Amazon’s Influencer Program

Sam Wormser
By Sam Wormser

For Amazon, it all started with merely selling books, CDs and DVDs. Then it boggled our minds when it bolstered its online marketplace by creating original film and television content of its own. Now, the multi-billion-dollar corporation is broadening its horizons yet again, as it ventures into the world of social media influencing with its Amazon Influencer Program. Constantly on the move to dominate the global e-commerce marketplace, Amazon’s marketing strategy continues to incorporate innovative methods.

Introduced earlier this year, Amazon’s Influencer Program enables social media personalities from YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote Amazon products directly on the e-commerce giant’s website, offering them a cut from any resulting sales. Though the Program was initially invite-only, it is now open for anyone to apply! Here’s a closer look at how you can potentially start earning income as an Amazon Influencer.

From Amazon Associates to the Amazon Influencer Program

The Amazon Influencer Program is an extension of “Amazon Associates,” a program Amazon has facilitated for the past few years, through which it recruited social media influencers to promote Amazon products on their various platforms and earn a commission from any sales generated.  

Wait – How is the Amazon Influencer Program Different From Amazon Associates?  

Whereas Amazon Associates entailed social media personalities promoting Amazon products on their own social media pages, the Amazon Influencer Program is Amazon’s attempt to “cut the middle man,” so to speak, by providing influencers with an actual Amazon vanity URL to promote products directly on the Amazon.com website.

So instead of having to advertise products through multiple links on your own webpage(s), the Amazon vanity URL simplifies things, providing you with one link that leads directly to your Amazon virtual store.

Additionally, while Amazon forbids Associates from sharing links anywhere outside of their webpages (doing so could result in them being banned from the program), Amazon Influencers can share the link to their virtual stores anywhere they’d like to on the web.

Why Become an Amazon Influencer?

Amazon currently reigns as the king of e-commerce, sitting on a site that boasts a much higher conversion rate than those of most of its competitors. Therefore, teaming up with Amazon not only extends the visibility of your social media presence but also increases your chances of conversions on the products you promote, fattening your pockets with commissions.

Plus, having your own Amazon page to market products enables you to maneuver around some of the limitations that come with promoting products on Instagram and YouTube. Seeing that Instagram doesn’t allow for hyperlinking on posts, and so much of the legwork on YouTube posts depends on verbal promotion, being able to promote products directly on Amazon’s site makes it easier for your followers to land on the links for the products you want to promote.

In an age when Instagram and YouTube have emerged as the far-and-away preferred platforms for influencers and their audiences, the Amazon Influencer Program represents a significant win-win for both Amazon and influencers.

How to Apply

The only requirement for applying to be an Amazon Influencer is having an account on at least one of the following social media platforms: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram.  

If you have at least one such account, go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/influencers to connect an account and begin the application process. Accounts associated with YouTube and Twitter are able to be vetted almost instantly. Applying through Facebook or Instagram, on the other hand, may take up to five days for the review process to be completed.

Who Qualifies?

So how many followers do you need to have associated with your social media account in order to be eligible for the Amazon Influencer Program? The answer is a little vague, not only because Amazon neglects to ascribe an ideal number, but also because eligibility isn’t as simple as having a bunch of followers.

In addition to reviewing the number of followers your account has attracted and other engagement metrics, Amazon also assesses the type of content you post, and how relevant that content is to typical Amazon customers.

What Happens Once an Account Gets Approved?

If Amazon verifies your account, you will be able to create your own virtual storefront, which you can curate with photos, your bio, your selected content from your other social media platforms, and through which you can promote your favorite Amazon items to your followers.

The virtual storefront provides you with a few different avenues for earning commissions from sales:

Lists

You can organize your favorite Amazon products by category into various lists on your virtual storefront. The search bar at the top of the webpage allows you to type in keywords to see a results list of products, then link the products of your choice to lists on your store.

Bounties

Bounties are Amazon-backed special services and programs, such as Amazon Prime and Audible, that you can promote in your virtual store.

So How Much Money Can I Make?

The creators of the Amazon Influencer Program claim that revenue generated from virtual stores can vary anywhere from a few bucks to up to $1,500 a month. And if the program continues to grow in popularity, so will the potential for earnings.

Influencers are compensated for individual items sold through the lists on their Amazon store through commissions. The lowest earnings come from selling video games and gaming consoles, which nets a 1% commission. You can also earn 3% on toys, 7% on non-Amazon apparel, shoes, and jewelry, 8% on furniture and 10% on Amazon’s private-label fashion line.

Conversions on bounties are compensated through flat payments. Influencers can earn $3 for every follower who signs up for Amazon Prime, Twitch, or Amazon’s Wedding Registry, $5 for Amazon Fresh or Audible, and $15 for Amazon Business.

Payment Options

After entering their tax information, influencers can choose to be paid by either direct deposit to their bank account, an Amazon gift card, or check.  

If you opt for direct deposit or Amazon gift card, you’ll have to earn at least $10 before you can access your funds. For payment by check, you’ll have to earn at least $100.

So, What are Some Ways to Optimize my Influencer Page?

Much like your social media pages themselves, success with the Amazon Influencer Program is largely dependent on how hard you hustle to promote it. It’s also about finding creative ways to do so.

Here are some suggestions of ways to help your Amazon virtual store stand out from the crowd and rack up greater sales:

Tailor Your Lists around Holidays and Special Sales Periods

People are always looking for gift suggestions to give to their loved ones for Christmas and Hanukkah, especially when those holidays are just around the corner. Therefore, creating lists on your virtual storefront that cater to holidays can be a game-changer in directing traffic to your site.

The same logic applies to special sales periods like Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day (which usually occurs in mid-July), when the number of people searching the web for deals on various products is particularly high.

Tailor Your Lists to Your Audience

The adage “know your audience” rings particularly true when promoting products on your virtual storefront; having a firm understanding of who your audience is and what they like to buy helps inform your decision on which products to present to them.

For example, if your following loves video games, lead them towards video game-related products from the get-go. If they find their way toward other unrelated products on your site later in the buying process that interests them, that’s great. But grab their attention up front with products you know will pique their interest.

Color Your Page with Targeted Content

One of the great perks of your virtual storefront is that you can add as much content as you’d like from any of your social media accounts. Take full advantage of it!

In the same way that you attracted a following by posting content on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter that appealed to a particular audience maintain and grow that audience by posting targeted content on your Amazon page.

Conclusion

Part of what has made Amazon such a tremendously successful entity is its ability to recognize when someone else has a really good thing and either emulate on its own terms or, in the case of the Influencer Program, convince the competitor to join forces with Amazon.

Whether or not the Amazon Influencer Program pans out remains to be seen. After all, Amazon’s previous attempt to drive online sales through the use of video content—an online show entitled “Style Code”—was ultimately canceled.

But with the Amazon Influencer Program, Amazon has found a way to pair its dominance in the world of e-commerce with Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter’s unrivaled popularity in the world of social media. Once again, it appears that Amazon has identified a really good thing and found a way to incorporate it into its own operation.

Sources:

1) “Amazon is Paying Influencers Big Commissions to Sell its Products, and it’s Open to Anyone. Here’s How to Sign up” by Lauren Johnson https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-influencer-how-to-make-money-2019-2

2) “Here’s How Much Money Creators Can Make via Amazon’s Influencer Program” by Editorial Staff at Tube Filter https://www.tubefilter.com/2019/01/10/amazon-influencer-program-microinfluencers/

3) “How to Make Money with Amazon Influencer Program” by Anna (Unknown last name)https://www.thewriterentrepreneur.com/make-money-with-amazon-influencer-program/

Samantha is a PR manager and account manager at Power Digital where she executes on everything from top tier media relations, to SEO outreach and social media influencer outreach. After spearheading the influencer marketing arm of the PR department, Samantha has created strategies and partnerships with social media influencers to elevate both brand awareness, engagement, and ROI for our clients. Outside of the office, she's obsessed with all things food and exploring the outdoors.