Maximizing Your Brand’s “Star Power” on Amazon
Getting your brand onto Amazon is a great step toward better retail sales, but it comes with no guarantees. Amazon has literally millions of competing sellers, and if your brand doesn’t stand out, you’re not going to see a whole lot of action. To win, you need to give your brand “star power”. You need to make it shine. Here’s how!
1. Get Brand Registered
This is the first step and also a prerequisite to several of the other recommendations in this article. Brand registration is how you prove to Amazon that you own your brand’s trademark and it opens up all kinds of doors from a content and marketing standpoint. You can visit Amazon’s website to learn about the registration process and its eligibility requirements).
Once you are “brand registered,” you’ll be able to add enhanced “A+” content to your product listings, participate in special advertising options including Sponsored Brands, and initiate actions to protect your brand from other brands who may be violating your trademarks, copyrights, and other IP.
2. Earn the First Click with a Great Title, Price, and Main Product Image
On Amazon, you have to win two clicks: the first is on the search results page when the shopper selects you for further investigation, and the second is when they add you to their shopping cart. If you don’t win that first click, it doesn’t matter how great your item listing is because the shopper will never see it.
You have 3 main controllables to win that first click:
- Your title
- Your main product image
- Your price (and any visible coupons/promo)
First of all, let’s start with the title: make sure your brand name is included! This ensures loyal searchers will find your product, and it increases visibility of your brand name.
The product title should also be descriptive of the product, especially if its purpose or use may not be obvious to your customers. You’ll need to learn a little SEO to really win here; if you’re not using the language that your shoppers are using, you won’t be found. Various tools, like Helium10, can help you understand which keywords are most important for your product.
Make sure that your title complies with Amazon standards overall and with guidelines for your category specifically. Titles must not exceed (in any case) 200 characters and, per Amazon’s recommendations, should be closer to 80. Every category has its own guidelines that you should review.
The Main Product Image (MPI) is the only image that shows up in search results and, for that reason, is also incredibly important. Amazon has strict guidelines on what’s allowable on these images, and if you don’t follow them, your listings could get turned off. These differ by category and can also be found in the category guidelines.
Finally, keep in mind that price also influences where you rank in search results (heavily). If you’re finding yourself out-priced, consider how pack size and promotion strategies could help. You may find that a new value size, a regular schedule of coupons, or temporary price reductions can keep your momentum high throughout the year. Experimentation is key!
3. Earn the Second Click with a Great Listing and A+ Content
Once your title and main product image have earned the first click, it’s up to your listing to close the deal. There are 3 key components to your listing that you should consider:
- Your basic content
- Your A+ content
- Reviews, Q&A
As with your title, SEO is critical to developing a great listing. You’ll need to find keywords that balance high volume, low competition, and high relevance to your brand. There are many tools that can help you with this, including the previously mentioned Helium10 (which has a tool for writing listings called “Scribbles”).
For your basic content, which lives “above the fold” on your item page, you’ll be able to add bullets and photos. Check this article for details on how to create content that sells.
Amazon’s enhanced product content, A+ Content, lives “below the fold” (in other words, shoppers will need to scroll down to see it). It’s truly a marketer’s playground because you can be much more flexible with images, copy, video, and even interactive features than you can above the fold. You need to be brand registered to use it, though.
An IMPORTANT note – most shoppers will see A+ content as they scroll from your basic content to the reviews. Make sure it’s “scannable” so that someone skimming past will absorb your key points. Avoid lifestyle imagery and long copy in favor of power claims (25% MORE PROTEIN) and easily readable visuals (for example, pictures of key ingredients or visuals that show size).
As your listing gets some traction, you’ll start to accumulate both reviews and Q&A. Make sure that you address 100% of questions and reviews. If you use consumer questions and input to sharpen your listings, you will see your sales quickly grow.
4. Set up Your Own Brand Store on Amazon
A brand store is a microsite that you can create within Amazon.com. You get to control the user experience. While your item page will likely continue to be the main destination of organic traffic, brands will often use their brand store as the destination for media campaigns.
Amazon tools make it easy to measure the impact of these strategies. You can “attribute” Amazon store sales to different tactics allowing you to see, for example, how productive your Facebook traffic is compared to your Google traffic.
Brand stores offer a builder tool very similar to the one used for A+ content. How you organize your store is completely up to you.
Let’s say you’re a men’s grooming company. You could easily organize your products into sections for shaving, hair care, and hair loss. If you are a gift company, you could instead choose to organize by occasion with assortments for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and so on.
Your brand store can show up in Google search results, so make sure you keep SEO in mind. Avoid putting text into images where it can’t be searched and use text fields instead since these can be indexed by Google, Bing, and other search engines.
5. Use Video to Spice Things Up
Video now represents more than 60% of Internet traffic. Increasingly, it’s how people learn about new products. It can be useful for showing people how products work, especially if you’re selling products that consumers may not be familiar with. It also can be used to bring your brand to life.
Videos can be uploaded through your A+ Content manager. When filling out the video title and video description fields, integrate your brand name and keyword strategy to increase your product’s visibility in Amazon searches. You should also upload a thumbnail image that represents the content of the video in a glanceable way. Video can also be part of your brand store.
6. Use Amazon Ads to Amplify Your Momentum
There are a number of advertising options available on Amazon, from highly customized display and video alternatives all the way down to the “tried and true” sponsored product ad. Successful Sellers and Vendors will use these tools in combination.
Traditional CPG marketers often struggle to understand how best to use Amazon’s advertising. Unlike much of the traditional CPG marketing mix, Amazon’s ad products are primarily “bottom of funnel” tactics designed to win the sale after the shopper’s already decided to purchase within the category. They are more comparable to coupons than they are to podcast ads, sponsored video, or other awareness/education options.
For that top-of-funnel impact, Amazon offers a demand-side platform with programmatic ad buying options, allowing you to automate ad space buys and optimize your spending all at once. Select, Amazon-approved partners like BOLD can help you to take advantage of this option.
7. Conduct A/B Testing and Track Analytics
A/B testing is a great way to test individual elements of your Amazon product pages and overall brand presence. With the right third party tools (check out Splitly for example), you can test everything from pricing, to images, to product descriptions, and more. Amazon now offers some A/B testing capabilities within its own platform, making it easier to run tests and monitor results with accurate data.
The battle on Amazon is fought in real-time, so you’re going to need a great dashboard. You can use Amazon’s built-in reporting, but that tends to get very cumbersome since useful data is scattered in many different places. There’s a wide range of “all in one” dashboards that can take all of this data and make it more digestible.
Amazon can be a great selling channel for any brand, but the competitive nature of this platform requires you do everything you can to optimize your brand’s presence and engage your customer base.
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