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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.