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The phrase “innovate or die” is one way to describe the life of any ecommerce brand right now. We are seeing many get creative by deploying user-generated content for digital ads. Influencer marketing is a staple in marketing budgets, and live streaming is a big part of content strategies. This is why Amazon Live and its new influencer program presents an intriguing opportunity for brands and influencer entrepreneurs to “innovate.”
You already know the usual suspects for live-streaming platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. But is Amazon Live worth exploring? Here’s why you should try it today, along with some guidance how to start your own Amazon Live stream.
Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
What is Amazon Live?
Imagine the infomercials on QVC, except instead of being on TV, you’re showcasing your products on Amazon.com, the world’s largest retailer. For a more literal explanation, Amazon Live is a live-streaming feature for Amazon sellers and influencers to promote products and drive sales through live video. The tool became available in 2019, and all broadcasts appear on Amazon.com/live. Compared to Facebook and Instagram, broadcasts usually stay on the brand or an influencer’s profile. With Amazon, there’s a dedicated landing page where shoppers can discover and watch streams that are “live now” or have previously streamed.
It’s quite the sales tool, as you can give live demonstrations, chat with customers in real-time, unlock extra benefits the more you stream and grow your following on Amazon.
How do you start an Amazon Live stream?
The nice thing about Amazon Live is it’s free and simple to get started. However, it’s not available to all users. You need to be part of the Amazon influencer program with an active storefront, be a U.S. Professional Amazon Seller who uses seller central or a U.S. Vendor with an approved Amazon Store.
If you meet the requirements, here is all you need to get started:
Download the Amazon Live Creator app.
An iPhone or iPad (the app is currently only available for iOS users).
A strong and stable Wi-Fi connection.
You can go live directly from the app or connect to an external mic or camera using broadcast software like Restream or Ecamm or a video encoder.
I also recommend having a tripod for stabilization if you’re streaming via an iPhone or iPad.
When you’re ready to go live, you will be asked to pick a brand of the product you want to showcase (the brand needs to be registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry). Then you add products to your product carousel to display during your stream, name the stream and either go live now or schedule for later.
What are the benefits?
For ecommerce brands….
Two marketing trends continue to rise and deliver positive ROI. Live streaming is growing fast, with 47 percent of live-streaming viewers worldwide streaming more live video than the previous year — and all signs point to this number continuing to grow.
Influencer marketing budgets are a real thing, and the numbers show it works. Almost 90 percent of marketers say the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than traditional marketing channels.
With Amazon starting its influencer program, it’s a great opportunity for brands to work with influencers — especially live streamers with an established audience to help increase brand awareness and boost leads and sales.
This is where things get interesting. There’s a sense of exclusivity added with Amazon Live and extra incentives for influencers. Here’s why.
Only influencers accepted into the Amazon Influencer Program will have access to broadcast on Amazon. For all other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, you don’t have to worry about that, and you’re competing much more for attention.
Amazon Live rewards influencers when they stream more and earn more. You start as a Rising Star and can earn an A-list status where your products show up on the Amazon.com homepage. Check out more about Amazon levels here.
When you go live, your followers are notified and your stream automatically appears on your influencer page. As an influencer, your business thrives on traffic and sales, and when people buy from your Amazon live stream, you earn commission on top of what brands pay you. (You can see if you’re eligible to be an Amazon influencer here.)
So, is Amazon Live ultimately worth trying?
The stats and signs are all pointing to yes. Even though Amazon Live isn’t as well-adopted by users like Instagram and YouTube, there’s no hiding the influence Amazon has on the ecommerce world. Amazon was responsible for 45 percent of U.S. ecommerce spending in 2019, and that number is expected to grow to 47 percent this year.
With the right planning and promotion, you can easily showcase how products can be used, leverage special offers and build a strong following that leads to more sales.
From what I hear from other influencers and business owners, Amazon Live is a best-kept secret, and it feels like only a matter of time before more brands and influencers jump on the opportunity. So, in my professional opinion, I think it’s worth being one of the early adopters. I mean, it’s freaking going live on Amazon.com.