Advertising on Amazon for Today, the Holidays and the Future: What You Need to Do
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One of the big stories of the moment is the buzz around Amazon's intense push into broader advertising endeavors. The online retail giant isn't content to simply host ads on its own site: It has also set its sights on competing with Google for video placements, in an effort to take on Google's YouTube advertising.
Between this, the increasing usage of Amazon Marketing Services (with even stronger usage predicted for 2018) and the mention of the Extended Amazon Ad Network within Seller Central, Amazon seems to be making a new foray into advertising that's poised to make a very big splash, possibly even breaking up the Google-Facebook duopoly.
Given that this Amazon disruption is not a matter of if but when, I recommend that brands educate themselves and prepare for the opportunities that Amazon's new advertising offerings will bring. Below are several steps your should already be taking to make the most of what's available to you, and to be ready to spring into action as new opportunities arise.
Be aware that Q4 has already commenced. But know that you're too late only if you don't start right away or don't make adjustments to your existing advertising strategy. Here are those steps:
Optimize your listings.
This is basically free advertising, whereby you're marketing to the Amazon search algorithm so that it ranks your products higher than those of your competitors.
So, put the time into your listings. Make them speak to the Amazon A9 search algorithm as well as to shoppers, and you will reap the benefits of your efforts. Now is the time to fine-tune titles, bullet points, keywords, and images. For some great ideas about how to power up your listings, check out Creating Killer Amazon Product Listings for Better Conversions. If you can make the time, also try an Enhanced Brand Content page (called A+ Content for brands on Vendor Central) and compare performance there with that of your regular pages. These pumped-up pages look great and can increase your conversions.
Use the tools that Amazon gives you.
If you're not using Amazon Sponsored Products and/or Headline Search Ads, you're getting crushed by your competitors who are using them. That said, it's not enough to just use these tools: You need to use them better than the competition. Sponsored Products as a strategy has been massive for both Amazon and sellers, and signs point to that growth continuing.
SPAs are single-handedly the best way to get your products in front of not only shoppers, but targeted shoppers who are likely to be buyers. And because Sponsored Products has been such a success, more sellers have turned to it, which means that the competition is fierce. Don't think you can go it alone. Learn to work Amazon PPC like an expert and use a Sponsored Products ad campaign manager to help you get the edge necessary when it comes to dominating keywords and bids.
Run sales and promotions.
Everyone likes to feel as if they are getting deals and this is never more true (or more important) than around the holidays. Running a promo for a product will not only help you with revenue, it will distinguish your product and your brand from similar products and brands.
Don't think that you have to limit your promos to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Make the entire holiday season one where you give a little in order to get a little more.
Advertise by extending the transaction interaction.
Something sellers often complain about is that Amazon is too focused on customer satisfaction and that this can lead some buyers to take advantage of sellers due to Amazon's generous policies.
But this hyper-attention to the customer experience can work to your advantage if you see it as an advertising opportunity. Remember that the transaction doesn't end with the fulfillment of the order. Try to see the time after the product has been delivered as a great opportunity to check in with the buyer and make sure that everything is going well.
Not only does this increase your likelihood of getting good feedback and reviews (get some help from the pros with this), it's yet another opportunity to put your brand name in front of the buyer.
We are on the brink of Amazon stepping out from its current in-site advertising model and offerings. And when Amazon does step out, expect that development to be game-changing.
Amazon doesn't give a lot of notice about its big new forays and acquisitions, but it's safe to say that the best way to anticipate a changing Amazon landscape is to master the existing terrain, yourself. Utilizing the advertising that is currently available will not only help you build your brand and increase your revenue, but prepare you for the inevitable next steps that will involve expanded-network advertising run through Amazon but by no means limited to the Amazon site.