Today, most online shoppers will begin their search on Amazon. It’s easy to see why. Amazon has grown to become the largest eCommerce platform in the world, providing customers with the most diverse choice of any digital sales channel out there. This naturally makes Amazon the most sought-after network for retailers.
However, there’s a difference between selling on Amazon and succeeding on Amazon. While trading on Amazon requires little more than registering for an account and listing products, succeeding on Amazon requires a strategic advertising plan which ensures that these products are shown to the right people at the right time.
Unfortunately, developing a powerful Amazon marketing strategy isn’t an activity that many sellers feel confident tackling themselves. In fact, more than half say they’d like to improve their approach.
If you’re one of them, our Ultimate Amazon Marketing Strategy for 2022 will tell you everything you need to know about achieving more.
What is Amazon Marketing?
Amazon Marketing is an umbrella term encompassing a huge range of different factors that all come together to help sellers boost brand awareness, promote products, and ultimately increase on-Amazon sales.
The term covers all digital marketing strategies on the Amazon platform from organic methods to paid advertising techniques, giving sellers access to a broad selection of activities that can help them squeeze more value from Amazon.
Advertising on Amazon
There are many reasons why sellers choose to advertise on Amazon. Around 62% of Amazon sellers use Amazon Ads to drive sales, while 58% utilise it to maximise visibility and boost their brand awareness.
While there are many natural, zero-cost ways to improve product and brand visibility on the Amazon platform (known as organic marketing), any good Amazon marketing strategy will begin by exploring the paid options within Amazon Marketing Services.
Amazon Marketing Services
Although it’s common to hear the phrase ‘Amazon Marketing Services’ – which may be shortened to AMS – the official name of Amazon’s advertising arm is ‘Amazon Advertising Console’. It’s the Google Ads of the Amazon world, providing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising opportunities both on and off Amazon for sellers.
Currently four ad types fall under the AMS umbrella:
1. Amazon Sponsored Display Ads
Sponsored Product Display Ads are shown to audiences that have demonstrated interest in the type of product(s) that you’re selling.
Perhaps they viewed your product but didn’t make a purchase. Or maybe they have been browsing the category that your product is listed in.
They work best for attracting new-to-brand customers.
2. Amazon Sponsored Products Ads
Sponsored Products Ads enable sellers to promote a specific product in their inventory. These ads send traffic directly to a product listing page, with Amazon stating that advertised products typically receive 54% more views and 40% more sales than non-promoted products. They work best for boosting visibility and sales.
3. Amazon Sponsored Brands Ads
Formerly known as Amazon Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Brands Ads are similar to Sponsored Products Ads.
However, besides promoting a specific product, they also enable sellers to promote their brand through a logo or custom headline. Ads direct either to product pages or to a brand store and are best for improving awareness.
4. Amazon Stores
Amazon Stores is the ‘odd one out here. Unlike the others, this is neither a form of PPC, nor does it cost Brand Registry sellers to use.
It is, however, grouped with AMS activities. ‘Stores’ allows sellers to create their own landing page, to which a sponsored ad is directed. They are best used for building connections and loyalty.
Amazon Advertising Best Practices
Regardless of which advertising activity – or combination of activities – is selected, it’s vital to ensure that each campaign is developed, run, and managed in the best way possible, helping you to get the most out of Amazon Advertising.
Best practices for using Amazon Advertising Console, or AMS, include:
If using Sponsored Display Ads or Sponsored Products Ads, sellers should use product targeting.
This helps ensure that the ads are only displayed in the most relevant situations, reducing the risk of paying for clicks from low-quality leads. Targeting options include views, interest, and product-based.
Adding criteria like this means that ads are displayed only to those who have viewed similar products, demonstrated an interest in a particular category, or have purchased similar or comparable products before.
A common mistake that many new advertisers make is to set their PPC bids too high. While high bids are most likely to result in greater visibility and, subsequently, a higher clickthrough rate, they can also raise the Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS).
This means you could be spending more on advertising than you’re earning through sales attributed to that advertising.
It’s important to use strategic bidding techniques to find the right balance. Amazon’s built-in Dynamic Bidding tool can help.
Optimising the creative elements of any PPC ad is crucial to success. Amazon research shows that concise messaging within a Sponsored ad can boost clickthrough rate by as much as 74%.
Simplicity wins, too, with the platform’s internal research showing a 2.4x higher clickthrough rate for ads with less than four objects in the creative.
Amazon has strict rules for ad creative that should be followed. They also provide helpful advice such as adding a call to action to persuade the shopper to move through the purchase process.
Landing Page Design
If opting to create an Amazon Store so that Sponsored Ads can be deployed to target shoppers and deliver them to that storefront, landing page optimisation should be a major consideration.
However, if design isn’t your strong suit, there is no need to worry. Amazon offers several pre-built templates to support a wide range of advertising goals, including lead generation, new product awareness, product range showcase, and individual product promotion.
You can add text, videos, and images to make these pages more attractive and engaging.
A vital best practice is to test every campaign and not simply assume that an ad will have the impact you expect it to or drive the results you need it to.
The good news is that Amazon offers an A/B Testing tool that enables Brand Registry sellers to compare the performance of multiple versions of an ad.
A number of elements can be changed between the versions, including title, price, product description, and bullet points, enabling you to roll out the one which performs best and delivers the most conversions.
Organic Amazon SEO
Amazon Advertising Console, or Amazon Marketing Services, encompasses a range of paid activities. However, there are several organic ways to promote products and brands through Amazon, too.
By using these Amazon search engine optimization methods alongside paid activities, sellers can create a ‘halo effect’, helping to maintain the impact of a paid campaign even after it’s ended through ongoing organic behaviours.
Organic advertising activities on Amazon include:
Like Google’s ranking algorithm, Amazon’s ranking algorithm scans for keywords contained within your titles and descriptions. These are known as frontend keywords.
There are also backend keywords on Amazon, which aren’t visible to customers but still provide the algorithm with information about a product.
For both keyword types, it’s essential to research thoroughly to ensure you’re using the most appropriate for your products.
There are a few ways to conduct keyword research. The first is through Amazon itself, using its Search Terms report to see what real Amazon customers are searching for within a specific category. Another way is to utilise external keyword research tools like Google’s keyword planner. You’ll also find free tools available online.
One important thing to remember about Amazon’s algorithm is that it’s not exclusively rooted in keywords.
Amazon takes into account many factors, including the quality of content. Therefore, optimised product copy can play a vital role in organic SEO. Sellers should aim for what’s known as ‘A-rated’ content.
This is not to be confused with Amazon A+ content, a specific tool for Brand Registry sellers.
A-rated content ticks four optimisation boxes: optimised titles, optimised descriptions, optimised content length, and optimised visuals.
Research suggests that A-rated content ranks 2.1% higher than B-rated content in the organic Amazon SERPs, making products more visible and accessible to shoppers.
Amazon A+ Content
In addition to optimising content, Brand Registry sellers can also use an integrated Amazon tool known as ‘A+ content’, which facilitates the addition of extra creative elements into a standard product page.
Features include custom paragraph headers and images, product comparison charts, bullet lists for highlighting USPs, image carousels, and more to better attract and engage with potential leads.
According to Amazon research, A+ content can drive more traffic to a listing and boost conversions by 5.6%.
As the Amazon ranking algorithm takes these aspects into account, using the A+ Content tool can result in a more prominent placement, helping to complement any paid advertising activities running simultaneously.
Every product listed on Amazon must have what the channel calls a ‘main’ image; an image used for the SERPs listing that shows the product against a plain white background.
Amazon recommends that sellers include at least six images for SEO and marketing purposes in their listings. That’s because images make it easier for customers to evaluate, consider, and select a product.
Amazon has strict guidelines for images, and it’s crucial to adhere to them. In addition, photos should be clear and informative and, where possible, contain text.
Adding text into an image provides sellers with yet another opportunity to promote their product and answer common questions relating to use or dimensions.
Your Amazon review profile may not seem like an obvious form of organic marketing, but a good Amazon reviews strategy can give you a competitive advantage and help in two distinct ways.
Firstly, positive reviews can instil trust in customers, strengthening customer loyalty, as shoppers are more likely to buy from a brand with positive reviews.
Secondly, it demonstrates to the Amazon algorithm that shoppers are engaging with the brand. Engagement is a primary ranking factor for better results page rankings.
There are multiple ways that sellers can build up their review profile. The first and perhaps most obvious way is to simply provide a service that customers feel they want to review.
Alternatively, sellers can ask customers to leave feedback or join an Amazon review scheme, such as Amazon Vine or the Early Reviewer programme.
Product Features, Specs, Details
Bullet point lists containing information about a product’s features, specifications, and details don’t directly influence Amazon SEO.
However, they do influence two critical factors (conversion rate and product relevance), which can indirectly increase product visibility and rankings. Therefore, the information given about a product is a vital part of marketing.
The best practice is to provide as much product information as possible in easy-to-scan bullet-point lists, giving customers everything they need to make an informed decision.
It’s also important to include relevant keywords in these lists too. Ideally, try to incorporate keywords that haven’t already appeared in the product title.
Questions & Answers
Amazon allows potential customers to ask questions about a product. Then, the seller and previous buyers can answer those questions. Both questions and answers can be published on the product pages.
While the Q&A element doesn’t directly influence SEO, it can be hugely beneficial by highlighting gaps in the product description.
Additionally, responding to customer questions can help position the seller as committed to customer service. This factor can help boost engagement with a brand and demonstrate to the algorithm that this is a brand that matters to buyers.
Perhaps one of the best forms of organic marketing is simply providing the type of service that satisfies customers and keeps them coming back for more.
By maintaining adequate stock to meet demand, sticking to published delivery times, and handling returns and negative feedback in a timely and positive manner, sellers can build a loyal customer base, increase sales, and improve their ranking.
If you’re struggling to improve customer service and don’t always have the time necessary to engage with customers and nurture relationships, Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) can help.
The FBA programme means sellers can send stock to an Amazon warehouse, with Amazon taking over all delivery and customer service aspects.
Two critical factors that influence SEO and position in Amazon SERPs are clickthrough rate and conversion rate. Both of these factors can be impacted by how you price your products.
A lower price can improve the clickthrough rate, while a slightly higher price may better reflect the quality and branding of the product. Pricing competitively can significantly help to improve visibility and boost sales.
Determining the best price for your product can be tricky. Fortunately, Amazon does allow sellers to A/B test their product listing based on price, making it easy to see whether a lower or higher pricing strategy delivers the best results. In addition, with A/B testing, sellers can select a price that best aligns with their audience and demographic.
Off-Site Amazon Advertising
Most product searches today begin on Amazon. But not all of them do. That’s why an essential part of any Amazon advertising strategy is to build a link between products listed on the Amazon platform and buyers who aren’t using Amazon to search for a solution to their needs.
Off Amazon advertising can help promote products on third party sites and drive potential leads from across the web to a specific product or brand listing to extend marketing reach.
Ways to promote Amazon-listed products off Amazon include:
Sponsored Display Ads on Other Platforms
While Sponsored Display Ads can appear on Amazon, they can be shown off Amazon, too, on the many different websites which form part of the broader Amazon ecosystem. This includes Amazon-owned sites and partner sites. Displaying ads on other platforms helps attract potential customers who may not use Amazon but are still interested in your product. While the PPC ad may be displayed on an unrelated website, the Display Ad will direct traffic to a particular product page.
Amazon Native Ads
Amazon Native Ads are PPC ads displayed on non-Amazon owned, and non-Amazon partnered websites and blogs. The ads are usually related to the page’s content, creating a simple link between the topic of the site and the product on Amazon. This can help sellers extend their marketing reach beyond their own customer base and tap into other people’s ready-made pools of potential customers who have already demonstrated interest in a niche.
Email marketing has long been one area where it’s been challenging for Amazon sellers to market their products off Amazon. However, in 2021, Amazon launched its ‘Manage Your Customer Engagement’ (MYCE) tool/. This tool allows sellers to directly advertise via email to shoppers who have expressed an interest in being contacted by the brand. It’s a new way to build and nurture relationships away from the platform. In addition, as of Q1 2022, the MYCE tool supports communications relating to new launches.
Content targeting refers to building partnerships with digital influencers – such as bloggers and social media personalities – who can help to promote a product through testing and reviewing. Targeting follows a similar pattern to native ads, except it’s not an ad that drives traffic to your Amazon listing but an influencer. Using influencers is a good way to tap into existing audience pools that align with your target demographic and may be interested in learning more about the product.
Organic Social Media
As well as content targeting through influencers, there are also ways to promote products on social media organically. By creating a brand presence on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, sellers can boost awareness of their products beyond the confines of the Amazon ecosystem while still driving traffic to their Amazon product listings through links. Social media also offers the chance to build excitement about products and provide additional information through video.
Publishing discount coupons and other types of vouchers on popular deal websites can provide potential customers with the incentive they need to try a new product or purchase from a brand they’ve never bought from previously. Amazon coupons can be redeemed for money off an on-site purchase, reducing the financial risk for customers. One aspect to be aware of is that each deal site will have its own unique rules and regulations, with some not permitting codes relating to individual products.
Affiliate marketing is yet another powerful way to advertise Amazon-listed products off Amazon. And the good news is that Amazon operates one of the world’s most extensive affiliate networks. Called the ‘Amazon Associate Programme’, sellers can enjoy increased traffic from brand advocates promoting products to their audience base through their own blogs.
In return, blog owners with an Amazon affiliate marketing strategy can receive up to 12% of the product fee for every shopper who completes a purchase within 24 hours of clicking the link.
Using Amazon Analytics
Whatever form of advertising you go for, one of the most important factors determining success is flexibility and willingness to change and adapt. Even the best Amazon Marketing Strategy won’t continue to deliver the same impressive results long term, and that’s because customer needs, preferences, and expectations are continually changing. Successful advertisers stay on top of performance monitoring and change their approach as needed.
The best way to do this is through Amazon Analytics. Amazon Analytics is a built-in reporting zone that can help sellers gain insight into the real-time effectiveness of their campaigns and provide them with an opportunity to optimise for success.
There are six crucial Amazon reports that every advertiser must consider:
1. Amazon Search Terms Report
The Amazon Search Terms Report highlights the most common search terms and keywords real customers use to find specific products. The report also shows the top three most clicked products for that term. This report can help sellers continually incorporate the most relevant keywords and phrases in their frontend and backend listings.
2. Demographics Report
The Demographics Report shows a seller who is buying their products. The report can be filtered by several criteria, including age, income, level of education, gender, and relationship status. This report helps sellers to create buyer personas. Those personas can then be used to ensure that all advertising campaigns, pricing strategies, and content are tailored towards the needs and expectations of those active demographics.
3. Item Comparison Report
The Item Comparison Report shows the five products most often viewed on the same day as the seller’s products. It can make it easy to see a product’s closest competitors and explore how those competitors are marketing their products to shoppers. It’s a report that enables sellers to take a more informed approach, grabbing opportunities and creating a more competitive offer.
4. Alternate Purchase Report
The Alternate Purchase Report is similar to the Item Comparison Report. However, instead of showing which competing products are often viewed at the same time, this report shows which competitor products were purchased on the same day the seller’s product was viewed. The top five most frequently purchased products are listed in the report, giving sellers an opportunity to adapt and further optimise their campaigns.
5. Market Basket Report
The Market Basket Report lists the three most common products added to an Amazon basket alongside the seller’s products. The report gives helpful insight into the shopping habits, behaviours, and needs of the seller’s customers. It also offers an opportunity for the seller to extend their inventory to incorporate these complimentary products to grab a larger market share.
6. Repeat Purchase Behaviour Report
The Repeat Purchase Behaviour Report helps sellers identify customers who make repeat purchases from their brand more easily. This report can be used to identify customers with the greatest customer lifetime value (CLV). It enables sellers to better connect with these valuable shoppers and nurture these relationships. This report can also help sellers tailor campaigns for new or existing customers.
While a lot goes into developing the ultimate Amazon marketing channels strategy, the good news is that sellers don’t need to approach this alone. Amazon itself offers a wide range of seller tools to assist in advertising and promotion:
- Dynamic Bidding
- Manage Your Experiments
- Manage Your Customer Engagement
- FBA Revenue Calculator
- … and more!
There’s an almost never-ending list of third-party tools out there, both free and subscription based. Together, the first party and third-party selling tools assist sellers in getting the right products in front of the right eyes, at the right price, at the right time… and on the right channel.
If you would like to learn even more about the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP) take a look at our free Beginners Guide to DSP ebook. If DSP advertising isn’t for you then you may want to take a look at our free ultimate guide to PPC ebook covering a broad range of Amazon PPC topics.
Need help creating your Ultimate Amazon Marketing Strategy? Clear Ads is your leading resource for Amazon sales, supporting you to build winning strategies, identify the right advertising opportunities, improve visibility both on and off Amazon, and connect with customers and potential leads more closely than ever before.
Get in touch for tailored support with designing, developing, implementing, monitoring, and adapting an advertising strategy that helps get you closer towards your sales goals and maximises your Amazon Advertising return on investment.