In this day in age, social media carries a power not only for the individual but it creates an opportunity for brands to directly engage and build relationships with customers.

Many already have a carved out presence on Instagram, as it’s estimated that 90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram.

Instagram is filled with brands selling products. They are using affiliates to market these products, creating a useful bridge between that brand and the consumer. Many brands don’t even think about affiliate marketing through Instagram or other social apps.

Using Instagram for Affiliate Marketing

It’s obvious to anyone with a smartphone (so literally…anyone) that Instagram is wildly popular. For consumer brands, this target demographic is a goldmine for finding passionate customers.

There are multiple benefits of using Instagram to drive affiliate referral sales. If a company is using brand ambassadors or affiliates, Instagram provides a platform that allows brands to leverage affiliates to interact with customers on their behalf and drive new sales.

4 Tips on How to do Affiliate Marketing on Instagram

Woman typing on laptop

1. Create Content for Your Affiliates 

This should be clear, but one of the most important aspects of jumpstarting your affiliate marketing with Instagram is content creation. This means not only creating for your own brand’s accounts but distributing items or content to your affiliates.

This can happen in a number of ways, but the most popular are affiliate links. Affiliate links are links that lead to a company or brand site that will help track referrals and sometimes lead to a special deal or discount.

These links benefit the company by creating another channel to drive traffic to the site and sell the product.

A few examples of Instagram affiliate marketing strategies:

  • Affiliate links
  • Giveaways
  • Contests
  • Product Demonstrations
  • Sponsored Posts

All of the above-mentioned forms of Instagram marketing can be useful to a brand looking to extend its affiliate program. Regardless of which form a company chooses, the more content you produce, the larger the reach of the company will be.

2. Setup Instagram Influencers as Affiliates Instead of Paying Fixed Fees

Pretty much everyone follows a celebrity on Instagram. For a brand, using the reach of an Instagram influencer can be extremely beneficial. While marketing with an affiliate that is an influencer or celebrity can carry a hefty price tag, the impact it brings can often make a transformational difference to your affiliate program

For example, international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo currently has 192 million followers. Per each post, he is averaging close to 5 million “likes”, which is an exorbitant amount of impressions. It’s worth noting that his affiliate fee would be extremely high. Regardless, it’s an example of the power of Instagram if a company were to invest heavily in this form of advertising.

On a lower and more realistic level, Instagram influencers can be an extremely useful way to promote a product and drive referral sales. Regardless of what product or experience a company is trying to market, there is some sort of Instagram influencer for that industry.

3. Recruit Lots of Micro-Influencers to Improve ROI

For the brands that don’t have the resources or desire to spend big on Instagram, micro-influencers serve as a practical tool to widen the range of your marketing on Instagram.

Micro-influencers are usually an account with 10k-50k. Often times, these micro-influencers are personal accounts that have a niche in an industry. They may create content about make-up or just be an avid user or fan of the brand.

So why is working with a micro-influencer a good idea for a company? Well, two main reasons: accessibility and engagement.

Diagram of micro influencers as affiliates

For starters, it’s not going to cost nearly the same amount as using a celebrity or even major influencer would. Micro-influencers will even post content for product rewards rather than money. To even get in contact with them can be tough, as one will have to jump through holes, talk to business managers, etc.

Micro-influencers are much more active when engaging with followers on Instagram because of the number of engagements they have to manage, so it would be much more difficult for an account with 500k+ followers to engage with everyone that comments on a post. As much as people want Ryan Reynolds to respond to our DMs, but major Instagram accounts get hundreds if not thousands of comments and direct messages each day. It would take an entire team to try and respond to all of those communications.

For a smaller account, these are much more manageable. What does that mean for a brand looking to market with a micro-influencer? These accounts will often interact with comments, messages, etc. That extra work can help create not only a relationship between a brand and the influencer but also between the brand and the consumer.

4. Instagram and Affiliate Marketing is about Engagement!

The Instagram account of the brand or company is important when trying to market on Instagram using affiliates. Every campaign needs a home base, so it’s vital to make the company’s official Instagram an effective one.

Engagement with followers is one of the things that will make a company’s Instagram effective and in this context, engagement means a few things.

First, a brand must recognize the reason people are following them. Maybe because they liked a product or had a good experience doing business, took advantage of a promotion, or saw a funny post. But now, they are continuing to follow you for what you’re posting, whether it be promotions or other content.

A few ways for a brand to engage on Instagram:

  • Post content daily
  • Respond to comments
  • Answer direct messages
  • Follow hashtags
  • Use researched hashtags
  • Follow related accounts

Why bother following someone or something that doesn’t post or interact with its followers?

Users who follow food accounts want pictures of food. Users who follow fashion accounts want to see what the latest trends are. People who follow fitness brands want to see the latest challenge or workouts.

Post user-generated content from affiliates and ambassadors and be actively responding to comments and messages with at a high volume to maximize the engagement on each post.

Stories, giveaways, contests, etc are a great way to motivate people and give them a reason to continue to come back to their page as much as possible, as that leads to impressions.

Why Should Instagram Matter to your Affiliate Program?

Through content creation and engagement, Instagram is a powerful tool for any business. When a brand utilizes affiliates in on this platform, they create a direct link between them and entirely new markets, a link that can prove to be an extremely effective tool when looking to grow an affiliate or ambassador program.

You can choose to work with celebrities or micro-influencers or create content for your own profiles. As long as you engage and provide value for your followers, this type of marketing effort will jumpstart conversion to sales for your affiliate program.

If you’re a brand who would like to jumpstart your affiliate marketing take a look at BrandChamp’s affiliate marketing capabilities!