You might be trying to monetize your Instagram page. Or you have just started one, so you are doing a little bit of research if this is something that will pay off later on.
Well, you are in the right place.
In this blog post, I want to introduce you to Instagram affiliate marketing.
It’s pretty much like how affiliate marketing works, except it’s done on Instagram.
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How Does Instagram Affiliate Marketing Work?
Instagram affiliate marketing is a modern marketing model where you promote a company’s product or service on the social media platform using a unique affiliate link.
In every sale made through your Instagram affiliate links, you get a fee based on an agreed-upon commission structure.
In the blogging space, starting an affiliate marketing website is one of the most profitable methods to make passive income.
On Instagram, it’s no different at all.
Instagram influencers and pages with a massive following can take advantage of affiliate marketing to generate money from their pages.
Note that “massive following” varies from industry to industry.
It could be 10,000 followers for some or 100,000 for others.
At the end of the day, the follower count is just a facade.
What really matters is how engaged an audience is.
Best Affiliate Products to Promote on Instagram
So when finding products to promote, how do you know if it’s the right product?
Any related product in your industry can be a suitable product to promote on your Instagram page.
Is your Instagram page about travel?
Products like luggage, camera equipment, backpacks, toiletries, and travel insurance are great to promote.
Are you in the beauty and fashion space?
Products like cosmetics, shoes, bags, jewelry, and shopping gift cards are awesome to promote.
These are really so obvious.
But I want to make it a point because a lot of influencers — even the more experienced ones — commit a mistake of promoting irrelevant products and services in the name of money.
This is utterly unbeneficial for so many reasons.
Most importantly, irrelevant products or services are not something that will likely pique the interest of your audience.
And as you may have already known, content that’s not interesting to your audience (or worse, they know you are promoting it solely for the money) could lead to a low engagement rate or your audience unfollowing you.
Therefore, promote a product or service on your Instagram page only if it’s something that will benefit or resonate with your audience.
Best Affiliate Programs for Instagram Affiliate Marketing
There are so many affiliate programs and affiliate networks out there.
But how do you chose the right program or network to sign up with?
First things first — find affiliate programs and networks that are in line with your industry.
That way, it’s easier to find products to promote.
For instance, if you are in the fashion space, look for fashion affiliate programs.
Some of the best fashion affiliate programs are:
- Shopstyle Collective
Are you in the fitness niche?
Then the following fitness affiliate programs are a good place to start:
- ACE Fitness
- Natalie Jill Fitness
- 24 Hour Fitness
Nowadays, many businesses handle their own affiliate programs.
If you can work with brands that have their own affiliate program, that would be awesome.
Brands with their affiliate programs USUALLY offer a little higher incentive compared to affiliate networks.
But this does not apply all the time.
If you are willing to do the work, you can join affiliate networks where you can find a range of products across various industries.
Want to know how to make money on Instagram with ClickBank?
ClickBank is a marketplace with almost all kinds of informational digital products.
It’s the best place to find guides and ebooks in every topic imaginable, whether it’s gardening, personal development, entertainment, business, etc.
The commission rate on ClickBank products varies on the product you are promoting and how much you are selling it for.
So you can earn anywhere between $20 to as much as $3,000 per product sale.
Despite its outrageous commission rate slash back in April, I think Amazon is still a pretty good place to find products to promote.
Thanks to Amazon’s crazy high conversion rates.
If you are promoting the right products, then Amazon can still be a profitable way to make money on Instagram.
Per the 2020 Amazon affiliate fee schedule, Amazon Associates offers a 1% to 5% commission per sale, with an exception for luxury beauty products and Amazon Coins still at 10%.
Awin is home to some of the biggest brands, so they have more generous affiliate payouts compared to Amazon Associates.
Some of Awin’s partner brands include Under Armour, Emirates, HP, Etsy, Ted Baker, and Groupon.
Awin’s affiliate commission rate depends on the advertiser or partner brand.
ShareASale is one of the oldest affiliate networks.
It’s pretty much like Amazon, except it has all kinds of advertisers — from smaller ones to the well-known ones.
7 Ways to Do Instagram Affiliate Marketing and Make Money
There are many ways to do Instagram affiliate marketing.
Here are some of them:
1. Put an Affiliate Link in Your Bio
Your Instagram profile is probably the only interesting thing part of Instagram aside from your posts and stories.
It’s also the first thing your followers will land on if they click on your username or profile photo.
Therefore, your Instagram bio is a prime spot to feature an affiliate product.
However, Instagram allows only 1 link to be displayed in your bio.
So which affiliate product should you put in here?
If you are new to Instagram and don’t know which affiliate product to feature, choose an anchor product.
An anchor product is not necessarily the most expensive, but it’s the one that’s likely going to drive more affiliate sales.
An anchor product is not just a mere affiliate product.
It’s something you TRULY believe in and something you think will HELP your target audience.
If you have been promoting affiliate products on Instagram for quite some time, then you should know your best-selling product.
Put your best-selling product in your Instagram bio to maximize exposure and boost sales further.
Note that you can update your Instagram bio as often as you like. So change links once in a while if you can.
Pro tip: Include a call to action when introducing your link and use emojis around your affiliate link to make it stand out.
2. Include Affiliate Links in Your Image Captions
Your Instagram posts should always come with a caption to maximize visibility and audience engagement.
While I encourage you to include affiliate links in your image captions, your posts should NOT always contain links.
Place one affiliate link within your image description.
If you can find a way, put it within the first 140 characters of your caption so it would not be cut off.
Surround your affiliate link with emojis. And a call to action encouraging your followers to click should precede the link.
When displaying the affiliate product in your posts, make sure to use or wear it. Show your audience what it does.
3. Put Affiliate Links as Image Overlays
Although affiliate links are not the best and most effective to use as image overlays, it can reinforce your affiliate marketing efforts.
Links displayed on images are NOT clickable.
This means it’s going to include some typing on your follower’s part.
That’s why if you want to go this route, use branded short URLs to place as image overlays. The same applies to image captions and your bio.
But short URLs are more so important in image overlays. As I said, image overlays are NOT clickable.
Some URL shortening tools you can use are:
4. Include Coupon Codes as Image Overlays or Caption
If the affiliate program has options to use a coupon code to promote a product, then it would be ideal to use it as image overlays.
Coupon codes can be used as image overlays or in captions.
If you place a coupon code within your image caption, make sure to place the code within 140 characters to avoid cutting it off.
And like using affiliate links, make sure to use a call to action and some emojis around your code as well to draw your followers’ attention.
5. Include Affiliate Links in Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is now the most effective component of the social media giant when using sponsored campaigns, according to the eMarketer 2018 State of Influencer Marketing study.
Hence, it’s a prime spot to use your Instagram affiliate links.
While everyone can create Instagram Stories, not everyone can take advantage of the ‘swipe up’ functionality to link URLs.
If you have at least 10,000 Instagram followers or you are a verified user, then you can use this feature to drive links to the products you are promoting.
This functionality is best used to promote a new product or service, an event, or anything that’s really special.
6. Include Affiliate Links in IGTV
If you are into posting longer, high-quality videos on Instagram, then IGTV, the description, in particular, might also be an optimal location for you to display your affiliate link.
But do it with finesse.
And make sure that your affiliate product is relevant to your content.
7. Run an Instagram Ad
Last but not least, Instagram ads. It’s an effective method to promote affiliate products.
But there’s a caveat.
Make sure that the affiliate product or program you are with ALLOWS ads as a promotion method.
Most affiliate programs and networks don’t allow ads as a source of traffic.
Some do allow ads, but there are strict guidelines you should follow, like you can’t use keywords associated with the product or brand.
So make sure to do your research before taking this route.
Is it worth it to run Instagram ads for an affiliate product?
How much is the product? Would your followers and people in your industry be interested in it?
Running ads has a cost, so take that into account.
Instagram Affiliate Marketing Tips
Using affiliate marketing on Instagram is never hard at all.
But one slight mistake can drain your efforts.
Although relatively easy, doing affiliate marketing on Instagram requires some knowledge and a lot of getting used to.
Here are some basic guidelines to help you navigate Instagram affiliate marketing:
When writing captions of images that feature affiliate products, it’s important to include relevant information about the image and ask a question.
By posing a question, you are asking your followers to engage with you, whether it’s by liking or commenting.
Remember, comments and likes are primary factors for your posts to increase their visibility.
As much as possible, geotag your images.
If you can put the location of the nearest physical store where the product is available, that’s good. It will help your followers find the product.
If there’s no physical store available, include the location where the image is taken.
Adding a location gives people a sense that something real exists.
Can we forget hashtags?
Even if you have a big following, hashtags are critical for indexing purposes.
For instance, someone who does not know or follow you might be able to see the products you are promoting using the tags you used.
If you are an affiliate, make sure to add hashtags like #ads and #spon to maintain your legal responsibility.
Right now, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post.
4. Be Responsive
When someone comments on your posts, be sure to respond to them, or at least react to their responses.
This goes for any type of posts, not just affiliate posts.
Being responsive increases engagement and the likelihood of sales.
5. Shorten URLs
I said it before, and I will say it again.
Affiliate links are ugly, for the most part.
So shorten them to somehow make them appealing.
It’s also easier for your followers to remember short URLs in case they are not clickable.
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about affiliate marketing with Instagram.
Do you have questions on how to make money on Instagram?
Let me know in the comments!