Instagram is one of those social media websites that makes it easy to get content out there. That way, all of your followers can click on your links, and follow through with leads and sales. However, if you don’t know how to do it the right way, you’re wasting a lot of time and energy. Affiliate marketing on Instagram has made connecting to brands and influencers easier, but don’t think you can make a post and expect it to work autonomously. You have to know how to work the angles to get the best bang for your buck.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work On Instagram?
It primarily works by word-of-mouth, which is essentially giving you free advertising. However, even though it’s free, there is still some legwork you have to do to make it work.
As of the beginning of 2018, Instagram has become the top social media platform most brands use. It reigned over other platforms, including Youtube, Pinterest, and Facebook. It’s even become much bigger than Twitter. Furthermore, this is because of the presence of social media influencers. They advertise themselves and their content without having to pay anything. Companies can easily partner with these influencers to spread their products and services if they gain a large following.
Affiliate marketing also allows these influencers to commission each sale from your brand — a simple way to make money. It’s a good idea for brands and influencers to develop a partnership to maximize sales as much as possible.
Benefits Of Working with Influencers
Working with Instagram influencers on an affiliate basis can yield a large number of benefits, including:
- Better engagement with your brand: when an influencer posts a picture on Instagram, they usually tag the brand that they’re promoting in their comments, along with the link to the specific product. That makes it easy for any of their followers to click through and see what you have to offer, increasing your chances of higher conversion rates. Moreover, if the influencer is someone they trust, they’re likely to see your brand as trustworthy.
- Increase in revenue: remember that conversion rate? Word-of-mouth advertising increases the conversion rate by about 4.5%, so working with an Instagram affiliate will help you boost your marketing budget in the realm of social media.
- Develop relationships between brands and Instagram influencers: when an influencer successfully generates new sales, both the influencer and the brand are likely to continue the relationship for an extended period since they both benefit. Both parties want to enjoy working with a business that doesn’t just see them as another resource in their pocket.
Of course, you’ll only reap the rewards of this relationship if you treat your influencers right and establish a solid foundation with them. They’ll continue wanting to work for you if you become a brand they can trust.
Key Strategies for Gaining More Traction and Followers
The good news: it’s easy to get started, but don’t think that just setting up an account will do all of the work for you. You still have to do the proper research from time to time to ensure that the content you’re creating remains relevant.
Choose an Affiliate Network
Because you’re actively looking for influencers to partner with, you’ll have an easier time finding them through an affiliate network. A network will provide you with the services and benefits you need, especially when you’re just starting, such as tools for payment processing, tracking technology, reporting tools, and a base of influencers who can help you get the traction you need. An affiliate network will also help you determine the best commission rate for an influencer and what kind of commission structure works best for your payment process. The two models used most by Instagram include pay per click and cost per acquisition.
Pay per click means just that: you pay for every click that a consumer performs on your affiliate link that leads to your website. Cost per acquisition only makes a payment after an actual sale, and the latter choice is much lower risk and based on actual sales performance instead of relying on traffic.
Set Commission Rates
With everything in place, it’s time for you to set up your commission rates. Depending on their marketing strategies, you may want to have different rates for different influencers. Here are ideas for you to consider:
- Analyze your profit margins to understand how much profit you’re willing to trade to your influencers for a higher sales volume.
- Conduct competitor analysis to see how much commission your competitors are paying their influencers. It can also help to look at the industry standard to see a baseline commission rate.
- Ask your affiliate network for some suggestions; since they know how the Instagram field works, they would have the best insight into what does and doesn’t work.
After all of this research and you’ve chosen a commission rate, you’ll also have to determine your payment terms. The standard is usually sixty to ninety days to allow for any returns or exchanges that may take place.
Create A Compelling Affiliate Program
The key is to develop an affiliate program that one affiliate wants to participate in. One good way to incentivize influencers to get involved with you is to have a tiered program, providing them with the option to unlock rewards the more they promote your brand. It’s a way to reward them for their effort and followers.
Find Influencers to Partner With
How you find your influencers depends entirely on your marketing goals. You could pick the ones affiliated with your campaign and network, or you could go through more rigorous research to find what would work best for you. Remember: it’s the quality of influencers you have, not the quantity. Don’t focus on the numbers when you’re just starting; having good influencers who seem to care about your brand will pay off more than having a large number who don’t care.
Analyze The Data and Adjust
Once everything is up and running, you’re going to have to spend time looking at the data in front of you. Do some campaigns work better than others? Are some influencers drawing in higher numbers than others? Your affiliate network should be able to provide you with reporting details so that you can see just how well you’re doing.
You can also see how many affiliate marketing sales are making it through to closure. If you notice a high return rate, then it could be possible that an influencer isn’t promoting your brand properly. Keeping a close eye on these marketing details will help you weed out your campaign parts that just aren’t working.
Remember that this is a long game you’re playing, so you’re not going to get any results easily. It takes time for things to snowball on social media; exercise patience and allow the algorithm to progress naturally. Nevertheless, always keep an eye on it!