A few years ago from today, Facebook and Twitter was all that was considered whenever one would talk about social media marketing or product promotions on the digital platforms. These two sites got all the attention from the businesses in order to reach out to their target customers and audience. But, this is no more the scenario today since there are several other sites that have come into existence now. One such site is Instagram.
With over 1 billion active users on the platform, Instagram today is one of the biggest social media platforms which can also act as a very good platform for promoting business ventures. The platform is swarmed with influencers and other users who follow these influencers religiously. The influencers today can help reach out to a vast number of target audiences that can lead to huge profit possibilities for the business owners.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a system of expanding business in which influencers promote a brand’s products or services and earn money in the form of commission from every click or sale that is then generated. As a user, one must have come across discount codes and coupons that are specific to a certain influencer. When these codes are entered during the purchase, the influencer is given commission based on the total clicks generated through the influencer.
Why choose Affiliate marketing?
There are multiple benefits that a business can enjoy through affiliate marketing on instagram. To begin with the discussion, the first and foremost benefit is the fact that affiliate marketing helps reach out to a larger base of target customers and turn them into loyal clients. The platform of instagram has thousands, probably millions of influencers who have their own niches, platforms and other curated communities with a set group of people who follow them. Partnering with these influencers would surely help reach out to more people at once and at a much faster pace than any other method. Campaigning through your own accounts would help reach out to your followers only but partnering with someone else would help bring their followers into the loop as well thus increasing your expanse.
Another major benefit is that through affiliate marketing, the product seems to be a lot more organic. When you post something as a brand, the users will be getting the clear picture that your brand is trying to sell a certain product or service. When an influencer or any other content curator is seen vouching for the same product or service, their recommendations are then believed to be a lot more authentic and genuine. User generated content has seen a lot more views and clicks than any other method of promotion.
How to set and start with an Affiliate Marketing Programme on Instagram?
Starting with Affiliate Marketing is relatively very easy for all users, including beginners.
- The first step for you as an influencer who is looking forward to starting with affiliate marketing is through becoming a part of an affiliate network. These affiliate networks provide you with benefits and services like reporting tools, tracking tools and payment processing grounds as well as a complete exposure to an influencer base who have already been using affiliate links on their platforms. When we talk about sales, affiliate networks can ease the process of figuring out the amount of commission that is due for a certain influencer as well as the best kind of commission model for his purpose. The commission models are of two types. They are cost per acquisition and pay per click. While a pay per click ensures a small amount that is being paid for every click that your post is generating, a cost per acquisition is paid only when a sale is completed successfully. For the businesses who are just starting out, a pay per click model might not be very apt since the cost per acquisition model has much lesser risk as it is based on real time sales performance and also does the work of motivating the influencers to focus on sales and not just generate traffic.
- Set your commission rates. This simply means to decide and finalise on an amount that you will be paying to the influencers for every sale driven by them. One needs to keep a few things in mind while doing so. It is very important to consider the profit margins since the amount of commission would also come from this profit margin and a low profit margin would imply that the commission too should be low. It is also important to know the pay given by other competitive markets as well the industry rates. Once the commission rates have been decided, it is also important to decide on the payment terms. Usually all payments are made at a gap of about 60-90 days to keep room for all returns and exchanges that would take place in this period. However, this time period also depends on the individual sales cycle of the business.
- Create an affiliate program which is compelling enough for the influencers. Your program would determine the kind of influencers who chose to become a part of your journey and business. One good way of doing so is including some extra incentives and rewards that the influencers could unlock over time based on the results generated through them.
- Find influencers that you can partner with on instagram. The influencers that you partner with for the purpose of affiliate marketing completely depends on the instagram marketing goals that you have set for the company. Always keep in mind that the quality and reach of your chosen influencer would greatly influence your sale. The number of influencers does not matter a lot when the other factor that is being considered here is the reach and the amount of sales that is being driven successfully through your chosen influencer.
- Analyze and adjust according to the results. Once your affiliate marketing programme is well settled and running, it becomes very important to analyze what is working well for the requirements of your brand. Affiliated networks usually provide detailed reports that show the number of affiliate links generated for your brand, the number of clicks that have been driven on them as well as the value of the total sales.
Other key strategies to keep in mind.
- Utilize coupon codes. They have always acted as an effective and sure shot way to lure more people into buying something.
- Shoot the pictures on your own. When the picture has a similar style when compared to all other posts, it feels a lot more genuine and not just a marketing gimmick. It helps in leading to more sales thus generating better commission for the influencer as well.
- Running sponsored posts is also an extremely successful way for generating more leads and traffic, thus further increasing the sales.
- Running paid searches which directly lead to your Instagram page and posts are also an excellent way to get more leads and traffic, thus further increasing the sales. These paid searches can be run through Google adwords. However, before doing so, it is important to ensure your conversion rates and keep the budget in mind while also having a strong keyword research base to rely on.
How to promote the affiliate products?
The promotion of affiliate products on instagram has one major lack. Instagram allows any only one link that can be displayed through the bio of the account and there are very few other places which allow the users to display links in eye grabbing spots. The best option is to display the affiliate link for the best selling product or service through the link in bio. Ensure that you use emojis to draw attention as well as a call to action to encourage people to click on the link. One can also change this link on a regular basis in order to promote any of the most popular products, the most recently launched products or the products that generate extremely great revenue returns.
One can also include the affiliate link as an overlay text on the image thus telling the audience and viewers about the place from where they can be buying the product. Also, ensure that you include the link on the space provided for image description.
Another important thing that needs to be considered is trending and relevant hashtags along with the post. Hashtags help a post to reach out to more number of people who follow that particular hashtag and as a result of this, the post would now reach the audience beyond your followers list.
Affiliate Marketing through instagram is an excellent way to promote products and services while also generating more leads and sale conversion. It has an immense capacity to reach out to the audience and adding the right influencers to the mix would result in a recipe for success that would never fail.