- Caroline Powell
- On September 4, 2019
There’s nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth advertising (or in today’s world, word-of-keypad recommendations). That’s why reviews on Amazon are so important. In this real-time digital age, influencers are becoming an increasingly popular way to market your brand. Without them on your side, you’re missing a critical component of your marketing strategy. Just look at the numbers.
What is the Amazon Influencer Program?
Started in 2017, the Amazon Influencer Program is a different way for industry influencers to promote products they love.
For starters, it’s important to note that the Amazon Influencer Program is different from the Amazon Associates (affiliates) Program The Influencer Program is geared toward the ever-popular social media influencers, those with a high social media presence. These applicants don’t necessarily need to have a website, just a strong social presence. The Associates program is available to anyone with a website, pending that person sends Amazon a sale within the first three months of joining. The Associates program has a much lower barrier to entry, whereas the Influencer Program is more exclusive.
Those who have been approved as “Amazon Influencers” get a unique URL where they can add products that they love (or at least want to endorse). It’s like they get to create their own storefront for their followers. Products can be grouped by categories like on the What’s Up Moms? Influencer page, or in a grid pattern, like Mark Cuban’s page. This is advantageous for influencers on platforms like Instagram since you only have one spot for a URL in your profile.
Who qualifies as an “Amazon Influencer”?
While the details and specifics for acceptance into the program are not readily available, there are a few common themes we’ve seen for those who are approved. These commonalities include:
- Ample high-quality content.
- Responsive community engagement and dialog.
- Substantial following. This can be determined by an applicant’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter presence. Amazon claims they’re looking for a wide range of applicable influencers.
- Mutual relevance. Just as the Amazon Algorithm loves relevance, so does the influencer program. Make the connection between endorser and product endorsed and influencer power grows according to Amazon.
And yes, Amazon is indeed the king of data, so the approval process does involve algorithmic approval. If you and your selected social media power make it past the undisclosed number, you move forward into the more-qualitative parameters.
What advantage does the Amazon Influencer Program give to brands?
The Amazon Influencer Program opens up a lot of opportunities for brands. The main advantage is that you may not even have to have contact with your influencer to get them to list your product. If you’ve created a high-quality product that people love, it’s possible that influencers will include your product in their storefront without request. Just read what this YouTuber has to say:
“I don’t work with brands directly, and instead hunt down the items that appeal to me, or ones that have resonated with subscribers on my Deal Guy YouTube channel in the past.” —Matt Granite, Marketing Land
Consider this: In 2016, Oprah named My Audio Pet Bluetooth Speakers as one of her famous “Favorite Things.” There was no “Oprah, will you test my product?” She and her team had discovered these adorable little speakers all on their own and presented their pick as organic rather than advertised, and the brand took off. This is influencer marketing gold for a brand and certainly beyond the norm in terms of social endorsements, but it can (and does) happen.
A huge advantage is that links to Amazon influencer storefronts are able to be shared in places other than the influencer’s website, unlike Amazon Associates. They can share links on social networks, in email, and more. The Influencer’s Page already has the FTC disclosure as well. It increases your visibility (and their commissions).
How do I find Amazon Influencers?
A lot of top influencers in your industry are likely already Amazon Influencers. The program was originally invitation only (for influencers, that is; Amazon doesn’t offer the program to sellers so you’ll need to work with the influencer rather than Amazon). Thus, people who were already popular social media voices were invited early on. If you’re like My Audio Pet, your brand will be found by the influencers.
If you’re looking for opportunities to connect, there are some programs that allow you to search for or connect with Amazon Influencers, like Influence.co, which allows you to filter by Amazon experts as well as by reach and category.
Without fail, you’ll need to integrate some sort of influencers into your marketing strategy in order for your brand to truly be successful today and going forward. For those selling on Amazon, the Amazon Influencer Program is a great opportunity for these strong social voices to promote your brand and your products, resulting in a ripple effect across thousands of potential buyers. And hey, they may even pick you and your brand and your product up organically. But if not, consider reaching out for an influencer match.