Keep reading to know more about affiliate marketing and how to run a program on Instagram.
How to Run an Affiliate Marketing Program on Instagram
If you’re an amateur in the world of affiliate marketing, the good news is that it’s quite easy to start!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you run the very first steps:
Step 1: Choose an Affiliate Network
If it’s the first time you look for affiliate marketers to collaborate with, the easiest way is to use an affiliate network!
Affiliate networks will offer you benefits like tracking technology, reporting tools, payment processing, along with exposure to a base of influencers who already use affiliate links on their platforms.
Let’s check these top affiliate networks to choose from:
The tracking technology bit is especially essential. Affiliate networks offer trackable links that influencers can use to measure clicks and sales.
Speaking of sales, affiliate networks can also help you explore the amount of commission an influencer is due, and what kind of commission structure works effectively.
There are two main kinds of commission models: pay per click and cost per acquisition.
A pay-per-click model shows that you’ll earn a small amount for every click that you lead to a website, while cost per acquisition only pays when people make an actual sale.
If you’re at the beginning, a cost-per-click model may not be the safest path for your business. A cost per acquisition model is much lower risk as it’s based on actual sales performance, and can encourage influencers to pay more attention to sales rather than traffic.
Once you’re active on an affiliate network, you can increase more exposure by joining monetization platforms like rewardStyle or ShopStyle. Just keep in mind that you must be on one of the above affiliate networks first!
Step 2: Set Your Commission Rates
Now it’s the right time to set your commission rates, which means how much you’ll pay an influencer for each sale they lead.
There are different ways for you to do this. Here are some ideas:
- Analyze Your Profit Margins: Commission payments are ultimately from your profit margin, so knowing how much profit you are willing to pay for a higher volume of sales is necessary.
- Conduct Competitor Analysis: How much commission do your competitors spend? What is the industry standard?
- Ask Your Affiliate Network: Affiliate networks will offer you a wealth of information!
Once you’ve chosen your commission rate, you’ll also need to make your payment terms. This is usually 60-90 days available for returns or exchanges but will depend on your individual sales cycle.
Step 3: Create a Compelling Affiliate Program
When setting up your affiliate program, ensure it’s one that influencers actually want to take part in.
One way to incentivize influencers is to create a tiered program, with the choice to unlock extra rewards. This can really encourage influencers to promote your brands and services, and fairly rewards them for their effort.
This could be just a higher commission rate for a higher volume of sales, or a one-off bonus payment!
Step 4: Find Influencers to Collaborate with on Instagram
There are tons of ways you can do about finding influencer affiliates to collaborate with on Instagram!
Depending on your Instagram marketing targets, you may want to strategically hand-pick influencers to get the most from your affiliate campaigns.
Keep in mind that the quality of influencer affiliates far outweighs the quantity. Don’t stress about getting many influencer affiliates posting about your brand — just be sure that the ones you do pick are serving as strong voices for your product and are effectively driving sales.
Hot Tip: When setting up your influencer affiliates with your program, make sure to send them brand guidelines and resources to support their content creation!
Step 5: Analyze and Adjust
Once your affiliate program is up and running, it’s essential to keep track of what’s working effectively for your brand.
If you’re using an affiliate network, they should have available reports that will give you information about how many affiliate links have been generated for your brand, the number of clicks they’ve driven, and the total sales value.
It’s also important to measure how many of your affiliate marketing sales make it through to closure. If you’re finding an unusually high return rate, this could be a sign that your influencer affiliates are misrepresenting your products.
This could affect your brand reputation and causing unnecessary admin costs, so it’s definitely worth focusing on.
4 Brands with Next-level Instagram Affiliate Programs
If you’re finding inspiration on how to run your affiliate marketing program on Instagram, take a look at these 4 brands that are getting creative and leading the way:
Instagram Affiliate Program #1: Mejuri
Jewelry line Mejuri has created a huge network of influencer affiliates who regularly share beautiful and aspirational Instagram content.
Their affiliate partners vary from micro-influencers with just a thousand followers, to macro-influencers with huge audiences. However, they all create a similar “golden hour” aesthetic.
This strategy allows Mejuri to engage with a wider potential customer base. It also means they have a huge amount of user-generated content that’s perfectly on-brand for their Instagram feed and stories.
Instagram Affiliate Program #2: Rent the Runway
Similar to Mejuri, Rent the Runway (@renttherunway) also works effectively with gathering user-generated content for their feed and posting it frequently!
Just like their wide variety of rentable outfits and styles, RTR’s affiliate partners are diverse. They work with famous influencers, micro-influencers, and even have college ambassadors for their @rtroncampus page.
By diversifying its affiliate community, and RTR succeeds in boosting its reach by getting in front of more types of customers across more demographics.