift” option appear as an overlay on their Reel clips. Sticker-type gifts are available to viewers in purchase amounts up to $5.99, which they can send — in the form of Stars — of various cash amounts.
How do you become eligible for Instagram Gifts?
There are a few things you’ll need to check off before Instagram Gifts become a viable revenue stream for you. You must:
- Have a professional account (i.e. a Creator account).
- Be at least 18 years old
- Meet Instagram’s monetization policies.
- Have a minimum of 5,000 followers.
- Live in a region with Gifts access.
If you’ve ticked off all of the above, then congratulations! You’re eligible for Instagram Gifts.
How much can you earn with Instagram Gifts?
As you enable Gifts for your account, you’ll want to set some realistic expectations. Each Star a creator receives from fans is equal to $0.01 USD. So, if a fan sends a gift that costs them 100 Stars, you’ll receive the equivalent of $1 USD.
Every month, Instagram pays creators with a revenue share from Reels that receive gifts. It might seem like pinching pennies at first, but all those Stars add up, even more so as your audience continues to grow. While Instagram Gifts might not be what pays your bills, it’s definitely a welcomed revenue stream.
Plus, Instagram has recently expanded the regions where Instagram Gifts are available, so more and more creators should have access to this feature over time.
2. Earn with Instagram Subscriptions
Another way to monetize Instagram Reels is by offering exclusive content to followers who subscribe to your Instagram account. Think of Instagram Subscriptions as Patreon, but for Instagram!
If you enable Subscriptions, your subscribers will pay a monthly fee to see exclusive content from you. The best part? You get to set the price point from anywhere between $0.99 to $99.99.
Not only will your subscribers have access to exclusive content, but they’ll also receive a subscriber badge next to their name, so they stand out in your comments and DMs.
To keep your subscriber audience engaged, you’ll want to make them feel special. Be transparent about your content plan for them (what makes this content different from your regular content?), recognize your subscribers by replying to their comments and DMs, surprise them with bonus content, etc. As always, consistency is key.
3. Partner with brands
One of the most popular ways for creators to make money is by partnering with brands, and creating Reels is a great opportunity to do so. One of the advantages of brand partnerships is that you get to set your rates and charge brands to create a Reel, or a series of Reels, to promote a product or service.
If you’re just getting started in influencer marketing, it can feel overwhelming at first to figure out the appropriate rates and build strong relationships with brands. Some creators choose to work with an agent in the beginning, to help get the ball rolling. Creators who have over 100,000 followers often work with a professional as well, to help them manage brand partnerships.
Agent or no agent, the best place to start is to connect with brands that you want to work with on social media. Follow them, interact with their content, do some deep-dive research, and find out their social media manager or partnerships manager’s contact information. Of course, DM-ing is always an option, but we all know how easy it is to get lost in the ether of the Requests folder.
Partnership rates for Reels vary greatly — depending on your followers and influencer status, you can make anywhere from $10 to $10,000 for sponsored Reels.
Whichever type of brand partnership you decide to pursue for Reels, you want to make sure that what you’re promoting is relevant to your brand and audience. Remember, your audience’s trust is the most valuable tool in your creator kit, so make sure you don’t break it just to make some extra bucks.
4. Become an affiliate
Becoming an affiliate is another way to monetize Instagram Reels. But what exactly is affiliate marketing? And what’s the difference between brand partnerships and affiliate income?
Branded content is content that the creator has already been compensated for by a business partner. Meanwhile, affiliate marketing is when creators work with brands or retailers to promote products and earn a commission for sales made. Commission rates for affiliate marketing contracts vary, but generally, creators can make anywhere between 5-30% commission promoting products through Instagram.
When it comes to affiliate marketing promotion, you want to make sure you select products or services that align with your content niche and resonate with your followers. Authenticity is key, so only promote items you genuinely believe in.
Begin by researching and partnering with brands or businesses that offer affiliate programs compatible with your content. Many companies have dedicated affiliate portals, or a unique affiliate link available for creators. Once you’ve secured affiliations, start crafting engaging Reels that seamlessly incorporate these products or services.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, you’ll want to take advantage of Instagram Insights (or third-party analytics tools) to track performance metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your affiliate Reels. Monitor engagement, click-through rates, and conversions to refine your content strategy continuously. Higher performance metrics will only attract more brands down the line.
Remember that building trust with your target audience is crucial, so you want to always be transparent about your affiliate partnerships to maintain authenticity and credibility. As your audience grows and engagement increases, so can your potential earnings.
5. Promote your digital products
One of the best ways to monetize your Instagram Reels is by promoting a digital product that you sell, whether that’s an online course (or mini-course), guide, ebook, or template. But how can simply promoting a product be so lucrative, you ask?
First things first, digital products are becoming increasingly popular among creators not only because they’re easy to create and distribute, but they can also help you make passive income. Creating a digital product requires only one upfront investment. Thanks to its digital (read: instantly downloadable) nature, your product can be sold over and over, meaning your ROI is excellent.
With Instagram Reels, you can reach potential customers through engaging video content. Simply direct your audience to a shoppable link in your bio to purchase your digital products.
Where can I sell my digital products?
When it comes to selling your digital products, opt for a free tool like The Leap, which allows creators to easily generate their own link-in-bio storefront and individual sales pages to showcase their products.
The Leap is an especially fitting platform for Instagram creators, as it’s mobile-optimized and designed specifically to cater to social media audiences. Essentially, this means the whole shopping experience will feel totally streamlined for both the creator (you) and your target audience.
If you’re feeling stumped on where to get started with digital products, you can also use The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder, which helps creators come up with product ideas ranging from mini-courses to templates and guides at the drop of a hat.
Launch your creator store on The Leap to start selling your digital products!
6. Promote your merch or physical products
If you’re a creator who has merch or physical products to sell, promoting and selling your products through Reels can become a viable revenue stream for you. You can either do this by directing viewers to your e-commerce website, or selling directly from Reels using the Instagram Shopping feature.
To get started with shoppable Reels on Instagram, you’ll need to first set up a Product Catalog as part of your Instagram Shop. From there, it’s easy to add Product Tags to the Reels you want to be shoppable.
To streamline the user experience for your viewers, here are some of the best practices for a successful shopping experience:
- Fill out all of the catalog fields for every product. That means product name, description, price, and availability.
- Keep your catalog up to date. Broken links and out-of-stock products aren’t cute.
- Use high-resolution images from multiple angles. Instagram is a visual platform after all, so you want to offer the highest quality images.
- Set up variants of products. For example, if you’re a photographer who sells a print in multiple sizes, set up those variants within your catalog so they are all shoppable.
Shoppable Reels make it super easy for your audience to see products that you’re promoting and purchase within a single experience. It’s a great way to reach your existing audience, but there’s also potential to reach beyond new customers since shoppable posts are discoverable in the Shop tab.
Plus, you can add Product Tags to UGC content and organic Instagram posts, as well as existing Reels that are already performing well!
7. Create UGC for brands
Monetizing Instagram Reels through user-generated content (UGC) collaborations with brands is yet another avenue for content creators to make some serious dough.
The key to UGC content lies in your ability to create authentic-feeling, high-converting content for brands. When a brand pays a UGC, it’s looking for relatable and engaging content that it can post on its social media channels to promote its business.
Unlike traditional influencer sponsorships, brands looking to work with UGC creators are more concerned with their ability to make quality, personal-feeling content than their audience size. That’s right. Even if you don’t have a massive Instagram following, as long as you could show brands that you’ve got the chops to create scroll-stopping Reels, you could make bank through UGC deals.
Do some research on brands you’d like to work with, and reach out to those brands to express genuine interest in creating UGC for them. Of course, you’ll need to convince brands with your previous work or some UGC samples, so be sure to send them your UGC portfolio.
Time to Reel in the big bucks!
Whether you’re just getting started as a creator, or you’re an established influencer exploring new revenue streams, there are plenty of ways you can monetize Instagram Reels. One great idea is to create and sell your own digital products, and to promote your product offering through Reels.
Try The Leap, an AI-powered digital product builder that helps you create mini-courses, tutorials, and guides that are as fun to consume as watching Instagram Reels. The Leap also doubles as a link-in-bio storefront, allowing you to create and sell digital products all from one place.
The Leap is designed for creators looking to jumpstart their monetization journey. Sounds like you? Get started today!
How can you make money with Instagram Reels?
Since the discontinuation of the Reels Play bonus program in 2023, many creators are wondering if they can still make money from Instagram Reels. The answer is yes! There are several other ways to make money through Reels, including the new Instagram Gifts feature, which allows creators to earn fan donations.
Creators can also monetize Instagram Reels through brand sponsorships and affiliate marketing, and by creating user-generated content (UGC) for brands. In addition, if you have merch or physical products to sell, you can use Reels to promote them. The Instagram Shopping feature allows you to add product tags directly to a Reel.
Another great way to make money through Instagram Reels is by selling digital products, like ebooks, courses, templates, guides, and more. You can use a free, intuitive tool like The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder to create your digital product, quickly and easily. Once your product is finished, you can use Instagram Reels as a marketing channel to reach potential customers.
How do you enable monetization on Instagram Reels?
You can enable monetization and make money from Instagram Reels through features like Instagram Gifts or Instagram Shopping, but you’ll have to meet certain eligibility criteria first.
To enable monetization via Instagram Gifts, you’ll need to:
- Have a professional account (i.e. a Creator account)
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have at least 5,000 followers
- Live in a region where the Gifts feature is available
- Meet Instagram’s monetization policies
To sell products through Instagram Shopping, you’ll need to first set up a Product Catalog before you can tag products on your Reels.
How much does Instagram pay for 1,000 views on Reels?
The Instagram Reels Bonus Program paid creators based on the number of Reels they created per month and the number of views they received. This program has since been discontinued and replaced with Instagram Gifts, which instead allows fans to gift creators various amounts of Stars that are worth $0.01 USD each. With Gifts, Instagram pays creators based on how many Stars their Reels receive each month, rather than how many views they receive.
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