What Is Instagram Affiliate Marketing? A Beginners Guide

Instagram affiliate marketing guide

If you aren’t already aware: Instagram is a big deal. Instagram’s median engagement rate is 1.22%. That’s 13.5x higher than Facebook posts and 27x higher than a Tweet. It allows brands to connect with their customers, like never before and is one of the biggest platforms for social media marketing. That’s why we see more D2C businesses turning to this social media platform for marketing their products and services. And they don’t do it just by creating Instagram posts or Instagram stories from their business handle, but via partnering with influencers on Instagram i.e. Instagram affiliate marketing. Yes, 93% of businesses on Instagram uses social media influencers (affiliate marketer) today to create awareness about their products and increase their reach.

In this blog post, we will share with you everything you need to know to get started with Instagram affiliate marketing program and how to go about the affiliate promotions. We’ll cover what affiliate marketing is, how to get influencers on board, and how to do it the right way. Read on!

P.S: We have also created a list of top 100 Instagram influencers that you can instantly download and boost your influencer marketing on Instagram like never before. 

What Is Instagram Affiliate Marketing?

Instagram affiliate marketing is when you partner with Instagram users who have relevant followers, also called influencers, and pay them a commission of the total sale value for promoting your products or services via their handles. These influencers try your product and share it with their audience who can be 10s, 100, and thousands of people who follow their recommendations. The commission rate differs for every influencer.   

For instance, here’s an example how a digital creator Jenia, with 47K followers on her Instagram page, is promoting skincare and hair products of various brands:

Credit: Instagram

Why Choose Instagram Affiliate Marketing?

There are 3 key benefits to considering Instagram affiliate marketing:

  1. People trust people: People usually trust recommendations from other people. Around 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions. Product reviews or user-generated content just act as social proof that people are using your products and enjoying them. Therefore, partnering with the right influencers can help you boost your brand’s engagement rate as well as create authentic relationships with your audience.  
  1. It targets your audience accurately: Everyone uses Instagram app. Be it a millennial, Gen Z, or Gen Alpha. Therefore, you can create content that appeals to different audiences. Also, once you pair with influencers that are of your or related to your industry, you will target an audience that would be interested in your products/services.
  1. It’s affordable: You don’t have to go for celebrity influencers to promote your brand. With a rise in micro-influencers (Influencers with less than 100K followers), you can partner with them at affordable prices i.e. Instagram affiliate marketing does not have to be expensive to be effective. Moreover, micro-influencers have an engagement rate of 3.86%on Instagram, which is better than what mega/celebrity influencers have. 

How To Find Top Instagram Influencers For Affiliate Marketing

A Google search of “top influencers” would bring some decent results. However, we have already done this work for you! After thorough research, we have created a list of Top Instagram Influencers for D2C Brands in 2022 that you can approach right away.

While we are quite sure that you will find an influencer that you are looking for in this list, in case you do not, here are some other ways to find influencers: 

1. Search for hashtags relevant to your brand

Login to your Instagram account and search for hashtags related to your business/industry. This will help you reach your target audience as well as influencers promoting products/services similar to yours. A great starting point could be to search for hashtags such as #influencer #influencermarketing #digitalinfluencers #sponsored as a lot of influencers use these hashtags in their content so that it’s easier to find them. After you get some results, go through their Instagram content and see if they would be a fit for your brand. Don’t forget to check their followers and engagement. 

Credit: Instagram

2. Try affiliate marketing platforms & tools

Affiliate marketing platforms such as Upfluence and Heepsy provide huge databases of influencers. You can filter out and contact the influencers you think would be the right fit for your brand! Some other tools such as Buzzsumo and Klear can also help you find influencers and measure their engagement success. 

3. Google Alerts

This is the easiest of them all. You can set up a Google alert for a specific keyword. If anything is posted related to your keyword anywhere, you will receive notifications in your inbox. Follow these steps to get started: 

  • Go to https://www.google.com/alerts
  • You will find a box that says “Create an alert about”. Enter the keywords you would like to monitor. For example, you can enter “top Instagram influencers”, or “Instagram influencers in India”. Google alerts will show a preview of the type of content it will look for
  • Click on the “Create Alert” button
  • Once you have created an alert, you can also modify the settings like “how often”, “sources”, etc. by clicking on the pencil icon near the keyword
  • That’s it! You will start receiving notifications in your email about all the content related to your keywords 

How To Get Started With Your Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

Once you have shortlisted Instagram influencers that could promote your brand, you need to get     them on board and start with your affiliate marketing campaigns by following these steps:

Step 1: Reach out to the influencer via email/DM

If the influencer’s Instagram account mentions promotions or if you can find a business email on its handle, then you can reach out to them via an email. If they do not have an email address, reach out to them via a direct message (DM). In both cases, write a clear, concise copy that stands out. Write a short note explaining to them about your company and the collaboration you would want with them to increase your brand awareness. Please note that if you are sending a direct message, the message should be of a maximum of 500 characters.

Step 2: Discuss the marketing campaign, its goal, & pricing

So what type of influencer marketing campaign are you thinking of? Do you want the influencer to use your product and recommend it in one of the posts? Do you want the influencer to share the post you create via your business handle? Do you want the influencer to take control of your Instagram business account for a day? Sharing your product link on their instagram bio? All these campaigns can have different price tags according to the influencers’ reach. For instance, here is an approximate guide to what influencers charge:

  • Less than 2,000 followers: ~ $124 per post
  • 75,000-100,000 followers: ~ $258 per post
  • Over 1 million followers: ~ $1,400 per post

Therefore, discuss with your influencer the type of campaign and the price that is fair for both parties. Also, discuss the goal you are trying to achieve with the campaign i.e. to increase instagram followers or drive sales. You both need to be aligned on the campaign goal and pricing from the get-go.

Pro Tip:  You can use an Instagram pricing calculator such as inzpire.me to estimate an Instagram influencer’s earnings.

Step 3: Create an efficient workflow

To make sure that you get the campaign right, create a common folder or a mood board to give influencers an idea about your brand and the company’s aesthetics. If there is any particular hashtag or copy that you want the influencer to use, communicate it clearly via the mood board or an email. 

Step 4: Don’t be afraid to seek advice

Don’t compromise on your brand aesthetics, but don’t be afraid to seek advice from the influencer on the creative direction you should take. They are well aware of what works and what doesn’t on Instagram, therefore, it makes sense to involve them in the campaign creation process.   

Types of Instagram Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

You can create different types of affiliate marketing campaigns on Instagram such as sponsored content, reviews, etc. Here we have explained them below: 

Sponsored content

In this type of affiliate marketing strategy, the influencer creates promotional content for your brand via their instagram handle. You just need to tell them about your brand guidelines and expectations, and they create a post around your product or service. Usually, influencers use #sponsored in these posts so that followers understand the nature of the post. They even share affiliate link on their bio linking back to your company page.

Sponsored content on Instagram


This marketing campaign involves your company giving your product or service as a gift to the influencer, in exchange for an unboxing video or a review from their Instagram account. The influencer could also charge for these posts. 

User review on Instagram

Instagram Page Takeover

As the name suggests, you let the influencer takeover your Instagram business account for a day or an agreed period of time. The influencer then creates videos, posts, stories, behind the scenes, etc. about your product, services, or brand.

Instagram page takeover as an affiliate marketing campaign

How To Track Your Instagram Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Once you have launched your Instagram Affiliate program, it is an important thing to analyze what is working for your brand a. If you are using an influencer marketing platform or tool, they will give you detailed reporting on various metrics such as clicks, impressions, sales, etc. 

Another way could be that you ask the influencers to use trackable links that help in finding out the number of clicks or sales. So, basically, the affiliate links act like a CTA that takes the user to a different landing page. You can track the traffic and other metrics of the landing page on Google Analytics. 

Instagram Affiliate Marketing works wonders to help you provide an element of relatability & credibility to your products and services and increase trust amongst your audience. Your affiliate network helps to grab the attention of the people who could be interested in your products. So, start with your Instagram Affiliate Marketing Campaign soon (if you haven’t already!)  

If you need funds to start your marketing campaigns, your search ends here. Velocity, provides revenue based financing of up to Rs 3 crore to D2C and e-commerce brands. Businesses with healthy revenue streams can get instant funds and can make the repayments as their revenue grows. To get instant funds for your business, you can apply here!

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