Brands looking to promote their products in the increasingly saturated social media space can leverage the Amazon Influencer Program. Partnering with influencers of your niche is a highly sought-after way to boost brand awareness and sales.
In this article, we will go over the following:
- What is Influencer Program
- How does the Influencer Program work?
- How does the Amazon Influencer Program differ from the Amazon Associate Program?
- Benefits of influencer marketing
- How can Amazon sellers find and connect with influencers?
- When should you use influencer marketing?
What is the Amazon Influencer Program?
The Influencer Program is Amazon’s attempt to tap into the lucrative influencer marketing space, which has become one of the fastest and most effective ways for brands to reach relevant audiences. Similar to Amazon Associates program, influencers earn commission on sales they bring to Amazon.
How does the Amazon Influencer Program work?
1) An influencer/content creator builds an army of strong, loyal followers on their social media accounts.
2) The content creator/influencer gets enrolled into the program, goes through the approval process and verifies the account.
3) They open their customized store on Amazon and partner with an Amazon creative agency or brands to promote their products on the store.
4) Once a shopper makes a purchase, the influencer gets a commission and the seller receives rewards in the form of increased sales and brand awareness.
How does the Amazon Influencer Program differ from the Amazon Associate Program
The Influencer Program is the extension of the Amazon Associates program, an affiliate marketing program where anyone with an authentic website can promote products and earn commissions on sales earned through those links.
The difference between both programs is that while the Amazon Associates program is geared toward website owners and bloggers, the Influencer Program is intended for content creators with a large, loyal following on their social media accounts.
In the Amazon Associates Program, participants can only share affiliate product links on their website and social media program, whereas, in the Influencer Program, content creators can create their own storefronts on Amazon. This allows their followers to view all of the influencer’s recommendations at once. Influencers’ storefronts can be categorized for easy navigation and come with a custom link they can post on their social media accounts.
The qualification and eligibility criteria are also different for Amazon Associates Program and Influencer Program. To qualify for the Amazon Associates Program, all you need is an authentic website or blog. The qualifications required to enter Amazon Influencer Program are more stringent – Amazon will authenticate and analyze your social media accounts (Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook), your follower engagement, post count and post consistency, among other factors, to determine if you are fit for the program.
Benefits of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years. A strategy that was once considered a fad by many has taken the marketing world by storm.
It’s virtually impossible to scroll through your Instagram feed without seeing any product being promoted by influencers. This is because, with influencer marketing, brands can promote the right products at the right time to the right audience. At this point, there is no denying the effectiveness of influencer marketing. The stats below will show why investing in influencer marketing is a no-brainer:
- The influencer marketing industry reached $16.4B in 2022 (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)
- About 60% of shoppers bought a product in the last six months because of an influencer’s recommendation (Source: Amz Advisors)
- More than half of the consumers state that word-of-mouth and social media are their preferred ways to discover new brands (Source: Grin)
- About 52% of purchasing decisions are influenced by Facebook posts (Source: The Manifest)
- Over 90% of consumers engage influencers on a weekly basis on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat (Source: Statista)
How can Amazon sellers find and connect with influencers?
Finding the right influencer takes some leg work. Our team of Amazon marketing consultants has listed simple steps that’ll help you find and partner with the right influencer for your brand.
Step 1: Determine your goals
Before you begin your hunt for the right influencer for your brand, be sure to determine your influencer marketing campaign goal and understand your product lineup.
Step 2: Check your store
If you don’t have positive seller ratings, or you sell products with a lot of critical reviews, no influencer is going to risk their reputation promoting your products. Your brand needs to be trustworthy and your product should be worth promoting. Once you’ve established that, you can continue your search for influencers.
Step 3: Search for relevant content creators and influencers
If you sell yoga pants, you need a fitness or lifestyle influencer. There can be some crossover between niches, but you want to make sure that the influencer’s niche audience would be interested to know about your product.
Visit popular social media sites like Instagram or Facebook and search for keywords or hashtags related to your product. If the influencer is already a member of the Amazon Influencer Program, Amazon’s algorithm will suggest relevant influencers to promote your brand and products.
Brands can also find influencers using Amazon Live. Head to the Amazon Live page and find the influencers who are frequently promoting products like yours on Amazon live.
Brands should do their homework while searching for influencers. It’s a huge undertaking and should not be rushed with. There are a lot of imposters who claim to be influencers, but most of their followers are paid. Ask your Amazon management agency to look at the engagement on their social media handles, look at the brands they have worked with in the past and make sure to validate every influencer you work with.
Step 4: Get in touch with micro-influencers of your niche
We suggest not to target big celebrities or influencers with millions of followers because they tend to have a lower engagement rate and can also be extremely expensive to partner with. Instead, team up with a micro-influencer from your niche.
Micro-influencers are super-specific influencers who might have fewer followers (<100K), but their engagement rate is very high. Micro-influencers are mostly from humble backgrounds, making them more relatable and approachable. They are also more likely to reply to comments and DMs, so when a micro-influencer posts about your product, their audience will be interested and would want to learn more.
Step 5: Pitch them your offer
Once you’ve identified the influencer you’d like to work with, list out the points why they should promote your product and what benefit they would receive. Don’t immediately reach out to them with a contract or endorsement. Take things slow and establish a genuine relationship with them.
You can also send them some of your products for free, so they can try them out themselves and give their authentic review. No matter who you participate with, ensure they are genuinely interested in your product because the audience can tell whether the post is inauthentic and the influencer is saying these things because they are paid for it.
Step 6: Keep on experimenting
Once the influencer has agreed to work with your brand and signed the agreement, start designing a customized influencer marketing campaign. Below we’ve listed some of the most popular campaign ideas that will help drive traffic to your Amazon listing
1) Create sponsored post with #ad or #sponsored hashtags. For this type of post, let the influencer create content on their own, so it nicely blends in with their feed and does not look inauthentic.
2) Host a giveaway. Engagement and conversion rates for giveaways are typically high because the audience looks forward to winning a free product. Giveaways can also help you increase your brand’s social following.
3) Offer discount codes. Provide influencers with a custom discount code to share with their followers. Since the code is custom-made for the influencer, it will make their audience feel special and they’ll most likely use it.
4) Conduct a live stream on Amazon. Livestream shopping is getting popular day by day as Amazon sellers are experiencing dramatically fewer returns. To create urgency and increase the likelihood of customers purchasing the product from the live stream, give the influencers a discount code that they can share with their live stream audience.
When should you use influencer marketing?
There are some niches in which influencer marketing works particularly well:
2) Health and fitness
If your products fall under any of these categories, partnering with an influencer can prove to be profitable for your brand.
Over to you
Influencer marketing is here to stay. Brands selling in beauty, health, lifestyle, fitness and electronics are more likely to see better return on investment because these are the areas where customers rely on influencers’ opinions.
Sellers with strong social media presence can also become influencers using the Amazon Influencer Program and earn commission by promoting their own products!
Get in touch with our Amazon consultants and know how your brand can propel in the right direction using strategically created influencer marketing campaigns.