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Two social media heavyweights show us inside Amazon’s Influencer Program
The Deal Guy and What's Up Moms, original participants in the program, are pleased with early returns.
Earlier this year, Amazon rolled out a beta program aimed at social media influencers with high follower numbers and frequent social posts that include shoppable content.
Influencers accepted into the program are given an Amazon vanity URL where they can curate their own list of recommended products sold on Amazon, and in turn earn a commission when anyone buys a product from their page.
Amazon hasn’t released a whole lot of information around the program beyond the enrollment page on its site, but we found two social media influencers who have been part of the program since its inception: Matt Granite, the force behind The Deal Guy, and Liane Mullin, COO of What’s Up Moms.
In interviews conducted over email, Granite and Mullin share more about the program and what their experience has been so far as an Amazon Influencer.
The Deal Guy founder Matt Granite
Granite’s The Deal Guy YouTube channel offers daily deals across a wide variety of categories. Subscribers are given daily tips on deals for tech products and lifestyle products, as well as discount codes and printable coupons. In addition to his YouTube channel, followers can sign up for Granite’s daily email newsletter or follow The Deal Guy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
“I have just shy of [a] half-million followers across all of my social media pages,” says Granite, “I get the most engagement on YouTube, and that is the most important platform to me.”
Granite says the Amazon Influencer program was brought to his attention by his digital company.
“I learned about the program through Studio 71, the digital company that manages me, and they reached out to Amazon. Conversations took place over a couple of months, but the actual page did not take a lot of work to put together.”
According to Granite, it happened quickly. He says Amazon was very supportive during the process of setting up the store before it went live on March 24 and that he now receives weekly updates on the page’s performance.
“I could easily receive daily updates if I wanted,” says Granite.
Granite says there’s no limit to the number of products he can list on the page — currently, The Deal Amazon Store has 55 products, mostly tech-oriented.
Granite confirmed that he doesn’t coordinate with any of the brands listed on the page. “I don’t work with brands directly, and instead hunt down the items that appeal to me, or ones that have resonated with subscribers on my Deal Guy YouTube channel in the past.”
Granite says he uses his own personal data to determine which products he recommends, “I have decades of data that document sales trends, what people buy, and what type of people buy certain products.”
While Granite didn’t share Amazon’s commission structure for its Influencer program, he did say it was very similar to Amazon’s Affiliate Program. When asked how the program is benefiting his overall business strategy, Granite says he’s hugely excited about the potential of Amazon’s Influencer program.
“Right now, I perceive the page as nothing but a huge honor and place for my loyal subscribers and fans to more easily find the products I love,” says Granite, “In turn, I also hope the visitors that find my Deal Guy page will subscribe to my YouTube channel so they can watch me unbox and review the Amazon products I recommend.”
What’s Up Moms COO Liane Mullin
As COO for WhatsUpMoms — a parenting network that credits itself with being the No. 1 parenting channel on YouTube — Liane Mullin says Amazon contacted her company about the program.
“Amazon reached out to us, explaining how we were an ideal candidate for the program based on our social following and high community engagement,” says Mullin, “In just a few weeks we were able to set up the store, add our first products, and have the shop go live.”
According to Mullin, the What’s Up Moms YouTube channel generates 30 million views per month, and the company has more than 2 million followers across its social platforms, with 1.6 million YouTube subscribers, 370,000 on Facebook, 105,000 on Instagram, 15,000 on Twitter and 16,000 on Pinterest.
What’s Up Moms launched its Amazon Store on March 29, and, like Granite, Mullin says Amazon was a great partner when it came to setting up the store.
“They [Amazon] were very collaborative as we discussed potential changes on the first iteration of the store, and moved very quickly to get everything set up for us in time for the launch.”
At the rollout of the page, Mullin said Amazon recommended that the What’s Up Moms list at least 15 to 20 products. The page now has more than 90 items listed. Mullin says products are based on the things they love and products featured in the brand’s weekly videos.
“Everything in our store is strictly chosen editorially from the team at What’s Up Moms,” says Mullin, “Amazon does not require or influence us to select certain products.”
Mullin also did not share details around the commission structure for the products purchased on the page, but she did say it varies depending on the product category.
Because the program is new, Mullin says her team is still introducing it to their community. They list links to their Amazon store in their YouTube connections to drive traffic to the page and have included call-outs to the page in some videos, like this one:
“Our community has always asked for our product recommendations, but we didn’t really have a great solution to aggregate all of our favorite products,” says Mullin, “Amazon is a trusted site for a lot of parents, so it was an easy decision to partner with them for our first online store.”
As far as how the program will continue to grow, Mullin says she would love to see functionality of the store pages evolve over time — offering influencers the ability to categorize their recommended products around content topics.