What is an Amazon Influencer?

We all know what an influencer is in the context of social media but what about in other areas of our lives? What about an Amazon Influencer? I must admit to never having heard of them until a short while ago. So what’s an Amazon Influencer and should you aspire to be one?

Apparently, the Amazon Influencer program was released last year as an addon to the Amazon Associates program. It enables existing social media influencers from other platforms to create a store page linking their favorite products. The idea is to cross-sell from your main networks to introduce a little extra revenue into your life.

Every time you sell something through your Amazon Influencer page, you get a percentage. It’s a natural progression from social media influencers trying to sell branded or their own products to selling stuff on Amazon. The cynic in me thinks this is another opportunity for overenthusiastic Instagram ‘personalities’ to con us into thinking they know more than us but you may find much more value in it.

Setting up as an Amazon Influencer

You need to be accepted into the Amazon Influencer program. To do that you need to be an existing Amazon Affiliate, or sign up to become one. Then you visit the Amazon Influencer page and select the yellow Get Started button. Acceptance isn’t automatic but if you’re a US citizen, have an existing social media following and are already an affiliate you should be fine.

Once accepted, you will receive a confirmation email and be able to create your own store.

Store setup is relatively straightforward. You need to create a store, give it a name, add a header and an image, add your social media URLs and then create categories. These categories are where your recommended products will go. Create your categories carefully and keep them as logical as possible.

Once done, you can add individual products to each category to set up your store. You can select an item, add your Amazon Influencer tracking ID and it should be added to your store. You can then optionally add your own description to each product to make it more personal.

Once your store is complete, you can begin promoting it in your social networking activities.

Promoting Amazon Influencer products

All products in your store will have a specific URL. You share that URL in your videos, tweets, TikTok videos, YouTube videos, Insta posts or wherever else.  You can even email them out if you have a mailing list. As your followers click on the link and buy stuff, you get a small percentage of every sale.

A typical promotion process would go something like this:

  1. Select products pertinent to your niche.
  2. Plan a series of social media posts or videos like you normally would.
  3. Add a link to a product in that post or video.
  4. Publish the video and promote it in the usual way.

Soft sell

It’s important to keep the products you’re selling relevant to your usual niche otherwise it just looks like an obvious move to cash in on your followers. We are all used to vloggers and influencers wearing branded gear and going on about it in every post and we forgive or ignore because they are entertaining.

Never forget that last part. Nobody is going to mind you making an extra buck but if you make your videos or posts all about that, you’re going to fall fast. We still view individuals as more trustworthy than institutions so influencing still has a future but with the FTC cracking down on social media promotion and users become much more jaded about the whole situation, you have to be very careful how you frame your promotion.

You also need to disclose it. If you make money out of promoting someone else’s stuff or are paid to say certain things, you should always disclose it. Affiliate marketing is different to being paid by a brand to promote their stuff but your audience is not stupid and do not appreciate being treated as such. Be upfront and be honest and your audience won’t mind you making a little money. Especially if they get a decent product at a fair price as a result.

As the FTC crack down, they also provide guidance on their rules for disclosure and social media promotion. It’s a dry read but contains all the information you need.

Being an Amazon Influencer is just like being a paid influencer anywhere. You need an existing following to be accepted into the fold but once you are, carefully crafted videos and posts can earn you a little cash to keep the lights on.

Are you an Amazon Influencer? Like the idea of influencers selling even more stuff for money? Tell us about your opinion below!

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