Social media

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 parade and renamed it “Amazon Resort”. The outing was for members of The Amazon 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 a study by the Influencer Marketing Center. 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 lavish meals and spa offerings at Amazon Resort, the host company held a workshop to help creators set up their own Amazon storefronta dedicated page where they can post buyable videos and selections of their favorite products to drive 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 over a million followers on her Youtube and instagram accounts, has turned what was a hobby ten years ago into a full-time gig.

“Now there’s Amazon, which is a way to make 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 biggest source of income. 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 the influencer marketing startup. influential. “These channels that exist on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc. They can drive traffic 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 recounting his 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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