Affiliate marketing is an incredibly lucrative business. Success stories show people can make up to $20 thousand per month in Amazon affiliate sales.
While this is above average, Amazon affiliate marketing can still make you a ton of money.
If you don’t want to start a website, your alternative is social media.
Below, you’ll find out how to use Instagram to make money with affiliate marketing.
How Does The Amazon Affiliate Marketing Work?
Amazon affiliate marketing works like most affiliate programs: you find a product, you advertise it on your website/blog/social media, and you make money from the sale of that product. On average, you make 5% of a product’s value with each sale.
Amazon’s program for this is known as Amazon Associates, an excellent tool for entry-level affiliate marketers. There are no minimum sales requirements for joining, meaning you can start from day one with zero followers and no website.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing On Amazon
1. Register On Amazon
Before you start affiliate marketing, you need to have a standard Amazon.com account. This means you’ll need to start by entering your name, address, and contact information.
From there, you’ll want to go to the Amazon Associates website, where you can click the yellow “sign up” button. From there, you’ll go through this registration process:
- Confirm that your name and address on file is accurate. (or enter the information on someone else if you are marketing on behalf of another person)
- Enter your websites and mobile app URLs (if applicable). If you only have an Instagram page, you can enter this under “websites”
- Enter your associates store ID (like a username for your associate’s account). Fill in the following information about your affiliate info (product categories, general description, how you earn money, etc.)
- Enter your payment and tax information (social security number, whether you are a US citizen, your name, and address)
Once you are done with these four steps, you’ll be able to look for products right away. There’s no approval process, meaning you can start putting products up within seconds.
2. Find The Right Niche
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the Affiliates dashboard. You’ll be referencing it often and it’s a great way to find profitable products.
However, it isn’t enough to find products that make money. As an affiliate, you need to build your product selection around a theme, or a niche.
Selecting a product niche allows you to target specific customers. This way, you can create content that appeals to them.
For example, if you provide tips on weight loss, it wouldn’t make much sense for you to talk about a five-pound bag of candy. The right product niche lets you focus and find products that your customers will associate with you, giving them a reason to come back.
Here are some tips for finding that perfect niche:
- Google Trends – To find trending topics on anything, search for them using Google Trends. They tell you how different niches have changed overtime, giving you more data on whether they will remain popular.
- Online blogs – Blogging is one way affiliate marketing specialists connect with people. This isn’t a reflection on what you should do, it just gives you material and ideas based on what works. Search “your topic” and blog Google to pull up some results.
- Social media – There are many social media platforms out there. Start by browsing fellow affiliate marketers on Instagram and follow others on platforms like Twitter or Pinterest. Much like with blogs, the point is to get an idea of what people are talking about (and how they talk about it).
- The Amazon Associates Dashboard – To find out what niches work, stay connected with your affiliate source. Amazon posts regular updates and tips on the latest deals. Even if you don’t have any earnings (yet), this page can give you a lot of important information.
When choosing a niche, be sure to check out the commission rates. It helps to know how many sales you need to make before you get a profit.
3. Choose The Right Product
Once you know more about what product category you want, you can narrow it down to specific products. But if you list the wrong products, you won’t get many sales.
The right product criteria can boost returns on affiliate products. While it doesn’t guarantee a higher commission rate, it allows you to sell more products (which helps you earn more money).
Below are some things to look out for:
- Many positive customer reviews. The more positive reviews, the higher chance you have of making a sale. You want to be sure the potential buyer has all the reasons to get what they need.
- Priced for your target audience. The price you choose is based on who views your content. If you sell luxury items, marketing $100 things isn’t out of the question. However, if your followers don’t fit this requirement, stick to reasonable pricing (ideally $25 or more for decent earnings)
- View the bounty program. Amazon’s Bounty Program rarely requires you to sell things. If you get earnings for giving away free stuff, that’s a great start. For example, at the time of me writing this, you can get people to try Audible Plus for free for a small commission. Free is almost always more attractive and gets more clicks.
- Use the Best Selling category. The Amazon Best Sellers category is your go-to spot, as it connects you with the best-selling products. Stick to consistent items with excellent reviews in this category, and you’ll already have a good starting point.
- Stick with items that are more likely to sell. If you sell large, heavy, expensive items from Amazon, you aren’t likely to get a sale. Stick with products that Amazon sellers use for proven success. These include lightweight items on Amazon Prime with fast shipping. If it works for sellers (and buyers), it probably works for you.
4. Create Engaging Content
Instagram is an awesome social media platform to use when connecting with your audience. For those who focus on visually driven content, you can easily connect with your audience. You just need to create engaging content.
Engaging content is something that connects to your viewers. It is valuable, providing a helpful service to those who use it. Value can be anything from how-to guides to something funny to break up the day.
If you don’t make content with your audience in mind, your content won’t go anywhere. Here are some tips you can use:
Use hashtags to get exposure. Hashtags include your post in an entire topic collection. When people search for things on Instagram, including this hashtag will help them find you. If your content is appealing, this can be a great way to gain traffic.
Respond to your followers. The comments section is a great way to start a back-and-forth between you and your audience. Thank them for their time or provide them some follow-up tips if they have questions. Helpful influencers get an audience of people more willing to see them as an authority.
Do not buy followers or likes. Paid followers are not useful, as they do not engage with your posts or buy products. Do not buy from people who promise more likes and follows, it will not give you results.
Engage with the community. Instagram is full of fellow influencers in your niche (and adjacent niches). Reaching out to those people can help you start a conversation. Connecting with people gives you greater opportunity for collaborations, which can help boost your channel.
Above all, not all of your social media posts should be affiliate posts. If you only want to sell something, your audience will eventually spot you as someone who doesn’t provide value.
When you include affiliate links, be sure to include the link in each post. Members of the Amazon Influencer program can also create an influencer storefront for their bio, creating more sales.
5. Run Instagram Sponsored Ads
Many of these affiliate marketing programs don’t mention how you gain followers (they assume you already have them). Other than using hashtags and community engagement, don’t understate the importance of running sponsored advertisements.
On average, Instagram advertising costs anywhere from 20 cents to seven dollars per click. This CPC (Cost Per Click) model ensures you connect with people who are more likely to engage. After all, people won’t click on you if you aren’t appealing.
When advertising, you have one of two choices of what to do:
- Advertise what your social media page does (to gain more followers)
- Advertise the product (to gain more earnings)
Sticking with option one (advertising yourself) is often more lucrative, as it leads to long-term results. When advertising the product, be sure to weigh your budget. Given you might only get a few dollars per affiliate commission, advertising the product doesn’t always bode well (unless the CPC is incredibly low).
Regardless of how you advertise, always focus on how clicking the ad will benefit the customer. Address their pain points and talk about how your page (or this product) solves their problems.
Amazon affiliate marketing on Instagram allows you to earn a small commission on products without starting a website. Eventually, as you connect to your audience, you can transition to the influencer marketing program, which has higher overall earnings and more tools.
Ultimately, the best influencers are skilled at what they do and provide actionable tips to readers. Not everything should be an opportunity to make a sale, but the right balance of affiliate content and other helpful content can make you a lot of money (and followers) on Instagram.