Amazon is looking to cash in on the influencer craze with a new “invitation-only” program.
The e-commerce giant quietly launched a beta version of its “Amazon Influencer Program” late last week, which is aimed at “social media influencers with large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content” who could benefit from having such content for sale in a single location, according to its web site.
In order to be sure that those in the program are influential enough, Amazon is requiring social media darlings interested in joining to complete an application that links to any social media accounts.
If approved, the influencers will be given a unique vanity URL on Amazon where they can list any products they promote, essentially creating their own shop within the site and earn an unspecified fee on any sales.
Amazon noted on its site that there is no specific number of followers an applicant needs to have to be chosen for the program.
“As we evaluate requests for invitation to the Amazon Influencer Program, we look at various factors including but not limited to number of followers on various social media platforms, engagement on posts, quality of content and level of relevancy for Amazon.com,” the company says on its site.
An Amazon representative could not be reached for comment.
The e-tailer’s step into influencer territory comes at a time when many brands are coming to view influencer campaigns, often starring those with social media followings in the millions, as an essential part of their marketing strategy, but not all brands are aiming just for those with mega followings.
Origins, for example, recently launched a campaign with nine women from various backgrounds with followers in the 100,000 or less range, citing a “fatigue” with campaigns featuring mega-influencers.
While it remains to be seen what will come of Amazon’s burgeoning influencer relationship, the company is moving ahead with its push into fashion with several private-label launches, including apparel, shoes and personal care, and has also been opening up physical retail locations.
Meanwhile, the company is set to continue expanding abroad with its recently announced acquisition of Souq.com, the largest e-commerce site in the Middle East, which drove Amazon’s stock to an all-time high.
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