There’s a fresh new face in the world of influencer marketing — Amazon. Influencers who are accepted into the Amazon Influencer Program will be able to access certain exclusive marketing features that can potentially lead to a new stream of revenue. Continue on to learn how to get accepted into the program and how to make the most of it once you get access.
Like Amazon Associates, Just Better
Amazon Associates is an existing affiliate marketing monetization program that has been offered by Amazon for quite some time. It works like this:
- You apply to the program.
- Once accepted, you can generate a unique URL tag to add at the end of any Amazon URL. For example, your URL tag might be “weloveizea-20.”
- To link to an Amazon product, the URL would look like this: “amazon.com/product/?tag=weloveizea-20”
- If a visitor clicks through to Amazon via your special URL and makes a purchase within 24 hours, you earn a commission.
Commission rates range from one to 10 percent. Most categories of products result in a four percent commission.
Although these commission rates may seem extraordinarily low, especially compared to direct affiliate programs, a few important things should be noted:
- It’s Amazon. Buyers have no hesitation making purchases on Amazon, which means conversion rates are usually significantly higher than they are on other e-commerce platforms.
- It’s seamless. For example, if you talk about a product in your latest YouTube video, adding a link to the product (with your special tag) to the description of the video is a piece of cake. Almost every product is available on Amazon.
- You get paid for everything the visitor buys. For example, if you link to a $1 product, but the visitor ends up spending $100, you earn commission on the entire $100 purchase.
In fact, you don’t even have to sell the product you’re promoting to earn a commission. If a visitor clicks through to Amazon, then makes a purchase within 24 hours, you almost always get a commission. The only way you don’t receive a commission is if:
- More than 24 hours go by before the visitor makes a purchase
- A different affiliate generates a click to Amazon and overwrites your affiliate tracking cookie in the visitor’s browser
Overall, Amazon Associates is an excellent source of revenue for influencers of all sizes, especially considering the platform is generally seen as one of the easier affiliate programs to get accepted into.
Just one problem: It’s a little clunky.
Imagine you want to promote 10 separate products to your audience at once. Your only option is to create 10 separate special URLs and include all of them somewhere in your content. Amazon URLs aren’t easy to type out manually, which means you need to include them somewhere in the description of your content specifically.
Are you really going to add 10 separate links into the description of an Instagram post? That’s ugly. What about Twitter, where you’re strictly limited in the number of URLs you can post at once?
The Amazon Influencer Program aims to solve this problem of clunkiness. Once you’re accepted, you can create a custom page with your own custom (vanity) Amazon URL that includes lists of products, separated into categories.
Here’s what a sample page looks like:
Amazon Influencer Program Requirements
Most affiliate programs utilize manual human reviews when approving accounts. The Amazon Influencer Program is a little different. You can apply through your YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook accounts, and the approval time varies:
- YouTube: Real-time approval
- Twitter: Real-time approval
- Facebook: May take up to five days
- Instagram: May take up to five days
As you can see, it’s possible to get approved immediately if your metrics on certain social platforms are good enough.
What metrics are required? As of now, Amazon does not provide clear guidelines on what’s required. And whatever guidelines it may be using today will likely change in the future as the program expands in size and scope.
However, it’s safe to say that a decent number of genuine followers and plenty of interaction on the content you post are probably prerequisites for acceptance.
If you fail to get accepted into the Amazon Influencer Program, remember you can always apply to Amazon Associates directly in order to get your feet wet.
Who should take advantage of the Amazon Influencer Program? In our opinion, all influencers should, assuming you’re able to get accepted into the program. There are two primary uses that we foresee taking hold.
First, if you’re a lifestyle influencer or brand ambassador, you can create general categories of relevant products you use in your day-to-day routine. From there, simply include the link to your page wherever relevant — for example, your Instagram bio is a good place to start. Remember, as long as someone clicks your link, it doesn’t matter if they buy the products you’re promoting or not. As long as they buy something within 24 hours and your tracking cookie doesn’t get overwritten by another member of Amazon Associates, you get paid.
Next, the program can also be used for more direct promotion of different categories of products. Amazon Associates actually used to have a similar feature called aStore, which was shut down in 2017. Now, it’s back — you can create categories of products on your Amazon Influencer Program page, which functions in roughly the same way.
For example, if you make a YouTube video about the 10 best gaming chairs of 2021, you can simply link to a category page that contains all of those products — rather than jamming all 10 URLs into the description like a neanderthal — and potentially drowning your viewers in a sea of blue hyperlinks.
The Drawback: Slow Payments (NET 90)
Amazon Associates has always had one major drawback: Its lengthy payment terms. Specifically, it offers NET 90 payment terms.
Imagine it’s January. You generate $1,000 in commissions between January 1st and January 31st. At the end of January, you need to wait an agonizing 90 days before the January commissions arrive in your bank account.
In other words, you’re going to wait for a while to get paid if you choose to use the Amazon Influencer Program. That being said, it’s still well worth it for the vast majority of influencers — the power of harnessing Amazon’s massive customer base simply cannot be ignored, even if you’re waiting a little longer for your funds than you would with other platforms. For example, YouTube pays out via Adsense around the 21st of every month.
The Amazon Influencer Program doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Amazon certainly isn’t getting into the social media game directly — not yet, at least.
Rather, the program is simply an upgrade to a different program that already worked well for influencers, Amazon Associates.
Consider applying to the Amazon Influencer Program, and get started building your custom page and categories of products.
Looking for more ways to generate revenue as an influencer? Consider signing up to IZEA’s Influencer Platform today.