Since Instagram first introduced Reels in 2020, they have become a favorite feature of this app. These short-form videos that were intended to take over TikTok are much more than just a way to pass time. Thanks to their massive reach and rapidly increasing popularity, Reels are currently one of the best ways to make money on Instagram.
Yes, Reel monetization is real, and this option isn’t just reserved for celebrities. Anyone can have a piece of this pie if they are savvy enough. If you’re wondering how to make money and get paid with Instagram Reels, read on to learn about the methods you can try.
How to Make Money With Instagram Reels
Instagram constantly introduces updates that allow you to monetize your content and today, there are several ways to make money from Instagram Reels. Joining the app’s brand-new bonus program that aims to reward content creators can earn you from a few hundred to thousands of dollars monthly.
Even if you aren’t eligible for this program, you can use Reels to promote your business and increase your sales. If you don’t have a business per se, brand sponsorship and affiliate marketing are also great ways to complement your income. Read about each money-making method below.
Join the Instagram Reels Play Bonus Program
Instagram has stepped on the gas when it comes to Reels and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Things are about to get serious, as the platform has announced that it will offer bonuses to eligible users for creating and posting Reels. This probably sounds like a dream job if you’ve been doing that anyway. Here’s what the process involves.
Step One: Become Eligible for the Reels Play Bonus Program
First, you’ll need to become eligible for Instagram’s bonus program. The program is still in its early phases and is only available in the U.S. At the time of this writing, there is no way to trigger the program or apply for it directly, as it’s invitation-based. Still, there are a few criteria users must fulfill.
- You need to have a business or creator account
- You must live in the U.S. and be at least 18 years old
- You must meet Instagram’s monetization policies
- Your follower count must be under a million
Eligible accounts will see a notification in their app letting them know they’ve qualified for the program. You can also check whether bonuses are available to you in the following way.
- Go to your creator or business profile.
- Open your Professional Dashboard.
- Find “Bonuses” in the menu.
- Press “Get Started” to see if you’re eligible.
If you fulfill all the criteria but the option still isn’t available to you, be sure to check back often, as it’s being rolled out gradually.
Step Two: Activate the Bonus Program
It’s extremely important that you activate the bonus program as soon as you become eligible since your eligibility might expire. Setting it up is simple.
- Open your profile and access your Professional Dashboard.
- Scroll down to “Bonuses” and press “Get Started.”
- Read and accept the Terms and Conditions of the program.
- Select your country and whether you’re an individual or a business owner. Business owners will have to enter their tax information on the next screen.
- Choose your payout method. You can also do this later.
- Tap “Activate bonus,” then “Done,” and you’re ready to go.
Step Three: Meet the Goals
Once Bonuses are set up, the real challenge begins. Instagram will give you goals you must meet within a deadline. These goals vary from account to account. You have 30 days from the moment you activate the feature to meet the goals and qualify for a payout.
The good news is that you can use up to 150 Reels to meet the view goal during the next month. You can check your progress toward the goal and the maximum payout you can expect by accessing your Professional Dashboard.
Here are a few tips to make progress and ensure you’ll be able to leverage the payout.
- Before you post a Reel, go to your Bonuses page and select “Reels Play Bonus”
- If you forget to select “Reels Play Bonus” beforehand, you have up to 24 hours to do so belatedly
- Remember that if you delete a Reel, it will no longer count toward your goal
- Skip branded content, as it’s not allowed within the bonus program
- Ensure you stick to the terms and conditions, because three instances of Reel violations will remove your eligibility for the program for a certain period of time
If you follow all the rules and manage to meet the goal, Instagram will send you an invoice around the 10th and a payment around the 21st of the following month.
Collaborate With Brands
The Reels Play Bonus Program is still not fully implemented, so it may not be available to you despite your account checking all the boxes. Fortunately, that’s not the only way to boost your revenue using short Instagram videos.
Another way to make a profit from Instagram Reels involves collaborating with brands that might want to leverage your account for exposure. Do you have an established following? Do you post content relating to a certain niche? If yes, then there are businesses out there that share your interests.
Influencer marketing is huge at the moment, and it’s not limited to accounts with millions of followers. Micro-influencers with a more modest follower count are often preferred by brands, as they provide more authentic content.
How do you get brands to contact you for a sponsorship? There is no sure recipe for this. You can try submitting your Instagram account to influencer platforms like Upfluence and NeoReach, which allow businesses to connect with content creators.
Once a business contacts you for a collaboration, you’ll need to post sponsored content for an agreed-upon fee. Sponsored content is marked as such on Instagram, and you can even tag the business you’re working with in your Reels for maximum transparency.
Leverage Affiliate Programs
If you’re not yet an established influencer, you might find it hard to land a deal with a brand. If your Reels are getting a reasonable number of views, you can reach out to businesses yourself.
Many businesses have affiliate programs that allow you to act as a brand ambassador. You’ll earn a commission each time the business makes a sale thanks to your promotion. This is typically a small percentage of the product’s price, but it can add up if you manage to convince many of your Reel viewers of the product’s reliability.
You can apply to affiliate programs, like Amazon Associates, or contact smaller businesses directly for a partnership. Instagram has its own affiliate program that is still in its testing phase. Once it’s rolled out, it’ll be easier than ever to connect with businesses for affiliate marketing.
If you have any kind of business, social media is probably an integral part of your digital marketing. If you aren’t already making Reels to advertise yourself, you’re missing out on a massive user base.
Instagram Reels have a much wider reach than any other type of content shared on this social media platform. This makes them the perfect tool to get your message across. Whether you have a small business selling handmade goods or you’re a freelancer looking for clients, Reels can give you great publicity.
There are numerous ways to advertise your products or services in your Reels, depending on the type of business you have. You can showcase your products in use and tag them in the Reel so users can go to your Instagram Shopping page with a few taps. Product links will be under View Products at the bottom of your Reel.
You can increase traffic to your website, blog, or YouTube channel by referring viewers to your page in your description.
Although this method won’t mean direct deposits to your bank account, it’s a valuable long-term strategy to boost conversions.
Offer the Option to Subscribe
Instagram is constantly competing with other platforms that allow users to offer subscription-based content to their followers. The Subscription feature was introduced to mimic this mechanism. If you have some dedicated followers, they might be interested in exclusive paid content from you. As opposed to brand collaboration, this monetization method will grant you a monthly income.
The Subscription feature is only available in the U.S. at the moment. For now, Subscriber benefits include private Stories, Lives, Posts, Chats, a badge, and last but not least, Reels. Even if you only plan on posting one type of paid content, you can use your Reels to advertise it to a wide audience.
Social media can be a lucrative source of money if you’re dedicated to creating valuable content. Instagram clearly agrees with this, as evidenced by its stimulating Reels Play Bonus Program. Find out whether you can enroll in this program and make some money on the side. If you’re still not eligible, consider other methods of monetizing your Instagram Reels.
Is the Reels Play Bonus Program available to you yet? Or have you already enrolled and started posting your Reels? Let us know in the comments section below.