We’re all attracted to fame in some way, even if the spotlight isn’t necessarily right for us. It seems like every breath a famous actor, musician, or athlete takes is newsworthy in one way or another, and we’re always kept up to date on the latest in pop culture. What this really means is that popular figures in our culture influence the way we behave.
Among other aspects of our daily lives, this influence on our behavior extends to the purchases we decide to make. Kids want the shoes that their favorite skateboarders or basketball players wear, people want haircuts to make them resemble their favorite pop stars, and some even subscribe to the same diets as their favorite people to see on television.
What we call sponsorship is really an active version of influencing shoppers to buy particular products because they’re associated with famous people. Clearly, Jordans wouldn’t be Jordans if Michael Jordan never wore them.
In today’s age of complete visibility and connection, it’s not just the top tier of famous people that influence shoppers’ decisions. Modern influencers might include Youtubers and podcasters in addition to models and actors. The Amazon Influencer Program recognizes this shift, and it invites lower or mid-level influencers with a big enough fanbase to sign up.
The Point of the Program
The big takeaway is that people listen to, respect, and try to emulate the figures they look up to. Massively famous people have access to huge corporate sponsorship options, but Amazon makes it easier for the not-so-gigantic influencers to make a bigger impact. The Amazon Influencer Program looks for people and brands who have a substantial following on various forms of social media. Since these individuals and businesses already have such a large fanbase, they represent an opportunity for exposure.
Since Amazon and the influencers are already established, the program is essentially a partnership between the two. Eligible influencers will sign up and create a storefront, and then they’ll share their page with their followers. Since their followers are already interested in what the influencer eats, wears, does, and shops for, the products are likely to get a bit of a boost in sales. Since each sale was due in part to the influencer, that’s where a cut of the money goes.
Deciding Who Gets In
This may not surprise you, but not everyone is an influencer. Having 100 subscribers on YouTube or 1,000 fans on Facebook is great, but your account is probably not going to make a huge impact at that level. The bigger your outreach and the better your engagement, the more likely you’ll be considered an influencer.
In order to apply for the Amazon Influencer Program, you need to have an active account on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram, but your chances are better if you’re active on all four mediums. Although the number of fans, followers, or subscribers you have will play a role in some capacity, that’s not all that the Amazon team looks at.
Your Facebook page could have over a million likes, but if it hasn’t been active in a year, you’re probably not the best bet as an influencer in the eyes of Amazon. That’s because this number doesn’t mean much of anything if none of those million people are actually engaging with your brand. Some people also use sketchy systems to build up fake followers so they appear to be more established than they actually are.
Amazon looks at several factors throughout the vetting process. Aside from the number of followers, they’ll look at how well and how frequently you interact with your fanbase as well as the types of posts you publish. An obviously active account that consistently gains more and more support makes a better case to be an influencer than a ghost town account that used to be populated.
The type of content you post is also a determining factor. Brands that only post once in a while won’t get the same influx of engagement, and brands that overpost with filler tend to just dilute the pool. If you want to be an Amazon Influencer, build up your following and keep your fans involved to the best of your ability.
Should I Join the Program?
If you believe you have a strong and interactive enough following that Amazon should take you on, you may wonder what’s in it for you. As an Associate and Influencer, Amazon is willing to reward you for the products that are sold on your watch. When your followers purchase a qualifying product using your link, you’re eligible for a cut of the money.
It doesn’t cost Influencers anything to join the program, and everyone has something to gain out of it. Amazon and Influencers both make money off of the products that are sold, and customers may have an easier time finding new and exciting products to order thanks to that influencer. This is a great way to make a little extra money while promoting items that you truly believe in.
How to Sign Up
Apply to become an Amazon Influencer. Sign in with your Amazon Associates profile and click the sign-up link. Then you’ll be able to choose which social media account you’d like to use to check your eligibility. Keep in mind that YouTube and Twitter accounts can be approved or rejected in real time, while Instagram and Facebook accounts may take a few days. Since you can only choose one, go with the account that has the strongest following.
If Amazon is really impressed with you, they may invite you to become an influencer. If this is the case, you’re probably going to make the cut.
Qualify as an influencer. You should always be building up your fanbase, but work especially hard at it leading up to and during your application. Show Amazon that you’re worth working with. If you’re rejected, keep building and try again in the future.
Set Your URL so you can share your individual link with your followers. You’ll receive a vanity URL that’s based on your social media account name, and there are only a couple of situations where you can change it. If something seems off with your URL, contact Amazon and they may let you change it.
Share Your Page with your fans, followers, and subscribers. Your fanbase needs to access your Influencer page in order to purchase the products you list there, so you should make it as easy as possible to find. Even though you can only sign up with one social media account, you can use all of them to promote your page.
You don’t have to limit your promotion to these mediums, either; you can talk about it on your podcast, send out email blasts, or use mobile apps like Snapchat to spread the word. Just remember to notify your followers that you are an affiliate and will make money on certain products to maintain transparency and trust.
Associates and Influencers
The Amazon Associates program has brought countless sellers great success, and the Influencers program can do the same. However, they’re not exactly the same thing. You can sign up as an Influencer directly through your social media account without needing a website or blog, and your link goes to a full storefront, not just an individual product. You’re also allowed to share your Influencer link through email, which is a no-no for Associates.
The Amazon influencer program is a great way to leverage online followings to drive up conversions. Amazon supplies a percentage and platform while the influencer provides engaged users eager to try products associated with the influencer. In the end, both parties win and organic interaction is driven up.
To learn more about strategies for growing your online presence and reach, check out the Sellers Choice blog.