What is an Amazon Influencer?
An Amazon Influencer is any influencer on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, who directs their followers to a unique Amazon page where their followers can purchase recommended products.
It’s similar to how Amazon Affiliates worked except that they aren’t uploading links to their webpage. In fact, these influencers don’t need a website or a blog at all. Rather, influencers are provided with their own, customizable site to upload their favorite items to and they promote this page via their social media accounts.
Mark Cuban and Jillian Michaels are some of the big names participating, but more and more of these influencers are social media “celebrities” and micro-bloggers with a much smaller, but loyal following.
These people are the next big element that your clients’ Amazon marketing strategy should include.
How does this work?
It starts with an application. Qualifying YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts are reviewed by Amazon. Primarily, they’re looking for a high number of followers and strong engagement metrics.
A quick peek at some accounts reveals that typically, these influencers average between 10,000 and 500,000 followers. While the magic formula they look for isn’t public, having a high engagement rate can make up for a lower follower count, it appears.
If approved, Amazon Influencers then create their storefront (complete with a custom vanity URL) where they share their favorite products. It’s much like having their own Amazon shop, where followers can easily access advertised products.
There’s plenty of incentive for Amazon Influencers as they make a percentage of each sale completed through their page. While commissions favor Amazon’s line of products (with the highest being a ten percent payout on their struggling private fashion line), influencers can anticipate a steady payout if done purposefully. Furniture sales reportedly make around eight percent and many items come in at seven percent commission. The range goes as low as one percent. Therefore, Amazon Influencers are highly motivated to create convincing referrals, share their page and promote the products they feature there.
Amazon is an obvious partner for influencers who don’t want to commit to first purchasing their own inventory before selling—or to have to maintain their own e-commerce site. If you need a quick refresher, here’s an intro into Amazon marketing services.
Why you should be working with these influencers
In a recent study by Nielsen, they found that a recommendation from friends continues to be the strongest form of advertising. People are eager to take a referral from an influencer they admire or who has earned their trust.
So, the first reason you need to join forces with these folks is that leveraging these social media personalities in your marketing strategy allows you to drive direct sales.
Typically, influencer marketing is used for brand awareness. With Amazon Influencers, however, your products are highlighted in front of your target audience and purchasing is seamless—a simple swipe-up on an Instagram story, for example.
Why Amazon? Because Amazon has, time and time again, proven itself an effective and popular way to order online. It’s almost guaranteed that your target customers would prefer to purchase through Amazon than your customer’s website. In fact, last year’s JWT Intelligence survey found that a whopping 88 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds in the US prefer to shop on Amazon over other online retailers. It’s no wonder Amazon is now worth $350 billion dollars—more than Target, Walmart, Nordstrom and Best Buy put together!
Not to mention, Amazon is a one-stop-shop with fast and free shipping. It’s hard for your clients to compete with that. So don’t—join them! You can learn more about the best practices for marketing on Amazon in this ultimate guide to marketing on Amazon in 2019.
Give the people what they want and let them purchase through Amazon.
By zeroing in on Amazon Influencers, you can provide your clients with specific ROI measures. Because products are purchased from a customized URL that the influencer shares, it’s simple to track how many sales are made through each campaign.
They give you access to niche markets
Whatever your platform—fashion, pets, beauty, outdoors, fitness—there’s a host of Amazon Influencers to choose from and a range of platforms for them to display your products.
It’s worth noting that Creatoriq just published findings that in 2018, 93 percent of these influencer campaigns were on Instagram, with Facebook and YouTube tying for second place.
When this likable, creditable, wide-reaching influencer lineup is boasting about your product, you win. Their narrow focus brings you a targeted audience, who are actively listening.
Unlike TV advertising, which reaches an incredibly broad, and likely disengaged audience, these influencers have honed in on a specific segment of the market—and earned their trust.
Take the beauty industry. Rather than promote a hair product for curly hair to a diverse audience with many hairstyles, types, and preferences, take advantage of a popular beauty influencer with a 50,000-person following, all eager to hear her latest favorite solution.
These influencers drive more comments, more actions, and more views than traditional marketing methods.
Why? Because they’ve built a sense of community on their pages and strike a chord with their users, as their everyday lives are regarded as authentic and relatable.
Typically, their small niche makes their engagement rates high. They’re all about quality over quantity. In fact, there’s an inverse relationship between the number of followers and engagement. Often, these influencers sit in the sweet spot. Secondly, they’re easy to find and connect with.
It’s time you seek them out and get your clients’ products on their page.
Not only does your product appear in their favorites, but the marketplace is set up to encourage bundled purchases. So, even if a customer comes to one of these customized URLs to purchase another company’s item, the recommended favorites placed next to it can highlight your product. The exposure never ends!
Convinced these folks are your clients’ new best friends? We think so too.
Amazon explicitly does not prevent brands from reaching out to these influencers to promote their products directly, so what’s stopping you?
Perhaps the best part is that there’s little cost associated with partnering with one of these brand ambassadors. They’ll want to be compensated for product placement or social media posts and mentions, but there are no advertising fees. Additionally, Amazon directly covers the commission of each sale.
This is a triple win: You increase brand exposure, promote your name on a major commerce platform and drive direct sales.
Not sure where to begin?
Associate your brand with the premier tastemakers in your industry. Services like Influence can connect you with influencers who work within your category and form there the possibilities stretch far and wide.
From there, think through your brand’s tone and voice. You’ll want to choose Amazon Influencers who align with your clients’ style.
Build a list of your favorite influencers and reach out to these folks via their platform of choice. Explain how you’ll pay them, why their audience is interested in what you make, what you’d like of them (number of posts, number of story mentions, etc.), and what you’d like their clear call to action to be for their followers.
Give them some wiggle room to increase their chances of responding, but don’t hesitate to negotiate your price points. Do you want placement on their Amazon page only or would you also like a Facebook post or Instagram story mention? What is that worth to you? Remember that their social media mentions amplify your reach so give them a reason to get behind your product and buy into the belief that their followers would appreciate this recommendation.
Once they are on board, keep tabs on your product listing on their page. Make sure the description is clear, all photos are engaging, and routine maintenance is timely.
From there, watch your direct sales climb and report back to your clients on their ROI.
In summary, building trust and rapport with your clients’ audience is hard, particularly if they aren’t a household name yet. Piggybacking off the credibility and likeability of an audiences’ favorite influencer takes that mammoth first task off your plate so you can focus on delivering a likable product.