Amazon influencer program secrets: Why UGC creators need to get started now!
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“It's just crazy how Amazon has all these little sneaky things that you would never know about.”
When 24-year-old Emma Lorrae started her UGC creator business in May 2022, she knew her passion was to be an entrepreneur and create content for brands.
But it can be scary to start your own business–let alone walk away from a corporate job to run your business full-time.
However, less than a year into her endeavors, Lorrae is already making over $8K per month as a UGC creator and through influencer programs with channels like Amazon. Her earnings keep growing month after month.
It was only in December 2022 that Lorrae decided to check out the Amazon influencer program, writing a tweet that she was going to start taking it seriously:
Not many creators know about this program. Only 6% of third-party Amazon sellers are collaborating with influencers to promote their products on Amazon. Despite that small number, 37% of Amazon’s traffic comes from influencers, which is continuously growing.
So why aren’t more creators and brands jumping on this opportunity? Don’t kid yourself, they’re going to.
It’s already known that ⅓ of brands on Amazon are planning to grow through off-page Amazon marketing tactics (meaning working with influencers and other social media advertising tactics).
We’re already seeing more creators share Amazon storefronts on channels like TikTok, but in 2023, we’ll see product photos, videos, and livestreams directly on their Amazon profiles.
What we’re saying is the Amazon Influencer program feels like a bit of a secret. If you’re a creator looking to expand income streams, you should apply now.
Amazon influencers can make anywhere from a few dollars to over five digits of monthly revenue. Within just one month of working with the program, Lorrae made a few hundred dollars.
So what is this program, and how can you get started? We spoke to Lorrae to hear her tips on mastering Amazon’s Influencer program.
How Lorrae discovered the Amazon Influencer Program
Creating content for these companies is familiar to Lorrae. Aside from creating UGC for brands, she's previously worked with platforms like Pinterest and Amazon. She was already a member of the Amazon Associate program with access to a custom storefront.
Even as a full-time UGC creator (and an Amazon Associate), Lorrae discovered the Amazon Influencer Program simply by shopping on Amazon herself one day:
“I was shopping for this couch cleaner product, and this woman was literally on a livestream right on the product page talking about why she liked it. I was like, ‘this is like super cool to see an actual consumer talking about why they like the product.’ Having that extra layer of human connection where they're just posting the video because they genuinely like the product really does make me want to purchase it.”
Realizing she already had an entire file of content from brands she’s already worked with that she could use on Amazon, Lorrae decided to try her luck and apply to the program.
How the Amazon Influencer Program works
Ever searched a YouTube video for home storage hacks and watched a creator share all their fav storage products from Amazon?
Or what about those “Amazon clothing haul for Spring” videos?
If you know what we're talking about, you've read or watched content from an Amazon Affiliate.
But Amazon influencers, affiliates, and associates are all different terms floating around on the internet, so what does each one stand for?
The affiliate and associate programs are different words for the same thing: creators share referral links to specific Amazon products on various online channels and earn a sales commission. These channels include YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, podcasts, and personal blogs.
However, the Amazon Influencer Program is an extension of the associate program (which you must get accepted into before becoming an influencer).
Amazon influencers get access to additional perks. The main benefit is that influencers can build their storefront on Amazon with a custom URL to showcase the recommended products.
Also, as you create more content, you continue to unlock more perks, such as going live on your Amazon storefront and having those lives get featured on product description pages (more on this later).
The average Amazon commission
The commission percentage changes depending on the products you’re promoting. Here’s a breakdown:
Commission from sale
Luxury Beauty, Luxury Stores Beauty, Amazon Coins
Digital Music, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos
Physical Books, Kitchen, Automotive
Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Amazon Kindle Devices, Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Luxury Stores Fashion, Apparel, Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Fire TV Edition Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices, Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, and Handbags & Accessories
Toys, Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies, Outdoors, Tools, Sports, Baby Products
PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray
Televisions, Digital Video Games
Amazon Fresh, Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles, Grocery, Health & Personal Care
Gift Cards; Wireless Service Plans; Alcoholic Beverages; Digital Kindle Products purchased as a subscription; Food prepared and delivered from a restaurant; Amazon Appstore, Prime Now, or Amazon Pay Places
Don’t let these percentages turn you off. Trust us, there’s a lot of money you can earn from this program.
Even if you only refer one product to a shopper, you will earn a commission based on the customer's entire shopping cart. Yes, you make money from products you didn't directly refer to–as long as both sales are within 24 hours.
For example, let's say you share a video of a $500 television you purchased on Amazon, sharing your link with your followers. If one person decides to buy that television, you earn 2% of that sale ($10).
If 20 people decide to purchase that same T.V from your link, that's $200 in your pocket.
Now, what if one of these shoppers also decides they need a new console table for the television? They find a table for $300, purchase it with the television, and you earn 3% of that sale ($9).
These numbers may seem low initially, but as you continue to create and share content, you'll have a repository of videos, blogs, or social media posts featuring Amazon products you promote across your channels.
Sprinkle in some SEO magic to continue driving views to your older content, and you'll earn a nice bonus across all your posts in no time.
Ways to share Amazon products
There are three main ways Amazon influencers can share products and earn a commission–all of which Lorrae does on her Amazon profile.
- You can build a storefront with a custom URL and share that link with followers.
- You can create videos of products you purchased and upload them to your Amazon profile. Then Amazon will review your videos and use approved ones on some product description pages.
- You can livestream up to 15 products at a time from Amazon’s Live Shoppable Video page. If you’re an influencer, your livestream will also appear on your storefront for your followers to watch later.
There are many creators with custom URLs and storefronts, but the untapped channels for influencers, in Lorrae’s opinion, are creating product videos and going live.
“With storefronts, your goal is to share products and hope people will go to your bio, click on your link, and purchase something through your Amazon storefront. Sometimes people will, and sometimes they screenshot it to purchase later–then you're not getting that commission. So instead of posting videos on a different platform, you can post photos and videos directly on Amazon. There are millions of people who use Amazon every day, so if people click your little video on a landing page and purchase that product, you get a commission.”
According to Lorrae, you must submit at least three videos on the same product for Amazon to review. The review process takes about 30 days. Once you're approved, Amazon will likely feature your videos higher up on a product page, giving you a better chance of earning money.
“A lot of people think that live shopping is the new way of shopping. I wasn’t quite sure about that at first, but it’s pretty fun to be able to sit down, chat, and answer questions from shoppers. It’s a great way to talk about the products and show people why you love them.”
What you need to be accepted to Amazon’s Influencer Program
You need to complete a few checklist items before applying for Amazon's Influencer Program–that is, if you want to increase your chances of being accepted.
Unfortunately, Amazon's rules aren't straightforward about who gets accepted, but the following are Amazon's general guidelines:
- You must have an active website that you own with content published within the last 60 days. Or, you need an active social media account on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, or Twitch with at least 500-1,000 organic followers.
- You should have good engagement in your posts. For example, you're unlikely to be accepted if you have 100,000 followers but only 10 likes per post.
- You need to post content that's relevant to products sold on Amazon.
- You must share original content on your platforms only.
- For the associate's team to check your application, you must drive at least three qualified sales in 180 days.
It's essential to make sure you meet all of these requirements before applying to the program. If you're rejected, the team will not reassess your application again.
If you get accepted, congrats! But your work isn’t done yet. You won’t start earning until you create and share content. And that’s the next step.
Tips for getting started as an Amazon Influencer
The life of a creator is more challenging and glamorous than it may seem. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, strategy, and a passion for crafting content–four traits Lorrae has.
As someone who has mastered the creator lifestyle, we asked Lorrae to share her tips for getting started as an Amazon influencer.
Market yourself and your business
Any entrepreneur will tell you how important it is to set yourself up on at least a few social media channels and create a website.
Lorrae did this early on, establishing herself on TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, her own UGC website, and now Amazon. This step is crucial if you wan to be an Amazon influencer or any other type of UGC creator.
“When I started off as a creator, I hopped on Twitter to establish myself. I created a new email, a completely new Twitter that’s dedicated to UGC, and a TikTok,” she said. “It seemed like people were very interested in following my journey, so I just kept putting myself out there. Then I started working with brands to grow my portfolio. Here I am now. I've worked with 85 different brands, which is crazy.”
What type of content should you create for these channels? Lorrae shares UGC-creating tips, updates about her business, and examples of UGC she’s made for brands.
These posts establish her credibility as a creator, driving more opportunities for her business.
Plus, the more business opportunities Lorrae has, the more content she creates that she can repurpose for the Amazon influencer program (if the brand also happens to sell on Amazon as well).
The lesson here is don’t be shy when talking about your business. Share your successes, learnings, and content creations.
Create a library of content
One of the reasons Lorrae got started with the Amazon influencer program was because she realized one of the brands she was creating content for also sold products on Amazon.
“I’m a very avid Amazon shopper–like I’m sure many people are–and I saw one of my clients was selling on Amazon. I thought, ‘This is so great’ because I already had a folder of videos of their products. I decided to upload those videos to see what would happen, and they were all accepted,” she shared.
While she's learning a lot about filming angles and cover images, Lorrae was thankful she already had a bank of videos to use.
The takeaway? When you create content for one brand or channel, there may be an opportunity to repurpose that content elsewhere–like on Amazon. This can help you get started with the program faster.
As a creator, you can't expect to see immediate results from your content, especially when you're just starting. Patience and practice are equally important if you want to be an Amazon influencer.
According to Lorrae, you have to be consistent: "I feel like people will give it a go, and then they won't see immediate success and give up. But you have to stick with it and be consistent."
When she first started as a creator, she posted three times daily on channels like TikTok. Now that she's a more established creator, she's able to scale this back and post a few times a week.
"Consistency helped me grow and receive inbound leads, which really helps as a creator because then you're not putting out all of your energy into content that doesn't help your business," she said. "You'll be receiving inbounds, which means a brand or a business will come to you and say, 'Hey, I know you're a creator. Can you create some content for me?' That consistency at the beginning allowed me to get to where I am today."
While her main business is creating UGC content for brands to use on their social channels and paid ads, being an Amazon influencer gives Lorrae a bit of side income.
For Amazon specifically, since she's still a newer creator on this channel, she's back to posting consistently and keeping her storefront well updated. She started seeing results just a few months into posting, but she has a lot of experience creating this type of content and is consistent in how often she uploads photos and videos.
For other creators, making commissions may take less time or longer. No matter what, you have to be consistent.
"You also have to understand what videos will perform better than others. You learn that through practice, testing out different styles, and making sure your content is serving the people who will stumble upon it by sharing exactly why they should purchase that product," she said.
Tell a story that shoppers can connect with
Lorrae says there are three main parts to a UGC video:
- The hook
- The benefits and why you personally love the product
- Where the shopper can purchase it
“You have a hook to get the viewer to stop and watch the video. Then you would go into the main body, which consists of benefits, why you love it, and why the product helps consumers. It's about showing that personalized connection. I think that’s really important in these videos to make sure the consumer understands how it’s going to impact them postively.”
Have a love for creating
Feel like skipping out on the 9-5? Being a full-time creator is truly a 9-5+. You need to have a love for creating content if you want to pursue it full-time.
“With an entrepreneurial path, you're definitely working a lot more. That’s why you have to love it. You have to get through those hard weeks where your motivation might not be there, but since it's your own business, you have to find that motivation,” said Lorrae.
That being said, if you love it, being a creator can be a gratifying career in many different ways. Lorrae says she has a lot of flexibility with her schedule and loves working from home.
“I genuinely love creating, and being an influencer is something I’ve always wanted. I worked many different corporate jobs in the past where I wasn’t really happy. Now I get to do something that makes me happy and excites me.”
Recognize and avoid burnout
Creative burnout is real, especially if it’s your job to create all day every day. This is something Lorrae has dealt with in the past.
"Just a few months after I started, I struggled with burnout. And it was only a few months after I started as a UGC creator. I was also struggling with some anxiety, and the mix of the two was not great," she shared.
She realized she couldn't give 100% to her business, so she took a step back to prioritize her health first.
Experiencing burnout and stepping back was when Lorrae learned that as an entrepreneur, there are times when you have to put yourself first over your business–something that's difficult for many business owners to do.
“People on Twitter are like, ‘I never sleep.’ But having experienced that burnout quickly helped me understand that it’s 100% okay to take weekends off. I was under the mindset that I had to work seven days a week,” she said. “Take at least one day off, implement a morning routine, and keep yourself grounded.”
Apply to the program early—before it gets congested
The Amazon affiliate program has been around for a while, but they’re constantly adding new features. It’s an opportunity you should jump on now before more creators find out about the platform.
At this time, being an Amazon influencer and going live is still an untapped space, so you can quickly grow on the platform.
But this won't be the case for long. Like any other creator space (YouTube, TikTok, etc), as more creators flock to the newest and most exciting channels, it'll become harder and harder to grow an audience.
“Just go for it. With with the Amazon influencer program, you have to apply to get in. So apply like as soon as you can because you want to get started with building your storefront and figuring out what products you want to use. And, again, be consistent and don't be disheartened if you're not seeing as much progress or success at the beginning. It may take some time to see that commission start coming in.”