Building a blog, social media following and/or podcast can be an effective way to promote your Amazon products. But, it takes a long time to build a following using any of these channels. It may be much more effective to partner up with existing blogs / social media influencers & podcasters to promote your products. This post details how to go about creating partnerships with influencers to build your Amazon business.
What is Influencer marketing?
To answer this question, it first makes sense to explain what an influencer is.
An influencer does not have to be someone with a huge following. More important than the size of their following, is how influential they are.
Let’s suppose the following. Mary has 100K Instagram followers. And when she posts about a product deal, 0.5% of her followers buy the product. Jane has less followers- 10K. But when she posts about a product deal, 10% of her followers buy the product.
Who has more influence? Jane. She has 1/10 of Mary’s followers, but her posts result in twice the number of sales.
What makes an influencer influential?
There’s a lot of things that go into it. If it was simple, everyone would be influential. But we can boil it down to a few things:
Wide Reach: The wider the audience, the more potential for wider influence. Obviously, as our example above shows, this is not the only factor.
Credibility in a specific domain/niche expertise: People trust them about a certain topic. For instance, a chef has a lot of credibilities when discussing food and kitchen appliances. Not so much credibility when discussing skateboarding. Influencers discuss things related to their domain of expertise.
Charisma/salesmanship: Influencers have likable personalities. And they know how to motivate people to take action. They have a strong point of view. And their communication styles tend to move people toward adopting their point of view (on the topic of interest, at least).
You can choose to become an expert in your niche and build an audience to influence people to buy your Amazon products. Or you can partner up with influencers who already have an audience – bloggers, podcasters, social media stars, etc.
Amazon Influencer Marketing: Partner Criteria
What makes an influencer a good partner for Amazon sellers?
In order of importance:
- Their audience is your target market
- Their audience is engaged
- Their audience is large
How can you go about finding these influencers and creating partnerships with them?
Finding Partners for Amazon Influencer Marketing
Chances are, there are already influencers in your niche. Popular blogs, Youtube channels and Instagram accounts that publish material relevant to your products. You can recruit them to help promote your Amazon business. Build a relationship with people who have existing relationships with your target market.
First, you’ll want to make a list of relevant blogs, Youtube channels, Instagram accounts, podcasts, and/or whatever other channels you’d like to partner up with. *Many influencers are active across all these channels – as different forms of content are better suited to different channels*
You likely already know a few good blogs in your product space off the top of your head. Jot them down.
If you know of any affiliate sites in your niche definitely include these. [Affiliate sites are websites which earn revenue through Amazon affiliates. When people click on a product link from the affiliate site & then buy, the affiliate earns a small commission]. When it comes time to pitch them, ask them to include your products.
Then, Google “[your niche] blogs.” Check out the blogs and see if you could realistically see the readers being excited about your products. If so, include them in the list.
If you sell a range of baby products. Google “baby blogs.”
You can continue to navigate through the Google results pages to find more blogs.
You can modify your search using related terms.
Sometimes, you don’t want to search for your specific product itself. Rather, think about who your target customer is and where on the web you can find them.
For instance, if you’re selling pre-workout supplements, you can search for “supplement blogs.” But it’s more likely that your target market spends more time on “bodybuilding blogs” or “crossfit blogs.” And they probably follow some expert bodybuilders or the CrossFit Games champion.
And you can also use a site like Ahrefs.com to find similar blogs.
- Go to Ahrefs.com & Sign-up for their free trial
- Go to the Site Explorer tool and enter one of the blogs in your list and hit the search button
- On the left-hand side under “Organic search” click on ‘Competing domains.’
- The list of competing domains will include other blogs in the same space as that parent blog you entered.
Competitor’s Referring Domains
Another way to use Ahrefs to find blogs that you could partner with is to enter the website of a popular e-commerce store in your space. Then under ‘Backlink profile’ click on ‘Referring domains.” This will give you a list of websites which drive traffic to your ecommerce competitor’s store.
I searched “oil diffuser” on Amazon.com and ‘Amazon’s Choice’ was a product from the brand URPOWER. I searched urpower on Google and found the website urpower.com, which I then put in ahrefs.com.
These websites have already shown willingness to drive traffic to one e-commerce store. That makes it more likely that they will be willing to work with you. *Of course, they may have an exclusive deal with your competitors. Or they might just not want any more partners. Regardless, it’s a good way to filter your search.
Blogs that have ‘Advertising’ or ‘Partnership’ sections on their website may also be easier to partner with. These sections indicate they have a precedent of working with other brands and maybe even have systems in place to make the process smooth.
Two out of three of the blogs that our supplement brand created partnerships with had these sections on their site.
Youtube, Instagram & Other Channels for Amazon Influencer Marketing
Using the search functions of other channels can also help you find potential influencer partners. Youtube and Instagram can help you find social media personalities to partner with. Instagram even allows you to search for specific #hashtags related to your niche, so you can find influencers who use those hashtags.
For Pinterest, think about a topic related to your niche and search for it on Pinterest. Pinterest is great for visual content (infographics, recipes displaying found, workout drawings, etc). And Pinterest is known to be very well monetized.
What is the Amazon Influencer Program
Amazon has its own program, in which social media personalities promote Amazon products to their audiences.
The Amazon Influencer Program gives qualifying influencers their own Amazon.com URL to showcase products that they recommend to their social media audiences.
To qualify, these influencers need a Youtube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account(s) that
- have a large following
- have an engaged following
- post content that is relevant for Amazon shoppers
The Amazon Influencer Program is an extension to the Amazon Associates program.
Reaching Out to Influencers For Amazon Sellers
Before reaching out to your list of potential partners, you’ll need 2 things.
- Collect contact info
- Create an offer
Collecting Influencer Contact Info
Your goal is to find the contact info of the decision-maker, whether that’s the owner of the blog or the partnerships/advertising director.
This may be as easy as going to the Contact page on the blog site & finding the email list of the blogger.
Other sites might not list any email or just a contact form.
I use a tool called Clearbit Connect to find emails- it’s free and pretty darn effective
- Download the Clearbit extension into Gmail
- Once it’s installed, go to Gmail, click on the Clearbit icon and then choose ‘Find Emails’
- Then simply enter the domain of the blog you want contact info for
- Click on the correct one, and a list of contact info will pop-up.
Not all websites will have contact info in Clearbit. There are other tools & methods for finding contact info.
- ContactOut is one tool to find contact info (emails & phone numbers)
- Voila Norbert is another great tool for finding emails of key decision makers
- You could also look up the company/blogger on Linkedin and send a message.
- Or you can just fill out the contact form / use a generic email provided on the blog Contact page.
Creating an Offer for Amazon Influencer Marketing
The key here is a win-win-win partnership. When reaching out to your potential partners, make sure to communicate that you have their interests in mind. You want to make the blogger happy as well as their readers.
Options for offers:
- You write a guest blog post & offer an exclusive discount to readers. To execute this you’ll need to create a landing page specifically for the blog readers on which you can collect emails and explain the offer in detail.
- Ad spot on their website
- Free product in exchange for a social media review post
If you’re going to offer discounts, it’s best to run a promotion with a landing page like LandingCube. This way the influencers can send their audience to a specific location. And on that location, you can offer discount codes on your Amazon products in exchange for emails. The customer gets a great discount. And you get a sale, boost in Amazon rankings, and an email for staying in contact with the customer.
If you can’t afford / would rather not give away discounts, you have more options. Direct people straight to your Amazon listing. Or use a landing page without coupon codes. Both of these options have benefits and drawbacks.
Sending traffic straight to your listing provides SEO benefits. If influencers link right to your Amazon detail page, your listing will get a boost in Google’s search. However, the traffic is less likely to convert (than traffic from inside Amazon). So your conversion rate may suffer, and your rankings in Amazon’s search engine will suffer as a result.
Using a landing page without providing coupon codes serves to filter the traffic. Those who do end up reaching your listing, after providing emails, will be more likely to buy. So conversion rate will likely increase, which has positive effects on Amazon search rankings.
Either way, you want to carefully craft the influencer messaging. This will help ensure a strong conversion rate. you can improve conversion rate. It’s very important to manage people’s expectations. Let them know what they will be getting. That way if someone clicks on the link, they won’t be disappointed and turn away.
Try to think about what the blog & its readers want. When crafting your email, the focus of the message should be on the value that you will provide the blog & it’s readers.
Keep the subject line under 70 characters and make it clear you want to provide value
- Let’s partner up and give your readers great discounts!
- Partnership idea: Free makeup in exchange for a review
- I want to educate your followers and pay you for it!
You can also experiment with using curiosity (instead of clearly communicating the value) in your subject line.
- Your audience will really like this…
Curiosity and value have been shown to be the two elements of email subject lines that increase open rates. Although value is more important. Especially for busy people. So communicating value in your is the safer bet.
In the body of the email, keep it as short as possible while communicating the necessary information. Introduce yourself & mention one thing you like about the blog / why you are interested in partnering up with them. Then get right to your offer.
- Do you want to write a guest post on their site & offer their readers exclusive discounts?
- Do you want to advertise on their website?
- Are you willing to give them a free product in exchange for a review post?
Make a clear & valuable offer. And make it as easy as possible for the potential partner to respond.
- Including multiple options and asking them to choose one could increase their chances of replying.
- If you want to set up a call, include a link for them to select a time (I use calendly.com).
Minimize the friction for them and your partnership will already be off to a great start. The bigger the blog, the busier the contact, the more important it is to reduce friction in your emails.
Sample Email To Influencer
Subject: I want to educate your followers and pay you for it!
Body: Hi Mr/Mrs Influencer,
I’ve been following your channel for a couple of years. You have an infectiously positive outlook and provide great value about [your niche].
I’m reaching out about a partnership that will benefit you and your audience. We sell a line of products that your audience would really like. And I’m willing to pay you to promote us.
[Unique selling point/brand story…keep it brief].
I wrote a unique blog post about the components and process that makes our products unique. Would you publish it on your site?
Here are some options for the promotion:
- Blog post about our brand
- Instagram post about a product
- Youtube video review
We’d be happy to do all three (and are open to your suggestions). Are you interested in working with us?
As I understand you don’t promote products that you haven’t tried yourself [read the site to find out if they have any partnership/promotion rules], I’d love to ship some free product to you. What address should I send it to?
All the best,
P.s. if you’d like to hop on a call to discuss this partnership, click this link to schedule a time with me…https://calendly.com/thomas
You may or may not get a response. If you don’t hear back within a week, send a quick follow-up. Something along the lines of (Hey, I’m following up to see if you received my last email. Are you interested in working together?)
Emails find a way to get lost. Especially for busy people. They may have glanced at your email and planned to respond later, never getting around to it. Oftentimes, it takes several touch-points for busy people to finally respond to you.
Making an Amazon influencer deal
When you do get an affirmative response, then it’s all about striking a deal that works in the interest of all parties. Negotiations are beyond the scope of this post. But make sure that the deal helps you meet your business goals.
You may want to run a promotion to the influencer’s audience. For this, you’ll give the influencer a link to share on their social channels, which leads to a landing page for your offer.
Or, with bloggers, you may negotiate a placement on a “Best Of” roundup post. For example, if your company sells Jiu Jitsu rash guards, you can contact content sites and offer something if they mention your product (such as this site does, in their post about BJJ rash guards). You may want to set up a landing page or tracking link to see how many clicks come from their site, or a simpler option, offer them a free product in exchange for a placement (this will work for a lot of bloggers).
You can use AHrefs again to analyze the traffic of the partner site. All else being equal, the more traffic the better. But all else is never equal. Ensure that the traffic is relevant. That is, the more likely that readers on the site will buy your products the better the traffic.
For Instagram, you can look at the number of followers, along with the type of engagement (likes & comments) an influencer gets. It helps if the influencer promotes other products, but too much promotion can drown out the impact.
Similarly, on Youtube, you can analyze an influencer based on the number of subscribers, video views, upvotes/downvotes, and the quantity and quality of comments.
Tools for Influencers
How about if you’re on the other side of the coin? If you’re an influencer, it makes a lot of sense to work with Amazon (or any other ecommerce) businesses, in order to start monetizing your audience.
Instead of waiting for businesses to reach out, you may want to take the lead and offer up a partnership. A lot of online sellers simply aren’t aware of what influencer marketing can offer them, or they’re struggling to find the time to research the market and reach out to influencers.
If you’re an influencer and want to start working with businesses to make money, it’s important to build your audience first. No one’s going to pay you for sponsored posts if you don’t have a large and engaged following to show off.
Make sure you can produce content first, that appeals to both your audience and potential partners. Once you’re confident this is in place, you can start reaching out. Search for best-selling products in your niche, and offer a partnership to the sellers of these products.
Here are some useful tools to start building partnerships and putting out promotion content on your social channels:
- Instasize (photo & video editing app)
- Buffer (social media scheduling tool)
- Amazon influencer program (connect with and promote Amazon stores/products)
- Linktr.ee (manage links to your social media accounts, recommended products, etc)
- Transferwise (receive payments from partners online)
Influencer Marketing For Amazon Sellers: In Summary
In this post, we discussed the basics of Amazon influencer marketing.
We discussed what makes a good influencer. The most important factor is relevance. Is their audience your target market? Next, is the level of engagement and the size of the audience. And, ideally, the influencer is active across multiple channels.
And you want to craft an offer that benefits all parties. The influencer, the audience and your business. You can even use the sample email included in to get your first Amazon influencer marketing campaign started.
Now, you should have a basic idea of how to create partnerships with influencers to promote Amazon products.
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