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An introduction to Instagram affiliate marketing

May 02, 2022

Social Media Platforms

An introduction to Instagram affiliate marketing

Instagram affiliate marketing is the beautiful marriage between Instagram influencers and brands. A symbiotic relationship which can be mutually beneficial for both the influencer and the brand. The reason why it’s an ideal equation is that via Instagram affiliate marketing, the brand can achieve widespread promotion on influencers’ profiles and the influencer themselves can make money for themselves at the same time.

This article is informed by affiliate marketing on Instagram examples and is a brief introduction to Instagram affiliate marketing and will cover both the influencer and the brand side of things as well as providing a brief overview of Instagram affiliate programs as a whole.

What is Instagram affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a system whereby an influencer promotes a brand’s products or services. They will earn a commission if one of their followers clicks through to the brand’s landing page. Essentially, the influencer will get a cut of any sale they’ve generated. An affiliate programme will typically involve four main players: the brand, the affiliate network, influencers and the customer. This is often executed via an influencer’s unique discount code where the customer’s purchase is discounted, and the influencer’s conversion is tracked—giving data as to how many clicks and sales have been made as a result of the promotion.

When it comes to Instagram affiliate marketing, there are a number of things that set it apart: 

  1. All of the major affiliate networks or programs you would use to monetise social media are supported on Instagram. 
  2. Instagram has both image and video features to showcase and sell products. 
  3. Instagram is a free and effective platform for driving traffic and converting followers into customers. 

As a brand:

Instagram affiliate marketing is a very good way to, as a brand, begin using influencers for marketing purposes. Affiliate marketing through Instagram is a way to engage influencers with little to no upfront cost because the way the influencer financially benefits is via their commission, not you paying them. Affiliate programmes are therefore a gateway into influencer marketing on Instagram and a fast track to reaching more potential customers. There are thousands, if not millions, of influencers you can partner with—each with their own niches, curated communities, and platforms. All in all, partnering with them through Instagram affiliate marketing will help you reach more people at a faster rate.

It really is a catch-all opportunity. Promoting your product on your own social pages means that only your audience sees this promotion. These people are likely already your customers anyway. By using influencers via an Instagram affiliate marketing programme you can promote your product to all of their audience as well!

How to do it then? The first step, as is true with any influencer marketing strategy, is to pick the right influencers. The best affiliate programs for Instagram curate their influencer selection carefully. This is done by making sure that the influencer’s audience matches up with your target audience. This way, the influencer’s content is being marketed to the people you want the attention of. Affiliate marketing Instagram influencers will do the heavy lifting for you—promoting your product on their page, but there’s no use in them doing that if their audience is wrong. The next steps involve striking deals with these influencers and giving them their unique tracking links. This can be easily done with an ‘affiliate network’. These networks will give you services and benefits like the tracking technology reporting tools, payment processing, along with exposure to a base of influencers who already use affiliate links on their platforms. Examples of these include; ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, PepperJam, Rakuten and AWIN. The tracking technology bit is especially important, as affiliate networks provide trackable links that influencers can use to track clicks and sales.

As an influencer:

Instagram makes it easy for you as an influencer to engage in Instagram affiliate marketing:

Step 1: To onboard, head to “Professional dashboard” and tap “Set Up Affiliate”.

Step 2: Once onboarded, navigate to the shop of your choice, select the products you plan to promote and save them to your wishlist.

Step 3: When creating your affiliate content, you can tag the products you’ve saved.

Step 4: Your final post will include a disclosure, with “Eligible for commission” appearing at the top.

Top Tips: What the top affiliate marketers on Instagram do:

  1. Keep followers informed – let the audience know about the products you’re selling.
  2. Tag the product often.
  3. Stay on top of your affiliate data (to figure out things like the best time to post on Instagram).
  4. Be transparent that you’re part of the affiliate program.
  5. Be authentic—your audience follows you for you, don’t lose sight of that.


FAQ

How do I become an affiliate on Instagram?

To become an affiliate on Instagram, they make it super simple:

Step 1: To onboard, head to “Professional dashboard” and tap “Set Up Affiliate”.

Step 2: Once onboarded, navigate to the shop of your choice, select the products you plan to promote and save them to your wishlist.

Step 3: When creating your affiliate content, you can tag the products you’ve saved.

Step 4: Your final post will include a disclosure, with “Eligible for commission” appearing at the top.

How do affiliate marketers make money on Instagram?

The influencer markets a product on their feed. The audience uses the influencer’s unique link to purchase the product. When a sale is made through that link, the influencer earns a commission—this is usually in the region of 10% but this often depends.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blog.

@ Socially Powerful

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Author

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James Hacking

Writer

Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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