Affiliate marketing on Instagram is becoming a “thing too.”
Everyone from your mate at school to those top models is looking to make their follower numbers count.
If you’re into social media you’ve probably heard of Facebook marketing.
With over 800 million active users, there’s just no community you can’t find on Instagram.
As an affiliate marketer, the goal is to drive traffic to your target site how ever you can.
Instagram’s app engagement ranks above some of the other giants like Twitter and Snapchat so that’s a metric you need.
This post would go in-depth into how you can gain recognition in very profitable niches and of course, make money.
The Untapped Potentials On Instagram
You may not believe it, but there are very regular people earning money on Instagram just living their life.
I mean you’ll hardly spot anything, they’re wearing Nike hiking shoes on their posts and making money with that.
And I’m not talking about celebrities or your favorite reality TV stars here.
Of course, that helps to an extent, but with the right strategies, you can build a following too.
Does Instagram Allow Affiliate Marketing?
Instagram hasn’t clearly come out to say they permit affiliate marketing on their platform.
But they haven’t said they don’t want it either.
In fact, the launch of Instagram for business is a nice marker.
It’s a statement from the company that they understand that people would also like to use the platform for marketing.
And affiliate marketing falls under that.
Some Ways You Can Do This?
You can charge companies to create a post or use their tags on your account.
Instagram makes linking out of the platform difficult so thinks like tags from huge accounts are expensive to get.
And I’m guessing you’re asking what it takes to be seen as a big account?
Like, how many followers do you need to get things started?
How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need To Earn Money?
OK, you need to get this shocker, it’s not really about the followers!
Yes, there’s something called paid followers on Instagram and other social media platforms and many brands know about this.
The metric that really matters on Instagram is engagement.
Look at it like this, how would you feel paying for “30,000” fans to see your product and only three people land on your site.
You’ll feel you’ve been swindled, right?
That’s why very few brands care about follower numbers except you have tens of millions of them.
I mean, it’s not possible that someone would have 20 million fake followers.
At least, a lot of that number will be real human beings active on Instagram.
And you should be working to improve engagement on your posts.
Yes, there is something like boring your followers with your content.
You don’t want that because they’ll unfollow when they can’t take it anymore.
How To Improve Engagement On Your Account
So, a little away from increasing your follower numbers and actually making your present followers count.
The first thing you can do is a “don’t” actually, so don’t use bots.
If you’re on a service that automatically likes and shares your posts every time you publish, that’s dangerous.
That’s because you can get your account shadowbanned or even banned completely.
A shadow ban is a penalty given to Instagrammers who use these shady tactics.
And the funny thing is it’s a bit hard to know you’re on a shadow ban.
How it works is that people who don’t follow won’t be able to see your posts.
A second tactic to use is getting innovative with your use of hashtags.
You shouldn’t use banned hashtags in your posts because that’ll prevent your posts from appearing for the other tags.
Also, try to use hashtags that relate in a way to the business you’re promoting.
You want to prep the minds of your followers for what’s to come.
Look for times when your audience is most active.
You shouldn’t be posting at all times because you won’t get the results with that.
Using Hashtags To Generate Interest In Your Offers
Affiliate marketing on Instagram is all about promoting products you feel will be beneficial to your followers.
And to make as much money as you can, you need to use hashtags that pique their interest.
There are a lot of hashtags you could use and they could be grouped into branded and community hashtags.
Branded hashtags are peculiar to your brand or your company.
So if you’re using a branded hashtag, you’re saying your brand endorses the product you’re promoting.
But this can’t work for everyone, for your branded hashtags to drive sales, you need a brand that exhibits value.
So a Michael Jordan can put on Nike’s latest boots and make affiliate sales off it.
But if you do the same thing, not many people would care.
One reason many marketers recommend using branded hashtags is because it makes tracking the success of your campaign easier.
You can gauge this by looking at the hashtags people are interacting with and those they aren’t.
It’s easy to get too pushy with affiliate marketing on Instagram when you’re watching the sales coming in.
So one way to keep yourself and your brand in check is by monitoring those hashtags.
Community hashtags are the second type you can include in your affiliate posts on Instagram.
With these hashtags, you’re harping on the general endorsement of your community to drive sales to your offers.
So still on the Nike shoes, you’re saying something like, hey look, Michael Jordan loves this too.
Community hashtags make your content available to a wider audience because people are actively using these tags in search.
The easiest way to win on Instagram is to combine both models and optimize.
And that’s because it’s all about getting the best.
How To Find The Best Hashtags For Your Affiliate Offers
It’s supposed to be an easy thing to do but many people still do it wrong.
I’m talking about those hashtags that drive affiliate conversions through the roof, you should be using them too.
And there are many ways to find them.
The first thing you can do is just a simple search.
When you start typing keywords into the search bar, the Instagram algorithm spits out popular alternatives that have worked before.
Put yourself in the mind of a searcher and niche down until you can find tags that can work for your business.
So if you’re an affiliate for a hosting company, web hosting will be too competitive if you’re just starting out.
Something like WordPress hosting or WordPress e-commerce hosting is a good start.
That’s because very few people would be competing for those keywords.
When you include a hashtag in your Instagram post, you’re asking Instagram to rank your post for that tag.
The problem with this is that they’re only nine slots up for grabs on mobile which is the platform that dominates usage among users.
To get into any of those nine spots, your posts need to show better engagement that those already ranking.
That’s why it doesn’t make any sense to compete with posts with millions of likes and thousands of comments.
Especially when you’re a small brand, so start small and target those low hanging fruits.
Another way to find winning hashtags is looking at what competitors are using in their affiliate posts.
You can bet you’re not the only one promoting that fancy jacket or that wristwatch.
There are others who’re already making affiliate income from those products.
So go through your competitor’s posts and start using their hashtags.
So How Many Hashtags Should You Be Using?
Of course, if you’ve been following through up till now, you should have gotten a lot of hashtags to use.
There’s one question many marketers have on hashtags and it’s about just how many should they be using.
It’s a good question to ask because people don’t want to get caught spamming ‘cause they’ll get shadowbanned.
Instagram isn’t as strict as Twitter on the number of hashtags you can include in a particular post.
And for now, the limit on Instagram is 30 hashtags in each caption but some marketers think it’s not enough.
But you don’t really need thirty hashtags or more than that for all your captions if you’re doing it right.
You need to find what’s just perfect for your brand, and there are two ways to get this done.
The first way involves going to your competitors for help again.
So look at how many hashtags they’re using in their captions and check how it’s affecting engagement.
Are they getting more engagement with fewer hashtags or is it with more?
The second method is looking at your own Instagram account, so separate your posts into two halves.
Check how successful posts with more hashtags have been and how those with less have been also.
There are different Instagram analytics tools you can use, both free and paid options.
You can start with free or trial options for your account and that will still be okay.
And there’s a particular problem many marketers, especially less experienced ones have with using many hashtags in their posts.
It’s very difficult to know the hashtags that are driving engagement, you’ll need to do lots of A/B testing.
That’s why it’s advised to start small and move from there.
Can You Add More Than 30 Hashtags In Your Posts?
There’s always that little crowd out there that wants to try how things will be if they go overboard.
And if you’re looking for a one phrase reply, well yes you can.
If you add more than thirty tags before posting your photo or video, you’ll get an error message.
But there’s a little tweak you can use and here’s how it works.
You need to post your photo or video with no hashtags in the original caption.
Yeah, leave that space empty for now, and then move to the comments.
Copy and paste 30 hashtags into a comment of your post.
Then edit your original caption and add an additional 30 hashtags in there.
This brings the number of hashtags you’ve used in one post to 60, surpassing the Instagram limit.
So that’s done, but here’s a little advice, if you really have to use up to 60 hashtags, use spacing.
You don’t want your post looking spammy which is something many affiliate marketers are associated with.
If people see you’re trying too hard to earn a commission, they’ll begin to doubt the value of the product.
And it wouldn’t matter if you were genuine in your review.
So try not to look like you’re selling something, let your posts help people buy.
Any Other Tips For Using Instagram Hashtags?
You can bet they’re. Hashtags are the only way to drive Instagram traffic to your posts.
So we can’t really say everything about them.
But one tip you should be using to make your posts more effective is matching them with the right photo.
If people can connect your hashtags to your photo, it will improve your click-through-rates as people would want to find out more.
It’s normal to get confused when you’re just starting out with this, but do a search with your hashtags.
You’ll see the top photos that are ranking for those tags and that will provide direction.
When you’re studying the grid for direction, look out for what everyone is using.
What’s similar about all the photos or videos that are using those hashtags.
These elements are what you need to implement into your own posts so that connection will be there.
A second technique is using hashtags that are trending.
If a hashtag is trending, that’s a huge chance right there because so many posts won’t be optimized for that tag.
So do a good job with yours, get the engagement juice to your posts and rank for that hashtag.
There are two ways to get this done, the first is using hashtags that are directly related to your product.
So let’s say the product you’re promoting is a very cheap web hosting plan.
A good time to jump on that trend will be when something like $1 hosting is trending.
The second method is doing it when hashtags not directly related to your industry are related.
Call them shoulder niches if you like.
So if site speed is trending, fast web hosting is a way to improve site speed.
So there’s nothing wrong with using “related” hashtags.
How To Break Into The Top Posts Section Of Instagram
When you do a search on Instagram, there are nine posts ranking in the grid for that search term.
Appearing on this grid is like appearing on the first page of Google, you’ll be getting all the traffic.
The algorithm is responsible for determining what posts occupy the first nine spots and the ones that should be pushed down.
Of course, Instagram hasn’t revealed the script they’re using, so it’s all down to doing what has been proven to work.
One key tactic is improving engagement, and a lot has been said about that already.
Getting enough likes and publishing content that makes people want to leave comments are some techniques for boosting engagement.
But a key factor not many people talk about is consistency, maybe because it’s not exciting to do so.
Very few people have the patience to do the hard work.
That’s why there are a lot of people using sleazy tactics and getting themselves banned.
You’re not going to rank your affiliate posts in your first week.
But to have a shot at success, you need to be consistent.
Use your hashtags, especially your winning hashtags in different posts.
Once you notice they’re starting to get a little engagement, you can start including some medium and high competition hashtags.
Using Everything You’ve Learnt
There are many tactics that have been outlined in this post.
But there’s no magic pill that will change your affiliate fortunes overnight if you start using them.
The effect of these tactics on your Instagram account will only be noticed when you’re using them together.
So make use of the followers you already have and as you implement these techniques you’ll get more.
Use the techniques to improve engagement on your posts.
Creatively search for those hashtags that generate interest and use them.
And don’t use hashtags just to reach the Instagram limit, if it’s not necessary, leave it out.
That’s it, affiliate marketing on Instagram can make you money, but that’s if you know how to do it.
Well, now you do.