Affiliate marketers are constantly looking for ways to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience. Many marketers are using digital marketing solutions, with the world increasingly becoming digital. One of those solutions is affiliate marketing on social media. 

With 17% of the world’s population on Instagram alone, it is little wonder that social media affiliate marketing is growing steadily.

The benefits of affiliate marketing are many. They include low advertising costs, diverse and creative user-generated advertising, and immediate access to thousands of targeted customers. 

But perhaps the best benefit of affiliate marketing is that you can borrow the trust of influencers. By associating your brand with a particular influencer, their fan base will likely trust you. This boosts your brand reputation as well as recognition.

4 Steps to start Affiliate Marketing on Instagram

Affiliate marketing works best and can be done on any social media platform where links can be shared – Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, even on influencers’ websites. In this article, we will focus on Instagram.
Here’s why:

  • Instagram is free and effective at driving traffic and conversions.
  • To market products and services, Instagram has image and video features like Instagram stories, posts, reels, etc.
  • Instagram supports some major affiliate networks.

It is not necessary that only ecommerce or similar businesses can use Instagram affiliate marketing. With the examples of affiliate marketing campaigns on IG, you'll know that even SaaS companies can take advantage of this platform.

To make your job easy, here’s a step-by-step guide to start affiliate marketing on Instagram.

1. Select an Affiliate Network

There are two ways to find affiliate marketers. The first is through an affiliate network, and the second is by creating an affiliate marketing program. Let’s start with the first option.

  • Affiliate Network: If you are new to affiliate marketing and want to make money on Instagram with affiliate marketing, choosing an existing affiliate network to partner with is probably the best and easiest option. Affiliate networks and a database of influencers offer services like tracking technology, payment processing, and reporting tools. 

They host bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers that can help spread the word about your brand and products.

Some well-known affiliate networks are ShareASale, Rakuten, and CJ Affiliate, to name a few. In 2021, an Instagram affiliate marketing program was launched, making it easier for influencers to monetize their accounts.

The disadvantage of using an established affiliate network is they charge a commission or finder’s fee in addition to the commission you pay the influencer. 

  • Affiliate Program: Since you will be looking for your affiliates by yourself, draw up a list of reputable websites, bloggers, and Instagram influencers in your industry. You can either invite them to become affiliates or hold an open application. 

2. Decide on your Commission Rates

When you join an affiliate network, they help you decide the best commission model to keep your business competitive. If you choose to create your affiliate program, there are a couple of factors you should consider to determine affiliate commissions:

  • Profit margins: Commissions come from your profit margin and can affect your bottom line.
  • Competitor analysis: Researching industry standards or how much competitors pay will give you ideas for your commission payout rates

There are two main models of commission payout: pay-per-click and cost-per-acquisition. With pay-per-click, the influencer earns a commission for driving traffic to your website. 

The cost-per-acquisition model pays the influencer a commission on completed sales. This model has fewer risks since it focuses on sales rather than clicks. To help manage these commissions, you can manage commissions with this template.

You will need to determine the terms of commission payments in addition to rates: will the commission be fixed for every transaction or a percentage of the sale? Will payment be made in cash or store credit? Will payment be made monthly or after hitting a threshold?

3. Include Incentives in your Affiliate Program

The cost-per-acquisition model is attractive to businesses. However, many influencers may prefer the pay-per-click model. Plus, top influencers have more options. 

  • To make your affiliate program attractive, incentivize your program with commission bonuses. For example, when affiliate marketers reach a certain revenue threshold, they get a bonus, either a one-time payment or a higher commission rate.
  • You can also incentivize your affiliate program with commission tiers. Usually, affiliate marketers earn commissions from the leads or sales they generate. In a two-tiered program, affiliates receive commissions from their marketing efforts and the marketing efforts of affiliates they refer to the program.

Source

SEOReseller offers you a commission of 6% of sales made through your personalized link. That’s the first tier. You also receive an additional 1% commission from sales made by the affiliates you recruited. That’s the second tier.

4. Find Influencers on Instagram

Whether you decide to join an affiliate network or create your affiliate program, you want to partner with a content creator who fits your brand. In addition to driving sales, the best affiliates will help you get more Instagram followers and grow brand awareness. This is essential for your long-term success. 

There are three things to keep in mind in your search for a suitable Instagram affiliate: 

Search in your Specific Niche

It is tempting to cast a wide net and work with as many influencers as possible. But quality outweighs quantity. It is more effective for an affiliate partner in your niche market to promote your brand than any influencer with large followers on Instagram.

So, when choosing an Instagram influencer to do influencer marketing, evaluate whether your brand is relevant to its audience.

Also, most influencers won’t post content irrelevant to their audience. A gaming influencer will hardly post about pet products even though some of their audience members own pets. 

Therefore, there must be common ground between the influencer’s niche and your brand. It ensures that your Instagram affiliate marketing campaign capitalizes on your potential affiliate’s audience. 

To find the right influencer, use a native search like the Explore page to search for relevant tags in your industry. For example, you can search the tags #keto or #fitness to see potential content creators you can partner with for your low-carb protein bar.

Prioritize Quality over Engagement Metrics

As with any business process, keeping track of what is working and what isn’t is good practice. Affiliate networks must report tools showing how many affiliate links have generated leads and sales for your business.

If you aren’t part of a network,  use affiliate marketing tools like Post Affiliate Pro to get affiliate management services, from creating links to getting detailed campaign reports.

As stated earlier, quality trumps quantity. An affiliate marketer on Instagram could have a large following but low or inconsistent engagement rates.

Conversely, there could be an influencer with small but highly engaged and active Instagram users (micro-influencers). In this case, you may be better off with the micro-influencer than the macro-influencer.

Still, an engaged following doesn’t guarantee profitability. If you start to see high return rates, there could be a problem with how your affiliates market your products on Instagram which could harm your brand reputation. Avoid this by onboarding affiliates to your brand correctly.

Keep an eye on inactive affiliates as well. It is an indicator that your program is not competitive enough. You may then need to assess and adjust your commission rates or terms. 

Prefer Influencers who have their own Blog

More traffic to your website generally yields higher search rankings. However, not all traffic is equal. Search engines have become sophisticated and differentiate between organic traffic and spam traffic.

You don’t want to waste your marketing efforts advertising to people uninterested in your product or service. Blog posts generate organic traffic from a targeted audience.

In addition to access to a targeted audience, influencers with blogs can improve your online visibility with backlinks. 

Backlinks are like references or citations in a research paper. They tell people and search engines that your website is relevant to a given search topic and improve your ranking. This strategy is particularly effective when working with partners with high SEO rankings

Examples of Affiliate Marketing on Instagram

Now you know how to use Instagram for affiliate marketing. But maybe you need some real-life affiliate marketing on Instagram examples to inspire you. Check out how these three brands do affiliate marketing on the Instagram app.

1. Kajabi

Successful Instagram affiliate marketing is also a popular SaaS marketing strategy. One of the SaaS companies that has been doubling down on this technique is Kajabi.

That also means that online course platforms are competing for the course creators. To beat the competition, most of these platforms have adopted affiliate programs. 

The SaaS platform – Kajabi helps online course creators create courses and build content-optimized websites to host the course. It also makes it easy to build high-converting websites for increased sales.

  • Besides the obvious benefits of creating your course on the platform, Kajabi allows its members to promote it through affiliate links on Instagram and other channels. 

2. Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway is a fashion business that allows users to rent designer clothes and accessories. Recently, the brand entered the reseller market. Their affiliates (or ambassadors) vary from well-known social media influencers to micro-influencers, but all share a passion for fashion.

Source 

  • Various ambassadors of Rent the Runway are involved affiliates selected from a group of customers they call ‘super renters.’ Rent the Runway gives its ambassadors a personalized affiliate link to share with followers.
  • Most affiliates share these codes in the caption of specific posts. Others, like Laura Ford, take an upfront approach and share these codes in their Instagram bio.
  • Rent the Runway also gathers user-generated content from customers and affiliates for their Instagram feeds.

3. Ritual  

Ritual is a vegan multivitamin brand. The brand works with a diverse group of affiliates who fit their health-conscious brand and features them on their official Instagram page.

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  • Like most affiliate programs, Ritual offers its affiliates personalized codes to share with followers on their Instagram profile.
  • They use involved affiliates with whom they share their brand guidelines.
  • Their affiliates write detailed explanations of the product’s benefits in captions or short videos, like in the example below.

The affiliate marketing strategy of these three brands works because they take advantage of involved and relevant affiliates and user-generated content to boost the credibility of their brand.

Ready to do Instagram Affiliate Marketing to grow your Business?

Affiliate marketing is an effective way for businesses to increase their visibility and target a specific audience base. It’s a win-win situation for both brands and influencers.

Businesses gain credibility and customers from influencers’ followers. Influencers earn a passive income from sharing creative content about their products or services. 

With over one billion users, Instagram is a great platform for brands to execute affiliate marketing programs successfully.  

We are confident that our comprehensive guide to implementing affiliate marketing on Instagram, along with the illustrative examples we have provided, will give you a clear understanding of how to connect your business with the right affiliates and community.

By following these insights, you will be equipped to generate income through Instagram successfully.

Apart from this, if you plan to incorporate video as a marketing tool in your strategy, feel free to contact webdew. Being a professional video creation and marketing company, we would love to provide you with the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can definitely do affiliate marketing on Instagram! Instagram provides a fantastic platform for promoting products and earning commissions through affiliate marketing. With its visually appealing nature and wide user base, Instagram offers ample opportunities to showcase products and drive sales. By partnering with affiliate programs and using affiliate links in your Instagram posts, Instagram stories, or bio, you can earn commissions for every sale generated through your unique referral link. Remember to adhere to Instagram's guidelines and disclose your affiliate partnerships transparently to maintain trust with your audience.

There is no set number of Instagram followers required for affiliate marketing. While having a large following can potentially amplify your reach, engagement, and chances of conversions, it's not the sole determinant of success in affiliate marketing. What matters more is your followers' quality and engagement level with them. It's crucial to focus on building an engaged and targeted audience, regardless of size. By creating valuable content, establishing trust with your followers, and using strategic ways to promote affiliate products on Instagram, you can succeed in affiliate marketing, whether you have a few hundred or several thousand followers.

Finding Instagram affiliates involves several approaches. One effective method is to start by researching and identifying popular Instagram accounts within your niche or industry. Look for accounts that align with your target audience and have an engaged following. Reach out to these account owners and propose a potential affiliate partnership, highlighting the mutual benefits. Additionally, you can leverage affiliate networks and platforms that connect influencers and affiliates, allowing you to discover potential Instagram affiliates. Networking within your industry, attending relevant events, and engaging with like-minded individuals on social media can also help you connect with potential affiliates for your Instagram marketing efforts.

The best affiliate program for Instagram depends on your niche, target audience, and the types of products you wish to promote. There are several popular affiliate programs that work well with Instagram, such as Amazon Associates, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, and ClickBank, to name a few. Choosing an affiliate program that aligns with your niche and offers products that resonate with your audience is essential. Consider factors such as commission rates, product quality, brand reputation, and affiliate support when selecting the best affiliate program for your Instagram marketing. It's also beneficial to experiment with different programs and track their performance to determine which yields the best results for your Instagram strategy.