Social media influencers such as YouTube stars or Instagram celebs have been promoting products and services through their social media profiles, and have either monetized this ‘service’ via affiliate sales or doing it as a part of their brand associations and affiliations. The boom in influencer marketing has prompted many traditional, digital, as well as specialized agencies to venture into this business. Now, global e-commerce giant Amazon has also ventured into this field. The company recently launched the “Amazon Influencer Program” which as of now is in the beta testing phase.
The service will work similarly to Amazon Affiliate program, and influencers who are a part of the program will earn commission based on the product sold. The program is currently being tested on an invite-only platform and is not open to the public.
One of the key features that differentiates Amazon’s latest venture Amazon Affiliates is its exclusivity factor. While in the case of Amazon Affiliates, anybody can sign up to become an affiliate and build shopping ads and links which they can use on their blog or website. When readers click on those ads and buy the subsequent product, the affiliates receive a variable commission on the sale.
The process of enrollment is not so straight forward for the Amazon Influencer program.Here, influencers must fill out an application to be considered for inclusion.
According to the details section on Amazon website, only influencers who have huge number of following will be accepted, at least during the pilot phase. Additionally, Amazon would also consider other metrics such as fan engagement on the posts across different social media channels, the quality of content, and the level of relevancy for Amazon.
Once inducted into the program, the influencers would be given a unique URL on Amazon’s domain. Shoppers will be able to browse through the selection of products that has been recommended by a particular influencer. Influencers can also share their unique Amazon Influencer URL on various social media platforms.
Amazon has not yet revealed any information on whether influencers would receive higher commissions than affiliates.
Here’s an example to help you understand how it all works:
WhatsUpMoms, one of the most popular parenting channels on YouTube, can put up the URL to their Amazon shop in their video descriptions, in the format: amazon.com/shop/username.
Once a visitor on the blog clicks on this link, they would be redirected to a page on the Amazon website that will feature thumbnail images, descriptions, and other details of the products that have been recommended by the influencer.
The advantage here is that Amazon doesn’t interfere with influencers’ choice on what products they would like to recommend. Also, brands cannot use Amazon Influencer platform to reach out to these influencers.
Amazon is reviewing all the requests made and would be reaching out to selected influencers.
It’s still early days for Amazon’s latest platform offering, and it will take a while before we get further information on the customer response to these curated pages and their impact on sales for Amazon. As of date, only a small group of influencers have joined.
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comment section.
Get the latest news, information, and tips from the world of influencer marketing.