Why followers are so important on Instagram
The way to make money on Instagram is get a LOT of followers. Once you have a lot of followers, it gets the attention of people who want to sell stuff, because you have created a huge audience and advertisers know exactly what your followers want to see.
This is a big change from followers on other social media, like this blog, or even Facebook. That's because it's easy to click "follow" on a blog, or "like" on a Facebook page, and never see it again. On a blog, it could be as simple as never reading it, and on Facebook it's as simple as "unfollow" (which really isn't the correct way to say it, as you're still a follower, as you're still included in the total number of people that that page can point to). But advertisers know that you really aren't forced to look. You can't cheat it on Instagram.
With Instagram, either you follow, or you don't. And it isn't as if you have to expend much energy on Instagram - that's why it's so popular. You don't have to read a lot of stuff, and you don't have to comment - you just have to glance, swipe, glance, swipe. So the advertising message gets in front of eyes.
If you want to monetize Instagram, it's all about large numbers of followers. That's what the advertisers look at. And since there's no "Adsense" on Instagram, the ads have to be inserted as if it were an ordinary Instagram post. Sure, people will swipe over the ads, but they can't block them, and so there's a good chance that the target audience will see them, at least briefly. Additionally, advertisers can place their products by giving you a certain amount of money for you, or a model, to be casually wearing their logo each time you take an Instagram photo and post it.
So, it's all about the audience. That's why there's so much money to be made on Instagram, it's a large captive audience. But advertisers aren't going to be interested in contacting you until you have a lot of followers - not hundreds, but thousands, or more.
Posted by Brad Hall