There are many ways you can make money on Instagram and affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to do it. Here’s everything you need to know about affiliate marketing on Instagram.
How It Works
Affiliate marketing is actually not that hard to understand if you know the basics. You can do affiliate marketing both on various social media platforms and on blogs, but this article will focus on Instagram.
You as an affiliate marketer need to establish connections with brands that would be willing to pay you for promotional content. You will be creating posts that advertise the companies’ products or services and then you will be paid for this content by the company.
Usually, you will need to tag the business account of the company you are promoting as well as include a link the company asks you to add. Sometimes the content will need to have a subtle promotion of the product or service, but other times it will be more straightforward.
The point is to engage the affiliate marketer’s audience in a way that will make this audience interested in the brand the marketer is promoting. More often than not, influencers are the ones who become affiliate marketers on Instagram. This is why you might see affiliate marketing and influencer marketing sometimes used interchangeably.
How to Choose Your Program
In order to become a successful affiliate marketer on Instagram, you first need to choose the program that will be most suitable for you. There are hundreds if not thousands of affiliate programs to choose from, so you will definitely find one for yourself.
Most large businesses, and sometimes even medium and small ones, have their own affiliate programs that you can join easily. Just check out their websites and see if you can find any information about partnerships or cooperation.
The first thing you want to do when choosing a program is to look in your niche and see what is more relevant. You want the brands you will be partnering with to be related to the topics you usually cover in your content.
Once you have a list, look closely at each of the programs and consider their requirements and benefits. Think of whether you prefer fixed fees for the content you make or commissions from the sales made through your links. All of these are very important and will help you make a good choice.
How to Link on Instagram
Instagram famously does not allow you to link anything in the captions of your posts. However, there are other ways you can use links on this social media platform. As an affiliate marketer, you will need these:
- Bio: Your first option is linking in your bio. There is only one space you can use, so you might want to leave the link there for a temporary amount of time and change it at some point. More often than not, you will want this link to lead to a dedicated landing page with the product or service you are promoting. Alternatively, you could use a linkable app that directs the person who clicked on the link to a gallery of your posts with promoted products and links from each of these posts.
- Stories: Unfortunately, the best way to link on Instagram Stories is only available to accounts with over 10 thousand followers. Once you get to that number of followers, you will have the so-called swipe-up option that will allow you to include links in your Instagram Stories.
- Posts: This option is the least effective because the link you use in your posts will not work and will simply display as normal text. However, if you use a link shortener, your followers will be more likely to take the time to type it into their browser and check out whatever you are linking to. You can include such shortened links both in your captions and stories. For posts, there is also an option to link products directly in the photos, so you might consider that as well.
How to Determine Your Audience
Before you start creating any kind of content, you need to determine your audience and understand it. Ask yourself such questions:
- What is their gender and age range?
- What is their location and time zone?
- How often do they use Instagram?
- What are their interests and preferences?
- What are their hobbies, needs, etc.?
Once you know the answers to these questions, start creating profiles for your audience. This will then allow you to better understand what kind of content they want and like. If you don’t create such profiles, you might end up with a lot of content that nobody needs.
How to Reach Foreign Audiences
The best thing about the Internet is that you can reach international markets and attract foreign audiences. This is possible if you start targeting such audiences with the content you create. With time, this will help you grow your follower base.
In order to expand to foreign audiences, you will need to start creating content suitable for such readers. For example, if you want to target people who know Spanish (e.g. Spain, Mexico, most South American countries), you will need to create content in Spanish.
Creating content in a particular language other than English might not be a very efficient strategy, so it is much better to simply translate your existing content. You can do this with the help of an online translation and localization service like The Word Point. This will reduce the budget you need for such expansion.
How to Create Content
On Instagram, you have several options when it comes to creating content. This social media platform largely relies on visuals, but you can still use captions to include some information in the form of text. Here are the types of content you can create:
- Posts: You can post anything from photos to illustrations to GIFs to short videos. Most influencers prefer posting photos, but there are many illustrators and artists too who turned to affiliate marketing. Short videos (below 1 minute) are also an option when it comes to regular posts, but you need to decide whether or not videos are more suitable for you than static visuals. Also, make sure your captions are well-written because many users pay attention to text as much as the visuals.
- Stories: Stories can also have both images and videos, though there is definitely more freedom for short videos (GIFs, boomerangs, time-lapses). Use stories for temporary posting. If you want to keep a story permanently on your profile, create highlights and add the ones you want to leave.
- IGTV: IGTV is still relatively new, but many creators have been using it to its fullest already. You could say that this feature is Instagram’s equivalent to YouTube because it allows you to upload long-form videos. The only nuance is that the videos need to be vertical (something like stories, but longer).
How to Follow FTC Laws
It’s very important to understand FTC laws before you become an affiliate marketer and start creating and publishing content for brands. The most important rule to follow is that you must disclose that you are advertising something.
For example, if you are promoting a product or service in your Instagram post, you need to add the #ad hashtag somewhere in the caption. Moreover, the tag needs to be easily noticed, so you shouldn’t hide it in a myriad of other tags.
How to Transition
So, how can you become an affiliate marketer? If you are already an Instagram user, you will simply need to transition from a regular user to an affiliate marketer. However, keep in mind that this project might be harder to manage than you think. Here are the steps you will need to follow:
- Switch To A Business Account: Go to your settings and switch to a business account. You will need to link your Facebook account for this. A business account will enable you to get valuable insights into the performance of your account and your content.
- Grow Your Following: This goes without saying but growing your follower base is extremely important when you are an affiliate marketer. The more people follow you, the more sales you can eventually make.
- Create A Content Strategy: As mentioned earlier, you will need to know what kind of content you will be creating. Try to set up a kind of a guide or a collection of requirements that your content will need to meet in order to be publishable.
- Use Hashtags: You could say that this is a part of the content strategy, but it’s worth outlining this point separately too. Use hashtags to get more exposure, but don’t try to overpopulate your captions with hashtags.
To sum up, the advice in this article will definitely help you get started with affiliate marketing on Instagram. Try to combine tips to find which ones work best for you. Not every practice is suitable for all situations, so be as flexible as possible and adapt to your circumstances.