Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: What It Is and How To Get Started
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: What It Is and How To Get Started
If you haven’t heard the term “affiliate marketing” before, it’s a popular advertising tactic where businesses reward third parties for generating traffic and leads for them. The affiliate marketing industry is worth over $17 billion and for 20% of brand marketers, it’s the most important customer acquisition channel they have at their disposal. With statistics like that, it’s no wonder affiliate marketing has taken off so rapidly over the last few years.
Simply put, a good affiliate marketing program will allow you to promote and exponentially grow your business while simultaneously blending smoothly with your other marketing channels. It’s a great way to generate significant online revenue and drive more sales.
The growing popularity of affiliate marketing as an effective digital marketing tactic is a sure sign that you should get on board. Our beginners’ guide will walk you through everything you need to know—from basic definitions to how to get started with your own program.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing model in which an affiliate promotes a business's goods or services to help them achieve their sales goals. In turn, affiliates earn a commission from the sales made as a result of their advertising efforts. The push toward less traditional marketing tactics is opening up new avenues to generate significant online revenue, benefiting brands and affiliate marketers alike.
How Does it Work?
By leveraging the abilities of a variety of individuals for a more effective outreach strategy, affiliate marketing spreads the responsibilities of product marketing and creation across parties. To ensure affiliate marketing success, three distinct parties need to be involved:
Seller and Product Creators
A seller can be either a product creator, vendor, merchant, or retailer with a product — be it goods or service — to market. Occasionally, the advertiser can participate as the affiliate and also profit from the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing efforts.
The Affiliate or Publisher
An affiliate, also referred to as a publisher, markets the seller’s product in a way that’s appealing to potential consumers. Whether an individual or a company, the affiliate focuses on persuading consumers to make a purchase. To attract consumers, affiliates often target a specific audience and adhere to that audience’s interests.
For an affiliate system to work successfully, there must be sales. And, of course, consumers are the ones who make that happen. Affiliate marketers advertise products and services to consumers through various channels by using affiliate links that direct them to the merchant’s website. When consumers do so, however, the Federal Trade Commission requires that affiliates clearly disclose their relationship to the retailer.
How do Affiliate Marketers get Paid?
For those looking to increase their income online, affiliate marketing is an inexpensive method of making money without the hassle of actually selling a product. However, the way affiliate marketers get paid after linking the seller to the consumer can get complicated. For the affiliate to earn a commission, the consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product. An affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently depending on the program.
Here are four ways an affiliate gets paid:
Pay per Sale
After a consumer purchases a product, the affiliate receives a percentage of the sale price of the product from the merchant. In this program, before they are compensated, the affiliate must get an investor to actually invest in the affiliate product.
Pay per Lead
In this more complex program, affiliates are compensated based on lead conversions. Pay per lead demands an affiliate persuade consumers to not only visit a merchant’s website but to entice customers to click and take action.
Pay per Click
Utilized by some affiliate marketers, pay-per-click (PPC) programs help affiliates redirect consumers to a merchant’s website. Because an affiliate is paid based on the increase in web traffic, their focus remains on engaging consumers to the extent that they move from the affiliate’s site to the merchant’s site.
Pay per Install
With this payout system, each time an affiliate directs a user to the merchant’s website and that user installs a software product the affiliate gets paid.
Common Types of Affiliates
Affiliates use different methods and practices to reach their target audience and make sure they stay engaged.
Affiliates can benefit from leveraging influencers in their marketing strategy. Since influencers already boast an impressive following, they are likely to persuade consumers’ purchasing decisions. When influencers successfully direct a seller’s products to consumers, they receive a share of the profits.
Through content marketing, bloggers excel at increasing a seller’s conversions. A blogger can spread the word about a product’s value by writing about it and promoting it along with providing links to drive traffic back to a seller’s site.
Paid Search-Focused Microsites
Advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine, microsites can garner a serious amount of affiliate sales. Paid search-focused microsites offer targeted audiences relevant content with straightforward call-to-actions. In turn, this increases conversions.
Email marketing holds the power to impact affiliate marketing income. Despite its older origins, it can help promote a seller’s products. Affiliates may build email lists over time, or leverage email newsletters with hyperlinks, increasing the chance of consumers purchasing a product, thereby earning the affiliate a commission.
Large Media Websites
Media websites have the potential to create huge amounts of traffic and build large audiences. Most commonly, these large websites provide product exposure through the use of affiliate links or banners, which ultimately improves conversion rates. As a result, both the affiliate and the seller benefit from top-notch revenue.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for Brands
To help you understand the real benefits of affiliate marketing, here’s a list of the top six benefits.
Aside from being an effective tool for attracting new customers and increasing sales, affiliate marketing is known for producing a high return on investment (ROI). In fact, 84% of businesses rate affiliate marketing as a better marketing channel than others. In addition to increasing ROI, affiliate marketing produced an average return on ad spend (ROAS) of 12:1 across all industries. To determine your ROI, divide your gross profit — your revenue minus your costs — by your costs, and then multiply it by 100.
Low Start-up Costs
To protect your bottom line, it’s essential to avoid getting tied into pricey and unprofitable purchases. Compared to other advertising techniques, affiliate marketing allows marketers to partner with online retailers at a much lower cost. It’s also responsible for 16% of U.S. eCommerce sales, which proves how beneficial it can be for companies.
With affiliate marketing, you’re likely to witness a surge in traffic to your site. Not only do affiliates expand your audience, but they also bring them to your site. When traffic volume is higher, your rankings improve, brand awareness grows, and sales and profitability increase.
After building a reliable affiliate network to promote your brand, you will soon begin to see how this marketing strategy can also boost your company’s reputation. A business with credibility attracts more consumers and has a more loyal customer base. Companies with a reputable brand can often charge premium prices for their products or services.
In addition to boosting your reputation, affiliate marketing is a quick and effective method for building strong brand recognition. With affiliates working as brand ambassadors to advertise your company in a relevant, colorful, and positive way, you can also rapidly improve your customer acquisition strategy. Affiliate marketing companies can benefit from building relationships with influencers and bloggers to increase traffic to their sites through word-of-mouth advertising.
If you’re ready to get started, follow these steps.
Pick your Niche
Merchants turn to affiliate marketers because they can reach target audiences composed of potential customers. When you pick a specific niche, you’ll be more likely to build an affiliate platform with original content that meets the demands of an underserved audience. It’s wise to pick a niche that offers value to a sizable, underserved audience.
Choose the Right Platform
Use a platform that matches your niche. Consider which platform is best for your audience. You may discover that using a mix of platforms is the best route to help your affiliate marketing endeavors.
Create a Website and add a Disclosure Page
After you’ve chosen which platform to use, you’ll need to create a website. As an affiliate, you’ll need to let your users know how you make money from your website by adding a disclosure page.
Join an Affiliate Marketing Network
Joining an affiliate network can both improve income opportunities and streamline relationship-building processes with merchants. While it’s not always necessary, many affiliate networks will help affiliates optimize their chances of success. To find one that best suits a product and audience, researching your different options can lead you in the right direction.
Expand your Network
Using a mix of digital marketing tactics including SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and so on can increase your network and your overall audience size. By combining these tactics rather than using only one of them, you may find that your marketing efforts will create a bigger impact.
Tips for Optimizing Affiliate Marketing Campaign Performance
While affiliate marketing can improve your company's bottom line, it takes work and often requires a lot of optimizations. Here are our top tips to make it pay off.
Analyze Through Average Performance
Pay close attention to performance metrics by tracking your typical daily, weekly, and monthly average performance. To get a sense of average activity, keep tabs on your leads, clicks, and sales. By collecting average performance data, you can verify whether your campaign is effective and focus on what needs to change.
Combine Customer Behavior Data with Affiliate Marketing Data
By analyzing customer behavior data along with affiliate marketing data, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what’s working and not working. This information will help guide your marketing strategy, allowing you to adjust your affiliate marketing campaigns to deliver desired results.
Look for the Best Converting Sources of Traffic
To optimize your affiliate marketing campaigns, focus on your main traffic sources. Analyze current data to determine any traffic sources or segmented audiences that are generating a high conversion rate.
Improve your Funnels
Make sure your funnels are designed to make consumers take action. An affiliate marketing funnel is effective when each stage of the clients’ decision-making process is properly mapped out, guiding them to purchase the products they’re searching for. With the right funnel, the customer journey path will lead consumers to the designated product/service landing page, encouraging them to act on the desired goal.
Partner with MarinOne to Successfully Incorporate Affiliate Marketing into your Paid Media Strategy
Because affiliate marketing offers a big bang for your buck that other strategies can’t compete with, it’s quickly becoming a central aspect of many marketing strategies. With the benefits being so apparent and as the market continues to grow, more businesses are adopting it so they can stay ahead of their competition.
MarinOne has all the tools you need to make affiliate marketing a successful pillar of paid media. We can set you up with actionable tactics that will help you drive more sales, boost conversions, and gain influence, repurposing your affiliate relationships for high performance advertising.
Whether you're new to affiliate marketing or looking to step up your current performance marketing game overall, our MarinOne experts can help.
PI LIVE London 2022 is done, and we're excited for many other events Marin will be attending over the coming weeks, including Amazon Unboxed in New York this week. But before we close this chapter, we wanted to highlight some of PI Live’s best moments and share what we learned.
Marin sponsored the Pyramid Stage, one of two areas where keynote presentations were shared. And we even had our own Anu Adegbola give a 30 minute session on budgeting strategies for 2023. She is an experienced and accomplished public speaker who shared great insights on budget planning.
Day One Speaking Session Highlights
Speaker Tina Judic, co-founder and Chairman of Tomorrow Group, talked about the importance of AI integration in advertising at the Rakuten Advertising Main Stage and also on the Marin Software Pyramid Stage. Shay Okelola, the Account Director for Neo Media World, described how programmatic has changed the advertising game. Both welcomed all attendees and exhibitors and outlined the schedule for day one.
Budgeting Strategies for 2023
Marin’s Anu Adegbola took the Pyramid Stage to share the best tactics for approaching a budget for the new year, as well as roadblocks that may affect how funds are allocated amongst marketing channels in 2023. Some of the key concepts Anu mentioned include:
- The 70-20-10 Methodology:
- 70% of your marketing initiatives should be proven and tested methods that are almost certainly going to support your business objectives
- 20% of your marketing initiatives should be new methods or ideas that are somewhat untested for your business, but have had success in the market at large for other competitors
- 10% of your marketing initiatives should be what you'd call "wild bets," or tactics that are completely out of the box, creative, and untested. This is the best way to find new niche audiences for your products or services.
- Industry disruptors that will affect budgeting in the new year:
- Making way for new channel experiments - TikTok, Quora, Reddit and more all have new advertising campaign types that are relatively untested. Start with spending just 5% per month of the total possible allocation for a new channel and tie that spending to tangible deliverables. As you have data to optimize from, you can continuing scaling 5% month over month continuously.
- Covid-19 has changed consumer behavior for the long haul. One of the lasting effects Covid-19 has had is consumers have dramatically changed their behavior in terms of needs, timing, and what factors influence their purchase decisions. Buyers are still making purchases; but getting into the psyche of how, when, or where your target audience is likely to convert is more complex than it has ever been.
- The recession is here. Economists across Europe and the US project significant economic downturn in 2023, and many economists say we are already in the midst of a recession that could take several years from which to recover. Price point will be a very high priority for consumers in this next year and beyond.
- When in doubt…remember you're just frying chips
- Mark Ritson published an article this past week in MarketingWeek that really beautifully summarized what all budget allocation techniques boil down to. He describes in the article how back in the '90s famous chef Heston Blumenthal became obsessed with making the perfect chip. After hundreds of tests, Blumenthal found the best method for making delicious chips every time was simple. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, freeze, fry, freeze again, fry again. Perfect chips. Every time. Regardless of oil temp or seasoning or what have you…these fries always came out pretty great.
- Planning your marketing budgets also should be simple. Here are the "brass tax" points Mark Ritson outlines that will make your budgeting strategy pretty great every time. Regardless of the market, the campaign, or the channel.
Brand-to-Brand Partnerships: The Ultimate Convergence of Brand and Performance
A panel of branding experts from various sectors shared their thoughts on brand-to-brand partnerships at the event. With trackable ROI and consumer trust, this partnership can be a fruitful collaboration for new startup businesses.
Some of the most compelling learnings from this session included:
- When you partner with someone you can use their content extensively across your different channels to drive ROI.
- Tech has progressed significantly in terms of carrying out successful brand-to-brand partnerships. Still, there's always that human element that brands can't use a computer for.
- Smaller brands are really useful for smaller niche audiences. For those clients with specific needs, why not get a partnership from the niche provider?
AT YOUR OWN RISK! 30 Mins Inside the Mind of an Integrated Creative
Jo Arscott, an award-winning Creative Director, shared her approach to storytelling. She made a compelling argument that sometimes shifting your focus away from data and research can actually lead to surprising new business opportunities.
According to Jo, the human imagination is what makes technology such a great asset for creativity. In her experience, digital data both helps and hurts at once - it’s good because it fuels creative ideas but also bad because of exposure and privacy concerns.
State of the Industry: 2022 Affiliate and Partner Marketing Trends
Have you ever wondered how advertisers feel about affiliate marketing? The IAB released a report with insights into the current state of affiliate marketing and presented the results during PI LIVE. Some of the main points that I took away from this talk was:
- Over the next year, affiliate marketers expect that editorial content will be their biggest source of revenue. Influencers are also very popular and came in second in the poll.
- Publisher diversity is a huge concern CMOs are currently facing when looking at continued investment in affiliate marketing.
- IAB saw a correlation between the worsening cost of living crisis and the importance of affiliate marketing, as reflected in survey responses. This suggests that as consumers must tighten their belts financially, buyers will be depending upon recommendations through marketing means they trust to make the best purchase decisions.
Day Two Speaking Session Highlights
Tapx CEO, Luke Judge and the founder of PlanIt, Steve Cox, hosted a successful second day at the conference. All participants and exhibitors were welcomed and the program of the second day was outlined.
Influencers, Live Shopping & Social Commerce: Affiliate is the Ultimate Conversion Tactic
This panel discussion was an interesting dialogue based on the following statistic - 74% of consumers are making buying decisions based on social recommendations, a number that is worth paying attention to. Here are some of the most valuable learnings from the session:
- Influencer marketing in social shopping has a lot of potential. To make the strategy work, you will have to plan everything beforehand and track each campaign individually.
- Don’t automatically go for influencers that have millions of followers. Often there are smaller accounts that share niche common interests with your brand because these influencers are more likely to drive better results.
- Humans are not like technology - they can be unpredictable. That’s particularly why you need to make sure contracts with influencers are spelled out and that the influencer is given enough freedom to do their thing.
Fireside Chat with Boohoo: The Value of Unlocking the App for Affiliates
Most affiliate campaigns drive traffic to mobile websites rather than apps, even though the app experience is much better for the user and converts at a higher rate. The content remains significantly lower on mobile sites. Some of the things we learned during this session included:
- Apps can produce different outputs for different businesses. Boohoo could make an app that's basically the same as their website with a more intuitive conversion process, whereas fintech brands may develop apps to address the need of their customers.
- Cracking the code to tracking is paramount when coming up with an app for your company. If you are great at explaining how seamless and accurate you app’s tracking really is to your affiliates, they will be happy clients and won’t stop promoting your company.
- If you're a business looking for some guidance, it can't hurt to use a tech company that offers training and advice when developing your app.
Lessons from 2008: What’s Next for the Recession-Era Affiliate Marketing Industry
This panel with professionals brimming with knowledge provides insights for current economic climate. After attending this session, it is clear that:
- Facing a decline in sales, luxury brands should consider paying more attention to more accessible products. As an example, consumers may look for a lipstick instead of the Chanel bag, so it's important to promote your products that are at a lower price point rather than the higher value items.
- Even during a recession, you should not cut your expenditure on marketing. Those who keep investing during testing times are those that remain strong and achieve lifelong brand value.
- Ensuring you're active on review sites is an excellent way to show your trustworthiness to potential customers. The key is to be sure you have a system in place that lets legitimate reviews through, while filtering out fake ones.
The Learnings Shared Were Compelling, but Networking Opportunities Were the Real Highlight
It was clear the event producers put a lot of effort into selecting an engaging agenda with keynotes, fireside chats and panels on two stages. As always, networking was one of the best parts of the day! On day one, DJ Viv May provided music during lunch. In the evening, there was a cocktail happy hour post-show on the terrace.
On the second day, as the crowd relaxed and got to know one another better, it was great to see that the event brought out so many meaningful marketing conversations. Between the Networking Village, impact.com's Prosecco Lounge, and Webgains' Sports Bar, there were plenty of places to share ideas, exchange contact information, and plant the seeds for potential partnerships.
At Marin, we're enjoying the opportunity to re-engage with our clients and partners on a personal level. Reach out to join us at one of the other events we'll be attending in the near future. Our team of expert marketing consultants would be happy to host you for a dinner and discuss your marketing strategy for new coming year.
Influencer marketing, which includes businesses collaborating with influencers, is a powerful strategy for brands to broaden their social media reach. It's growing in popularity– over three-quarters of US marketers will employ influencer marketing in 2022. Influencer marketing initiatives are not one-size-fits-all. Much depends on your specialty, goals, and the pool of influencers in your audience. With the right strategy and approach, influencers can help any business reach its marketing objectives.
What exactly is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy in which companies collaborate with influencers (also called content creators) to promote a product, service, or brand. The influencer creates and distributes material about the brand or product, and the business compensates them with cash, free items, or both. Typically, businesses will supply the influencer with whatever product they will be featuring on their platform. To guarantee the influencer will post about your product, you’ll have to pay according to their sponsorship rate sheet. Reach, traffic, engagement, and conversions are the most common influencer marketing KPIs.
The first type of influencer marketing was celebrity endorsements. Social media content creators with highly engaged specialized audiences may now provide more value to marketers than superstars with large but generic followings. This is because social followers find social content producers relevant, trust their suggestions, and are committed to exhibiting their support.
How to plan an influencer marketing campaign
Here are the stages to launching a successful influencer program for your company.
Establish your objective
Like any effective marketing plan, the first step is to define your objectives. Defining your goals for influencer marketing can help you develop a practical approach throughout your campaign. It will also assist you in understanding the metrics you should follow to determine the effectiveness of your campaign.
Below are some good influencer marketing objectives to consider:
- Boosting brand recognition
- Increasing your fan base
- Raising engagement and generating leads
- Increasing your sales and conversions
- Boosting brand loyalty
- Link building for SEO
Understand who you're attempting to reach
A successful influencer marketing strategy requires reaching the right people with the appropriate tools and influencers at the right time. Create audience personas to better understand who you're attempting to target with your campaign. Outline specifics regarding your target audience, such as:
- Chronological age
- Optimal spending habits or comfort level (if you want to drive sales with your campaign)
- Their pursuits
- Geographic location
- Where they spend their time online.
You have to know your target audience to know which influencers they engage with. The influencer must be relevant to your target audience– otherwise, you’re throwing money down the drain.
Recognize the guidelines
Before implementing an influencer marketing plan, you must first grasp the guidelines. The Federal Trade Commission establishes those rules in the United States. Transparency is key here. Influencers must also be aware of sponsored content requirements, and they frequently fail to do so. Or the influencer may make the revelation of their sponsorship delicate and partly buried. The restrictions for advertising vary widely by nation, so verify them. The sponsorship must be disclosed to the audience with clarity. Social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube are simplifying this by adding features that identify a sponsored post as such.
Consider the three Rs of power
These three factors determine influence:
The appropriate influencer for your campaign shares content about your industry and company, and their target audience must be similar to yours.
Reach is the number of individuals who could see your material through the influencer's audience base.
The influencer's potential degree of engagement with an audience that resonates with your brand is referred to as resonance.
Influencers to be considered
The key to a successful collaboration with influencers is trust. Whoever you collaborate with must have your audience's confidence and respect. Without authentic content, your influencer marketing campaign is unlikely to achieve the desired marketing objectives.
The best approach to tell if a prospective influencer is trustworthy is to look at their engagement and the feedback they already receive from their followers in the form of comments, direct messages, likes, and shares. Socialblade is a great tool for doing a closer analysis of each influencer with which you are considering collaboration. To ensure that you are hiring the most trustworthy and reputable influencers, you may consider partnering with a reputable event staffing agency that specializes in influencer marketing. This could provide you with a wider pool of qualified prospects, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Conduct your research
Your study does not end with creating a shortlist. Before signing any contracts, there are a few more steps to solidify the success of your campaign. Determine how frequently your potential influencer uploads paid material. If they share a lot of sponsored posts, their engagement rate may be lower than what you would like. 5% engagement is generally considered healthy, so keep that in mind as a general rule of thumb.
Keep the influencer's posting schedule in mind when considering the content you'll want the influencer to share. Any influencer strategic about their approach is very cautious about what promote and when. So if you ask them to share too many pieces of promotional content in a short period, the influencer will reject your offer (or their compensation expectations will increase dramatically).
Reach out privately
Invading a potential influencer's DMs and asking for collaboration right off the bat may not be the best method to start a relationship. It can sometimes be perceived as too forward and even a bit tacky, so do your best to navigate the start of the connection with care and professionalism. Don't get me wrong: it may be effective to reach out cold, but there are other communication methods for planting seeds that lead to longer-lasting partnerships. Influencers accustomed to working with brands often list an email in their bio for this purpose. Start by engaging with the influencer’s content...Enter their direct messages after establishing an authentic interest in them as an individual and an interest in supporting their content.
Create great content in collaboration with your influencer
A social media influencer who has worked hard to build their brand would refuse any offer that jeopardizes their integrity. So it's better to offer some rules/guidelines on what you want but leave the actual content creation process to them. Content creators know what their audiences resonate with. They can also spot what will be an immediate turnoff. Best practices are to offer talking points and guidelines that the influencer can work into their native content however they see fit.
Analyze your outcomes
When you begin your influencer marketing campaign, the number of likes and comments on your branded content may overwhelm you, especially if your influencer has a significant following. These are vanity metrics that don't accomplish anything for your brand. You must calculate your actual return on investment (ROI) to determine the value of your campaign.
Even though users who engage with the sponsored content might not purchase right away, they are now aware of your brand and have started their journey to becoming a customer. Getting them to follow you or visit your website opens that door.
And even if they don't follow your account, your product will come to mind when a need arises. They can revisit the influencer's post to find the link and make a purchase. That's the power of influencer marketing-- an influencer's audience trusts their recommendations. If a follower needs something, they use the influencer's recommendations to make their purchasing decisions.
After running a successful sponsorship, consider pulling the influencer's content and posting it to your own account as a paid ad. This maximizes the value and ROI of the partnership and allows you to reach segments of your target audience that are not already following the influencer, but that would still benefit from the influencer's content.
Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives and an essential space for brand discovery. With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram has become increasingly important to marketers who want to reach large audiences. Whether you’re just tapping into the power of Instagram or looking to level up your current strategy, we have 5 Instagram hacks that can help you on your Instagram journey.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A Meta-commissioned study found that 83% of their survey group use Instagram to discover new products or services, 81% use it to research products and services, and 80% use it to decide whether to purchase a product or service. 54% of people surveyed say they made a purchase either in the moment or after seeing a product or service on Instagram. In other words, your first impressions on Instagram matter.
The images or videos that you select should convey your message and align with your branding goals while keeping an organic feel to them. Instead of having a lot of text or large brand logos in your photos, think about your target demographic and the type of organic content they’d be most likely to respond to.
Whether you’re running ads on Instagram or not, you should also pay attention to image and video sizing for different types of posts and placements. There are a myriad of different types of posts and placements available when running paid social ads. When choosing an ad type, be sure to keep your business goals in mind. To understand more about the different ad types and how they can help you achieve your goals, check out Meta’s page for more information.
Additionally, placements play a key role in achieving your goals. This is where you’ll be able to choose whether your ads will be seen on Facebook, Instagram, or both. You’ll also be able to say whether your ads will show up in feeds, stories, in-stream, search, messages, or in apps and sites. Keep in mind that each of these placement types may have different sizing and aspect ratio requirements for your creative. This is important as you want to make sure that as a brand you’re putting your best foot forward to your target audience.
Boost your Best Content
If you’ve recently made an organic post that had great engagement, try applying a boost to it, which essentially turns that organic post into an Instagram ad. Boosting content is also a great way to make your organic content work harder without having to call on your creative team for special assets.
If you’re already a post-boosting boss, Marin Social has a tool that can automate your post boosting workflow (aptly named Message Booster). You can use Message Booster to set rules for automatically boosting posts, so you don’t have to lift a finger to take full advantage of this Instagram hack.
ABT = Always Be Testing
The best social experts encourage consistent testing to integrate new ideas, improve on existing strategies, and get the most out of your advertising dollars. Some examples of things you could test on your account are auto placements, audiences, and ad types. If you haven’t run a test before, also think about how you’ll measure success in a quantifiable way. Some common examples of metrics used for this purpose are: Click Through Rate (CTR), Impressions, and Clicks.
Testing is a component of most of the hacks we shared in this article - we always recommend testing new ideas before making them a permanent part of your advertising strategy. To organize and prioritize your tests, try creating and following a testing roadmap. If you want to learn more about how to test ads for performance on Instagram, check out this free course from Meta Blueprint.
MarinOne Social also offers a time saving solution for split testing called Ad Studies. This tool lets you split test at the touch of a button and track the results using Marin Software’s advanced reporting suite.
Know your Audience (or Get to Know Them!)
There are a multitude of different audiences you can target on Instagram. When you decide to target an audience group, make sure you are keeping them in mind when it comes time to create your ads. A college student interested in a popular musician has different social media habits and interests than a retiree interested in recent events.
If you’re unsure of what your audience likes, start with some tests to determine what types of content and ads will work best.
Be the First to Leverage New Products and Features
New features and releases are great examples of items to add to your testing roadmap. Using a new feature could unlock new possibilities for your ad performance, help you better reach your current audience, and/or help you reach new audiences. If you’re newer to Instagram and are unsure of which features to test first, you can find some ideas here.
If you’re a current Marin customer, your Marin rep will keep you up to date on new features which are released and how we can help you test them. Our partnership with Meta helps keep us at the forefront of new features, so you’ll be one of the first to hear about new features from Instagram!
If you’re interested in learning more about using MarinOne Social for your Instagram ads, reach out to us here.