Amazon Live – Influencer Video Made Easy
More than ever, video is how eCommerce is done – and for good reason! Video conveys information and emotion in an engaging way and it’s easy to integrate it into all types of content from item listings to ads. "Amazon Live" adds a new way but is it right for your brand?
Live is an attempt to make it easier for brands to use influencer marketing to drive eCommerce sales. It is fully integrated into the shopping platform making it almost “plug and play.”
What is Amazon Live?
First launched in early 2016, Amazon Live is an attempt take on historically television-based home shopping like QVC. Amazon created Live as a real-time streaming service where brands could talk about their latest and greatest products with the support of influencers. Livestreams appear in the Amazon app and at Amazon.com/Live
The platform is available for free to US sellers who are in Amazon’s Brand Registry however there is a minimum $35k investment to participate in Amazon-produced shows (Amazon-developed programming on Prime Day, for example). Brands may also pay influencers for their support - this is negotiated between the brand and influencer.
Initially, Live didn't quite get the attention or traction it had hoped for and was put on the back burner roughly a year after its initial release. With brands’ increased focus on video, Amazon Live came back to life in early 2019 and is now becoming a reliable traffic source for top and mid-funnel marketing. Amazon is now focused on evolving the platform including tighter integration to social media efforts.
Engaging Through Established Influencers:
Brands can create their own content or use established influencers. Although engaging shoppers on Live through influencers can cost more, the benefits are clear. The influencer knows how to create engaging content (it's what they do) and they bring their own audience. Without an influencer, you'll either need to pay for your own traffic or bet on organic reach.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all standard when it comes to brands and their influencer partnerships. In addition to what the brand pays, influencers will also earn on generated purchases if they are Amazon affiliates (which is likely). Here, as reference, are affiliate commissions by category:
Because of the commission, the fees that influencers charge brands are reasonable - typically a good event can be had for 4 or "low 5" figures. Cost will increase depending on the audience the influencer brings with them.
As a business owner, brand manager, or CMO, consider asking yourself a few qualifying questions before deciding on what “size” and type influencer is right for your brand:
- What audience are you seeking to engage?
- Which Amazon Live influencers appear to be winning with this audience?
- Is there a minimum reach required for the program?
- Does the influencer need to have deep category expertise?
- Will you be engaging shoppers "off platform" (Facebook, YouTube, etc.)?
Amazon incentivizes influencers in the program with a tiered approach, as can be seen below. The more time spent on the platform influencing consumers to buy, the more exposure Influencers get on the platform as they unlock new tiers.
Tier 1: Rising Star
- Can stream with Creator App
- Can share links to livestreams and make commission
- Amazon followers can receive notifications on when influencer goes live
- Livestreams automatically show up on the Amazon Live site and on influencer storefront
Tier 2: Insider
- All Rising Star benefits
- Product detail pages of the products shown in livestream
- Top of page placement on the Amazon Live site
- Can achieve Insider status by streaming for at least 90 minutes in 30 days.
Tier 3: A-List
- All Rising Star and Insider benefits
- Exclusive opportunities to Amazon Live events.
- Access to customer support from the Amazon Live Creator team.
- Livestreams are eligible to appear on:
- All Rising Star and Insider placements.
- The Amazon.com home page.
Using the App:
To create their own content and view performance analytics, creators and sellers have to download the Amazon Live Creator App which is currently only available for iOS. After downloading the app, it's easy to get started!
1. Sign into your Seller, Vendor or Influencer Program account
2. Choose Your Brand
3. Link To Your Seller Account
4. Opt-In or Out of Notifications
5. Boom! You’re In!
Best Practices for Using Amazon Live:
- Always deliver high production quality. You want to make sure the set is well lit, your audio is crisp and your streaming video is clear with no internet or streaming issues. If you're working with an influencer, make sure you talk through the location before the event.
- Make it interactive. Ask the audience to leave questions in chat. This allows for increased engagement and to go in-depth on features and details of your products. This is particularly helpful for high-involvement purchases.
- Amazon Live promotes “social engagement” so encourage your viewers to “Follow” your brand. All followers will be notified of future live streams and deals on products.
- Give a live demo of your product(s), show what makes your product unique, don’t just tell viewers about it
- Drive urgency. You can do this by supporting your events with time-limited promotions or special bundles.
It's Time to Get Live:
Amazon's made Live a low-risk proposition - other than potential influencer / micro-influencer investments, you can get started quickly and at marginal cost. Our clients have seen strong sales success from the program, especially when used in conjunction with launches and promotions.
Ready to discuss how Amazon Live might fit into your marketing efforts? We’d love to talk. Schedule your free consultation today!