Both Brands and Athletes Can Make a Profit on Instagram — Here’s How

It really did feel like it was overnight, but over the course of 12 years, Instagram went from hosting one picture of a puppy to a platform that generated $24 billion in 2020, with countless more generated because of companies and individuals seeing the platform’s existence and popularity as a business opportunity.

And right they are for thinking of it like that. Social media in general has been a hot topic in the world of business and marketing, but Instagram is a whole world unto itself, with tons of potential for sponsored content and influencer marketing.

So if Instagram is a glorious world of opportunity, how can brands and athletes utilize it in the world of athlete endorsements? Get details and strategy tips for leveraging Instagram for your brand, whether athlete or company, below, including a new way for athletes and brands to connect with each other and start an Instagram partnership.

How to Monetize Instagram For Brands

Build Your Brand Persona

Instagram is a unique platform because it has a more colloquial and personal tone than a website or LinkedIn. And before you think that Instagram’s informal nature would hurt your business, consider 1. The fact that over 1.3 billion people are active users on Instagram, some of whom are bound to constitute your target audiences and 2. The fact that consumers are now expecting to find prospective brands through Instagram. They go to Instagram to search for brands, and are used to being served content sponsored by your competitors. 

The conclusion to draw from these two points? It’s time to get your head in the game. If your brand isn’t using Instagram, get an account today. It’s free, and your target audiences are spending time there.

But after you’ve made an account, what’s the best way to get eyes on your brand? Keep reading to find out.

Utilize Instagram Business Tools

Not only is Instagram a great way to get eyes on your brand, but it’s also an excellent way to gather data.

By setting your account to “business”, your brand can get access to a whole host of datasets, called Instagram “business tools”, that detail the individuals who are coming into contact with your content and are engaging with it. You can see things like “accounts reached” or “accounts engaged”, which show you the demographics of the accounts you’re reaching. By viewing “total followers”, you can see the trends across your followers, like growth, top locations, age range, and times they are active. These insights can help you curate content that fits more of your audience, as well as let you know if you’re not reaching your desired audience. 

Icon Source results from working with (athlete) instagram influencers

Sponsor an Athlete’s Posts

We left you hanging with the question of how to get eyes on your brand, and now we present you with the answer: becoming Instagram sponsors.

If you’re a brand and you don’t have the amount of activity on Instagram that you’re looking for, athlete instagram influencers are your go-to source to reach your target audiences. The majority of athlete influencers have followings that classify them as ‘micro-influencers’, which means they may have smaller followings, but they have much higher rates of engagement with those followers than bigger influencers (and if you didn’t already know, a higher engagement rate means a better conversion rate for you). Plus, sponsoring these athletes is significantly less expensive than sponsoring someone like Steph Curry.

So these smaller-time Instagram influencers really should be your bread and butter if you’re looking for brand exposure and more profits. And since there are around 500,000 active influencers on Instagram, you should have no problem finding one that is perfect for your business’s needs, especially if you use Icon Source to easily find and contact athlete Instagram influencers.

How to Become an Instagram Sponsor Through Icon Source

One of the best and easiest ways to become an Instagram sponsor after joining the platform is by signing up to use Icon Source. Icon Source is an online platform where athletes and brands create accounts and can meet each other based on mutual interests and values. Brands can reach out to Instagram influencers that pique their interest and draw up a proposal for the athlete Instagram influencer all through our interface.

But what if you’re an athlete looking for Instagram sponsors? Keep reading for direction on how to better partner with brands on Instagram.

How to Monetize Instagram for Athletes
How to Get Endorsements on Instagram

Athletes, no matter how big or small, D1 or walk-on, have at least somewhat of a following for a reason: they are part of what makes up a sport. And people love sports. Fans are an inherent part of being an athlete, and chances are, that popularity translates onto the digital plane. 

Our number one tips for drumming up Instagram sponsors? Be authentic, and show the behind-the-scenes of your life off the field, track, court, etc. Brands are interested in athletes because they want people to see their company as human, or their product as useful. People look up to athletes, and brands want to associate themselves with that sentiment.

Icon Source results from working with (athlete) instagram influencers

Like we discussed above, the reason micro-influencers have such high rates of engagement is because their followings are more loyal; athlete Instagram influencers, no matter if the following size is 1,000 or 50,000, are followed by those individuals because they feel a bond with that athlete. They either like the team they represent, or are invested in the sports they play, or just like the athlete Instagram influencer as a person. This bond is powerful, and it means you have more influence over your followers. The best way to let brands know that is by being authentic on your platform.

How to Become a Sponsored Athlete on Instagram

The journey will be different for all athlete Instagram influencers, but here’s an example of the steps that would occur in an athlete’s journey to become a sponsored athlete:

  1. You have an Instagram account with a following.
  2. You are regularly posting content that speaks to who you are and your personal beliefs.
  3. You approach brands asking for a partnership, wait for brands to approach you, or sign up for Icon Source to boost your visibility to brands and reach out to them in a secure and verified environment.

How to Become an Instagram Influencer Through Icon Source 

The third step of the process of becoming a sponsored athlete is the hardest by far, but Icon Source makes it easier. Athletes sign up and create an account on our digital platform for free, and brands can reach out to you (or vice versa), draw up a contract, and sponsor you directly through our platform.
Want to learn more about Icon Source? Contact us here. Otherwise, get started posting sponsored content on Instagram by creating an account with this link now.

Drew Butler
You only have control over three things in your life: The thoughts you think The images you visualize The actions you take

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