Aug 2022 / Blog / Influencer Marketing Strategy

How Amazon Is Planning To Come out Top in Influencer Marketing

All social networks are working to improve their e-commerce offerings such as shoppable tools and selling products in real time thanks to livestreaming. Especially for the annual Prime Day, Amazon wanted to increase its sales with the help of the company's own Amazon Influencer Program (AIP). But what is the AIP and how can marketers use it for their advertising strategy? Learn valuable insights about the program here on the Kolsquare blog.

The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified existing trends in the influencer marketing industry and accelerated changes in the market. For example, Insider Intelligence predicts an increase in unfiltered and non-scripted content. In other words, everyday influencers and live streams are gaining popularity. While all social networks are pushing video content, Amazon has already recognized the potential of live content and is pushing its Amazon Influencer program.

Content creator Carla Stevenné, face of the beauty account “BEAUTYBYCARLA,” explains on the Amazon Ads blog what Amazon Live means to her: “It’s like a FaceTime call with your family or friends. So you want to make sure you’re really being yourself.” She also stresses being authentic and consistent, but more on that later.

What Is the Amazon Influencer Program?

An extension of the Amazon Partner Program, the Amazon Influencer Program promotes the sharing of product-related content by influencers that inspire customers to purchase products, which are mostly featured in live streams. Significant is their strong customer engagement. 

The API launched in 2017, in 2022, however, it is to be more customized to influencers’ desires than ever before, according to Director of Creator Growth for Amazon Meredith Silver. As Silver furthermore points out, Amazon offers influencers and brands alike several ways to earn commissions. It is to be noted, though, that for brands, Amazon recommends its affiliate program.

Read more about affiliate marketing and what to consider on the Kolsquare blog. 

In the Amazon Influencer Program, every “qualified” purchase is compensated via affiliate links. The rates vary greatly in the different areas such as beauty, automotive or PC.

Despite the fact that the API is similar to the Amazon Affiliate program, it is not public. Consequently, Amazon accepts applications from all types of influencers as long as they have an account on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook. Review criteria for Amazon to include influencers are “various engagement metrics” in addition to the number of followers. 

Creators, if approved by Amazon as their influencers, can build their own storefront and earn money with individual URLs. The number of followers and revenue can consequently increase if the company additionally displays the storefronts to regular Amazon customers.

Influencers who are now thinking about applying for the Amazon program can easily do so via this link. Also helpful is the Amazon Educational Hub, which gives creators of all kinds tips for their first and next Amazon Live video. 

How Brands Can Work with Amazon Influencers

If your brand ist thinking about working with Amazon Influencers, the same rules apply as for any partnership with influencers. Authenticity should be your number one priority. Therefore, do not solemnly go for the creator’s reach, but find someone whose content, style and values fit your brand. Amazon live streamer, online host and content creator Trisha Hershberger, writing on the Amazon Ads blog, advises brands to research potential influencers closely and determine if their content and goals truly align with yours. 

Hershberger notes, “I’ve had companies approach me and I’ve had to politely apologize after dozens of emails because I felt there was no collaboration.” This is useless energy for both the influencers and you, and probably a waste of resources. 

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The more authentic, the more credible – that is a rule of thumb you can remember, and so can creators and livestreamers on Amazon. As Hershberger also notes, it is precisely for this authenticity that you should give your partners certain artistic and creative freedom. Only if you build up a mutual understanding for each other, the collaboration will succeed in the long term, if that is something you desire. 

In addition, communication is the key, of course. Freedom in the creative process can only lead to successful end results if expectations and boundaries are clearly communicated from the start on. Moreover, live streams require preparation, plus the time when influencers are actually online. This means that they mostly stream at times when many viewers are off, consequently after school or work and on weekends. Influencers may be less available during normal office hours, and you may be equally unavailable on weekends. Accordingly, you should plan campaigns well so that misunderstandings can be avoided. 

At the same time, not everything can be planned, because circumstances can change rapidly in this fast-moving industry. Big tech never sleeps, so influencers and brands need to be adaptable. Brands, in particular, can benefit extremely from the expertise of creatives to stay relevant to their audiences. “When brands collaborate with creatives, real magic can happen,” says Hershberger.

The Prime Day 2022 and the Amazon Influencer Program

The Amazon Influencer Program was especially in the conversation for this year’s Prime Day, the company’s “massive” shopping event. Prime Day, which fell on July 12 and 13 this year, became known for notable discounts on a wide variety of products

However, limited inventory and record high inflation made many sellers rethink their discount strategy. Therefore, the current difficult macroeconomic situation may well have contributed to the US$3.8b loss at the end of the March quarter. Prime Day was therefore particularly important for Amazon in July, and the company is trying to push offers with the help of live streamers. These factors explain why Amazon is reportedly planning a second Prime Day in the fall, according to Business Insider

Accordingly, this could be a good opportunity for your brand to think about working with Amazon influencers. It is also good to know that you can easily start a live stream as a brand, but we have already told you about the advantages of an influencer partnership. Both strategies certainly have their benefits, but live streaming is currently only possible with the iOS app.

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