Influencer Marketing is expanding and companies are looking for a way in
Amazon recently released its new Influencer marketing platform for Influencers in beta. What this means for Influencers, and the industry as a whole, is pretty exciting.
Last year, Google purchased FameBit, an Influencer marketing platform and The New York Times bought HelloSociety, an agency that specialised in Influencer marketing.
Although these companies are all utilising Influencers in different ways, the fact that they are investing in the industry reflects the fact that Influencer marketing is just not a fad. It’s here to stay. It is changing the face of advertising forever and the best companies know it. Investments like these ensure, even further, the continuing pattern of growth.
With the industry on the path to being worth $5-$10 billion in the next couple of years, however, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking into ways to capitalise on this lucrative market.
A recent study by Bloglovin’ found that 63% of surveyed marketing professionals with Influencer strategies already in place are increasing their budgets this year. 41% of these said they had seen greater success from Influencer campaigns than in traditional advertising methods. Another 32% stated that Influencer campaigns are now an “essential” part of their strategies. (Source)
Certainly, the range of brands that VAMP has worked with on a variety of Influencer marketing campaigns has really developed since the company first started nearly 2 years ago. We now work on service-based campaigns for brands like MasterCard, eBay & Food Panda, to FMCG products with brands like Arnott’s and Unilever, to makeup brands like M.A.C and Estée Lauder as well as luxury fashion brands like Bvlgari & Versace. The diverse range of clients shows just how Influencer marketing can be leveraged to suit many different products/services.
Vamp x MasterCard
Vamp x Bvlgari
Vamp x Arnott’s
Vamp x M.A.C
Amazon Influencer Marketing e-Commerce Program
Earlier this month, Amazon announced that it was getting into the Influencer marketing space with the release of its new Amazon Influencer Program, currently in beta testing.
In a similar model to Amazon Affiliates, the Influencer Program will allow Influencers to receive commission on products sold on Amazon.
Amazon Affiliates allows people to include links and shopping ads to use on people’s websites/blogs and monetise on any sales that they directed to Amazon when their readers click through to purchase the product.
Amazon has likely seen how social media channels like YouTube (30 million visitors a day) and Instagram (700 million monthly active users) are stealing the show with Influencers at the top. Social media Influencers are provided with a unique vanity URL on Amazon’s domain which they might include in their bio (Instagram) or in their comments section (YouTube). When they feature a product on their social media channel their followers can easily find that very product on the Influencer’s Amazon page and purchase it. Clicking through to the unique URL you are directed to a page which features suggested products, pricing and descriptions.
Influencers will be able to easily capitalise on their hard work and can sell a range of products that they align with. It means that they can also more easily monetise on their organic product recommendations that they might not be collaborating directly with a brand on.
Brands haven’t yet figured out the best ways to work through Amazon to leverage Influencer’s product recommendations, however the interest in e-Commerce elements to Influencer marketing campaigns is definitely increasing so this could change as companies like Amazon and Google set up marketplaces for Influencers.
Currently designed solely for “social media Influencers with large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content”, Amazon Influencers must submit an application to be considered for inclusion in this new program. Amazon is calling out to all social media Influencers with an established following and frequent shoppable content to apply to become part of its exclusive invite only platform.
Amazon might be missing a trick here in terms of who they invite onto the platform. At VAMP we know that often the “power-middle” Influencers are just as, if not more, compelling to their followers as “lead” or “celebrity” Influencers. Even if their following is not “large” by Amazon’s definition, they might have a more engaged audience, or better content. They might be better placed to drive sales.
Although Amazon considers other metrics, like engagement rate, content quality and relevancy for Amazon, they will likely have to open up their inclusions of social media Influencers to not just those with large followings and a high frequency of posts. Time and time again VAMP has seen that prioritising high quality content and an engaged audience across a wider selection of Influencers who collectively hit a large reach hands down results in better success than a large following alone.
It seems that Amazon is aware that this is the way the industry is going as they acknowledged that there is no set “cut-off” in terms of number of followers to allow an Influencer into the program. They stated that Influencers across “all tiers and categories” will be included.