Instagram is probably the hottest way to market general products on social media, yet many people don't realize that affiliate marketing on Instagram is possible too.
Not only is it possible, but there are influencers making six figures every month from this exact strategy.
I'll show you how to do it in this article.
Why Instagram Rocks for Affiliate Marketing
As most people know, Instagram is one of the key marketing strategies for any type business right now.
Whether you're talking about Instagram influencers, Instagram stories, or the new IG TV, it's something every type of business can benefit from, and that includes affiliate marketers.
If you're a beginner affiliate marketer or you have already established your business, you can still benefit by knowing how to do affiliate marketing on Instagram. Here's how…
1. Increased Traffic
There are numerous ways to gain traffic and awareness by using Instagram for affiliate marketing. Here are two of those ways:
- By using hashtags, your Instagram posts become more searchable so that more people can find you.
- Influencers who share your posts with a shoutout can bring you tons of new targeted traffic.
2. Increased Engagement
Especially when it comes to using Instagram influencers to market your affiliate products, Instagram becomes one of the best ways to increase your engagement and get more people talking about what you offer.
3. Increased Revenue
Once you have increased traffic and engagement, you can be sure your revenue is going to spike as well, unless of course you have a crappy offer or a really low conversion rate.
How to Post Affiliate Links on Instagram
Affiliate marketing on Instagram works really well if you have a large Instagram following, and that can be especially beneficial if you don’t have any products of your own.
But even without a following, you can do really well on Instagram by hiring influencers to promote your stuff.
The problem with Instagram, though, is that it only allows you to post one link on your account at a time. That link is displayed in your Instagram bio, and you can't add clickable links into your individual posts.
But, there are some creative ways that you can post your affiliate links on Instagram.
Let's look at them now…
One Link on Bio
As mentioned, you can optimize your profile and then you can refer to that link when you make posts. I suggest adding the URL of your best-earning affiliate product in your bio and change it out as you want to.
Just know that if you told people to click the link in your bio on an older post and that post is still in circulation, they won’t find what they are looking for. That's why I've got lots of other ideas for you below.
While you can add a link in each image description, it isn’t a clickable link. There aren't many people who are going to go out of their way to type in a link, but there will be a few.
So, make your links in your posts memorable and use short URLs. Bit.ly is one of the easiest ways to shorten links if you have a hard time creating a short link of your own.
Coupon Graphics & Coupon Codes
One of the best ways to do affiliate marketing on Instagram is to use coupons.
Some affiliate programs provide coupon codes for their affiliates to use. If they don't, you can contact them to ask for one.
Then, just include your affiliate link (or a shortened version of it) on the graphic. Again, it won't be clickable, but at least people will know where to go.
Coupon codes are a really great way to sneak in a link. Simply post a product photo with a URL and coupon code in the description.
Link on a Photo
Similar to adding a link onto a coupon graphic, you can also add a link right on your photo or graphic.
Again, be sure to use a short URL and preferably one that is memorable since people will need to type it in instead of clicking on a link and being taken right to it.
Link in Comments
You can add links into the comments on Instagram, however, they will not be clickable. Comments show up under the image you are commenting on and they work well when people find you in their newsfeed.
Once again, keep the URL short and memorable so that people can type it in easily. Yes, some people will copy and paste it, but others will type it in, while the majority won't bother to do either.
Promote a Post
When you are using the paid advertising method on Instagram, you can add a link and it IS a clickable link.
While this is definitely the easiest way to add an effective link on Instagram, there are a couple downfalls:
- It costs money.
- Banner blindness can cause people to overlook it.
Nevertheless, you can do really well with Instagram paid advertising if you make it eye catching with an incredible headline.
Linkable Gallery App
A Linkable gallery app creates a gallery of your Instagram posts and makes them all clickable.
In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to add links and do affiliate marketing on Instagram, although it's not something you can do for free.
To do this, the link in your bio would be your personalized Instagram gallery app URL so that when people click on that link, they are taken to a page where they can see everything you have promoted.
Here are some linkable gallery apps you might consider using:
Swipe Up in Instagram Stories
There is a feature on Instagram that allows you to add a swipe-up link to your Instagram story that will take users to your link. This feature is only available for business accounts with at least 10,000 followers.
While this is definitely useful, it is important to note that switching to a business account can reduce your engagement due to the way the algorithm works.
Make Your Posts Shoppable
When you make your posts shoppable, it allows people to buy your affiliate products directly on Instagram.
This isn't something that everyone who is doing affiliate marketing on Instagram can do though. In order to be eligible for this feature, you need to meet the following criteria:
- You need to be using the latest version of the Instagram app.
- You must convert your Instagram account into a business profile.
- You must be an admin on the Page or Business Manager account that you want to make shoppable.
- You must have a product catalog set up that is associated with a shop on Facebook.
- You must sell eligible physical goods (no services).
You'll simply tag a product in your post just like you would tag a person. You can include up to 5 products in one image and the pricing is displayed. When they click the link, it will take them to the product page.
Tips on Using Instagram for Affiliates
Now that you know how to creatively add links into your Instagram posts, it's time to look at some tips for how to start affiliate marketing on Instagram…
It's All About the Image
Instagram is extremely visual and it's really all about the image, so make sure you use engaging images that are unique and eye-catching.
But if you want to know how to do affiliate marketing on Instagram, you have to realize that just posting a product image isn't going to do it.
You need to get creative and make a graphic that is unique and which conjures up the feeling that the affiliate product would produce so that the right people will be drawn to it.
Here are a few examples of how this would work:
- If your affiliate product is ClickFunnels, you might create an image of a person happily working on a laptop on the beach.
- Maybe you want to promote scrapbooking supplies. You could use an image of you and your children creating an art project using those products, and then talk about the products in the description.
- Let's say you are promoting a book. You could have a really unique image of a person reading in an interesting location, and then photoshop the book cover into it.
- Here's an example from Nature Valley. It shows happy kids running down a school hall, and the post says “After 8 hours in a classroom.”
Play With Image Formats
You can use single images, carousel posts, or video posts on Instagram. So, play around and see what works best for your affiliate products.
You can also play around with different size images and formats that you upload. Here's a general guide to follow:
- Square Images – 1:1 aspect ratio (for example 1080 x 1080)
- Portrait Images – 4:5 aspect ratio (for example 1080 x 1350)
- Landscape Images – Max 1.91:1 (for example 1080 x 608)
- Story Images – 16:9 aspect ratio (for example 1080 x 1920)
- Videos – MOV or MP4, 100MB maximum, 60 seconds max, 3 seconds min
IG TV (Instagram TV) is a new app for watching long-form vertical videos.
Since this is so new, you can gain the competitive advantage by being an early adopter.
Here are some different types of videos you can post as an affiliate marketer to increase the connection you have with your followers:
- Demonstrate your affiliate products
- Create tutorials
- Offer review videos
- Do interviews
- Tell your brand story
- Show behind-the-scenes videos
Anyone with a regular account can add videos that are between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. If you have a verified account or a large audience, you can upload videos that are as long as 1 hour.
Value Over Promotion
At this point, you've probably heard me say it about a thousand times, but it needs to be said again in this context…
Always make your posts valuable above promotional.
People aren't on Instagram so that they can be promoted to. They are there to have fun and to maybe learn something new. So provide value above all else and don't promote in every post.
Use a bunch of hashtags in the description of each post to help others find your posts.
Do some research to find out what hashtags are being used for posts similar to yours. Tailwind has a great feature that helps you find the best hashtags.
You can also tag other users when it makes sense to increase engagement. Just don't abuse this because it can be annoying when people tag you in something that has nothing to do with you.
If you tag someone, make sure there is a strong connection.
High Ticket Products
If you really want to succeed at knowing how to start affiliate marketing on Instagram, don’t promote random products and don’t promote low ticket affiliate products.
Instead, focus on promoting a few high-ticket affiliate products that are highly targeted to your audience.
Most people who are struggling with affiliate marketing are doing the opposite, and then they wonder why they are spinning their wheels.
When you do affiliate marketing in that way, you'll end up putting in a lot less time and making a lot more money.
Choose Recurring Affiliate Programs
In addition to promoting high-ticket affiliate programs, I also suggest promoting recurring affiliate programs.
What better return on your time than to get paid every month over and over and over again for the work that you did one time?
Passive income is the best income, so always be on the lookout for affiliate programs that offer recurring commissions.
Note that a lot of high-end products don't allow brand new affiliates to promote them. This is because of branding. If you are brand new, start with these programs.
Hire Micro- Influencers to do Shoutouts
One of the hottest ways to market a product is with shoutouts, and you can do it with affiliate products too. This is where you pay an influencer to promote your product or Instagram page to their following.
Influencer marketing like this is a great way to get new instagram followers and to get new eyes on your affiliate products.
And by choosing the right influencers, you can be sure that you are reaching a highly targeted audience.
Coupon codes work really well with this tactic. Influencers love to share a great deal with their followers and it makes for a much more enticing offer.
Use Shoutout Marketplaces
The easiest way to find influencers to promote your stuff is to use Instagram Shoutout Marketplaces.
You can find what you are looking for on most of these marketplaces no matter what your budget is, whether it's $10 to thousands of dollars. And you can choose influencers based on niche, number of followers, engagement, etc.
Here are some of the best Shoutout Marketplaces:
Properly Vet Your Influencers
When you're looking into an influencer, make sure you google them and look at how they are interacting with other influencers and sponsors.
Would your products fit in? What are their followers like?
You'll also want to make sure they are real people and not bots. You can follow these guidelines to do that.
Focus on Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers have between 2000 and 15,000 followers. Although they have fewer followers than macro-influencers, their audiences are usually more engaged. Plus, hiring them will cost you a lot less.
In fact, a recent survey demonstrated that micro-influencers got double the likes than macro-influencers.
That is that
As you can see, there's a ton of potential for affiliate marketing on Instagram. It takes creativity, yes, but the rewards can be pretty substantial.
Want to learn my main strategies for how I've grown a full time income with affiliate marketing?