With over 300 million monthly active users, Instagram is a great tool to use for marketing your affiliate business. It’s a way to connect with millions of potential customers, yet only a small percentage of businesses actually use this platform. If you’re still on the fence, or having trouble implementing Instagram into your marketing program, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Build Your Following

The first thing you need to do in order to find success on Instagram is build your following. You do this in pretty much the same way you would build a following on other social networks, and that’s by commenting and socializing with others. Leave comments on images and videos that are related to your niche, and do it often. Try to leave at least 5-10 comments per day. This will help you gain attention while you work on building your strategy.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags aren’t just for Facebook and Twitter. Instagram was built on the hashtag, and they work the same way on this platform. Just make sure that the hashtags you use are related to your niche, otherwise you’ll lose credibility. In other words, don’t apply hashtags just because they’re popular. They have to be relevant.

Use Video

Video is a great way to attract people to your Instagram account. You only get 15 seconds with an Instagram video, so be sure to capture the most relevant footage. To get started, shoot some behind the scenes video, or upload a simple how-to video. Product testimonials are also popular on Instagram. Just be sure you have permission from your customers to use the footage in this manner.

Brand Your Images

Even if you implement video into your strategy, images will always be the main source of content for your Instagram account. Branding images with your logo or company name can help to quickly spread the word about your product and business. You can do this with an online photo-editing program like PicMonkey or Canva. If you have access to Photoshop, of course you can use this to brand your images as well.

Run a Contest/Giveaway

One definite way to attract people to your Instagram account is to give away something free. Try running a short contest, and creating special hashtags. Businesses in the health and fitness niche do particularly well on Instagram, so this would be an excellent way to draw more attention to your brand. If you’re not comfortable giving away free products, offer an eBook or something of value that’s related to your niche. However, keep in mind that this will only be successful after you’ve built a following.

Throw in The Odd Advert

Instagram isn’t the place to bombard your audience with product image after product image. It’s for sharing interests, entertaining and relevant imagery and video. But this doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a product offer or deal advert every now and then. Try out your skills on photoshop (or gimp if you haven’t got access to PS) and see what works for you. Just remember to make the image square (500 x 500 or 700 x 700 is a good place to start) and use bright colours in keeping with the products and brands you are promoting. Visual is everything!

Cross Promote Your Instagram Campaigns

Use other popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote your Instagram account. The key to making this work is to ensure that the content you share on Instagram is completely different from the posts on other platforms. Share just enough to get followers on Facebook and Twitter interested, and make sure you link back to your account. This is one of the easiest ways to build a following on Instagram, as most people on other major platforms also use the network.  

Instagram success is not just reserved for large brands. Small businesses and affiliate marketers are very successful on this platform. It’s just a matter of finding the right formula to market your products. Consistency is the main factor. As you begin to build your brand, people will expect to receive content from you on a regular basis. With time and a bit of effort, your affiliate business can have a successful and thriving Instagram marketing campaign.

Once your Instagram campaign is up and running, why not think about using some tools to help you successfully manage it? Discover 7 Instagram tools to use with your affiliate campaign here.