• February 26, 2017
  • By cubedeals
  • SEO
  • 0

Instagram affiliate marketing

Hi I grew my dog’s account to 15k followers. I’ve also played with a few other accounts in different genres to test out different strategies

General points:

  • When starting a new account, just go ahead and post 9-12 photos. You want to build your post count up a bit so that as people scroll through your account it doesn’t look empty. Don’t worry too much about getting likes for these first photos
  • General posting schedule I use is 2-3 times a day. I target US commute times (early morning, early evening), or you can use something like Prime for Instagram (iOS App) down the track to work out the best posting times. (spoiler: It basically says early morning/evening)
  • If your goal is affiliate marketing, your best bet is to create 3-4 accounts in the same niche, all with a slightly different twist. It takes about as much effort (and time) to grow 3-4 accounts as it does a single account, and you’ll end up having a larger audience to monetise from your affiliate stuff.
  • Don’t automate anything. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort to organically grow an instagram account. Automation is obvious and looks stupid.
  • Make sure you reply to all comments on your photos, make sure you engage with your follower’s posts.
  • Make sure you post videos and stories. It’s almost 2017 and video’s only going to grow.

Main Growth Strategy

I can generally hit 1,000 followers in 3-4 days with this method:

I use a variation on following/unfollowing that captures high engaging followers, which in turn accelerates organic growth. It goes like this:

  1. Post a photo. Search on a hashtag you want to rank on (eg #GermanShepherd)
  2. Scroll past the “top posts” to the recent posts. These are photos that have been posted in the last x seconds/minutes, so the users engaging with those posts are probably active right now.
  3. For anyone that has “x likes”, tap on that, and follow all the people that have liked that post. These are users whose default behaviour is to like posts. If they follow you back, they are more likely to like your photos.
  4. Similarly, follow anyone who has made a genuine comment on that post to get followers that are more likely to make comments
  5. After a week, use something like StatusBrew to unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow you back.

My experience is that this is still the most effective strategy for quality followers. Worth noting:

  • This strategy will ensure photos you post will receive more engagement. In turn, this will make the IG algorithm more likely to show your photos to your followers, and will eventually push you into “top posts” and the discovery (“Recommended for you”) sections, which really drives organic growth.
  • Do this before and after your post photos. Anyone you like using this strategy has been online recently, so they’re probably going to check out your account and like/comment on that sweet photo you just posted. If you post a photo and it starts getting likes/comments right away, this bumps you up in the IG algorithm.
  • Instagram will cap how many people you can follow at a time through the app (apparently 60-100). When it stops you, take a break (I usually set an alarm for 1h15m) – respect that they’re telling you to slow down.
  • This strategy will stop working once you hit the point where there are 7k people you follow that also follow you back (Instagram caps the amount of accounts you can follow at 7k). At this point you need to either unfollow those people (I’d suggest people not engaging with your content), or you need to find an alternative growth strategy.

Some people hate the follow/unfollow method. Some people love bots.

Me, I’ve found this is the most effective way to attract high-engaging followers.

Depends on your goal, I guess. The long-term strategy with my dog is to get free stuff (phase 1 – complete, btw, $100s in free dog toys/stuff), get paid to promote content (phase 2) and ultimately launch my own product (phase 3). If I had launched Instagram accounts for my friend’s dogs, and grown them the same way, I’d have 3 accounts with awesome followings that could promote products, or assist in launching a brand to their follower base.

But I’m pretty certain there’s cash to be made in the dog/pet niche, so I’d be tripling down on my time investment. I guess if your long-term goal was affiliate sales, it might make sense to grow accounts in different niches until you found one that worked.

Also, in point #3 of your main growth strategy, you mentioned following the accounts that are active within the ‘Explore’ section of hashtags within your niche. Would it be wise to also like/comment on their photos for a higher followback %, or is that overkill?

Sure, any real engagement you do is going to strengthen your growth. I honestly never did much of that, but increasing engagement with my followers is part of the phase 2 plans

Honestly, I haven’t been spending a lot of time on growing this account lately (it’s been just under 15k for about 2 months), as I hit one of my first goals with it and am focusing on a couple of other things at the moment.

I guess if you’re having this problem, my suggestion would be to try a few things and share with us what works best for you (which is what I’ve done with my comment). Conversely, If you’re not having this problem, stop worrying about it and get on with growing your account until it is a problem.

For the next stage of my growth, I sort of have a two-prong strategy:

Content Strategy:

  • Use my DSLR to take higher quality photos
  • Start going more interesting places
  • Start creating more photos of my dog with other dogs, which ties in with his training, since he was badly socialised when I first got him.
  • Emphasise long-form video content more. Finding it hard to shoot good video on my iPhone (lots of far-away action), so considering grabbing a Canon T6i (750D) with the movie twin lens kit (which is apparently fairly decent as far as lens kits goes.. but it includes the STM lenses, which is what I need)
  • Explore different types of videos (Training, tricks, activities, etc.) to see if there’s any particular type that works well.
  • Explore the idea of moving to different platforms. Eg, if I’m shooting 1080 video of my GSD, is there value in creating Youtube content? Facebook?

Growth Strategy

Primary strategy is going to be around engagement.

  • Find out who my most actively engaging followers are. Engage with them regularly
  • Find out who my least actively engaging followers are. Engage with them more.

Then it’s a matter of measuring and learning from that. I want to try and understand just what the real value of engaging with your followers is (and other accounts, for that matter), and maybe build a strategy around growth based on that.

Aside from that… it’s basically just exploring all the other growth tactics I haven’t really covered, and seeing what works.

[–]SuppsSimplified-com 1 point 1 month ago

Great, thanks for the insight!

That’s actually very interesting thinking about depth rather than width – high emotional investment is a powerful thing.


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