Everything you need to know
Guest post by Samuel Williams
For years, the standard for getting your ideas out was to start a blog and promote the blog. However, the advent of social media has changed the way you get your ideas out to the masses. Thanks to social media, you can promote what your business is doing to the masses in a way that you couldn’t in the past. When endorsing products or services, blogging used to the best way, but now thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels including Instagram, you can promote what you do with greater ease. In particular, Instagram has emerged as a true alternative to blogging for many reasons and businesses are right to consider if they should focus their promotions on a blogging platform or through Instagram.
For influencers, Instagram is the #1 platform for affiliate marketing currently because it is the place where there is the most user generated marketing. However, there are some who would be tempted to wonder who Instagram and user generated content works with affiliate marketing? The answer is simple – blogs were great in the past because the blog was a personal accounting of a customer’s experience with a product or service. Now, thanks to Instagram, the picture or videos are worth more than a thousand words because individuals sharing their experiences in a visual way is powerful – the audience does not have to do the critical thinking involved with reading a blog. This is one reason why Instagram has become powerful with affiliate marketing – the ability to leverage user generated content is more profound with Instagram.
There are plenty of things to consider depending on your business though.
What is Your Audience Base?
One of the biggest challenges any blogger has is building a base of readers. This is why blogging does not have a fast growth potential unless you are a known name and already come to blogging with a passionate fan base behind you. Instagram is different because it is easier to build your audience base from the beginning than it is with blogging. That being said, while it is easier to build your audience with Instagram, that does not necessarily translate into sales the way it would if you built your audience through blogging. The thing about blogging is the conversion rate is higher, so while building your audience with blogging might be easier, the problem becomes the conversion rate. Instagram users are more likely to browse and not click through, so the loyalty of the audience base is something to consider. If you need your audience to come through with conversions, then blogging is the answer, but if having a big audience quick is what your business needs, then you need Instagram.
Quality of Content
Obviously, Instagram is the ideal place to go when you are looking for great images, videos, and stories. Everyone in the marketing industry today will tell you content is king – to the point of the words losing all meaning – but on Instagram, your content must be visually compelling. The issue with Instagram is the captions. You can write long captions about a product or service, but Instagram is not conducive to these captions being read and the format is less than idea. The blog is different, because with a blog, the formatting is much easier and you can get into greater detail on the explanation of a product or service, which means a deeper understanding of a concept emerges from a blog. That said, a picture is worth a thousand words, and seeing something in action is high quality content because, especially for people who are visual learners. The things to consider – if something is complex, a blog may be the right method, but for something simple and visual, turn to Instagram.
The reality is that Instagram and Blogging have different effects on the way you would produce revenue. Both perform well with affiliate marketing, and when you use this method of generating revenue, you can’t go wrong as long as you have the relevant content in place that successfully directs people to your affiliates. That said, there are some things to consider when monetising your Instagram feed or your blog.
The first thing to consider is Instagram’s limitations when it comes to making money. You can’t run advertisements on Instagram the way you can with a blog. Furthermore, something useful for bloggers – Google AdSense, does not work with Instagram, so you are left with really one option – sponsors. Sounds easy, except it is not. No one wants to sponsor an Instagram feed without a lot of followers, or the ability to guarantee followers as conversions. There is also the law of diminishing returns – you can only show the product to followers a certain number of times before saturation occurs. Therefore, to get regular income, you need regular sponsors. It also means you need a large number of followers. The more people your message gets to, the better your sponsorship options become. This is how influencers make money – their sponsored posts are guaranteed to be seen by many followers and those followers will convert to the sponsor’s product.
Blogging is different because your blog can do a lot of things. The first is that you can use your blog for ad revenue for Google AdSense. This system is great for generating income because you don’t have to do very much to make it work, Google does all the work. However, your blog can work in several different ways. Like Instagram, if you have enough followers you can write sponsored posts. The way to do this is review your stats and see how many clicks you get along with the average duration people are on the page. With sponsored posts, you would have to write a blog about the sponsor’s products, and therefore they want to make sure when they are paying for content that will be seen. Ultimately, there are more ways to make money off blogs than Instagram, despite Instagram making it easy to get followers.