Amazon Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps
Amazon is looking a little different as we approach 2021 - in a good way. It’s no secret that Amazon has been a powerhouse of products, competition and customers for years but with more people staying home and shopping online the potential has grown exponentially - hence the need for you to create an Amazon marketing strategy.
It doesn’t matter the size of your business, you need a plan. Putting pen to paper and developing an Amazon marketing strategy will help you set goals and objectives. Additionally, it lays the groundwork for you to analyze what works really well, okay and needs improvement.
Since Amazon is it’s own beast, an Amazon marketing strategy may look a little different from your typical marketing plans, but there will also be components that may look and sound familiar. We’re here to walk you through five easy-to-follow steps to set up your 2021 Amazon marketing strategy. Let’s get started.
Start With SWOT
Who doesn’t love a good SWOT analysis? Truthfully, it is one of the most important snapshots of your marketing strategy. By analyzing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats you are clearly getting the inside scope and subsequently starting to define your focus for 2021. Once you are able to define those four components for your Amazon business, you can then set a plan in motion to improve your weaknesses and challenge your threats.
Identify Your Strengths
The first thing to jot down are your strengths: What worked well in 2020? It’s easy to focus on our shortcomings but I’m positive there have been multiple things that you rocked over the past year. Embrace that. You should be really proud of that accomplishment because I’m sure it wasn’t easy to come by. By identifying your strengths you will be able to clearly see what you need to maintain for continued success. The good news is that you are already doing well in these areas, so you don’t need to start from the ground up.
Grow From Your Weaknesses
It’s not easy to point out our own imperfections when it comes to a business that we’ve poured our blood, sweat and tears into - or maybe that’s part of our weakness. Perhaps the time and effort to learn and grow our business model wasn’t part of the plan last year. It’s easy to get into the mindset that Amazon is a huge, awesome marketplace (which it is) and you’re going to rock it but there is an ever-changing learning curve that comes with selling on Amazon.
Your weaknesses are important! You need to have weaknesses so you can improve and grow. Next, write at least one, if not more weaknesses you were faced with in 2020. By laying out the things that we didn’t do well we can better understand where to focus our efforts moving forward. Your weaknesses also help to set your goals for improvement in the coming year.
Embrace The Opportunities
This is the exciting part. We’ve hit refresh. We’ve identified what we did well and where we need help. This is where our five steps are going to be huge for you and your Amazon marketing strategy - which is why we’ll come back and talk more about this section below.
Learn From Your Threats
The last section of the SWOT analysis are your threats. What threatens your business? Is it competitors? Similar products that are poor quality? Maybe you have a competitor out there who is doing something great. You can learn from them. Or you’ve found that the reviews you are getting aren’t five stars. Learn from them. Find out if there’s an underlying theme that you need to address. Identify these challenges in your business so you can have an opportunity to learn from them.
5 Steps to Plan a Strong 2021 Amazon Marketing Strategy
When you are reading and focusing on these five marketing steps, don’t forget about what you noted in your SWOT analysis. Those strengths, weaknesses and threats can help build and shape your marketing strategy for 2021.
1. Don't Lose Sight of 2020
It’s easy to leave 2020 in the dust (isn’t that the buzz we are all hearing after this unprecedented year we’ve had?) but we can’t do that. Gifts are still being opened and examined. Customers are still pondering if their purchase was the right one. As a business owner you need to remain diligent with your customer service in the new year.
A few customer service tips:
Handle returns with the customer in mind.
Returns are a part of any product-based sales business. How you choose to hand the returns (ease, promptness, being courteous) can make a big impact on the customer.
Amazon's Holiday Return Deadline
Amazon extended the holiday return deadline. Orders delivered between October 1 and December 31, 2020 can be returned through January 31, 2021. This policy includes orders that are shipped by you and orders shipped by Amazon. This can vary by category. Go to your seller detail page to learn more about the deadlines for your products.
Respond to questions.
January is not the time to relax and lose sight of the progress you’ve made. If someone just received your product or maybe they are looking to utilize a gift card they received over the holidays, answer their questions quickly and be informative so you can hopefully turn that question into a sale.
If you notice that the same question is asked multiple times, maybe you need to figure out a way to answer that question in your bullet points, description or with images.
Reviews are always an important component of your sales and Amazon’s ranking of your business. People are using the products they purchased over the holidays. They will be leaving reviews - hopefully more so than any other time of year! There are a few things you can do to help encourage people to leave reviews. We actually wrote a whole blog post about How to Get Amazon Reviews - The Right Way.
2. Build Your Brand Image
The competition is fierce but don’t let that scare you. It just means you need to make sure your 2021 Amazon marketing strategy includes valuable components like branding.
Think about this, no matter what product you're selling you want the customer to remember your name. By continuing your branding efforts from your website and packaging to your Amazon listing, Store and A+ Content, you are further building your brand (and helping customers remember who you are).
Optimize Your Images and Text
Quality photos and informative graphics (for example: graphics that include a text overlay to point out and label the products key features) can help share the products details, uses and answer common questions. It’s also important to make the most out of your title and the five bullet points at the top of your listing. You’ll want to include relevant keywords so your products can be found by potential customers as well as helpful text that really describes the benefits of your product.
Build a Brand Store
Think of a Brand Store as an extension of your website or physical retail space. You can carry your branding (colors, pictures, logo and text) over from your website to further explain the product and share your brand story. It also allows you to present your entire catalog in one central location (without customers seeing your competitors products).
Add A+ Content
A+ Content (formerly Enhanced Brand Content) allows you to showcase the unique value proposition of your brand and products with visually interesting drag-and-drop modules. Instead of having a text heavy listing you can add images, comparison charts, split text and add simple formatting to make your product listing more eye-appealing. A+ Content helps trigger the “buy now” response.
Amazon estimates that A+ Content
helps boost sales by up to 10%.
3. Drive Traffic Back To Your Business
Now that you’ve focused some of your Amazon marketing strategy efforts on your branding, let’s take it a step further. We’re going to drive traffic back to your Brand Store. Why? Because your Brand Store is your identity. It shares so much about your business and products. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to share additional products that you sell to buyers who are already interested in your brand.
You can drive traffic back to your product listings, or even better, your Brand Store in two ways:
- Internal Traffic: This is traffic that you get from within Amazon. The main way to drive internal traffic back to your products is by investing in advertising. We’ll discuss the advertising options that are available to Amazon sellers below.
- External Traffic: Some of the biggest tools for Amazon sellers to use are social media and email marketing. These outside sources work well to build your brand awareness, generate interest and buzz, and ultimately send customers to your listings on Amazon to make a purchase. More people are also likely to complete the transaction when being redirected to Amazon because it’s a trusted e-Commerce platform.
4. Create An Advertising Budget and Plan
Advertising is an essential part of any business. Amazon has its own advertising platform to help Amazon sellers stand out from the competition. Amazon is the third-largest digital ad platform in the United States, just behind Google and Facebook. The Amazon advertising advantage to your budget is that users come to Amazon solely to shop. They aren’t connecting with friends, sharing pictures or performing searches (except for product searches). They are looking for a product to fit their needs and are very likely to make a purchase if they find it.
Amazon advertising consists of four main advertising opportunities:
- Sponsored Product Ads allow you to advertise an individual product listing to shoppers as they browse search results and other product detail pages.
- Sponsored Brand Ads promote your brand by featuring three of your products within a single headline ad.
- Product Display Ads intercept consumers as they browse the competitor’s product and redirect to the advertisers listing.
- NEW! Posts use curated photos meant to inspire shoppers to engage with your brand and products on Amazon. If a shopper clicks on the post they will be directed to your product listing. Since this is a new advertising opportunity it is still in beta.
The cost of advertising can look intimidating at first, but Amazon’s ad structure makes it easy for companies of any size to advertise on a budget. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising allows you to set your own budget, customize your own bids and pay only when someone clicks on your ad. The best part is, because we live in a digital world, you can adjust your bids and budget at any time.
5. Rev Up The Reviews
We mentioned reviews earlier but let’s go a bit further. Reviews are an important part of your business because they help sell your product. In the world of e-Commerce, shoppers can’t physically see or touch a product before making a purchase, so they rely heavily on reviews.
The number of gold stars is easy to see at the top of your product listing and Amazon makes it easy for the buyer to read the reviews as they scroll down. This is because Amazon recognizes the power of social proof when it comes to increasing sales. Amazon does have strong guidelines when it comes to asking for reviews, but they also offer programs that help sellers build reviews.
- Automated Seller Feedback Requests: Amazon has an automated tool that helps sellers collect reviews from verified orders. You can enable your account to send feedback requests as soon as an order is delivered.
- Early Reviewer Program: This program encourages select shoppers to provide feedback on products with minimal reviews in exchange for $1-3 in Amazon credits. You can enroll in this program for $60.
- Amazon Vine: This program invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new or pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchasing decisions. This program used to only be available on Vendor Central (1P) but Amazon has recently begun a rollout to select Seller Central (3P) accounts, and we expect it to be widely available in 2020.
Additionally, consistency not only increases the chance of being recalled by a customer but it also sets you apart from other sellers, and makes you look more professional and trusted. Amazon knows that you are a stronger seller if you have the tools to take your outside branding and utilize it within Amazon. That’s why they have created different ways for you to build your brand image within Amazon.
Your Turn, Start Planning Your 2021 Amazon Marketing Strategy
Now that you have some guidelines to focus on for 2020, take some time to write down the components of your SWOT analysis and create a timeline to try out these five steps. If diving in to all of this alone is intimidating, don’t worry, we’re here to help. After all, that is our specialty. We can help you customize a plan and walk you through the steps to make 2021 the best year yet.