A few weeks ago, we talked about how social media influencer marketing has taken a leap forward in the past couple of years. Amazon has caught on, and the online retail giant launched the Amazon Influencer Program late last month. The marketplace is interested in tapping hot social media influencers, and is reaching out with an invitation to apply to the exclusive program.
Who Amazon is Looking for
Amazon wants only highly active social media influencers to join their Amazon Influencer Program. In addition, interested influencers must have substantial fanbases and shoppable content on their social media pages. Amazon does not list specific evaluation criteria for invitees, but states that they are checking for a combination of factors. These include:
- Collective number of followers on different social media channels
- Quality (undefined) and relevance of post content
- Level of influencer engagement on posts
Amazon Associates are currently not permitted to apply for membership in the Amazon Influencer Program. Amazon explains that the program has been created specifically for social media influencers and does not cater to affiliates who use websites to share links. Many Amazon affiliates are interested in the new features offered through the Amazon Influencer Program. Amazon has stated that it is not currently able to offer the same or similar features to its other affiliates, and has given no indication of whether they might extend them in the near future.
What Amazon is Offering
Influencers who are chosen for the Amazon Influencer Program will be given a vanity URL on Amazon. The URL will make it much easier for fans to identify and remember from whom a certain product recommendation came. It also therefore makes it easier for influencers to push sales. The chosen will be able to receive commissions on sales through this URL. Influencers are not obligated to sell products that Amazon shows them, but can select which ones they would like to promote on the various social media platforms. It is our understanding that influencers will not be given free products by Amazon to review, but are free to maintain and build relationships with manufacturers to obtain products for recommendation.
Amazon Influencer Program Application
The Amazon Influencer Program launched in beta, and is by invitation only. Amazon seems eager to find the top-tier social media influencers, however, since the platform has extended an invitation to apply. Interested influencers can visit the above page to take the three steps to submit their applications. Applications are not editable and Amazon will not accept duplicate submissions. As such, the platform advises all applicants to check all details and properly prepare their requests before making a submission.
The program is still in the testing phase, with Amazon looking to evaluate the possibilities for curated product pages. Amazon has phrased their details page in such a way that urges those who wish to be a part of program to apply as soon as possible. Amazon explains that they are reviewing applications as they are received, but is dealing with a high volume of requests. Other sources claim that few influencers have applied.
Some applicants with valid submissions may be selected straight off the bat while others may be placed on a waiting list. Because of the high demand, Amazon has informed its applicants that only accepted applications will be followed up via email.
There is no advice from the eCommerce giant if or when they might open the program to a wider audience. Others who are interested in earning affiliate commissions can join the regular Amazon Affiliate program.
Joining the Amazon Influencer Program certainly has several benefits for social media influencers who are already deep into product promotion. Many of these influencers do not necessarily have affiliate status with the products that they recommend, but can certainly use the program to make a career of it, or at least earn a few extra bucks. Some influencers have caught on early and are already set up with their own eCommerce websites or Amazon stores in addition to their social channels.