Instagram for affiliate marketing – Part 2

In part 1 of our series on Instagram for affiliate marketing, we laid out how even after years of booming popularity, the photo-sharing app is a viable way to earn a few extra bucks.

However, like everything else in affiliate marketing, it needs to be done right.

Instagram affiliate marketing for publishers

What’s the foundation for good marketing? Product-market fit.

For any CPA offer campaign to work, the product and the audience need to be chosen wisely. Even more so if you’re running campaigns on Instagram. Think about it: if you have a niche instagram page about skateboarding, well…you can’t start promoting beauty products. The messaging won’t land, your followers will disengage, they’ll unfollow. 

And then what? 

You’ll have a dead Instagram account. And a missed opportunity.

That doesn’t mean you’re pigeon-holed to your niche though. Below, we’ll show you how to use a topic research tool to identify subtopics and trends that will interest your audience. And since you’ve done your research, you KNOW what resonates with your followers. At the very least, you should have a high-level understanding of it!

But for a long-term strategy, we like to get more granular…

And to do that, we need to start with topic research. There are a bunch of tools out there (eg. BuzzSumo, Google Keyword Planner, etc), but we like Semrush

screenshot of Semrush's content ideas tool, used by AdCenter CPA network, that helps with content creation and instagram affiliate marketing

You get ideas for related topics broken down by region, AND you can see the types of questions people are asking. Trust me when I say this will help you immensely with content creation. 

Going back to the skateboarding example…Semrush shows us that topics ranging from the Olympics, Tony Hawk, and anime could be interesting to your followers.

With all this information at your fingertips, it’s easy to get carried away. What products can you sell on your page without going balls to the wall and overloading your audience with allllll the topics? Where do you draw the line?

This is where market research comes in! We’ve already talked about how effective market research and knowing your audience are CRUCIAL in promoting CPA offers. Your research will guide your decision about whether you should promote specific products or not. 

Now, on to the juicy part…how you can use affiliate marketing on Instagram to increase your revenue.

Marketing on Instagram for affiliate marketers

So you have an Instagram account that you’ve grown with compelling content. 

You’ve got a decent amount of connected followers who engage with your account. Perfect.

The simplest, most straightforward way to get started: Google “affiliate marketing + [your niche]”. 

Chances are, you’ll find some companies with established Instagram affiliate programs. Awesome. You can find one that matches your niche, sign up, and start promoting. 

Or you can list yourself on influencer marketing platforms and wait for brands to reach out. Easy peasy right? 

But here’s the thing…if you were able to find affiliate programs like this, so is everyone else. And because of this, the Instagram affiliate programs you find are probably so saturated, so competitive, that the payouts are not even worth your time.

Try this instead.

Full disclaimer: it’s more work. Getting to the super-affiliate level isn’t for the lazy. But if you’re already an AdCenter aff, chances are you’ve got the drive and talent to reach those levels.

  1. Research products in your niche that you actually like. Bonus points if you find brands that align with your own values so you don’t feel like you’re selling out.
  2. Contact the advertiser/seller to ask if they’d be willing to set up an affiliate deal with you. 
  3. Do your research and prepare a breakdown of your audience.
  4. Have a presentation of your account’s relevant metrics and if you can, information on any previous campaigns you ran.
  5. Be prepared to present a business case for why the seller NEEDS to work with you. You and no one else. 

And make all of it easily digestible.

Now you’re ready to get started, there’s one question that’s bugging you if you haven’t done this before:

How do I know if my account is big enough for monetization?

No straight answer here, unfortunately. 

Different advertisers have different priorities. Some might look for accounts with high follower counts, while others might prioritize engagement rates, even for smaller, nano accounts. The only way to find out is to reach out and ask. 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned at AdCenter, it’s that the affiliates who are too risk-averse to try new things (traffic source, platform, offer, etc)… the ones playing it safe, refusing to experiment…are the ones who stay at the same level. Affiliate marketing on Instagram offers a ton of potential for affiliates to increase revenue and get the life they want. 

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