“Content is King”. It’s a phrase that’s been uttered so often that it’s almost become a cliché. Yet it’s still entirely relevant to absolutely every marketer today.
However, while content is very closely associated with certain aspects of marketing such as online visibility and reputation, it doesn’t quite have that same close relationship with product advertising.
But it should. And as an advertiser, you’ll definitely want to know why…
Content & Advertising
Content has traversed its original boundaries. Once a vehicle for delivering information, it is now a major player in online promotion.
By using ads featuring optimised content, advertisers can improve paid search performance, particularly through platforms such as Amazon which have been growing their content functions over recent years. Optimised properly, content can boost conversions and increase sales.
Amazon itself has long hinted at this, stating that ‘ads that compete in the auction are ranked and displayed to Amazon shoppers based on a combination of the
seller’s bid and the ad’s relevance to the shopper’s search’, but the concept has been solidified by a new study that features research from three separate organisations.
‘The Content Advantage in Amazon Advertising’ report boldly concludes that 33% of Amazon’s top 10% products are supported by ‘A-rated’ content, compared to just 3% ranked in the bottom 10%. In addition, the study finds that products with A-rated content drive 5.4x more conversions than products whose content is considered poor.
What is A-Rated Content?
For the purposes of the study cited above, A-rated content is Amazon content that is deemed to be fully optimised in all areas, including product titles, product descriptions, content length, use of visual features such as bullet points and images, and more.
It’s not to be confused with the Amazon A+ content feature (previously known as Enhanced Brand Content), although this is something that’s worth mentioning here.
A+ content is a built-in Amazon tool available to professional sellers and brand owners (for zero additional cost) that enables sellers to add enhanced images, place text blocks, and create a unique brand story in a bid to boost traffic, conversions, and sales.
Benefits of Content Optimisation
The study shows that optimised content can elevate ad performance and boost conversions and sales. But what Amazon sellers really want to know is how it achieves all that. We’ve identified three distinct ways that optimised content could be beneficial:
- Higher conversion rates
While content is no longer *just* a vehicle for information delivery, it still performs this function well. With optimised content, Amazon sellers are better able to provide audiences with the information they need to make informed decisions, resulting in higher rates of conversion.
According to the study, conversion rates are, on average, 21x greater for products featuring A-rated content than those with F-rated content.
- Better SERPs ranking
In recent years, Amazon – like Google – has increased its interest in relevance. Amazon’s ranking algorithm is believed to rely heavily upon user interactions to determine relevance, with products with greater conversion rates being featured higher up in the SERPs.
The study supports this theory, demonstrating that products with A-rated content were, on average, placed 2.1% higher in rankings than products with B-rated content.
- Reduced CPC rates
With any sort of paid advertising, cost-per-conversion is one of the greatest concerns. However, when online visibility and sales are boosted through better quality content, it’s natural ad spend efficiency will rise, too.
The study once again backs this up, showing that the CPC for a $100-$200 product is 25% less with A-rated content than F-rated content. As the price band increases, the effect is even more noticeable. The average CPC for a $400-$500 product with A-rated content is $26, compared to $75 for F-rated.
The Importance of Amazon Content Optimisation in 2021
The benefits of optimised content certainly aren’t new. So why was this study conducted now? And why is so vital that advertisers understand the advantages today? The answer is simple: Right now, it’s harder to stand out than ever before.
The global health crisis of 2020 wreaked havoc across practically every industry. Retail, however, was amongst the hardest hit, especially with many physical stores ordered to shut if they were deemed to be non-essential.
The closure of brick-and-mortar stores spurred many sellers to turn to online marketplaces such as Amazon, inundating the platform with new products and brands, and massively heightening the competition.
Many existing Amazon sellers are finding that the tactics they relied on previously to attract audiences to their ads are no longer driving the same results. And new Amazon sellers are struggling to get their ads to stand out from the crowd. Content can help.
To get the most from ads, it’s important for sellers to question what exactly Amazon shoppers are looking for at this time. Try to think about the situation from the buyer’s perspective. More sellers offering more products mean buyers now have more choice. And so having the right product in your inventory isn’t enough. You need to create quality and value across your listings to engage better and offer something more.
Optimised content can help you do just that.
Actionable Tips for Optimising Amazon Content
You’re probably thinking of things such as keywords, product titles, product descriptions, and overall readability (for both desktop and mobile). And you’re right. But these are all the obvious things that Amazon sellers should hopefully already be doing. Here, we’re sharing six advanced yet actionable tips to help you get ahead of the competition:
1. Increase your use of images
You’ve probably chosen a main image for your product, but are you also incorporating this form of visual content into your product listings, too?
According to the study, doubling use of imagery from five to 10 per product can boost conversions by almost 500%! But even a smaller change can still have big effects. It’s reported that increasing from five to six can raise conversions by 32%, and 36.5% when moving from nine to 10.
2. Write longer descriptions
One of the top rules for advertisers is to be clear and concise. After all, audiences don’t want to be wading through huge chunks of text. But adding a little more content to your Amazon listings could be a big help.
Amazon allows for a maximum 200 characters per product title, yet most sellers don’t make the most of this. Products in Amazon’s Top 10% list have an average of 84 characters, compared to just 69 in the bottom 10%.
3. Rein in the bullet points
Bullet points are heavily utilised in content creation as they work to break up large blocks of text, categorise ideas, and boost all-round readability.
When it comes to Amazon, however, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. A 43.5% drop in conversion rates was found when bullet points increased by just one, from five to six. According to the study, five bullet points is optimal per Amazon product description.
4. Don’t forget about peer-generated content
While it’s important to publish your own branded content, the power of peer-generated content shouldn’t be overlooked. If you don’t currently have any reviews for your products – or have only a few – it can be beneficial to reach out to previous customers and ask if they’d be willing to share their experience.
The study found that an improvement from a 2-star rating to a 3-star rating boosted conversions by 40.9%.
5. Use interactive content
Text and images work well, but they’re not the only way to get your message across and engage with your audience. Interactive content can be great for capturing attention and standing out from the crowd.
Consider incorporating content such as videos, 360-spin images, infographics, or comparison charts. 33% of Amazon’s Top 10% selling products use interactive content, compared to just 3% in the bottom 10%.
6. Make use of Amazon Features
If you’re not already making full use of Amazon’s built-in features for sellers, then it’s time to take a closer look at what’s on offer. There are some great content-related features to check out, including Stores that allows you to add rich media and video to your brand page.
Posts, which sends news feeds to your audience, are another good option, along with Sponsored Brands Video that allows you to create your own video.
Ad Spend is No Longer Enough
Investing in advertising was once enough to have an impact. The more ad Dollars you spent, the greater the results you’d see. Not any more. The competition is just too high. Every Amazon seller is investing in advertising, so it’s becoming increasingly harder to stand out without doing something more. And that something more is content.
Not only has the study demonstrated the power of content, but this is also an area where there’s huge room for improvement. Having analysed thousands of product pages, the study concluded that only 6.9% of Amazon listings feature A-rated content.
By implementing the six actionable tips above, it is possible to elevate ad performance and stand out from the crowd, even when the competition is at its most fierce.