Nearly two-thirds of consumers start their search for new products on Amazon, but what about the cohort that starts their customer journey elsewhere?
A traditional Amazon marketing strategy is usually focused on competing with other brands and products targeting similar audiences and search terms. But you need to think bigger than that to maximize your results on the platform by building a strategy that will actually generate brand awareness and attract new customers on Amazon and beyond.
Social media is playing a much bigger role in brand discovery for consumers today, and that’s where Amazon influencers come into play.
Brands that have a presence or a brand store on Amazon can tap into influencers through the Amazon Influencer Program to raise brand awareness, reach new audiences, and increase conversions.
What is the Amazon Influencer Program?
The Amazon Influencer Program sets up influencers to become affiliate ambassadors who can recommend products on Amazon to their large followings on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or TikTok (you must have a presence on at least one of these platforms to enter the program).
Just as a brand can set up an Amazon storefront to highlight curated products, influencers can create personalized storefronts on Amazon that display products they’ve recommended, along with content like idea lists, promotional videos, photos, and livestreams. When a shopper buys a product through an Amazon influencer’s storefront, the influencer receives a commission.
These storefronts differentiate an Amazon influencer from other types of influencers and content creators, because the program automatically provides an ecommerce platform where they can directly cash in on the products they spotlight.
Amazon influencers are usually creators with larger audiences who will potentially buy the products. But there are also nano- or micro-influencers participating in the program, often creators who have benefited from a viral Amazon product round up on platforms like TikTok.
Amazon doesn’t disclose a specific follower count required for acceptance into the program, but there’s a general consensus that a larger audience makes it more likely. Engagement is also probably an important factor; influencers are only useful to brands if they can drive their followers to take action.
How do Amazon influencers power discovery and increase visibility for your brand?
Because Amazon leverages influencers that already have loyal audiences, participating brands get the opportunity to tap into that community. One of the biggest reasons influencer marketing is so powerful is trust; these audiences trust the influencer to introduce them to new brands because they extend their own credibility to the products they endorse. Brands can potentially reach new customers they couldn’t get to through their existing marketing channels.
Beyond exposure and credibility, influencers can also offer their own unique take on the product. For example, many Amazon influencers present products as dupes, budget-friendly alternatives, or ”hacks,” which helps both the posts and products get in front of more people and can drive conversions. Even brands that would never describe their own products that way can reap the benefits of that independent voice.
Many consumers start their search for products on Amazon because of its competitive pricing and convenience, but social media is really the powerhouse for new brand and product discovery, especially for Gen Z. The Amazon Influencer Program is built to unlock the best of both worlds, delivering full-funnel benefits for your business.
Partnering with Amazon influencers can also generate a stronger return on investment (ROI) compared to other marketing tactics. Influencers typically offer a more affordable cost per engagement than paid advertising.
Peak seasonal purchasing periods like the holidays offer more opportunities to leverage Amazon influencers. Influencers can host livestreams on their storefronts, and Amazon often features livestreams on the homepage during holiday periods to connect consumers with gift ideas that are just a click away.
But it’s worth noting that the potential for new brand and product discovery on Amazon itself is limited because of the sheer volume of product recommendations, advertisements, and lists featured on the platform. That’s why the social component is so critical to the acquisition value of the Amazon Influencer Program.
What challenges do brands need to take into account when partnering with Amazon influencers?
Like any new opportunity, there are some limitations and challenges you should be aware of before partnering with an Amazon influencer.
Measuring the success and impact of any influencer marketing campaign can be challenging, and that’s still true for Amazon influencers. While Amazon provides specific metrics through the Amazon Attribution tool, including clicks and conversions, tracking the exact impact of an influencer’s content on sales can be difficult because not all viewers that purchase go through the generated direct link. Even after people click the link, Amazon Attribution data tends to be directional; it can give you an idea of what’s working, but it shouldn’t be the only information you’re considering when you’re making decisions.
Other metrics that can help marketers assess the impact of Amazon influencer engagements include glance views (how many times shoppers looked at a product page) and organic traffic to a product page while an influencer campaign is active, but this data can be hard to silo from other efforts like paid ads. Specialized discount codes can also give you insight into the sales driven by the influencer, but there’s no one solution that will give you the full picture of the customer journey.
You also need to make sure you’re partnering with the right Amazon influencer for your brand. The influencer’s niche, content style, target audience, and engagement rates should align with your target market and marketing objectives. Make sure you’re thoroughly researching the influencer and assessing their previous partnerships to determine if they’re a good fit.
This is especially important because you’ll have limited control over the content an influencer creates. You can and should provide guidelines and suggestions, but the influencer has a significant amount of creative freedom. Look to strike a balance that lets their unique style shine while effectively showcasing your brand and products in the best light possible.