How Amazon is selling influencers on its Prime Day plans
Competition between influencer-focused platforms is fierce, and only getting fiercer. Meredith Silver, director of creator growth at Amazon, explains how the commerce giant is planning to come out on top with influencer marketing.
With platforms such as Instagram limiting the amount of content that can be crossposted between it and its competitors, influencers are being incentivized to prioritize one platform over the others. Some platforms are using a carrot in addition to the stick by catering to influencers’ desires for flexibility in how their content is presented; implementing direct payments to creators; or increasing or freezing the amount of revenue that those influencers share with the platforms.
Silver explains that the Amazon Influencer Program (AIP) is designed to be more amenable to influencers’ desires this year than ever before. “We’ve focused on building out a diversified program where there are many different ways to earn. So, of course, commissionable links are one of those ways that creators can also drive their audience to their storefront – their specific page on Amazon that they’ve curated in a way that represents the products that they really use on a regular basis.”
As Prime Day approaches, what is Amazon’s pitch to influencers? / Adobe Stock
At the same time, the rise of shoppable tools and livestreaming is increasing the extent to which e-commerce informs influencers’ strategies. The industry has reached the point at which audiences can purchase clothes, games and other products in real-time as an influencer features them live. It only makes sense, then, that Amazon’s Prime Day – a landmark in the annual e-commerce calendar – is an opportunity for the company to appeal to the influencers it wants to use to drive its own sales.
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Amazon’s answer is Amazon Live. Silver says it is “a way for creators to talk about products that they love in real-time and engage with audiences through the live chat.” She adds: “It feels like a very personal experience when you’re watching.”
Amazon also has ‘bounties,’ which allow creators to earn a commission when they drive their audiences to sign up for Amazon programs such as Prime. A key differentiator for AIP, as opposed to some of the competitors in the space, is the ‘commission halo effect,’ where creators continue to earn for 24 hours from the time a customer clicks through their associate link to Amazon and makes any qualifying purchases across the site. It is a huge incentive for influencers to drive their viewers to Amazon for affiliate purchases.
Influencers’ new community focus
Given that it is expected that UK consumers alone will spend up to £1.4bn on Prime Day this year, that is a big opportunity for influencers – provided they can make the most of it.
Silver says that in order to get influencers onside, and more importantly increase their efficacy in driving users through to purchase, AIP is focused on educating partners around what is possible on the platform.
She continues: “We rolled out a number of features that are really in direct response to feedback we get from creators – like we have a feature called Mobile GetLink, where you can pull a commission to link right from the product detail page on your app.
“We host webinars, and the webinars are hosted by members of our team, as well as experienced creators sharing their best practices. We also have events. And that is a place where we actually interact with creators in real-time, in person, and they get a chance to interact with each other and build that community. And that’s been really special.”
The natural next step for Amazon in appealing to influencers is to roll AIP out to countries beyond the current eight. It currently implements OneLink, which allows creators to help their international followers find their recommendations on the follower’s local Amazon storefront.
Prime Day is a flashpoint for Amazon’s approach to appealing to influencers. As the industry transitions to a more community-focused approach to influencer marketing, which sees the individual creator as the focal point for an audience that is primed to purchase, the drive to cater to those influencers will only become more pronounced.