I’ve written extensively about sponsorships on YouTube before. However, Instagram sponsorships are a different beast. Let’s go over where to find sponsorships, how much they pay, and everything else you need to know about sponsors.
How To Find Instagram Sponsors
Not every company in the world will be willing to sponsor you on Instagram (You may get rejected a lot). That said, if you start with the products that you’ve already seen doing sponsored posts on Instagram that fit your niche, your success rates will skyrocket.
Instagram itself has a unique way of finding potential sponsors. Posts will be tagged with #sponsored, #paidpartnership, or #ad. Searching that should produce several examples of companies that do sponsorships. Instagram also started putting a “Paid Partnership” label next to the creator’s name on sponsored posts. Here’s an example of what that looks like (from a sponsored post by Lindsay Lohan).
If you have specific companies in mind, Google “Company Name Partnership.” This should take you to a web page where you can inquire about making a deal. For good measure, here’s a list of Instagram Sponsor pages I’ve found using this method (there are a bajillion more).
- Touch of Modern
- Trunk Club
Apps / Influencer Websites
Recently, Influencer marketplaces have started popping up (both websites & apps). These marketplaces promise to connect Influencers with brands for a fee. If outreach isn’t working for you, these may be worth checking out (listed alphabetically). The problem is that an influencer marketplace will be taking a cut in the revenue in some way.
Grow a Bigger Following, Brands Will Reach Out To You
Advertisers typically measure their adspend by the amount of money they pay per 1,000 impressions (Think $20 per 1,000-ish). So if you have under 1,000 followers, they’re not going to be tripping over themselves to offer you sponsorship opportunities. At this size, you’re a rounding error to them.
As you get past 10,000 followers, you may start to get some interest. As you approach or surpass 100,000 followers, brands will start reaching out to you much more frequently. If that’s happening, it’s a big advantage with pricing negotiations.
Affiliate marketing is where you get a link for a product and place it into the description of your post. Brands love this because it’s a 0 risk investment to drive sales. And I typically love this because I don’t have to make content for a specific brand to get paid.
The problem is that on Instagram, most of your traffic comes from the cell phone app. Meaning it’s difficult for your audience to click your link and complete their purchase from Instagram. For that reason, I’m not a huge fan of affiliate links with Instagram.
How Much Instagram Sponsors Pay
There is no official rate when it comes to how much a brand will pay you for a Sponsored Instagram post.
That said, I need you to understand that companies will regularly pay around $10-$30 per 1,000 impressions when running Facebook and Instagram ads. And these companies know that Influencers with an audience fit will convert at dramatically higher rates than Facebook ads to cold traffic. Meaning your rate per 1,000 impressions is worth as much as ad traffic. Probably more.
How much more depends on the companies profit margins, funnel efficiency, and if your audience’s fit for the product. That said, I want you to look at what conversion rate improvements do to the profit margin of a hypothetical ad campaign. This is why you should be able to find somebody to work with you.
How much you charge is very much a negotiation. Just keep in mind that $10-$30 per 1,000 impressions should be your floor. Meaning at 10,000 subscribers with a decent audience fit and engagement rate, you could probably charge at least $100-$300 per sponsored post. Probably more if your audience is a good fit.
Also, charge for the time it will take you to create the post (particularly if they want video that’s time-consuming to create).
Should You Accept Free Merch?
Sometimes brands won’t be willing to pay you, but they might be willing to send you free products. I’ve even heard of people getting free hotel stays if they agree to feature the hotel on their Instagram.
Whether or not to accept this is up to you. Just keep in mind how much this content is worth to the brand. Don’t accept a $20 t-shirt for an ad spot that should cost the brand $500.
How To Pitch Your Instagram to Brands
Brands have to pay employees to deal with you, and their time is money. So when you reach out, get right to the point and include all the facts they need to decide. The following data points are a good idea to include.
- Who you are, what you do, and why your audience fits their product
- Where to find your Instagram
- How many followers you have (feel free to include all social platforms if you have more than one with impressive numbers)
- Engagement rate on posts
- Audience Demographics (If you have them)
- How Much Money You Want (though I suggest leaving this off and negotiating it later).
Nobody likes reading long emails (write sentences not paragraphs). So when you reach out, I suggest including most of this information in an infographic (example below of one for a YouTube channel). That way, you only have to write a few sentences when you reach out to these brands about why you’re a great fit. The rest of the data is an easy-to-read infographic. Google “Instagram Media Kit Template” for better examples.
Don’t Abuse Sponsored Posts on Instagram
The most valuable thing about your Instagram account is the fact that your audience trusts you. You can lose that trust if every post you do is a low-quality sponsored post. Be careful that you’re not betraying your followers when you get into this.
Thanks for reading! And if you’re interested, I also created guides on how to get TikTok Sponsors, YouTube Sponsors, Podcast Sponsors, Blog Sponsors, and Twitch Sponsors. I recommend checking those out if you’re curious how the rates for those platforms compare with this one.