This week's guest blog is written by one of our partners, Rich Insight.
Here’s the key element you are all missing, Digital Marketing Managers, owners and eCommerce Directors. There’s a reason why your efforts with that Digital Marketing agency are struggling to support Amazon marketing effectively. Here’s why we are so special; nobody is thinking holistically. But let’s ease into that. Before we arrogantly explain why so many of you either have the wrong partner or only half the power to effectively run your Amazon marketing strategies, let’s flirt on the basics together first. How are you? That’s a nice pair of shoes. Do you work out?
Jeff’s empire is expanding all over the globe. To ignore it is to have half an eCommerce marketing strategy. Many experienced Amazon sellers know the perks Brands and Manufacturers have received on Amazon. If you register your trademark with Amazon, you get special tools resellers or non-trademarked sellers don’t.
Lets briefly go over some of these special tools:
Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) allows you to make product pages look pretty. You can add extra images, banners and copy in the description area which Amazon tells us causing a 10-15% sales bump on the ASIN. That rate is questionable, but it’s a tool to leverage. EBC is the tip of the iceberg. Near, far, wherever your Amazon listings are, we need to let go of the fears of embracing Amazon’s tools. Akin to fighting the tide, sellers don’t really have a choice but to paddle into the hot and cold currents of this vast deep ocean of buyers.
Many experienced sellers also know about Sponsored Ads. Similar to Google’s PPC engine from 2008, you can bid on keywords to drive extra paid-for traffic to your listings. There are many ideas out there on how to use this tool. Most of them are incorrect, but we’re here to give you all the correct (and best) information. Why pay Amazon a cost per click, on top of the 10-15% sale commission, on top of the monthly fee? Well, again, it’s firstly a herd mentality; if you don’t, others will. More critically, those others will have an advantage over you which over time will become harder to claw back.
The next big one on the list is new(ish) – Brand Display Ads. You likely are starting to see these more and more on Amazon while you order those Nespresso capsules for next day delivery. When you enter in a search, at times you’ll see a little banner appear below the search bar. That’s what we’re talking about. At this point, many Amazon sellers might think that’s it. Nope. Grab a coffee or tea or whiskey because like a rash that won’t fade, Amazon’s marketing tools give you another way to burn more money for itchy traffic – Display Ads.
But wait, we’re not finished yet. Landing pages! Otherwise known as Storefronts, these are little pages you can customise to showcase a product, how great your Brand is or combinations alike. I guess at this point it’s profoundly simple – Amazon are creating their own mini internet entirely focused on driving a buyer to a product. Do the Words ‘Global Domination’ ring in any one else’s mind?
Now that we’re all on the same page, lets loop back to why your efforts are curtailed despite your best efforts. It’s easy to think of these as separate tools. EBC and Landing pages are more for the Marketplace design team, as they are all about listing content and presentation. Amazon PPC and Brand Ads are akin to traditional marketing tools you use to drive traffic to sites. However, these tools are not siloed, they feed into each other.They need to be used together, and need a holistic strategy which aligns them, uses them together, and allows the ability to take gains from one element to augment the other. They are all part of the same woven Amazon tapestry, and all need to be used in tandem.
Amazingly, many sellers simply don’t think this way. They have team A running their listings and creating sales, while building out EBC. Then, paradoxically, they have team B running Amazon PCC separately, often a digital marketing agency who they also use for Google and other channels. Furthermore, they may have team C analysing and sourcing based on sales. Amazon is all about relevance and conversion. The more a single ASIN (product listing) gets found and converts to a sale, the more Amazon’s algorithm thinks “that’s cool, let’s boost it in search a bit more and see if the trend continues”. Amazon wants a good buyer experience. If the buyer is buying, Amazon wants that to continue and grow. The seller is rewarded as an afterthought with more sales. But a new listing on Amazon is an unknown to the algorithms that match it to search queries. Amazon doesn’t want to take a risk with an unknown, when it has known performers already converting on those keywords. Why would it? It’s focused on the buyers.
Let’s assume the buyer finds you – now what? Just another Amazon listing, or will you have EBC behind that paid-for cost per click to get them there? How can you be sure if you have two teams working independently? Did the buyer come off from a Headline search ad? Maybe Team B knows, but does Team A? Does Team C? How can they leverage that success and double down on optimising the listing, landing page, campaign and PPC if they are all separately housed? Correct – they can’t.
If you’re launching a new product, new to Amazon, or just getting started with some marketing budget, you need to work these things in tandem. Here’s a silly example:
- List the new products with EBC and all data sets filled out. Apply some initial search terms. Get some solid titles. Add groove high resolution images.
- Set up an Amazon PPC campaign, building out from the organic search terms initially but with some enhancements and new ideas.
- Tweak it over time, funnel the PPC terms most effective back into your organic values, while using the negatives to strip out ones doing nothing for you.
- Set up a Brand Display Ad to compliment some of the successful sellers on the PPC campaigns, emphasising the core elements from EBC.
OR, focus on the slow sellers with a different strategy.
- Narrow down complimentary items which aren’t being found as effectively, but are great AOV increase thoughts, and create some display Ads.
- With PPC now running, you’ve identified some competitor Brands associated to your product. Create a New Brand display campaign and point this to…
- … a storefront / landing page, featuring those items.
- Also, are you protecting your Brand? You should, and that’s another Ad and Storefront page… but, it’s also an event you likely need to rework in some of your PPC campaigns.
- But what’s this - You have some data to forecast more effectively, which your marketplaces team needs, so they can line up more EBC…
- … which again will need some tweaks to the PPC campaign, again funnelling some search analysis back into…
- … the newly made EBC listings, with their new…
- … Landing page storefront with its own new….
That’s a bit convoluted. But hopefully the point rings true here – these things must be linked and that only happens when you have a team running it all with access, knowledge and a holistic view. Just some of the highlights on strategies that need to complement one another, but are often siloed with agencies and department teams alike:
- New Products in need of a boost face a catch 22 – they need to be found to convert, and they need conversions to be boosted in ranking to be found. If you leave these listings to grow organically… good luck. By boosting them on PPC, you’re jumping the queue. But if none of that is funnelled back to the organic attributes, you’re wasting money.
- Old dying products. If those items didn’t sell well historically, they won’t sell very well now either. You can drop prices, but that is not always a possible strategy for Brands needing to price establish or to keep their wholesale department happy. Amazon PPC is one way you can avoid a race to the bottom, but what about a Brand Display ad and a landing page too, with some EBC? Why not line it all up for best effect, instead of just throwing money at a small piece of it?
- Analysis and optimisation. If you are converting a high number of sellers on your “Tom Cruise anti-aging Space Lord cream”, but you don’t even mention ‘Tom Cruise’ in your title, you’re engaging in risky business (I can only apologise). A digital marketing agency lacks the knowledge, control or ability to help here. We don’t.
- Competitor targeting. Everyone is targeting Brands and specific models from Brands to bring buyers to their items. You can directly compete on very detailed phrases or terms. But do these activities get real-time examination from the Marketplace team to augment their side? Likely not.
- Brand protection. Wait, what? Yes, Brand protection. Despite the stories, you can leverage Amazon’s own tools and system to protect your name. There are several brands already doing this effectively, but the vast majority of Brands are not, and even if they were, don’t even have a storefront landing page to drive the traffic towards! If you want control over your Brand on Amazon, you need to BE on Amazon and running this.
- Just like the old school world wide web, Amazon allows you to create small landing pages with specific targets. These might be promoting a big Summer sale or show casing a brand-new range of products. Or they may be to highlight a big sale for older season stock. And all the variations on this theme in between… but they wont ever be found if you don’t have an Ad running. Its comical how many agencies or Brands make these pages, then complain about no traffic…
- Display Ads targeting competitors. As is the theme, is the data back from this campaign helping you funnel more targeting approaches on your listing data? Unlikely, if these are two teams in two companies.
Hopefully we’re now clear on a few things together and in agreement:
- These activities must be lead with a universal strategy, ideally with a team capable and positioned to do so.
- A Brand must have a direct present to directly control their name on Amazon. If they don’t, their resellers will do so with far less love.
- Amazon cannot be ignored or side-lined for investment.
As plugged throughout, we can manage all this as one combined strategy, not to mention all your other marketplace channels too. But if not us, find a way to get it all aligned and under one entity or persons control. Segmenting this stuff only makes sense on an org chart.
How this all fits into an ERP software
As mentioned, a combined strategy, and working with a company to help you develop and follow through on that strategy, is best to maximising presence and sales on Amazon. But you can’t do all that, and have that strategy in place, if you are lacking the fundamentals of running a business; a core application to organise and keep track of key business processes. An ERP solution can do just that, by allowing you to control all parts of your business, from stock to couriers, in one application. Khaos Control Cloud, our Cloud based ERP solution, enables you to do that, and work remotely from anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. Better yet, control your channel listings on Amazon through Khaos Control Cloud, and you can be free of ever running into selling out of stock products to customers, or losing customers because of incorrect listings. Everything is synced up to Amazon from Khaos Control Cloud, so you have full control of what is listing on your channel, but can also sit back and relax, with the knowledge that this all automated for you. An ERP solution can help benefit your consultants too, as they can give you the power of boosted and effective Amazon listings, through use of their knowledge and your ERP software combined. Want to find out more about harnessing the power of Cloud? Click here.