Is Amazon Desperate for Influencers To Join Its Ranks?

With the rise of social media networks and our world’s ongoing obsession with going viral, influencer marketing --  which grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to an estimated $13.8 billion  in 2021, according to the Influencer Marketing Hub –– has become a business’s best friend.

Just ask Amazon, the company with a stranglehold on the entire online-sellers market, which has taken steps to further enhance its business with lavish travel opportunities for its influencers.

On Saturday, CNBC published an article about Amazon temporarily rebranding a luxury resort in Mexico as “Amazon Resort," where it treated over a dozen Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok stars to “sunset dinners and spa sessions.”

In many ways this isn’t a huge surprise, as brands have been hosting creators at “hype houses” and coaxing them with getaways hoping to facilitate spaces where original content can be developed.

But Amazon, being the overlord company that it is, took it to a new level. It branded everything. Attendees were invited to explore a curated pop-up shop stocked with “internet-famous” items for sale on Amazon’s online store, to visit the “Kindle Beach Oasis,” and even to experience “Prime Video” movie night.



I liked most of all how CNBC labeled the creators invited to Amazon Resort “unofficial marketers of its online store,” as if they are off-the-record employees, invisible spies tasked with boosting Amazon’s already-massive impact on the selling of products of all kinds.

“Creators today really are decentralized media companies,” Ryan Detert, CEO of influencer marketing start-up Influential, told CNBC. “These channels that exist on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, you name it. They can drive traffic to wherever they want their audience to go.”

In Mexico, influencers took part in a workshop guiding them through setting up their own Amazon storefront -- an online page where they can post their favorite products and post shoppable videos to drive purchases and earn commissions.

And this is where Amazon stands out most from other brands and companies offering perks to influencers and brand-ambassadors: on top of brand deals and the money it’s receiving from social media platforms for attracting millions of viewers, influencers make commission on any of the  12 million products sold on Amazon’s store.

Insider obtained Amazon emails that showed the company offering influencers bonuses up to $9,000 a month, atop their regular commissions.

Perhaps these supreme perks shine a light on another aspect of the Amazon influencer story.

In 2020, Amazon began actively recruiting influencers to sell products on Amazon Live, its livestream platform, which Insider reported Thursday was “struggling to win influencers.”

Maybe temporarily renaming a luxury resort, offering Internet-famous strangers $900 dollar rooms for free, along with prime rib, full-body massages and craft cocktails is Amazon’s only means of convincing this new wave of influencers to join its ranks.

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