How often do you watch an influencer on social media promote a product they love and suddenly feel tempted to buy it? The power of influencer marketing has skyrocketed in recent years, and with an online marketplace like Amazon where new brands pop up every day, sellers are taking advantage of the Amazon Influencer Program and tapping into its vast network of trusted influencers and their loyal followings to boost their sales.
What is an Amazon Influencer?
Amazon is no stranger to using influencers. The popular affiliate model was actually introduced at Amazon back in 1996, offering a percentage of commission to its network of associates who generated sales by sharing links. Known as the Amazon Associates Program, the program still exists today and is open to anyone who wishes to become an Amazon Associate.
The Amazon Influencer Program is a little bit different. As an extension of the original Amazon Associates Program, this new program helps customers discover products from trusted influencers and micro-influencers who have a considerable amount of following across their social channels. Similar to the Associates Program, Amazon Influencers earn commissions based on the sales they help generate, but the qualification process and specific features of the platform are what set the two programs apart.
One of the key differences between Amazon Associates and Amazon Influencers is that Amazon Associates direct their audiences to affiliate links, while Amazon Influencers direct their followers to actual influencer storefronts that host links to all of the products the influencer is promoting or recommending. Amazon influencer storefronts are a great way for influencers to showcase all the Amazon products they endorse in one central place and for customers to follow along with what their favorite influencers are using. Customers can even subscribe to their favorite influencers' and micro-influencers’ Amazon Influencer Pages by hitting the “Follow+” button and getting alerted by new additions to the storefront.
Wait, What Is a Micro-Influencer?
If this is the first time you’re hearing the term “micro-influencer,” don’t fret. A micro-influencer is similar to a regular influencer in which both have loyal audiences, only a micro-influencer has a smaller following — that means 30,000 or fewer followers. While going after influencers with extremely large followings feels like an appealing way of gaining a lot of brand awareness all at once, micro-influencers are actually becoming increasingly important in the online space. They not only provide a more authentic relationship with their followers, but are often the more cost-effective option for brands to partner with due to their smaller-sized followings and niche audiences.
Even with the smaller number of followers, micro-influencers are still a powerful way to drive engagement. In fact, micro-influencers are found to have 60% higher engagement than other types of influencers (Source: Smart Insights). Since influencer marketing is essentially using word-of-mouth to promote products, followers of micro-influencers are actually more likely to convert because they are listening to someone they feel they can trust and that they have a more genuine connection with over someone who has hundreds of thousands to millions of followers.
How To Become An Amazon Influencer
In order to become an Amazon Influencer and have your own curated storefront, interested influencers must have a presence on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter or Facebook to qualify and apply through the network. Amazon then looks at everything from the number of followers influencers have to the amount of engagement users are getting with their followers to determine their eligibility of entering the program.
Once an Amazon Influencer is verified on Amazon, they can have their own storefront with a verified badge on the page. An Amazon Influencer’s virtual storefront can be customized with images and a custom biography to tell shoppers a little more about them. Storefronts can also be personalized with custom categories, placing groups of products into sections that make it easier for followers to find what they’re interested in.
After creating and curating a storefront, Amazon Influencers can use their custom URL to monetize their content, promote the products they love and link back to their Amazon store. Amazon Influencers typically have followings across all social channels, the most popular ones being Instagram, Youtube and Tiktok as they have the highest engagement. Most influencers choose to cross-promote products across all of the different platforms they use, as it provides a mix of diverse content that their followers are interested in, including posts, live streams, short-form and long-form videos and more.
Why Are Amazon Influencers Important?
As influencers and micro-influencers become increasingly important in driving brand awareness, brands are realizing that leveraging this kind of program will help grow their Amazon sales. Influencers who have a large and loyal following maintain a high level of authenticity and trust with their followers. When a follower engages with an influencer’s content and visits a product, the likelihood of that customer converting is high since they are coming from the influencer’s social channels.
Aside from brand awareness, influencers and micro-influencers help create more sustainable growth for brands. As the competitiveness of the online marketplace grows and sponsored ads become more expensive, brands are looking for other ways to drive traffic to their products specifically and the Amazon Influencer Program gives brands that opportunity to explore new channels.
Using The Amazon Influencer Program For Your Brand
These days, it’s not enough to just have an online presence on Amazon — brands are being forced to get creative and look to other marketing channels to help grow their business online. The Amazon Influencer Program is a great network and resource for brands to explore an additional marketing channel, but how can brands choose the right influencers for their products?
To find Amazon Influencers to work with, brands can perform a general search on the Amazon Influencer Program platform and find influencers who are specialized in the category they are looking for (such as beauty or skincare, for example). Amazon Influencers each have their own niches, bios and storefronts, so brands can select a library of influencers that would be a right fit for them. Even though brands pay influencers for their work, it’s all about getting products into the right hands so that the partnerships between the brands and influencers feel organic.
Once a brand is ready to move forward with their list of Amazon influencers, they can reach out to them to gift them products and incentivize influencers to create content and add products to their storefront. The influencers then leverage channels like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, which all see high engagement, in order to directly link back to their custom storefronts or the product listings, providing the exposure for brands that lead to increased sales.
As influencers and micro-influencers play an increasingly important role in brand awareness, today’s brands should consider influencer marketing as a vital piece of their own marketing strategies. For brands selling on Amazon, leveraging the Amazon Influencer Program will open them up to a wide network of Amazon influencers and micro-influencers with loyal follower bases that drive high levels of engagement and conversions, ultimately boosting their sales.
We know there are many Amazon influencers to work with within the Amazon Influencer Network all with their own unique niches and dedicated followings. The trick for brands is choosing the right ones to work with that will deliver both high-quality content and the authenticity needed to see real engagement. Sounds simple enough, but sifting through an entire library of Amazon influencers and choosing the right ones for your brand can be quite an undertaking.
When you partner with an Amazon retail agency like Fortress Brand, we’re there to handle all aspects of your Amazon strategy — yes, even the marketing! The collaboration makes navigating the Amazon marketplace simple for you by having a dedicated team on your side.
If you’re interested in taking your Amazon strategy to the next level and even exploring the Amazon Influencer Program, we’d love to hear from you.
For all partnership inquiries, send our team an email at [email protected].