The Amazon Influencer Program: What’s it All About?

 

Learn more about the Amazon Influencer Program, an affiliate-style program is designed for social media influencers, who can earn income by promoting qualifying Amazon products via social media.

 

We’ve written about influencers before and this is a disruptive approach to engaging influencers direct, rather than through an agency.

If you are interested in earning extra money in the New Year, using your social media accounts, the Amazon Influencer Program is now up and running in the UK. This affiliate-style program is designed for social media influencers, who can earn income by promoting qualifying Amazon products via social media. Sound like something you might be interested in? When it works it can be a great way to develop an additional revenue stream, but as with anything there are potential issues to watch out for too.

How The Amazon Influencer ProgramWorks

The Amazon Influencer Program launched in the US in March 2017, and quickly became popular with a wide range of social media influencers. It’s very easy to set up and use, and for influencers who are good at what they do, it’s an excellent way to make those social media accounts work a little it harder.

Of course, there are some criteria that must be met in order to become an Amazon influencer. These include:

  • A sizeable following. There is no hard and fast numbers requirement, however, as Amazon is interested in micro-influencers as well as those with million-plus followings. But certainly, accounts with only a few hundred followers aren’t likely to pique the company’s interest.
  • Influencers who engage with their audience, preferably on multiple social media platforms. Amazon wants influencers who are committed to their audience, and who have a noticeable social media presence.
  • Content of a high standard. Amazon wants to be associated only with influencers who post quality content that is naturally engaging.
  • Influencers who offer some benefit to Amazon; for instance, who post content that’s relevant to Amazon users, about products they want to buy.

For those who qualify, the sign-up process is very simple. As part of the program, Amazon influencers receive a unique URL that they can include in social media content, and pass on to their audience. Once someone clicks on the URL, they’re directed to a page of products curated by that specific influencer. When people buy qualifying products via this page, the influencer receives a portion of the amount spent.

 

Pro: The Amazon Influencer Program is virtually “free money” for something you’re already doing

For influencers who are serious about their social media game, joining the Amazon Influencer Program offers the chance to earn a little bit more, with only a little extra time outlay. Most such influencers are already curating product guides on multiple website, so signing up for the Amazon program just makes good sense.

 

Con: there are some restrictions in terms of product choices

One downside of the Amazon Influencer Program is that, while influencers are 100% free to choose what products they add to their curated lists, they only receive compensation for “qualifying” products. Amazon itself choose what products qualify, so some influencers may find this aspect of the program little bit restricting.

 

Pro: multiple social media platforms can qualify for The Amazon Influencer Program

Currently, influencers can apply for the program if they have a YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account. Since most influencers do have a presence on at least one of these platforms, there’s essentially very little restriction in terms of where you can best connect with your audience. Just be sure to start the application process on the platform where you have the largest and most active following.

 

Pro: audience size isn’t a critical factor in The Amazon Influencer Program

In the early days of influencer marketing, the most popular influencers for brands were typically celebrities and other people with large follower numbers. But these days the influencer industry is more subtle. Now it’s better understood that audience engagement and similar metrics is a much better indicator of an influencers power, than their follower count. Amazon obviously understands this very well, as they make a point of noting that they don’t just look at follower count in deciding who to accept into the program. So if you’re an influencer with a smaller following – a micro influencer – don’t automatically assume you’re ineligible.

 

Con: The Amazon Influencer Program is not a game-changer for larger influencers

Amazon’s Influencer Program definitely has some clear advantages for small and medium influencers, which is great, since the company is more than happy to work with influencers with smaller follower counts. But, in many respects the influencer program is very similar to the Amazon Affiliate program, which has been around a lot longer. In fact, large influencers may find that they don’t gain much, if anything, from joining the new program. This is likely to be especially true if they’re already an Amazon affiliate, and even more so for popular influencers with lucrative brand deals.

Really, what Amazon’s foray into influencer marketing proves is that social proof really is as powerful a motivator as it seems. The fact that Amazon is willing to enter into influencer marketing, just reinforces how powerful it is as a driver of sales and brand growth.

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