Instagram’s Launch of Affiliate Marketing for Influencers

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Written by: HaleyMikel 

There are over 1 billion active users on Instagram. As e-commerce continues to grow, it shouldn’t come as a shock that in order to maintain its stranglehold on influencer marketing, it creates an affiliate model to compensate parties appropriately. Voila! Welcome to their new native affiliate tool. These features are designed to create more accessible, more refined processes for affiliates within the app; let’s dive into how they plan to do that! 

Affiliate participation is nothing new on Instagram. The platform creates a unique opportunity for customers to follow accounts that inspire them and they feel they can trust. According to Hootsuite, over 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month and after seeing a product or service on Instagram, 50% of people have visited the website to follow the ad through and make a purchase. Clearly, there are a lot of earning opportunities being presented! The new tool is intended to simplify this process for creators and advertisers alike. 

Instagram has laid out simple steps to follow for affiliates to get started:

Step 1: Head to “Pro Home” and select, “Set Up Affiliate.”

Step 2: Navigate to the shop of your choice, select the products you plan to promote and save them to your wishlist.

Step 3: When creating your Feed or Story post, you can tag the products you’ve saved. 

Step 4: Your final post will include a disclosure, with “Eligible for Commission” appearing at the top. 

Creators can now sign up for the affiliate program, then view items/products/services available for purchase within Instagram. After choosing which products to share with their follower’s creators can follow their natural process of advertising. As of now, affiliates will be able to use product tag links in stories, in-feed posts, carousels, and video, but not in IGTV. There will also now be an ‘Eligible for Commission’ tag that will appear at the top of the post. This notification maintains transparency for the shopper that their purchase will be supporting the account they saw the product on. When an affiliate post results in a sale, they will be able to receive commission payments directly from those sales. This basically means that the middle process of negotiating commission structures is eliminated, brand commission rates will be viewable for affiliates within the app when selecting products, and performance can be tracked within the insights tab.

While this creates a more seamless experience for affiliates, it does raise potential concerns for advertisers. With the process of negotiation taken out of the equation, it will be interesting to see whether issues emerge from brands not having a direct say in who promotes their brands- though there could be a process for this in development. The program is currently being tested with a group of creators and businesses including Benefit, Kopari, MAC, Pat McGrath Labs, and Sephora. Instagram has announced that this group will be expanding in the near future. While it is still in the testing phase, not all affiliates are able to sign up at this time. However, as the program progresses, all affiliates adhering to the Instagram Partner Monetization Policies, and Community Guidelines will be able to participate. As the program evolves I’m sure we can expect to see some changes and enhancements develop. 

This is a big advancement for affiliates who participate in the advertising space on Instagram. But don’t fret! Affiliates will still be able to use multiple networks, participating in Instagram’s program will not limit that. Commissions will remain to be received based on the affiliate link that receives the click. So, if a click comes through an IG product tag, the commission will be paid out via Instagram. If a customer clicks through one of your other links, the commission will be paid out by that affiliate partner/brand. 

How does Purply Technology benefit from this?

As you can imagine, our customers are very interested in which influencers are the right ones for their brand.  And with over 140,000 of the largest affiliates already listed in Purply, once accessible to all, this new pool of IG-only affiliates will provide more potential relationships for our users.  Interested in which affiliates are missing from your brand’s program? Signup today at Purply.com.

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