In 2020, Instagram is much more than just a platform for sharing photos or videos with your friends.Today, more than one billion monthly active people use this platform and 90% of them follow at least one business account. This means Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app into a marketing channel.
Since users want to communicate with brands in-app, it’s no wonder that Instagram shopping is gaining in popularity. One report says that 70% of Instagrammers use this platform for product discovery and 130 million tap on product tags to learn more about featured products.
For influencers, this means an opportunity to monetize their Instagram accounts and turn their loyal following into paying customers. While most creators know how to promote and sell physical products on Instagram, just a few of influencers know about the popular types of digital downloads and how to promote them on Instagram.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and social distancing, digital downloads have become extremely popular among customers and influencers have a new way to make money on Instagram.
What are Digital Downloads?
Digital downloads (also known as e-goods) are an electronic form of goods that can be either shipped electronically to the consumer through email or downloaded from the Internet. These products come in various forms like ebooks, music files, software, digital images, manuals, etc.
With the spread of social distancing due to COVID-19, digital downloads become the future of ecommerce, so there are many reasons to create electronic products these days.
Why Influencers Should Create Digital Downloads?
At first blush, it seems that digital downloads are good for big ecommerce companies only. However, these e-goods can help Instagram influencers for three main reasons:
- Stand out from the crowd of influencer: Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing, so the number of opinion leaders is constantly growing. However, influencers need to find new and creative ways to stand out from the crowd and creating digital downloads helps to be any different from other influencers.
- Prove authenticity: Instagram has become a powerful sales channel, so it’s no wonder that more and more businesses want to team up with niche influencers. However, most of them are afraid of Instagram fraud. To secure collaboration opportunities with brands, you need to prove authenticity. Thus, having unique digital downloads to sell is an easy way to do it.
- Make money on Instagram: 70% of modern customers trust influencers as much as recommendations from their real-word friends. This means followers are more likely to buy from influencers they follow which gives them another opportunity to make money on Instagram.
If you want to learn how to turn your loyal followers into customers and sell digital downloads on Instagram, check out top 6 download types as well as examples of how to promote them on the platform.
Let’s dive in!
6 Types of Digital Downloads to Promote and Sell on Instagram (with Examples)
#1. eBooks (recipes, guides, how-to’s)
The rise of elearning is here. The popularity of technologies makes it easier for people to study on the go, so more and more people download ebooks. According to one report, US ebooks sales reached 538 million in 2018. This means people are interested in ebook downloads. Moreover, there are different types of ebooks (recipes, guides, reports, how-to’s) so the audience is wide.
As an Instagram influencer, it’s more likely you have your niche which also means you must have unique experience you want to share. Not only can you send your ebook to various online course platforms to gain exposure, but you can also sell it on Instagram as your followers are interested in your success story.
For example, a fitness model Jose Frakich has created a fat loss ebook and turns his following into readers. Check out how he promotes the ebook on the feed:
Now let’s take a look at how Josef Rakich changes his bio section to encourage impulse buying. The combination of eye-catching emoji and strong CTA draws visitors’ attention to his flash sale:
#2. Printables (digital art, patterns, invitations)
Online and offline go hand in hand these days. More and more people draw inspiration from Instagram accounts and find products they want to buy. In fact, 70% of Instagrammers use the platform for product discovery which means your followers are ready to buy from you.
This means you have an opportunity to promote printable downloads like digital art, patterns, invitations, postcards, etc. The easiest way to promote and sell printables on Instagram is to tell about them in the bio section. Here’s how Gitte Lykke did it:
And here’s another example of promoting print downloads from illustrator Tanya Bonya who has a massive following of 230k on the platform. She has a separate account for her printable products and it looks like a storefront:
Tanya shows her products in action and explains to visitors how to order these images via a bio link which helps her attract more followers and make money on Instagram.
#3. Photography (stock photos, mockup images)
Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s no wonder that users upload over 95 million photos daily. Having a cohesive Instagram feed is a great way for influencers to showcase their photos and encourage followers to download better versions via special links.
There are many ways to promote photo downloads, but here’s one of the best ways from an Instagram photographer. Not only does the photographer publish eye-catching photos to grab the attention of Instagrammers, but she also teams up with DepositPhotos (one of the fastest-growing photobanks) which allows her to show off her portfolio and reach a wider audience.
The best thing for Instagram influencers is that there’s no need to be a professional photographer to start selling photo downloads as people love authentic images you take with your phone. Thus, this type of digital downloads is one of the most widespread on the platform.
#4. Video (lessons, stock footage, cinemagraphs)
Video content is extremely popular these days. According to BreadNBeyond report, 78% of users watch video content daily, video consumption on mobile devices grows by 100% each year, and 82% of website traffic will come from video by 2022.
To attract new audiences and make money on Instagram, it’s a good idea to promote video digital downloads. Whether you want to promote video lessons, stock footage, or cinemagraphs, Instagram is a great place to do it.
Check out how professional artist Sergey Gusev spreads the word about his video tutorials it on Instagram:
Gusev uses the power of bio section to draw attention to his video tutorials for three main reasons: a strong call to action, a clickable bio link, and a separate Highlight album dedicated to his digital downloads. For both followers and visitors, it doesn’t take much time or effort to learn about video tutorials so it helps to promote and sell downloads on the platform.
#5. Audio (music, podcasts, audiobooks)
Being on the go is a new normal, so people listen to podcasts and audiobooks when they want to obtain knowledge or improve their skills. What is more, music is still one of the most popular hobbies so people pay close attention to audio files.
Spotify needs no introduction. This platform gives users access to a huge library of audio content, but its users often seek out ways to block ads on Spotify as it bombard customers from all sides. Thus, audio digital downloads are extremely popular among users these days.
More and more niche influencers create audio digital downloads to share their knowledge with the audience and promote them on Instagram, just like in the example below:
With the smart bio link, Jenna Kutcher has an opportunity to add several links to the bio section and therefore promote her podcasts on different platforms with ease:
#6. Software (game mods, presets, apps)
With the rise of ecommerce, influencers get offers from brands to make Instagram filters or even create chatbots for their websites. Why? When potential customers see products from influencers they love and support, they feel more loyal toward the brand which encourages them to make the purchase decision. Thus, it’s no wonder that influencers promote and sell software on profiles.
If you can’t develop software yourself, it’s a good idea to browse the profile directory and find developers who can team up with you and help to launch your product. What is more, software comes in different forms so it’s easy to find something attractive for your target audience (games, presents, apps, etc.)
Here’s how one influencer made a game and told his followers about the launch on Instagram:
The above-mentioned example is great as the influencer also has a separate Instagram account for this game which allows users to follow the profile and share their customer experience with other potential customers.
The Bottom Line
The days when Instagram was a simple photo-sharing app are far behind us. Today, Instagram influencers affect consumer buying behavior and therefore help businesses grow revenue. But if you want to make more money on Instagram without spending much time on running your business, consider creating and promoting digital downloads as they gain in popularity.
Remember that your following loves you, so they are more likely to give your products a try and therefore show their support. Don’t miss this chance!