The First 3 Steps Towards Successful Instagram Affiliate Marketing (with Examples!)
As Instagram takes over as one of the most popular ways to communicate, interact, and share with others across the world online, brands and companies worldwide are noticing the impact Instagram affiliate marketing can have on their marketing efforts. It is said that 69% of American marketers plan to use their affiliate marketing budget on Instagram this year, employing over 500,000 successful influencers nationwide (Omnicore). These influencers can make anywhere from $100 to $700 per sponsored post on Instagram and they typically post daily, with ads scattered within their organic content weekly (Petal).
It is natural as a daily Instagram-scroller to become curious about just how one might go about beginning affiliate marketing on their own Instagram feed. Being able to work on your own schedule, entirely remote, and with unique brands that align with your passions can seem too good to be true. However, looking up to successful influencers who have been a part of affiliate marketing for years can be intimidating and overwhelming. That being said, beginning Instagram affiliate marketing on your own feed does not need to be frightening. In three easy steps that you can implement this week, you will be well on your way to earning money through your own Instagram feed!
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when an online creative is paid for driving sales for a brand partner or company. This occurs when an online creative promotes a specific product and is compensated in proportion to the amount sold. Read more about affiliate marketing in general on our later blog post, Affiliate Marketing for Beginners. Although affiliate marketing can be done on any social media channel such as TikTok, Facebook, Podcasts, or Youtube, beginning affiliate marketing on Instagram comes with it’s own unique angle.
1. Creating a brand for yourself on your Instagram feed
As you scroll Instagram, you have likely noticed how creators with the most successful affiliate marketing partnerships and sturdy, genuine relationships with their following have a consistent brand, appearance, and theme for themselves. An individual begins following a creator typically because they view a piece of content that they enjoyed and are able to quickly recognize that similar content will be shared in the future. Through consistency in the creator’s page appearance and themes, the individual is sure they will continue to receive similar content from the creator that they originally sought out and enjoyed.
Creating a brand for yourself on Instagram is not incredibly difficult. As a visual platform, it is crucial to find a photo editing style or ‘preset’ that fits your content. This preset should be used on every one of your photos published to Instagram to create a consistent visual motif on your feed. It is also wise to keep your content surrounded by 2-3 consistent topics and themes that your following can recognize and count on you for as an expert in your field.
Courtnie and Nate — @courtandnate on Instagram — are a great example of consistent themes and visual presets in action. Based on these random 6 tiles seen on their Instagram feed, their following is able to instantly recognize themes in healthy living, ‘van life’, and inspirational content in general. Visually, the feed is bright, open, and happy and this can be seen throughout all of their content within the last few years. A follower can expect to witness this type of content from Courtnie and Nate in the future, and there are little to no inconsistencies in their regularity of publishing, visual flare, or storytelling skills.
2. Growing your following
Brands are in search of doing Instagram affiliate marketing with creators who will make a positive impact on their following by influencing them to make a purchase via the creator’s affiliate link. This being said, it is important to have a strong following to share this impact with.
Growing your following on Instagram is similar to any other offline networking where you interact with individuals of similar interest groups to create a relationship, and/or work towards a collaboration in the future. In the world of Instagram, this can look like following similar profiles to your own, sending a direct message giving written support of another user, commenting on photos that attract your eye, or reaching out to already-successful digital creators for a collaboration that would in turn bring your own page more exposure and grow your following.
With a strong following, brands can be certain that your affiliate link will be used and appreciated, and their Instagram affiliate marketing campaign with you will be successful.
3. Painting the picture for brands
With a consistent feed and a strong following, the next step is painting the picture for brands to recognize where they could fit organically within your feed. Let’s say that you have an Instagram feed that focuses on motherhood and healthy living simultaneously, with a visual motif of soft whites and airy, open images. An example of this can be found on @sweetvegansara ‘s Instagram feed:
(Images courtesy of @sweetvegansara on Instagram)
Through this consistency in visual representation and storytelling — as well as a strong and trusted following — health, wellness, and motherhood brands alike are able to recognize the value in pursuing an Instagram affiliate marketing campaign with Sara. Brands that would be interested in pursuing an Instagram affiliate marketing campaign with Sara could be anything from protein bar companies, organic baby food companies, athletic-wear brands and more as her lifestyle would organically align with any of these communities.
Beginning affiliate marketing on Instagram does not need to be difficult, and you can even start this week! If you are interested in receiving help with your first Instagram affiliate marketing campaign, InfluenceLogic makes it easy by aligning creators with like-minded brands and companies, taking the pressure off of you and allowing you to focus on your own brand.