Does Instagram pay you for views?

Need money. Have Instagram. So does Instagram pay you for views? Yes and no.

Matthew James Oxlade
Updated on

What are two things almost everyone has in common? They want to make money without much effort, and they have an Instagram account. Pair the two together and you’re wondering – does Instagram pay you for views? It’s a bit of a yes and no answer.

Does instagram pay you for views?

No way – there’s no way in the world I could say yes to does Instagram pay you for views. Instagram wants to make money, not give money away.

Instagram sells ads to people who want to advertise, and that arrangement is set from the advertiser and paid directly to Instagram. The average Instagram post is a product for increasing the time users spend in the app, therefore increasing the number of ads that are served.

So how do you get a piece of the pie? Does Instagram pay you for views if you arrange it? No. Instagram is never paying you, so you need to be creative.

Then why do people say Instagram does pay you for views?

People want to make money online, and almost everyone has an Instagram account. It’s much easier for people to say you can make money on Instagram than explain exactly¬†how¬†they make money online. And also, maybe they don’t want to tell you so they can make more money.

Instagram does not pay you for views, but there are a few ways you can make money on Instagram.

Does Instagram pay you for views

Other ways to make money with Instagram

Work with a brand

If you have a certain number of followers, you can easily justify value to a brand by being called an influencer. It’s become a pretty annoying term because of the macro influencer figures with endless amounts of followers and super glossy photos. Even people with a small number of followers are becoming nano influencers.

I get it – what is a nano influencer? A nano influencer is a user who has between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. Generally, with a small amount of effort you can become a nano influencer.

How much do brands pay for views?

But how much should you charge a brand? It’s hard to say, but here’s a few pieces of information to use to scale how much you ask for.

You could charge brands based on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-mille (CPM – or simply the cost per thousand views) because that is the most common pair of budgeting metrics for advertisers.

You could charge based on quantity of posts, but you will be asked for your average reach per post. This takes you back to the CPM metric.

There’s pros and cons of each, but the simplest option is charging per CPM because it doesn’t rely on any real action – it’s just an awareness campaign that doesn’t rely on any conversion copy.

Life Marketing did a study that showed that the average CPM was $5.14 (so, they pay $5.14 for 1,000 views) and the average CPC ranged from 20 cents to $2. That’s a lot less than the CPM, right? Advertisers are always making a gamble and here’s why.

Let’s choose a roughly halfway point and say that the CPC the business pays is $1.10. Every time a user clicks on an ad, they are going to pay $1.10.

That means that they can either take four guaranteed clicks for every thousand views before the better option becomes the CPM rate (Life Marketing’s average shows at $5.14). If they choose the CPM rate, they might see more than four clicks over the thousand of views.

How much should you charge a brand?

So what are they going to choose? CPC or CPM? Probably CPM because the click cap is not considered.

So where does that leave you? Use the above to benchmark your cost. If you have an average reach of 4,500 on each of your posts, and 800 on each of your Instagram Stories, you could justify your cost like this:

A package of two posts and five Stories = $66.82 in raw cost.

That package is based on the cost of the fictional reach we used on this calculation – ((4500*2)+(800*5))/1000*5.14

$66 is what I call the raw cost, but it isn’t considering the value you bring to marketing on behalf of the brand to access your subscribers from an authentic voice. For more about the value of that, read my article about what a nano influencer is. Point is, you should charge more than the $66.82 for the authenticity in your voice.

Sell stuff as an affiliate

Calculations suck, and if the brand-route doesn’t appeal to you, you can go the affiliate product route.

Organise a commission from brands

If you know what brands sell to your followers, you can arrange commissions from sales that come from the links you share on your Instagram.

You’ll hear a lot of podcasts mention a coupon code to get a discount, and that’s a sign of them making a commission from any signups that use that unique code. The discount they offer is real, but it also shows the business what signups come from what source and pay out commissions accordingly.

A simpler solution to this is Amazon, where any user that links to Amazon and results in the visitor purchasing a product via their link gets a percentage of the total cart value. The percentages vary depending on the category, but you can sign up for Amazon Affiliates here.

Find a product related to your niche to sell

If you don’t know where to start, you can look on JVZoo. I’ve never used JVZoo but I’ve heard good things come from it if you do your research.

Basically, you choose your product that suits your niche and follow the steps. If you’re a creator, you can allow people to sell your content to others too. But you’re here because you want to know if Instagram pays for views, so I’m guessing you want to sell rather than create.

Sorry to break the bad news about the burning question, does Instagram pay you for views. I wish I could say that they did, but they don’t. Being a little clever about it can get you paid on Instagram though. Good luck!