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How Can Sellers Leverage the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

If you have a strong social media presence, then it’s worth taking a look at the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020. In short, this program allows influencers to get commissions on products sold on Amazon based on their recommendations.

For sellers, the Amazon Influencer Program is also a way to do cost-efficient marketing and reach potential customers at the same time. It’s a more focused approach than some of the broader Amazon marketing strategies.

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can use the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020 to expose people to your product.

How the Amazon Influencer Program Works

Through the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020, influencers can create their own storefronts to post listings of products that they are endorsing, are sponsored by, or have bought and want to recommend. In this way, they can help brands selling on Amazon and get small commissions for it. All that’s needed is for a purchase to be made using the link on their page. This is a great start for anyone who wants to curate items on Amazon.

These influencer pages can be customized, too, although the designs are limited for the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020. At least influencers can group products under any type of category. We expect that Amazon will make more and more customizations available as these pages bring in more traffic to the Amazon marketplace.

Basically, an influencer who is active and has a meaningful following on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook can recommend products and get rewarded for it. Anyone can join the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020 with a qualifying YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account. Once they qualify, they can create their own page on Amazon with a custom vanity URL, then share products to purchase straight away, all in one spot.


Who is Considered an Influencer?

An influencer is someone who is an established authority in a certain niche on a social platform. This gives them the ability to influence the purchase decisions of their followers. They can therefore promote any product for sale on Amazon and get people to buy it. Sellers would therefore want to have an influencer represent their brand because they can help sell more on Amazon.

Amazon takes influencer content and shows the most relevant results for customer searches. If a customer wants to learn more about the influencer who is making the recommendation, they can click on the influencer’s name and read their bio and go to their influencer storefront from their profile.


How many followers does an influencer need to qualify for the Amazon Influencer Program?

There isn’t a specific number for how many followers an influencer needs to have before qualifying for the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020. This is because quality is better than quantity. The real test is whether an influencer has an audience that would be interested in specific products. Micro-influencers are actually better for sellers to work with, and therefore better for Amazon, because they are considered experts in a niche community. As few as 1,000 loyal followers can be enough.

More important than their reach is their honesty. Amazon wants influencers who will help customers to discover products and provide honest opinions on them, whether positive or negative. Influencers are free to review products, but they must comply with the Amazon community guidelines.

Who Qualifies for the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020?

amazon influencer program 2020

Anyone can sign up for the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020!

To get started, however, an influencer must first see if they qualify. This means choosing the social media account on which they have the largest influence on their followers. Youtube and Twitter get approval in real time. Facebook and Instagram approval can take up to 5 days.

To check qualification, influencers can go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/influencers and click on ‘Get Started’.

If they don’t qualify right away, they can return in the future to check again since the eligibility requirements may change over time. An influencer who qualifies can start curating their page. Checking the program FAQs for the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020 is a good idea to avoid mistakes.


Qualification Criteria

Influencers who have a large following are preferred, but as mentioned above, there’s no specific number. Amazon looks more for influencers who engage a lot with fans and posts.

The tech giant wants to make sure that influencers have a noticeable presence on their channel. This must their priority, posting high-quality content, and not just trolling comments to get a reaction out of people.

Of course, it also looks for influencers who will add value to the marketplace.

How is the Amazon Influencer Program Different from Amazon Associates?

The Amazon Influencer Program in 2020 is an extension of the Amazon Associates program, also known as Amazon Affiliates. It specifically brings product-related content from influencers onto Amazon to help customers look into products they might be interested in.

Both types of users can build links and shopping ads, and then integrate them onto their own platforms. The main difference is that affiliates are posting links on their own platforms and leading traffic to Amazon while influencers have their own storefronts on Amazon with a unique Amazon URL where followers are directed from social media platforms. This vanity URL is a key difference from the Amazon Associates since affiliates have to work with Amazon to match product selections but influencers are free to promote any product they want.

How Amazon Sellers Can Take Advantage of the Amazon Influencer Program

instagram influencer

The Amazon Influencer Program in 2020 is a great opportunity for sellers. The addition of this new feature can greatly influence the way shopping is done on the site.

In the years to come, some influencer pages might evolve into places where people go to see new and interesting items to buy. People might also make it a habit to check out an influencer’s Amazon page when they see them using an item, expecting to be able to find it there. Sellers can also use influencer pages to do research on what items are best to sell on Amazon.

Amazon sellers can team up with leaders in a specific industry to share their brand’s products and messaging with a select audience. Brands can then reach their target audience in a more organic and meaningful way. Influencer marketing is a $1.7 billion industry on Instagram alone because this type of approach works.

Online shoppers look for product recommendations from influencers almost as often as they listen to friends’ opinions, and 49% of consumers trust influencers when making decisions to purchase a certain product. Thi8s means that influencers can be a great help to ecommerce brands that want to expand their reach and increase Amazon sales.

Most Amazon sellers and brands are better off working with micro-influencers, though. Here’s why:


More Affordable

Working with influencers can get very expensive depending on who you choose. Most influencers are generally affordable, however, particularly micro-influencers. This is what they normally charge, depending on the platform:

Facebook

25 USD per post per 1,000 followers

Instagram

10 USD per post per 1,000 followers

Twitter

2 USD per post per 1,000 followers

Snapchat

10 USD per post per 1,000 followers

YouTube

20 USD per post per 1,000 subscribers


Higher Engagement

A sponsored post from a micro-influencer can really help boost Amazon sales. Micro-influencers have social media’s biggest celebrities beat. Those with around 1,000 followers have 85% higher engagement than those with around 100,000 followers. F

urthermore, a Markerly study shows that these influencers will smaller audiences have an average like rate of 8%, compared to 1.6% for people with 10 million followers or more. Users with 1,000 followers or fewer also receive 13 times more comments.

It appears that smaller followings and more humble backgrounds makes these micro-influencers more approachable and relatable. They’re also more likely to interact with followers, so posts about an Amazon store or products will get more attention and engagement. Followers will ask questions, click to learn more, and be more likely to make a purchase.


Niche Audience

Micro-influencers tend to be more niched, so their followers are also quite niched. You can therefore find at least one who already has a following of the exact audience demographic you want to target.

This audience will be highly engaged on that topic, and the influencer will be an expert in that chosen niche. The audience also trusts them because of the relationship they have.


More Conversions

40% of consumers trust a brand because of its relationship with a particular influencer, so this increases conversion rates. Almost 60% of consumers bought a product in the last six months because of an influencer’s recommendation.

Followers go to influencers when they want product recommendations. In fact, one survey shows that 26% of people found a product within the last three months through a micro-influencer. Furthermore, people who learn about a product from a micro-influencer are more likely to make a purchase. They know the influencer, so they trust the source. They know that micro-influencers stake their reputations on what they endorse and will not back products that they don’t truly like and use.

How TikTok Can Increase Brand Awareness and Amazon Sales

More and more brands are using TikTok to reach and engage with customers. Amazon sellers can also leverage this social platform to drive brand awareness and increase Amazon sales.

TikTok is now a significant player in the social media game. Big and small brand alike, as well as celebrities and influencers, are taking notice. This makes TikTok the latest medium to help drive brand awareness and sales.

Within a year of its creation, TikTok generated more than 100 million global users. The app quickly increased in popularity and got more downloads than Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube in 2018. By July 2019, TikTok had over 500 million total installs on Google Play. It now has more than 30 million monthly active users in the US alone.


TikTok’s Appeal and Audience

Mostly teens use TikTok to view and creating videos, and share them on other social media platforms. Users can also interact with other users and engage in TikTok Challenges and duets. In the US, TikTok has enjoyed:

·         6% of 46 million global app installs in 2019

·         A user base of mostly 18- to 24-year-olds (42% of all users), followed by 13- to 17-year-olds (27% of its total users); 60% female and 40% male.

This means a great opportunity for sellers to tap into this often fickle audience that tends to make more emotional than logical purchase decisions.


TikTok Shopping Features

TikTok has tested and rolled out social commerce features over the past year, including a feature that turns creator videos into in-feed ads. It has a Shop Now call-to-action where ad revenues are split between TikTok and the creator. The Hashtag Challenge Plus feature allows brand and creator videos to include ecommerce linked hashtags. Creators can also link ecommerce sites from videos and profile pages. 

With an understanding that TikTok users are on the app for entertainment, they can create a strategy that leads users to click through to the commerce side of the platform. It works, as a Glossy study shows with beauty product sales on Amazon that doubled in April 2020. Brands like I Dew Care and I’m Meme used TikTok to send shoppers to their Amazon stores, linked in the popular #amazonfinds hashtag. This hashtag has over 720 million views on TikTok already.

Following this example, particularly with people getting inspiration from TikTok during COVID-19 lockdowns, almost any consumer brand can benefit from the app’s marketing features. With some creativity, great content, and possible collaborations with TikTok influencers, the potential is enormous.

Trending Influencers

The top influencers in ecommerce have incredible visibility and reach. These top-tier influencers can offer valuable tips and insights as well to help grow an Amazon business. Here are the top ten, courtesy of RepricerExpress:


Andrew Youderian

@youderian can help you use Amazon and/or Google Shopping  to branch out further. He helps six-to-seven figure store owners by gathering and curating content.


Sarah Carroll

@growglobal can help you cross international eCommerce boundaries as one of the top resources on what it takes to scale up and globally. She offers information about international eCommerce trends and how they take shape.


Steve Chou

@MyWifeQuit can help you successfully bootstrap an eCommerce business through his own experiences building online stores since 2007. He shares his experience and success tips for anyone starting out in eCommerce.


Tracey Wallace

@tracewall is an expert on relevant and insightful content and information. Tracey is the Editor-in-Chief of BigCommerce and she stays up-to-date on the eCommerce trends you need to know to get ahead. She also shares a lot of her own experiences.


Connor Gillivan

@ConnorGillivan started his first business at age 16, and ventured into ecommerce in his college years. He has grown two companies to more than $10 million a year, partnered with the next influencer on the list.


Nathan Hirsch

@realNateHirsch is available for eCommerce clients who want an actual consult with him on how to best hire for their business. Get started with his numerous podcasts.


Zia Daniell Wigder

@zdwigder is the Senior VP and Chief Global Content Officer of Shoptalk. Shoptalk is a yearly conference where thousands of eCommerce retailers and individuals gather to meet, network and learn. You can go straight to the top with Zia if you want to learn all the latest trends and technologies in eCommerce.


Tim Peter

@tcpeter is one of the OGs of eCommerce. He’s the founder of Tim Peter & Associates, a consulting firm for businesses. Get help from one of the oldest experts in eCommerce to craft the best strategy that’ll work for your business.


Marsha Collier

@MarshaCollier has 40+ published books, Forbes Top 10 Futurist articles, online blogs, and podcasts. Marsha has content in almost every corner of the eCommerce space that you can soak up.


Peep Laja

@peeplaja helps businesses that struggle with conversions so they can start making the sales numbers that can take them to the next level in eCommerce. Peep is the founder of ConversionXL, which is one of the smartest and most trusted sources for maximizing conversions.

Final Thoughts

The Amazon Influencer Program in 2020 will allow you as an Amazon seller to get a real leg up over the competition. You will have your own page on Amazon with an exclusive URL to showcase the products you recommend. You can team up with influencers to promote that URL, making it easier for followers to shop recommendations.

Almost any influencer can participate in this program because there are a wide variety of categories open. This means a vast opportunity for Amazon sellers to promote off-Amazon through niche YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook audiences.

The Amazon Influencer Program in 2020 is an extension of the Amazon Associates program, designed especially for social media influencers. Sellers who have established social followings can also become influencers themselves, earning commissions on the sale of their own products! This is a double whammy with an additional way to direct traffic to Amazon without spending on ads or endorsements. 

Duline TheogeneHow Can Sellers Leverage the Amazon Influencer Program in 2020
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