Affiliate Marketing, Instagram and Influencers

Within the world of social media, Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular social media apps throughout the world. If we were to just take the US as an example, reports say more than 200 million people in the US during December 2019 were using it. The more interesting statistic is that about 89 percent of Instagram users are from abroad. This means that there are roughly around a billion people using the app throughout the world.

A typical user claims to spend at least half an hour on the platform every single day. It has become a phenomenon in many places around the world. Instagram is a place where people can share their lives on a platform and format that is easier to access than Facebook.

While it is true that Instagram quickly became a haven for people to share their images and videos of their lives, it has proven to be of almost equal benefit to businesses as well. The platform was able to generate a staggering 20 billion USD in ad revenues in the past year. The fact that there are so many influencers and brands on the same platform makes Instagram a particularly ripe ground for implementing good affiliate marketing strategies.

Affiliate Marketing, Instagram and Influencers

Why Instagram in Particular and Why Influencers In Particular?

The way Instagram works makes it absolutely prime online real estate for advertising. When a user scrolls through the main feed, they are able to immediately engage with content that they like. From people to brands, all of which they can follow. The apps also exposes them to relevant advertisements as per the algorithm of the app. While your business can make advertisements specifically for the app, they will never work as well as an Instagram influencer promoting the ad.

In today’s world, the number one thing for consumers is authenticity. They show interest in brands that actively reflect their interests, their ethics, and more. Instagram influencers have been able to completely change the landscape of the advertising industry. Especially as there are now many people who are brands in and of themselves. They exist in particular niches, ones that have been able to build a specific audience. They are also able to speak to that audience on a regular or sometimes even daily basis.

The fact that influencers directly connect to their audience not only gives them the experience of authenticity, but also builds trust. The audience are much more likely to trust something that their favorite influencer is saying or promoting. The regular engagement that the audience has with the influencer is completely built on trust. They are not just entities with the sole purpose of selling a product or service. Rather they are people that are engaging with their audience directly at their level. This makes them a lot more trustworthy and also a lot more believable. To top it all off you don't need official channels to reach out to influencers, you can just write them a message on any social media!

The fact that there are now so many marketers spending their money through this avenue shows just how successful these programs are. The overall size of this market is estimated to be at about 10 billion dollars, and it shows no signs of slowing down as more and more marketers are adapting to this new form of advertising.

There are estimates that have been able to determine that, on average, an American sees about 4,000 to 10,000 ads in the span of a day. This can cause a lot of ad fatigue where consumers are just not wanting to see traditional ads anymore. This is where influencers come in and have been able to do what traditional marketing methods have failed to do. They are able to provide a feeling of authenticity and trust to their audience when they are promoting a product. This makes the consumer much more likely to positively associate with the product or service in question.

What to look for in potential Instagram Affiliate Partners

So, now we have established that Instagram influencers are an incredibly attractive avenue for affiliate marketing. Now, let us take a look at who to partner up with for our Affiliate Programs. When you are looking for partners on Instagram, you need to make sure that you find one who knows how to make the best use of their audience’s trust. Some of the things that you should look out for include the following:

1. They are trusted by their followers and also a particular niche

Trust is one of the biggest things that affiliate marketing has to offer. This is especially true when it comes to influencer marketing. It does not always matter how big an influencers follower base is when you are doing affiliate marketing. Ideally, you will want to find someone who has an engaging fanbase and follows them on their social media journey. The best metric of judging this is the ratio of followers to engagement per post.

2. Make sure they have a decent reputation

It might be very enticing to get on board with an Instagram influencer who is trending or who may be controversial. However, it is also important to look at what type of engagement their posts are getting. If they have had controversies previously or have a bad buzz, these are signs to avoid these influencers completely. The same holds true for brands and people who like to start trouble with other content creators. These types of people should be avoided at all costs.

3. Engagement is genuine

It may seem very attractive and glamorous to reach out to the biggest influencers out there like Kim Kardashian or Ariana Grande. But, the fact of the matter is that you will not receive much genuine engagement from them or through their posts. Consumers are unlikely to fall for a product when they see a promotion via user content.

It is true that celebrity influencers will receive engagement. However, there’s hardly any genuine interaction between them and the followers that they have. If you want to make a genuine impact on your consumers, find an influencer who may not be as big. Simply ensure they have an interest in your products, are knowledgeable about the industry, and have a decent amount of followers.  By using hashtags strategically you can also increase reach.  If you are unsure about what hashtags to use, hashtag generators are available to help you.

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