While the term “micro-influencer” may still sound to you like some flippant, gen-Z farce, the side hustle cum way of life just scored serious validation. Amazon has unveiled a new program, whereby people with qualifying social media accounts—on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube—get paid for promoting Amazon products. Called the Amazon Influencer Program, the platform is providing everyday people with a fairly straightforward opportunity: “Recommend products. Get rewarded.”

A tiny bit of background, just in case. A micro-influencer is anyone with a somewhat significant to substantial social media following who receives sponsorships, ranging from free goods to lots of cash, to promote products in their posts. While fashion and beauty were the first realms to make use of this tactic and remain some of the biggest, micro-influencers are now pervasive voices in fitness, travel, lifestyle—just about everything.

But Amazon is putting a unique spin on the enterprise. Amazon’s influencers—while perhaps taking day-to-day pride in being emissaries of the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos—are paid only when they actually make a sale. This circumvents a big problem for many other influencer programs: people often rent or buy fake followers in order to seem more popular and thus command more work or higher rates. Amazon influencers get their own storefronts or pages on Amazon.com, and depending on influence and product category their commissions range from 1–10%.

“Because of your own passion and your own drive, you’re being rewarded,” says Ryky Tran, now an Amazon influencer, whose knife-reviewing YouTube channel boasts over 100,000 subscribers. “Not just in popularity on YouTube but financially as well.”

According to a study last year by HelloSociety, micro-influencers, on average, spur engagement rates a staggering 60% higher than other tactics. This is due, seemingly, to the strong bond between an influencer and their followers. Someone with thousands and thousands of followers isn’t just popular: they’re trusted.

Why This Matters

Micro-influencer marketing campaigns have rapidly become the norm across retail. With Amazon in on the trend, it’s safe to say that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Already, it’s high time for healthcare marketers to catch up. Finding the right brand ambassadors, equipping them with the right resources and incentives, and presenting them to the most appropriate audiences are necessary to maintain competitive advantage.

About the Author:

Ben helps spark innovative healthcare thinking as Associate Director of Innovation. Previously on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair, he brings experience in engaging, rigorous storytelling to the healthcare world. Ben’s goals are to move brands to rethink their roles, own their evolving narratives, and maintain vital and vigorous consumer relationships.