At the end of 2017, Instagram had an impressive 800 million active users per month. According to Backlinko, Instagram recorded 1 billion monthly active users in 2022 with a growth rate of about 25 million per month. So it’s no surprise that marketers and advertisers are flocking to Instagram to sell their products.
That’s why learning how to do affiliate marketing on Instagram can be an incredibly valuable tool in your repertoire. When you think about how Instagram works, brands using an affiliate marketer (or influencer) instead of a paid ad makes sense.
It’s easy to scroll past an ad that you know is trying to sell you something, but that’s not always the case when an influencer or affiliate posts something similar.
As we’ve seen with the other methods, Instagram relies on the trust built between the user and seller in order to make everything work.
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And since Instagram is the preferred method for brand-influencer collaboration, it’s an excellent choice for newcomers who want to learn how to do affiliate marketing.
In this blog post, you will learn how to start affiliate marketing on Instagram without having your own personal website or spending money on paid advertising.
And when you consider the fact that Instagram’s influencer industry is currently worth more than a billion dollars, it’s even easier to see why Instagram affiliate marketing is worth taking a closer look at.
Especially since almost 94% of marketers find Instagram to be effective.
So in sum, you should definitely consider Instagram affiliate marketing. But how does it work? Let’s look at that.
Stick to your Instagram affiliate marketing niche
Once again, it’s important to point out that effectively learning how to do affiliate marketing rises and falls on building trust and providing value.
Your goal is to pick a niche and engage an audience in a way that makes them want to hear what you have to say.
On Instagram, this can make you more trusted than your favorite celebrity. And more importantly, it can help you sell your merchant’s products.
If you’ve done your research before stepping into your role as an affiliate marketer, then you’ll likely know what types of products you’re able to promote in your niche.
For example, a high adventure Instagram influencer isn’t likely to peddle baby food. They’ll probably show off a backpack, tent, or hiking boots instead.
Aim for 2,000 to 10,000 followers
At first glance, these numbers might sound a little arbitrary. Why do you need thousands of followers?
For one thing, part of Instagram affiliate marketing is attracting the merchant you want to sell for. To do that effectively, you’ll need to qualify as a ‘micro-influencer’.
Micro-influencers are often just affiliate marketers who have an audience that’s big enough for brands to make a decent profit from.
A recent study showed that Instagram users with followers between 2,000 and 10,000 have the highest overall engagement rates.
That means your goal, initially, is to hit this sweet spot. But that’s easier said than done.
How do you get more followers when you’re starting out?
The best answer is to focus on creating good, niche-specific content. You’ll want to make sure that the five core elements of each post are intact before all else:
- High-quality visuals
- An interesting caption
- Relevant hashtags
- Community oriented
- Fits the window or time allotment
That means if you have to, investing in camera equipment or a professional picture taking a course could be a wise investment.
At the very least, give yourself plenty of time to practice and experiment with the elements you’re less comfortable with.
Over time, you’ll improve and be able to gain more followers. And even though it may be tempting, never buy followers.
You might be tempted to think that a quick 1,000 followers wouldn’t hurt, but studies have shown that this will immediately hurt your engagement. Get your followers the old-fashioned way.
Curate feeds that people and brands want to see
Once you’ve built up a following, your next step is to stay consistent while you master how to become an affiliate marketer with zero tech experience using Instagram.
Over time, your Instagram feed will start to fill, and you’ll be able to have a distinct Instagram brand that your users can rely on.
For example, here’s the feed on an Instagrammer who uses the popular ‘bullet journal’ to help him with daily tasks, schoolwork, and just life in general:
You might not have ever thought that a journal could look that good, but that’s the point.
With time and attention to detail, any niche can have a standout feed that looks like the one above.
And when you have a standout feed, brands will be more inclined to approach you.
You can still look for affiliate offers in your niche, but the conversation can eventually become a two-way street if you’re patient.
By providing a real feed that’s engaging to real people, you’ll be setting yourself and your merchant partners up for success.
The other side of the coin here is that you may not want to work with certain brands because you feel it compromises your authenticity.
Selling the right product is just as important as having a good looking feed.
Be active, consistent, and don’t forget your affiliate link
Success with Instagram affiliate marketing doesn’t happen overnight. You need to post
consistently, build your audience, and work hard to make sure that everything comes together as you determine how to do affiliate marketing for your niche.
With time and experimentation, you’ll learn the best ways to engage with your audience. But until then, consider utilizing tools like engagement heatmap to help you find the best days and times to post for your audience.
By posting at the right time, you’ll be better situated to engage and sell more to your audience.
And of course, don’t forget to drive your audience toward your affiliate products with an appropriate affiliate link.
No matter which affiliate marketing method you choose, the emphasis is always on providing value to your potential customer.
You have to make people trust you enough to click your ad, link, or blog post. Then, you have to follow up with a value that prompts your audience to act further.
But knowing how to do affiliate marketing is only half the battle. The final question that you have to answer: how do I build relationships with brands that will pay me to be an affiliate?
We’ll answer that in my subsequent blog post.
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