Instagram Affiliate Marketing: Recommend Products and Make Money While Doing It

Profile photo of Heidi Lang, author

Heidi Lang

Instagram Growth | Feb 15, 2023

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Instagram affiliate marketing is a union that was always meant to be — Instagram has always been an ideal platform for shoppers and sellers and their affiliates. So whether you’re just looking for a side hustle or a steady income stream, here’s everything you need to know about making money on Instagram by becoming an affiliate.

Instagram Affiliate page for creators showing a woman trying on different eyewear pieces

Affiliate Marketing Using Instagram: The Basics

You share what you love with your community and get paid for it — this sums up how Instagram affiliate marketing works! If you’ve been featuring products in your content for a while now and have already built a big following, becoming an Instagram affiliate is the next logical step for your Instagram. Affiliate marketing using Instagram allows you to earn a commission on any sales you drive from the products you recommend. Your current followers will also appreciate being able to directly purchase the products you feature within the app.

Who’s Eligible to Become an Instagram Affiliate?

To become an Instagram affiliate, your account must be eligible for monetization. Here are the requirements:

You can find out if you are eligible for Instagram affiliate marketing by following these steps:

  1. Go to Account Settings
  2. Tap on “Creator” or “Business” (depending on your account type)
  3. Tap on ‘Affiliate’ to learn more.

Screenshots showing how to verify eligibility for Instagram affiliate marketing

How to Do Affiliate Marketing on Instagram

Instagram affiliate marketing allows you to receive commission payments for all the sales you drive for a brand. You can complete your affiliate onboarding process within the Instagram app. Just follow these steps:

  1. From your Profile, tap on View Professional Dashboard.
  2. Tap on Set Up Affiliate, and then tap on Get Started.
  3. Tap on Agree to Terms.
  4. Set up your payment account. If your business is already set-up, you can simply select your payment method; if your business is not set up, you will tap Add New Business Info. Take note that you can set up a payout account as an individual or a business entity.

Once onboarded, you can start exploring available shops and their products.

  1. From your profile, navigate to Pro Home and tap on Affiliate.
  2. Tap on Affiliate Products to see all shops that are available for tagging on
  3. Affiliate and their current commission rates.
  4. Tap into each shop to see their collections and products that are available for tagging.
  5. Tap on a product that you want to save to your Wishlist. You’ll be able to tag any product on your Wishlist when you create your affiliate content.

When you post your affiliate content, it will include a disclosure at the top that says, “Eligible for commission.” Take note that : brands can adjust their commission rates over time, so make it a habit to check back regularly to see what rates your favorite brands are offering.

Screenshots showing how to set up affiliate accounts on Instagram

Affiliate Links on Instagram

You can use affiliate links or tags on Instagram when you create feed posts, as well as in Stories, Live Shopping, and Reels.

How to use affiliate tags in your posts

Affiliate marketing using Instagram means that you can use affiliate tags in your feed posts. When creating your post, just tap “Tag Products.” In addition to tagging products you’ve saved on your Wishlist, you can also tag products from these sources:

  • “Purchased affiliate products” which is populated with items you’ve purchased through Checkout on Instagram.
  • “Shops” which allows you to browse product catalogs from the available shops.

To use affiliate tags in Stories, just use the Shopping sticker and select your Product Source.

Screenshots showing how to use affiliate tags in posts

Instagram Affiliate Marketing in Live Shopping

You can add affiliate tags to products before going Live. Take note that you cannot add products once you’ve started your Live stream, but you can pin products to the bottom of your screen.

  1. Tap the camera icon in the top left of Feed or swipe right from anywhere in Feed, then scroll to Live at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Tap on the shopping bag icon.
  3. Select your Product Source.
  4. Select the products you want to promote in your Live, and then tap Done.
  5. Tap Live to begin your Live stream.

Instagram Affiliate Marketing via Your Own Shop

You also have the option to earn from Instagram affiliate marketing by setting up your own shop where your followers can explore your recommended products more conveniently. You can set up your shop from your profile, Professional Dashboard, or when using affiliate tags in a post.

Screenshots showing how to set up your own shop for Instagram affiliate marketing

You can update the products in your shop by browsing through the selections of available shops or based on your recent affiliate activity. You can also create collections to organize your products, or delete products from your shop. Use the Shopping sticker in Stories to tag your affiliate shop or a collection in your shop. Alternatively, you can share your shop or a collection directly to Stories. Here’s how:

  1. From your shop, tap the menu icon at the top, and then tap “Share this shop.”
  2. From your collection, tap the share icon, and then tap “Add collection to your story.”

Screenshots showing how to share collections of affiliate products

If you want to share your shop or collection outside Instagram, just grab their respective links by tapping the hamburger icon.

Getting Paid as an Instagram Affiliate

There are a few important things you should keep in mind when it comes to getting paid for Instagram affiliate marketing.

  • You will receive payment once a commission has closed. The average return period for brands, when a commission is still considered open, is between 30 and 90 days. 
  • You will receive payment for any closed commissions the 20th of every month, and via the payment method you set up during onboarding. You can change your payout method at any time.
  • You need to earn a minimum of $30 in closed commissions to qualify for payment. Make sure you hit this minimum for each payout period to ensure a steady monthly income.

Instagram Affiliate Marketing Tips for Success

Learning how to become a successful Instagram influencer will give you a solid foundation when you start your Instagram affiliate marketing journey. Here are additional tips to help you level up your game as an Instagram affiliate.

  • Keep new followers informed.
    Expect to have new followers daily or weekly, which means you should make it easy for them to learn more about you and how they can shop your affiliate content. Imagine if new followers have to scroll through endless posts just to find out how they can shop — you’ll risk losing potential sales if they get tired and give up. Every 3-5 affiliate posts, add a quick note in your caption or use a fun sticker in a Story to let your followers know that they can tap on the product tags to shop.
  • Create shoppable posts frequently.
    Five shoppable posts a month is the recommended minimum if you want your followers to have constant exposure and a regular reminder to shop your affiliate content. The more feed posts and Stories with affiliate tags you share, the more sales you will drive and the higher your commission will be in the next payout.
  • Create a collection of your favorite products.
    Your followers highly value your recommendations, and a collection of your favorite products will give them an easier time browsing through your top picks. 
  • Learn from your Insights.
    Your Insights will tell you about your followers’ preferences and shopping habits. Use the information to improve your Instagram affiliate marketing strategy.
  • Transparency is critical.
    Every affiliate post comes with the “Eligible for commission” disclosure, but your followers will also appreciate it when you openly share — in an affiliate post’s caption or a separate and regular post — that you earn from their purchases. Don’t forget to let them know that you appreciate their support of your content.

Affiliate Marketing on Instagram Best Examples

Here are a few examples of amazing Instagram affiliate marketing content to give you inspiration. 

  1. Erica Ligenza for Colleen Rothschild. The post below shows how Erica refers to her more than 90k followers as “friends,” which is a great personal touch that definitely makes each and every one of her followers feel special. Erica also creates urgency and taps into the FOMO culture by mentioning that it was their last chance to get the discount. She finishes off her caption with a 3-step DIY facial guide to further increase her followers’ desire to buy the products.
Woman holding three skincare products over a hot tub as part of an Instagram affiliate marketing promotion
  1. Fashion influencer Jenn Im for The Creme Shop. In the post below, @Imjennim posts photos of her using the Creme Shop lipstick. This Instagram affiliate marketing post stands out because the photos are from an actual photoshoot that was specially set up to endorse the lipstick — so the entire aesthetic of the post is aligned with this particular lipstick shade and that of Jenn’s personal brand. Her affiliate post looks straight out of a fashion magazine. Her caption is straightforward and has a youthful tone — which is perfect for her young followers.
Woman holding a razor as part of a photoshoot for Instagram affiliate marketing
  1. Fashion influencer Mariano Di Vaio for Hair Bello. Mariano’s caption for this affiliate post is short and quirky — perfect for his target audience. While he’s wearing a serious look in the photo, the non-sensical first line of his caption captures his funny and lighthearted side, which his followers obviously love based on their comments. He also shares a discount code to further encourage people to make a purchase.
Man posing with freshly styled hair to endorse a product on Instagram

Get Paid Endorsing Products Through Instagram Affiliate Marketing

When you have built a big enough following on Instagram, a strong connection with your followers, and solid credibility as an influencer, you can start earning more money through Instagram affiliate marketing. It’s one of the easiest ways to monetize your content on the platform and to keep growing your brand.

If you’re interested in becoming an Instagram affiliate but don’t have a big enough audience reach, or if you’ve been struggling to get your engagement levels up, you should team up with an expert in Instagram growth strategy — a company like Path Social. Path has advanced AI targeting capability and an in-house team of experts which help their clients gain real followers who are genuinely interested and engaged, thereby ensuring rewarding and lasting growth. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!