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Affiliate marketing for Instagram: 5 tools & 5 tips

Discover the 5 top tools and the 5 hot tips to learn about affiliate marketing on Instagram

Instagram is a hot marketing machine. Kinda like that cool popular kid that everyone wants to be friends with.

So, you should be hanging out with Instagram more often.

For those that are maxing it out, Instagram is the place where marketing converts to sales. This one is hot for affiliate marketers. Reaching out to your Instagram followers to promote your affiliate marketing campaigns to drive those sales. More sales, more commissions. Ka-ching.

At surface level, in theory, this sounds fantastic.  But the reality is that there’s a lot to their entire process. Especially if you want to be successful. You’re going to have to put in the work, use the best tools and stay on top of your game with strategic tips.

The good news for you is that well cover all of this in this post.

You’ll learn about 5 top affiliate marketing tools for Instagram that will make the process a breeze and you’ll get 5 hot tips that’ll help you succeed.

Ready?

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5 Top affiliate marketing tools for Instagram

In this section, we’ll give you great tools that solve some common challenges experienced in this Instagram affiliate marketing guide.

Challenge:  Where to find affiliate programs to promote?
Solution:  E-Commerce affiliates by LeadDyno

Maybe you only have a handful affiliate marketing programs that you’ve signed up for.  How would you like access to thousands? Yes, thousands. Like a child in a candy store, so will all the affiliates be when they join E-Commerce Affiliates by LeadDyno.

LeadDyno is one of the world’s leading affiliate marketing systems for merchants across the world. Now their sister site, E-Commerce Affiliates helps affiliates and merchants find each other. Think of it as the Tinder for affiliate marketing.

On E-Commerce Affiliates, affiliates are able to browse through thousands of affiliate programs in a wide range of categories. From clothing, home, beauty, health to business, saas, services and more. This is affiliate heaven. That’s not it. Signing up for programs is as simple as click and you’re auto signed up.  Access to all the affiliate marketing tools you’ll need. Your golden affiliate URLs and those hot images for promotion on your Instagram account.

They make it all so easy to join, manage and track your affiliate marketing activities.

What are you waiting for?  Go on and sign up on E-Commerce Affiliates. Did I mention that it’s free?

Challenge:  How to post links?
Solution:  Link2Buy

Posting links is one of the biggest challenges on Instagram as you’re only limited to that one URL in your bio.  This presents a complication. Unless you have shoppable posts activated (discussed later in the post), how else can you manage all your affiliate links?

Well, the solution is to convert your Instagram into a shopping channel with Link2Buy.  Just one link in your bio will take users to a shoppable web version of your Instagram profile. It’s pretty nifty and solves the big URL problem. Users will be able to easily navigate to exactly what they want based on what they’ve seen on your Instagram profile.

This is a must-have for affiliate marketers – especially those that promote multiple products.

Want to give it a spin?  Sign up here for a free trial of Link2Buy.

Challenge:  What hashtags to use?
Solution:  Display Purposes

Whatever you do on Instagram, you can’t do it without using hot hashtags. If you want to run successful affiliate marketing campaigns so you’re discoverable, you have to be on top of your hashtag game. Yes, researching what hashtags to use can be overwhelming and endless. More so when you’re promoting multiple products in different niches. This is why you can’t do it alone. You need Display Purposes to make the hashtag headache go away.

How does it work?  Simply put in one main hashtag and Display Purposes will generate a list of other trending hashtags within that niche. What’s more is that it’ll give you a world map where you can select specific locations and see relevant trending hashtags in those areas. Pretty neat, hey?  So go on and hack your Instagram hashtags with Display Purposes

Challenge:  When to post? What’s competition doing? How am I performing?
Solution:  Iconosquare

If you’re serious about running a successful affiliate marketing campaign on Instagram, you’re going to have to laser focus on all the details.  It’s not enough to just post haphazardly. The difference between posting in the morning and posting at night could mean more or fewer sales.

It’s data like this that you need access to in order to make informative decisions.

There’s no room for assumptions in business. You need a tool like Iconosquare to get insights on you, your audience and your competitors.  Know how you’re performing against industry benchmarks. Get analytics on your tags, mentions, stories and more.

All this data at the tip of your fingers will give you a competitive advantage and help you succeed with your affiliate marketing on Instagram. Sweet.  Sign up for Iconosquare here.

Challenge:  How to Manage & Schedule Posts?
Solution:  Hootsuite

People, we’re living in the 21st Century. You have no reason to do anything manually.  You should be popping those awesome affiliate marketing posts like popcorn – seamlessly.

So, please do yourself a favour and use Hootsuite to schedule all your stuff. Simply plan out and create your entire affiliate marketing campaign at once and upload it all on to Hootsuite.  Set post dates and let it do it’s thing.

Hootsuite comes with a pack of fantastic features like monitoring activity and measuring the performance of your Instagram posts. So, get ahead and start scheduling your Instagram posts with Hootsuite.

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5 Hot affiliate marketing tips for Instagram 

Get approved for shopping on Instagram

Shoppable posts.  They’re flippin’ hot. They make the buying experience for shoppers on Instagram amazing.  This is the one key feature for anyone that wants to max out the use of Instagram to sell products.

What are shoppable posts?  If in use, your posts will have a shopping basket icon or a “tap to view products” button.  When clicked, the names of products and their prices will be displayed over the image. You’ve seen them, right?  If a user clicks on any one of them, they’ll be taken to page with the full product details. A “shop now” button is displayed and when clicked, the user will be taken to the product page on your website. Pretty cool right? See now why this feature is absolutely necessary for affiliates promoting products on their Instagram profiles? This definitely beats the “link in bio” custom that can be weird sometimes.

But here’s the thing, you must get approved for shopping on Instagram for this feature to be available on your account. The process involves connecting to your Facebook catalogue and it’s only applicable for selling physical products.

For more information, check out Instagram’s help centre post:  Enable business settings for shopping in the Instagram app.

Create hot posts

Simply posting a product picture on your Instagram profile and asking people to buy stuff is not going to cut it – at all.  There’s nothing inspiring about that. If you’re serious about making those sales, at least try to court your audience first.

How?  Here are two ways to make your posts pop.

Offer a discount code

Because you’re so amazing, you offer your followers a sweet coupon code.  You know, dangle a juicy carrot that if it weren’t for you, your audience wouldn’t enjoy the benefit otherwise.  Catch my drift? It’s a simple and easy way to give your Instagram followers an incentive to buy using your affiliate links.

Of course, this option is determined by the merchant.  Merchants may not include this in their standard affiliate program terms so you may need to personally reach out to them if you’re serious.  They’ll likely support affiliates that go the extra mile to drive sales for them.

Create product demo videos

This is the ultimate way to provide value to your followers.  Yes, seeing product pictures of stuff like clothing is great but you know what is better?  Seeing a hot video of one of your favourite influencers wearing the clothes themselves. It’s not only interesting, but it also sets a realistic expectation that may actually motivate a purchase.  So your followers will love this.

As you can see, you’ll need to make an effort with your post quality if you want to sell anything.  It may take extra time and resources, but the sales will be worth it – right?

Use swipe up stories

You’ve seen them, right? Those super-cool “swipe up” posts on Instagram Stories.  They provide a clean and simple user experience for the shopper.  A quick swipe will take them to the URL you’ve defined.

But, there’s a catch. Unfortunately, this feature is only available to accounts with over 10,000 followers.  So if you’re a hot shot and you have a fantastic following, you’ll see a link icon option appear when creating your story post.  When you’re creating your exciting product story, click on the link icon to insert your affiliate URL and Bob’s your uncle. You’ll also notice a “Tag Business Partner” option when you insert your link. This will insert “Paid Partnership” into your story. We discuss posts of this nature further on in this article – so keep reading.

What if you don’t have over 10,000 followers but want that sexy swipe up feature in your stories?  Well, you launch paid Instagram ads.

Which brings us to the next tip.

Run Instagram paid ads

In the Instagram universe, it all comes down to share of attention. There’s only one feed that every Instagram account is competing for visibility.  Unfortunately, not everyone can make it, especially not organically anyway.

There’s always a hack to everything, right? Yeah, and it usually costs money.

If you have a large number of followers, you already know that your post reach and engagement is only a small fraction of the whole pie. So if you’d like to max out visibility to your current audience and even reach more, then running paid ads on Instagram will get the job done. You’ll also be able to create those cool swipe up stories mentioned above, whether or not you meet the criteria for that feature organically.

Your Instagram ads are set up and managed from the Facebook Ad Manager. If you don’t know what you’re doing, educate yourself. They’re tonnes of online videos on this subject. It’s recommended to start with a small ad budget first. Test your ads. Test your audiences. Then optimize and gradually increase your budget when you’re sure about what’s working.

Learn more about advertising on Instagram here.

Use Instagram paid partnership feature

For the purpose of exaggerating a point, I’d like to ask you a question. Would you trust a TripAdvisor review that was posted by a staff member? Of course not. Why? There’s a conflict of interest.

In the same way, your product review video on Instagram for the purposes of promoting your affiliate link is a conflict of interest.  It just makes the “authenticity” of your positive review questionable. Of course, it doesn’t mean you’re faking it. If you’re ethical, you’ll make sure that all your posts that you put out to your followers are as objective as can be.

So on that note, to ensure transparency and consistency to sponsored content on Instagram it’s important to make use of Instagram’s paid partnership feature. This will display your post as “Paid Partnership with [brand name]”.

Yes, promoting your affiliate links is sponsored content. Do it the right way. You’ll earn the respect and trust of your followers.

Conclusion

After all these tools and tips on affiliate marketing for Instagram, you’re well on your way to driving those sales and getting those fantastic affiliate commissions in.

Don’t worry about getting it all done and ticked off at once. Instead, focus on each item at a time. Progression is the ongoing goal.  Each step ahead will pave your way to optimizing your Instagram account for better affiliate sales.

Remember the first step:  find hot affiliate programs on E-Commerce affiliates.

Ready to turn your Instagram game into sales? Check out G2’s real user reviews to help you find the best eCommerce tools on the market.

Happy ‘gramming.

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Giles Thomas
Hi, I’m Giles Thomas. Founder of AcquireConvert, the place where ecommerce entrepreneurs & marketers go to learn how to get more visitors to buy. I’m a head marketing mentor at the Google Launchpad Accelerator & a member of the prestigious Google Experts Program.
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