Social media influencers have been promoting brands they like for quite some time now. These influencers, or “social media stars” as some like to call them, capitalize on brand exposure opportunities and have created an additional revenue stream for their own pockets. It’s a way for them to promote not only themselves, but also promote many types of brands out there. To add even more leverage into this unique marketing channel, Amazon has quietly launched their new Amazon Influencer Program into beta.
The new program is similar to Amazon’s affiliate program in that it offers a commission to the social media influencers based on sale conversions from their social media posts. However, this new influencer program differs in that the influencers must apply to the program and post on behalf of the brands. The Amazon influencer must have a large following to be considered to join the program. Also, Amazon considers other metrics which include engagement with fans, quality of content, and the level of relevancy for Amazon.
The company states there is no cut-off regarding follower count that guarantees an influencer will be let into the Amazon Influencer Program, and that influencers across all tiers and platforms will be represented. Once part of the program, the influencers are given a unique vanity URL on Amazon’s domain that will be easy for consumers to remember and find. The URL allows for shoppers to browse products from a list curated by the influencer themselves. The links created on this platform allows for a better browsing experience than on the affiliate program. They are easy to navigate and display all products on a registry or wishlist style format. It has yet to be revealed if the influencers are earning a higher commission than the affiliates through this new program. However, judging by the fact that the influencers in the program have fairly high followings and must apply to be in the program give the inclination that they, in fact, are paid more.
An example of the beta Amazon Influencer Program comes from What’s Up Moms, a popular Youtube channel discussing topics on parenthood aimed at moms. The channel featured their Amazon URL (http://www.amazon.com/shop/whatsupmoms) in the description of their video. From there, shoppers can browse selected products from the influencer’s page. The URL is something similar to a UTM code many influencers include in their social media posts that drive traffic to the brand’s website.
It’s difficult to gauge the longevity and success of this new Amazon Influencer Program as it was released just last month. At the moment, however, the very few influencers that are in the program are given free reign to select the products they’d like to promote. These products will then, in turn, be the main talking points across the influencer’s social media. The beta has been set up as a test to see how customers will respond to curated pages of products and what impact it will have on sales. It will also be interesting to note how many more of these links will be present throughout social media in the coming months.