That’s right, Amazon has their own growing list of influencers, only this time an influencer isn’t based on the number of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter followers someone has, it’s based on their ability to write an honest and thorough review of a product on Amazon
Amazon’s Vine Program
The Vine Program is what Amazon has set in motion to help brands receive reviews of their products at the inception of their listing. Amazon Vine does this by inviting the most reliable reviewers on Amazon to share their honest thoughts and feedback on new and pre-released items in order to provide fellow shoppers with a more informed purchase decision.
Think of how crucial it is as a brand to have your new Amazon product make it out of the gate with some social proof that other customers have thoughts on the product as you launch? Likely, the very first thing we all do when searching products on Amazon is judge them by how many stars the product has recieved 0-5, and then how many customers have reviewed the product. Being a part of the Vine Program allows you to jumpstart the process of not only having reviews as you launch but also encouraging new customers to participate in leaving reviews, seeing that traction has already taken place and they won’t be the first, second or third review up there.
How are they selected?
In order to become a Vine Voice, you have to receive a high Reviewer Rank, reflected by the helpfulness and quality of previous reviews that other Amazon customers determined highly helpful. Vendors who wish to participate in the Vine program are then responsible for providing Amazon with a set amount of product that Amazon freely distributes to a select number of Vine members who provide independent reviews that the vendor cannot modify, influence or alter. Amazon also does not make any changes to or remove a review, provided they comply with Amazon’s posting guidelines. You can identify a customer review that is a vine review by its green stripe, seen in the Customer review section.
Provide customers with uninfluenced feedback from reviewers other Amazon customers have rated most trusted, helpful and unbiased.
Join the Club
Unfortunately, if you want to join Amazon’s Vine program you will have to wait for your invite to appear in your mailbox as the Vine program is invite-only. Now, having said that, you can certainly stack the odds by ensuring you consistently leave a review for any Amazon purchase made. The review should be one that you feel would be helpful to other users, including a few images or a video as would be seen helpful in a purchase decision. If you create a reputation for expertise in a niche of product categories with great reviews, your odds increase further yet.
Amazon’s model of providing customers with the spotlight to become an ambassador for specific products is sensible. It encourages all customers to leave honest and helpful reviews while also creating an uninfluenced voice that is directly from consumer to consumer. Because no money is exchanged, with only a complimentary product, companies are held accountable for the quality of their product. The opposite is to have some insta-celebrity talk highly about a product they’ve never used before in order to influence the masses. Perhaps Amazon is on to something that helps better shape what an influencer should look like, for both brands and customers.
Message us at Rainforest if you have products you would like us to help get into Amazon’s Vine Voices program.