Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your Instagram account. By promoting products and services that you believe in, you can earn a commission on sales.
In this article, we will provide a beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing on Instagram, from how to find products to promote, to creating engaging content that will convert your followers into customers.
What is affiliate marketing?
Before we look at how to make money on IG as an affiliate, there are some things you need to understand.
For starters, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based online advertising, where affiliates market and promote products or services offered by other companies.
For the purposes of remuneration, each affiliate has an affiliate code that they can share with their followers on social media.
Now, there are different types of affiliate marketing.
One where affiliates are paid for traffic that they drive to a website or for sales that they make.
The other is where affiliates are paid through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, where an affiliate earns a commission on every click generated from their advertisement.
On Instagram, the most common type of affiliate marketing is where you get paid when your referral makes a purchase through your link.
Thus far, we’ve mentioned some new terms. Let’s define them:
- Affiliate – An affiliate is someone who refers customers to a third-party website. If the referred customer makes a purchase, then the affiliate earns money.
- Affiliate link – an affiliate link is the web address that leads you to the seller’s website. This link contains unique code that facilitates tracking of sales/actions
- Merchant – a merchant who sells goods or services. In affiliate marketing, a merchant is a website that you refer buyers to.
- Affiliate program – is a program in which a merchant pays affiliates.
Pay attention because you will encounter most of these terms as you learn about affiliate marketing on Instagram
Now, as you’ve seen, affiliate marketing is when you make money from driving people to buy products/services from a merchant.
This means that how much you earn depends on the number of people you can refer, right?
More referrals = more affiliate commission, it’s that simple math.
That’s where Instagram comes in.
a). The large and engaged user base
Yes, Instagram has more than 2 billion active users. This is a large user base that any company would die for.
Most of these users are really engaged and interested in the platform, which makes it easier to promote your product on this network.
b). The ability to share photos and videos
Affiliates are able to share photos and videos on Instagram which is why it is the best platform for them.
Being able to share content that is visual and engaging is essential for affiliates in order to gain followers and potential customers.
This means that you can easily show off products in a creative way, while also getting your followers engaged.
c). The use of hashtags to reach new users
As an affiliate marketer, you are always looking for new ways to reach potential customers. And with over one billion active users, Instagram is a great platform to do just that.
Hashtags are a great way to reach new users on Instagram. By using relevant hashtags, you can ensure that your content is seen by people who are interested in what you have to offer.
d). The lack of a character limit
Sure, Twitter has its moments and Facebook can be useful, but when it comes to promoting affiliate products, Instagram is hard to beat.
Because the lack of a character limit means you can really get your message across without having to worry about being cut off.
e). Ability to tag products in posts
As an affiliate marketer, you want to be able to tag products in your posts so that your followers can easily purchase the items you’re promoting. And there’s no better platform for doing this than Instagram.
With Instagram’s tagging feature, you can quickly and easily add product links to your posts.
Plus, Instagram’s vast reach means that more people will see your product tags and be able to click on them to purchase the items you’re promoting.
f). Easy to set up and easy to use
It is very easy to start using Instagram.
You can create a profile, upload pictures, and videos, and start sharing them with the world.
In under 10 minutes, you will be on your way to bagging your first affiliate commission check!
How to get started with affiliate marketing on Instagram
Now that you know why choosing Instagram as an affiliate was the right choice, let us look at how to get started as a beginner.
First, you can start with one Instagram account or create a new one for an affiliate business.
If you already have your own personal Instagram account, you will need to follow these steps:
Step 1). Switch to a Creator account
To run an affiliate marketing program on Instagram, you’ll need to turn your Instagram account into a Creator account. Here are the steps:
➡ Open your Instagram account.
➡ Select Settings.
➡ Go to Account.
➡ Tap Switch to a professional account and choose Creator.
➡ Choose the category that best describes your affiliate niche.
➡ Enter your contact information.
What does this mean?
Well, the Creator account on Instagram is unlike the other accounts. It is designed for bloggers, influencers, and content creators. It gives you access to professional tools such as:
- Flexible profile controls: You can choose to hide or display category info and contact buttons on your profile.
- More growth tools: Get more advanced insights and reach more people with promotions.
- Simplified messaging: A new inbox makes it easier to manage message requests and connect with fans
What’s more, you can have up to 5 accounts at a time.
This means that you can have different creator accounts on Instagram under one account.
Now, the reason why you should make the switch is that the creator account gives you access to insights such as growth, FAQs, and demographics.
These data will come in handy when the time comes to scale your affiliate marketing business on Instagram.
Step 2). Choose the right affiliate partners
By now, your account should be ready.
The next step to getting into affiliate marketing on Instagram is to choose the right affiliate partners.
Lucky for you, there are two ways to find them:
- Affiliate networks – these are platforms that aggregate various affiliate programs from different brands. The most popular ones are ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, and Rakuten, among others. The good thing about these networks is that they allow you to generate custom links, track commission, and receive payouts from one dashboard.
- Affiliate marketing programs – these are setups by brands to attract more sales. Most popular programs include Amazon Associates, and Shopify Affiliate program, among others.
While the number is only two, it can be overwhelming, especially for new beginners, to settle on the best affiliate partner to go with.
In that case, here are a few things to keep in mind when making your selection:
First, consider the products or services that you want to promote. Make sure that the affiliates you select offer products or services that are in line with your own.
Next, take a look at the terms and conditions of each affiliate program. Some programs may require that you meet certain criteria before you are eligible to participate, such as having a certain number of followers or posting regularly.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out and contact potential partners directly. Ask questions about their program and see if it is a good fit for you.
Step 3). Grow your audience and influence
If you have completed Steps 1 and 2 in our guide to getting started with affiliate marketing on Instagram, you are ready for the next step: growing your audience and influence.
Here are some tips to help you grow your audience and influence on Instagram:
a). Use hashtags to reach a wider audience
Hashtags can help you reach people who are interested in your niche, but who don’t follow you yet.
For example, if you are an affiliate in the nutrition niche, you can include hashtags like #nutrition or #health when you post content on your account to reach people who are interested in those topics.
b). Collaborate with other Instagram users
Find other users in your niche who have a similar audience to yours, and collaborate with them on posts or stories. This will help you reach their followers, and vice versa.
c). Engage with your followers regularly
Like and comment on their posts, answer their questions and create content that they’ll enjoy and find useful.
And a great way to engage your followers is by thanking them for commenting on your posts.
d). Use Instagram ads
You can use Instagram’s ad platform to reach even more people who are interested in your niche.
e). Host a contest or giveaway
Contests and giveaways are a great way to engage with your followers and grow your audience.
f). Use Instagram Stories
Stories are a great way to share behind-the-scenes content, give your followers a peek into your life and connect with them on a more personal level.
g). Go live on Instagram
Going live on Instagram is a great way to connect with your followers in real-time and give them an inside look into your life or business.
h). Pick a niche and stick to it.
Fun fact: there are a lot of different niches out there, and it can be tempting to try to be everything to everyone. But the truth is, you will make more money if you focus on one thing and become an expert in that area.
Think about what you are passionate about, and what kind of products or services you could promote that would appeal to your target audience. Once you’ve found your niche, put together a plan for how you’re going to market your affiliate products or services.
Step 4). Create an Instagram affiliate storefront
In June 2021, Instagram released news of its new affiliate features—one of which is an in-app storefront similar to the eCommerce brand’s Instagram Shops. This feature is specifically for content creators using the platform.
This feature makes it possible for creators to showcase products they are affiliated with. And even able to tag these products in your posts right on Instagram.
Affiliate marketing on Instagram best practices
When it comes to affiliate marketing on Instagram, authenticity is key.
Customers can see through inauthentic posts and will likely be turned off by them. It is important to remember that people are following you because they like your content, not just because they want to be sold to.
When creating affiliate marketing content, be sure to keep it real and focus on providing value.
Be genuine in your posts and only promote products that you believe in. This will help create a loyal following who are more likely to make purchases through your affiliate links.
By now you understand that affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising in which a company pays an influencer to post about their product or service on their social media platform.
This is generally done in the form of a sponsored post. While this can be an effective way to reach out to potential customers, it is important to be transparent about your affiliations.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines in place that require influencers to disclose when they are being paid or compensated by a company to promote their product.
These guidelines also apply to affiliate marketing.
Failure to comply with the FTC guidelines can result in legal action against the influencer or company, including fines.
Now that you are using IG for affiliate marketing, it is important to be aware of these guidelines and make sure that your posts are in compliance. A simple disclosure at the beginning or end of a post should suffice. For example, “This post is brought to you by Company X,” or “Paid Partnership.”
Be smart; use insights
Instagram insights is a powerful tool that can help you understand your audience and what content they engage with the most. Use this information to create tailored content that will resonate with your followers and help you achieve your marketing goals.
By following these best practices, you can set yourself up for success with affiliate marketing on Instagram. Keep your content relevant and engaging, and be sure to use insights to guide your decisions – you’ll be sure to see results in no time.
In conclusion, if you are just getting started with affiliate marketing on Instagram, start by posting high-quality content that is relevant to your niche.
Make sure to use hashtags and post regularly to grow your following. Use engaging captions and offer value to your followers by sharing helpful tips and resources.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to brands that you think would be a good fit for your page – they just might say yes!