How to use Instagram for Affiliate Marketing?
Instagram is quickly becoming a popular channel to generate income with affiliate marketing. In recent years, many publishers have run successful campaigns and monetized this channel using different techniques, which we are going to dive into in this article.
Below, you’ll get an overview of what’s being done and discover what the best practices are that other publishers are adopting in order to monetize their content, lead extra traffic to their websites and blogs, or promote and sell products for brands.
Why should affiliates use Instagram?
Instagram is the fourth-largest social platform in the world, falling under the Meta umbrella alongside WhatsApp and Facebook. Despite legal battles and the occasional outage, Meta’s three-pronged social media ecosystem is thriving.
Why? Well, the immediate social proof that comes with user-generated content has turned it into a go-to resource for buyers. Instagram alone brings in a quarter of all sales for the parent company, with several projects in the works aimed at restructuring from a photo-sharing app into a successful marketplace.
According to Instagram, 70 percent of shoppers look to IG for their next purchase — which makes it the perfect platform for affiliates. Affiliate marketing on Instagram is lucrative. Using affiliate links on IG can earn in the region of $5,000 per month.
While it may seem that Kardashian-style mega-influencers rule the platform, more brands are looking to partner with niche creators rather than macro-influencers.
How to Do Affiliate Marketing on Instagram
Instagram’s official affiliate network is designed to establish partnerships between a user who is the affiliate marketer and the placement of some sort of introduction or advertisement of a company’s products or services on the marketer’s website, social media post, or anywhere that is able to be accessed via Instagram. The affiliate marketer depicts the product or service in their postings and earns a commission on each sale that is made that can be attributed to their post, such as through a URL link that has been customized with a unique affiliate code added to the end of it in the description of the post. When these affiliate promotions are being done on Instagram, we call it Instagram affiliate marketing, but affiliate marketing is clearly not limited to Instagram!
The brand being advertised and promoted gains inherent customer interest and the influencer profile working as the affiliate is used to engage its audience toward the product being advertised. The influencer earns some cut of the sale made by the product being advertised. This system is mutually beneficial for both the brand and influencers, which is why affiliate marketing is influencer marketing’s new best friend!
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How to use affiliate links on Instagram
Despite the lack of flexibility Instagram has in terms of link placement, there are several ways you can promote affiliate links and generate traffic and sales from them. If you have an account with enough followers, you can start placing affiliate links on your account, profile, stories, and pictures.
In case you don’t have an account that will generate enough traffic you can work with Instagram ads and reach an even bigger audience for your promotion. The best methods being used across the platform are:
Swipe Up: If your profile is verified or you have over 10k followers, you can make use of the swipe-up feature on your Instagram stories, thus linking to any landing page of your choice with your affiliate links.
Instagram Bio: A popular option is adding the affiliate link to your Instagram Bio, you can place only one link and that does not allow for a lot of flexibility, however, there are tools like Geniuslink or Linktree that can create a landing page with additional links.
Promote Exclusive Coupons: In this option, you will not need to use a link. However, these are most commonly used with influencers and not affiliate publishers.
Instagram Ads: You can easily create and manage them with Facebook Ads Manager targeting Instagram placements. Tracking and integration for your conversions are available with our tool.
The benefits of Instagram affiliate marketing for brands
We all can imagine the benefits that Instagram affiliate marketing can have for people, but what about the benefits that it brings to brands to engage in more affiliate relationships?
Increased brand awareness, engagement, and following on Instagram
When a picture of a product or service is posted on Instagram, the user (influencer) often tags the brand or service that it belongs to–or at least mentions the product and/or company. If it is tagged, people seeing the post can directly interact with the post by opening it, liking it, or moving ahead to inquire about it. This is a win-win situation for both the marketer and the influencer, as it increases incoming traffic and also creates a potential profit if a sale is made. At the very least, it generates more brand awareness for the product–for free!
From a brand perspective, Instagram affiliate marketing can foster the creation of new relationships with influential users that only spell more and more opportunities. When a brand works with an influencer and sales are generated, it opens up new channels for continued business, not a one-time promotion like most traditional advertising campaigns. These corporate relationships can deliver great benefits to both parties, as brands are eager to get featured on Instagram and its media and users get monetary (as well as PR) benefits with these partnerships. It is the type of collaboration that not every influencer wants, but there are many who recognize the value of the system.
With over 1 billion users, Instagram affiliate marketing offers little choice for marketers to not make a profit out of these partnerships. Nowadays, Instagram has seen a definite increase in PR and marketing channels over the platform whose sole purpose is to advertise brands and different products. This way, both the brand and the placement platform see increased revenue and higher engagement with followers as Instagram affiliate marketers.
The future of affiliate marketing on Instagram
Monetizing directly through the Instagram platform may work for new creators.
But the future of affiliate marketing is a multi-platform approach that prioritizes your own website traffic as your best way to sustainably monetize your Instagram following.
Staying consistent and building an engaged audience that knows, likes, and trusts you prepares you to build your affiliate marketing strategy on Instagram and beyond.
If you’re already on your journey to a multi-platform affiliate marketing strategy, check out Affiliate for an easy way to track, optimize, and grow your website’s affiliate revenue.