Despite claims to the contrary, what happens on Amazon doesn’t necessarily have to stay on Amazon.
Affiliate marketing isn’t necessarily anything new, but its strength has never been fully realized until the rise of social media influencers—a market now estimated to be worth $13.8 Billion in 2021. And while Amazon has long used affiliate marketing, the results have never been all that consistent. But traffic from social media influencers can not only increase Amazon sales, they can help drive both legitimacy and visibility to influencers themselves.
What to Know About the Amazon Influencer Program
Amazon’s Influencer program was recently launched as an extension of their Amazon Associates affiliate marketing platform, which incentivizes affiliates through sales commissions of anywhere from 1 to 10 percent. But the difference is a significant one. While the Amazon Associates program is primarily for bloggers to share affiliate links on their own site, the Influencers program is for large following content creators interested in developing their own custom Amazon storefront where followers can view all their product recommendations through one convenient link..
But why would a successful influencer choose to participate?
Social proof is everything. And testimonials from social media influencers can help make or break a new product. The Amazon Influencer Program doesn’t just allow influencers an additional channel for exposure. And it’s not just an additional revenue stream. It helps inspire their audiences, while adding an additional boost to their reputation as experts in their own chosen niches. It doesn’t require an influencer to give positive reviews, but thoughtful, independent ones that will inform and educate their audience.
But it isn’t for everyone. While the program is only open to influencers who have an established social media presence, simply having a high amount of followers isn’t enough. Frequent and consistent posts drawing a high level of engagement are more important than the amount of followers (although, rest assured that will be taken into consideration.)
How to Apply to the Amazon Influencer Program
Currently, the Amazon Influencer Program is only open to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube content creators with an established following. While Amazon has not indicated the bare minimum number of followers an eligible influencer can have, it also hasn’t indicated other minimum engagement metrics.
Current Amazon Associate members can apply through their existing account, or create a new account on the Influencer sign up page. From there, they can check their eligibility by linking to the Instagram, YouTube or Facebook page where they have the most followers. Approval can be reportedly instant for some Facebook and YouTube users, while Instagram may take up to five days before confirming eligibility.
Assuming you’re found eligible:
Enter the name on your profile, a short bio and how you position yourself as an influencer as well as any other social media accounts.
Enter your storefront name, tagline and upload a photo or logo as well as a banner image.
Enter your Amazon account information (your influencer earnings payout will be kept separate from your shopping account.)
From there, you’ll be taken to your Amazon Associates dashboard where you can begin stocking your storefront (note: for Instagram users, you must follow @amazoninfluencerprogram before your approval is completed.)
Promoting an Amazon Influencer Storefront
Don’t make the mistake that your followers will simply assume you’ll have an active Influencer storefront. It’s still a relatively new program; and its success can also help indicate your success as an influencer.
Including or pointing to a link in your bio page on Facebook or Instagram is a great way to help promote the Influencer program and drive traffic to your storefront, while YouTube influencers will want probably to make a quick promo video. But you can also drive traffic from Twitter from a quick tweet or announce it on your blog or podcast.
The key to promoting any affiliate link is transparency, however. Be upfront with your audience that you’re part of the Amazon Associate program. Their trust is not worth violating any of the FTC endorsement guidelines. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actively promote a product. It simply means you’re offering an independent testimonial. And in the end, that’s what your audience expects from you.
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