Amazon’s influencer program attracts social media stars


Sivan Ayla, a social media creator, conducted a workshop on Amazon’s influencer program during a recent paid jaunt to Mexico.

Amazon Influencer Program

For three days in May, more than a dozen Instagram, YouTube and TikTok stars gathered in the coastal town of Todos Santos, Mexico, where they were treated to sunset dinners and sessions of spa.

It’s the type of luxurious weekend that internet influencers have come to expect from the growing number of companies trying to capitalize on their fame online. But the event on the Pacific coast of Mexico was not organized by one of the social media powerhouses. It was hosted by Amazon.

The online retail giant has taken over the opulent Paradero and rebranded it as “Amazon Resort”. The release was aimed at members of Amazon’s influencer program, which launched five years ago and allows creators to earn money by recommending the company’s products on their social media accounts. Amazon held events earlier this year in New York and Los Angeles.

Amazon is getting into the influencer marketing industry, which has grown from a market of around $1.7 billion in 2016 to around $13.8 billion in 2021, according to research by Influencer Marketing Hub. It is expected to hit $16.4 billion this year, reflecting the amount of money companies are spending on the increasingly popular marketing channel.

Influencers are seen as key like-makers, who can help companies open up access to a specific audience, and they often have rabid and engaged fanbases. Many social media stars are now commanding lucrative endorsement deals with big brands.

They are also tasted, dined and otherwise pampered.

In addition to Amazon Resort’s lavish dining and spa offerings, the host company held a workshop to help creators create their own Amazon storefront, a dedicated page where they can post shoppable videos and selections of their favorite products. to generate purchases and earn commissions. .

Attendees could also stroll through a curated pop-up shop of “internet famous” items for sale on Amazon, visit the “Kindle Beach Oasis” and hang out at a Prime Video movie night.

Amazon Influencer Program

Attendees could also stroll through a curated pop-up shop of “internet famous” items for sale on Amazon, visit the “Kindle Beach Oasis” and hang out at a Prime Video movie night.

Raye Boyce was one of the participants. She has been part of Amazon’s influencer program for nearly a year and said she joined the program after regularly hosting makeup tutorials on Amazon Live, the company’s live streaming service, which gave her provided additional income.

Boyce, who has more than a million subscribers on his YouTube and Instagram accounts, has turned what was a hobby a decade ago into a full-time gig.

“Now there’s Amazon, which is a way to earn commissions on products that you would normally buy on your own,” Boyce said. “You can make money from this on top of your brand offerings, YouTube and TikTok and everything else.”

Amazon isn’t the first company to send social media influencers on lavish excursions. In recent years, as social media creators have proven their worth, brands are inviting them on paid getaways, usually to promote their latest products and post content that can go viral and persuade other influencers to join in the fun. Party.

For Amazon, influencers serve as unofficial marketers of its online store, the company’s biggest source of revenue. Influencers must apply to join the program, and Amazon considers metrics such as the number of followers they have before admitting them.

“Creators today are truly decentralized media companies,” said Ryan Detert, CEO of influencer marketing startup Influential. “Those channels that exist on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc. They can drive traffic to where they want their audience to go.”

Cocktails, cabanas and surf lessons

Amazon pays influencers a commission each time a customer purchases an item they have recommended. Payouts vary by product type, but influencers earn the most if they promote Amazon Games titles and luxury beauty items, which earn commissions of 20% and 10%, respectively.

Influencers were not required to post content while at the event in Mexico, Amazon said. But many of them did, including designer Kirsten Titus, who posted a vlog on YouTube chronicling her experience.

“They have a whole setup here,” Titus said in the video, as she walked to a beach where free cocktails were available as well as access to cabins and surf lessons on branded boards. Amazon Resort.

Meredith Silver, director of creative growth at Amazon, told CNBC that the events “facilitate a sense of community among our creators, to educate and inspire them, and to thank them for being part of our program.”

Gracey Ryback is a frequent Amazon Live streamer and has been part of Amazon’s influencer program for two years. She said her monthly earnings from the program were “low five figures.”

Ryback said she started out on TikTok, posting under the username “DealCheats.” Most of his videos were shopping oriented and helped users find “dupes” or cheap counterfeit products they could buy on Amazon.

“I started becoming TikTok’s personal shopper,” Ryback said.

As her audience grew, Ryback realized she needed to branch out to other platforms. She joined Amazon’s influencer program and started hosting live streams five days a week that last an hour or two each.

During a recent stream, Ryback promoted products such as a counterfeit Apple Watch, a face mask LED light, and a Shiatsu foot massager. Each stream takes hours to prepare, and Amazon has a long list of guidelines for creators to follow.

“It’s quite a production,” Ryback said. “Usually afterwards I sweat, and my house looks like a warehouse because I have all these products scattered around.”

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