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The phrase "innovate or die" is one way of describing the life of an e-commerce brand right now. We see many getting creative by providing user generated content for digital ads. Influencer marketing is an important part of the marketing budget, and live streaming is an important part of content strategies. For this reason, Amazon Live and its new influencer program offer brands and influencer entrepreneurs a fascinating opportunity to “innovate”.
You already know the usual suspects for live streaming platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. But is it worth exploring Amazon Live? Here's why you should try it out today, along with some guides on 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 showing your products on TV, but 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 increase sales through live video. The tool became available in 2019 and all shows are displayed on Amazon.com/live. Compared to Facebook and Instagram, shows usually stay on the brand or profile of an influencer. Amazon has a dedicated landing page where buyers can discover and view streams that are "now live" or previously streamed.
It's a real sales tool as you can give live demonstrations, chat with customers in real time, unlock additional perks the more you stream, and grow your fan base on Amazon.
How do I start an Amazon live stream?
The beauty of Amazon Live is that it's free and easy to get started. However, it is not available to all users. You must be part of the Amazon Influencer Program with an active storefront, a US professional Amazon seller using Seller Central, or a US seller 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 to iOS users).
A strong and stable Wi-Fi connection.
You can go live directly from the app or connect to an external microphone or camera using broadcast software like Restream or Ecamm or a video encoder.
I also recommend a tripod for stabilization if you're streaming from an iPhone or iPad.
When you're ready to go live, you'll be prompted to select a brand of the product you want to showcase (the brand must be registered in Amazon's brand registry). Then, you add products to your product carousel to display during your stream, name the stream, and either go online now or plan for later.
What are the advantages?
For ecommerce brands ….
Two marketing trends continue to rise and ensure a positive ROI. Live streaming is growing rapidly. 47 percent of live streaming viewers worldwide are streaming more live video than last year – and all indications are that that number is growing.
Influencer marketing budgets are a real thing, and the numbers show that it works. Almost 90 percent of marketers state that the ROI of influencer marketing is comparable to or better than traditional marketing channels.
When Amazon launches its influencer program, it will be a great opportunity for brands to partner with influencers – especially live streamers with an established audience – to help build brand awareness and increase leads and sales.
For influencers …
This is where things get interesting. Amazon Live adds a sense of exclusivity and additional incentives for influencers. Here's why.
Only influencers who have been accepted into the Amazon Influencer Program can be transferred to Amazon. With any other platform like Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, you don't have to worry about that, and you compete a lot more for attention.
Amazon Live rewards influencers as they stream more and earn more. You start as a Rising Star and can earn A-List status by displaying your products on the Amazon.com homepage. You can find more information about Amazon levels here.
When you go live, your followers will be notified and your stream will automatically show up on your influencer page. As an influencer, your company lives off traffic and sales. When customers shop on your Amazon live stream, you receive a commission on top of the brands you pay for. (Here you can see if you are eligible to be an Amazon influencer.)
See how some top influencers like fitness and transformation expert Corrie Calliet and fashion and style influencer Shea Whitney use the platform.
Related: Beginner's Guide to Social Media Marketing
So, ultimately, is it worth trying Amazon Live?
The stats and signs all point to yes. Even if Amazon Live has not been so well received by users like Instagram and YouTube, the impact of Amazon on the e-commerce world cannot be hidden. Amazon was responsible for 45 percent of US e-commerce spending in 2019, and that number is expected to rise to 47 percent this year.
With proper planning and promotion, there is an easy way to show how products can be used, take advantage of special offers, and build a strong following that leads to more sales.
From what I hear from fellow influencers and business owners, Amazon Live is a best kept secret and it seems like only a matter of time before more brands and influencers take the opportunity. So in my professional opinion, it's worth being one of the early adopters. I mean, it's fucking going live on Amazon.com.