Even with all the changes over the last few years, including regulations, other platforms, and new audiences, Instagram has still managed to stay competitive and on top of some social media networks in 2024.
With everything they have done, Facebook and Instagram have turned into advertising giants that don't have any real competition in the space that they occupy.
But with all those changes came different tactics, strategies, and ways to improve your ads and make them more compliant with Meta’s regulations as they have gotten more strict over the past few years.
How Meta Changed Things
Owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), Instagram has undergone significant changes that keep it relevant through all these years. Most of the changes that Meta introduced are copied in one way or another from other successful networks. Let us take stories as an example, now a staple of Instagram, they were invented by Snapchat and straight up copied by Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp a few years back. The same happened to TikTok. Their short video platform got copied to Instagram and Facebook and they named it Reels. Twitter (or X as they are called nowadays) also got copied by Meta through the Threads app.
All of these changes had a positive impact on the users and the user base grew a lot. However, with these changes and growth come stricter guidelines, especially for those using the platform for affiliate marketing and ad campaigns. This means that things that affiliates used to do before to scale their ads and find new audiences are now prohibited or heavily limited.
This is why we decided to cover this topic and find out how you can effectively boost your Instagram ads while navigating Meta's policies to avoid an account ban. We will also compare Instagram's advertising landscape with that of TikTok, offering a broader perspective on social media marketing today!
Enhancing Affiliate Marketing Campaigns on Instagram
Affiliate marketing on Instagram has its challenges, but with the right strategies, you can make your campaigns both successful and compliant with Meta's guidelines. But before you focus on compliance it is important to know how to improve your campaigns to a point where they reach a large enough audience and convince that audience to convert and purchase/buy whatever you are advertising.
Understand the Advertising Policies
The first step in ensuring your ads are boosted without risking an account ban is to thoroughly understand Instagram's advertising policies. These policies are in place to ensure content is appropriate, truthful, and safe for the community. Violations can lead to ads being denied or, worse, account suspension.
If you go to the help section and search for what is allowed and what is not, you will quickly find that most rules are vague and there are no clear guidelines except, “bad things are bad” which is very broad as you might suspect.
As affiliates, we often try to ride the thin line between ensuring people are engaged and click on our ads, and staying compliant. With the policies in place right now, that line is not clearly defined, and you will have to do some trial and error to find the right balance.
A good starting point would be to join online forums and groups of people that run similar content to yours and interact with them to see how they are pushing the envelope of what they can get away with, and what Meta straight up doesn't allow.
Create Authentic and Engaging Content
As with most social media platforms, Instagram values authenticity. Your ads should resonate with your audience on a personal level. Use high-quality images and videos, and make sure your message is clear and engaging. Authentic content not only attracts more engagement but also aligns better with Instagram's standards.
Utilize trends, music, and templates to create content that resonates with your audience and attracts new ones, so you can spread your message more easily and get more conversions with your campaigns.
Utilize Instagram's Ad Tools
Instagram offers a variety of tools to help boost your ads. These include targeting options, ad formats, and performance tracking. Understanding and using these tools effectively can enhance your ad's reach and engagement.
You should play around with the campaign options to see exactly what sort of campaigns work for your niches. Meta’s advertising platform offers heaps of options regarding ad type, placements, targeting, budgets, and much more.
All of these options are there for a reason and the more you get familiar with them the more likely you will find the right ones for you. Maximizing your revenues with the least budget and biggest ROIs is a difficult task, but it's manageable if you learn the ins and outs of the platform.
Focus on Building Relationships
Engagement is key on Instagram. Respond to comments, engage with your followers, and build a community around your brand. This organic interaction is crucial for boosting your ad's performance without resorting to frowned-upon tactics like spamming or misleading content.
Make sure your ads promote stuff that makes sense and that's not a scam. If people get baited into clicking your ad but don't find whatever you promised at the end of that link, they will leave negative comments as well as reports which will lower the performance and effectiveness of your ads, or even get them restricted.
Leverage Instagram Stories and Reels
Instagram Stories and Reels offer unique ways to showcase products or services. They're highly engaging and can be used to create a more dynamic and interactive ad experience.
You can select to advertise with them in the Meta Ads Manager when you start making your campaign. Both videos and photos work, but usually, videos perform a bit better as they pop out more!
Examples of Successful Campaigns
Look at successful Instagram marketing campaigns for inspiration. For instance, a beauty brand might use Instagram Stories to showcase before-and-after results using their product, coupled with direct links to purchase. Another example could be a travel influencer using Reels to highlight destinations, with affiliate links in the description.
You can find great examples on the Meta Ads Library. It's free, there are a lot of examples for any niche you search for, and you can find exact ads that work and make your versions of them. For affiliates that are a bit more into trying out stuff that is a bit more “shady”, you can always subscribe to spy tools, which there are plenty of, and find exact ads with exact data on them, for even better info.
Navigating Meta's Advertising Policies
Meta's policies can sometimes feel restrictive, but they are crucial for maintaining a safe and trustworthy environment. Ensure that your affiliate marketing strategies align with these policies.
Avoid using deceptive practices, such as misleading claims or unauthorized use of intellectual property. Transparency is key - always disclose affiliate relationships and sponsored content.
If you make an ad that makes you think that that is not something that Meta will be happy with, chances are you are right. Even the smallest infraction can spell disaster, so make sure to stay in the clear as much as you can.
Comparing Instagram with TikTok
While Instagram remains a titan in the social media world, TikTok has emerged as a formidable contender, especially among younger demographics. TikTok's algorithm seems more geared towards promoting viral content, while Instagram focuses on fostering deeper connections with followers.
For advertisers, this means Instagram might be more suitable for long-term brand building, while TikTok could offer quicker visibility. Instagram also is a bit more stable with its results, if something works, it's likely to work for weeks, but if it doesn't, it's likely to stay that way.
TikTok is way more chaotic in how it works. Your best campaigns can die off soon, and start performing again twice in one day! Of course, this is not the norm, but it's hard to get stable results on it. As TikTok evolves, it will likely become more stable and be a better comparison to Instagram, than it is right now.
Boosting your Instagram ads while avoiding an account ban requires a balanced approach of creativity, authenticity, and adherence to Meta's policies. By understanding the nuances of the platform and focusing on genuine engagement, you can leverage Instagram's powerful tools to enhance your affiliate marketing efforts.
Comparing Instagram's strategies with those of TikTok also provides valuable insights into the broader landscape of social media marketing. The key is to stay adaptable, informed, and always focused on building meaningful connections with your audience.
With enough effort and practice, your Instagram campaigns should become a great source of income and profits for years to come!
Have you run campaigns on Instagram? What is your experience with the platform? Share your experience with us in the comments below!