Amazon is a growing and powerful tool for businesses to sell their products online. The eCommerce platform remains the number one destination for shoppers in the United States. Amazon marketplace gives businesses an advantage for online sales, however there is also a good deal of competition leaving businesses with a new challenge: how to make their product listings stand out.
Gaining traffic from outside of Amazon is a beneficial way to expose your brand to potential customers, as well as drive traffic directly to your product listings. Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest are giving businesses the tools they need to connect and engage with their target market.
“77% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media.”
What can social media do for your business?
1. Boost Your Brand Awareness
We’ve heard people refer to themselves as “Apple people” or “Nike people”. That demonstrates proven and successful brand awareness. It embeds itself into people’s lifestyle and their purchasing habits. Those people who associate with particular brands so strongly become repeat purchasers.
When a brand connects with their target audience, and people recognize the brand, it is a valuable tool in promoting the company and its products.
2. Increase Traffic to Your Amazon Listing
Inbound marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate targeted traffic. Traditionally that looked like getting more people to your website. Today we can utilize a social media ad or post to send customers straight to the product listing or brand store on Amazon.
By using social media channels you are diversifying your marketing efforts and reaching more than one type of group, while still connecting to your target market customer base.
For example, business professionals may find you through LinkedIn, while moms are staying connected on Facebook and millennials may find you on Instagram. Each piece of social media content that you create is a new door for potential customers to enter and connect.
While this is an exciting way to approach your marketing, it is important to remember that sending the wrong type of traffic to your Amazon listings could hurt your ranking. If the audience isn’t targeted towards people who are interested in purchasing your product, it can decrease your conversion rates. Takeaway, always cater to your target market and not the general consumer.
3. Increase Potential to Reach More People: Search Results
As social media is growing and people are sharing exorbitant amounts of content, social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter, are becoming leaders for search results, utilizing keyword searches and hashtags.
Additionally, your social media profiles have the power to rank in the top 10 results in a web search. So it’s important to make sure your profile is written with your target market and keywords in mind.
4. Piggy Back on Amazon’s Credibility
Amazon is a trusted source to purchase products. Driving outside traffic to your Amazon listing or storefront leverages on Amazon’s brands and helps you build a level of trust with shoppers.
Think about this scenario, you see a pair of shoes on Facebook, you click the link and see a random site that you’ve never heard of before. Do you continue or click out? Or, you click the link and see you can purchase right through Amazon. Which leaves you feeling more comfortable with your purchase?
Social media can get attention for your product, Amazon can drive the purchase home. The e-commerce giant has built a great reputation and shoppers trust Amazon.
5. Give You The Opportunity to Utilize a Sales Funnel to Re-Market
If you drive consumers right from social media to your Amazon listing you’re missing an opportunity to get more information about your audience and the chance to re-market to them in the future.
Creating a sales funnel gives you the opportunity to build your email list, which is something that you cannot do if you send consumers to Amazon right away. This also is a great way to filter out unwanted traffic and determine who is really interested in your product (this is a protective layer to help with the concern mentioned in point #2 above).
Now that you have an email list you can better connect with the customer, share your story and re-market in the future.
EXAMPLE OF REMARKETING [Say your business sells a dry shampoo. You know that the typical person needs to refill their order after about 30 days. You set up your business utilizing social media, advertising and a sales funnel. You now have the email address of the customer so you can remarket to them. Three weeks after the initial sale you send a targeted email to the customer. “Hey Linda, We know that life can get hectic but wanted to send you a quick reminder that your Dry Shampoo is probably running low. As a valued customer we’d like to offer you this discount code to use on your next purchase.” Include a link to the Amazon listing and the coupon code to make shopping easy for the customer.]
With any great strategy there is always a downside. Sales funnels can be more costly and do create extra steps. It’s up to you to determine what level of involvement and expense your company can handle. If your business is able to invest in all of the steps, including a sales funnel, the connection you make with consumers would reflect positively on your investment.
Which Social Media Channels Should I Use?
Facebook: A social media platform where businesses can create a page or group to connect with potential customers. On Facebook you can post photos, videos or go live, you can utilize messenger to have private conversations and you can pay to advertise to your target market.
“The highest concentration of Facebook users are between the ages of 18-44.”
Instagram: This platform is highly visual. It is classified as a photo-sharing application with the ability to also share short videos. You can also pay to advertise on Instagram. It was acquired by Facebook in 2012 so advertising across both platforms has been made pretty seamless.
“More than one-third of Instagram users have used their mobile devices to make an online purchase. 70% more likely than people who are not on Instagram.”
YouTube: YouTube gives you access to showcase your products in videos. The videos give you the opportunity to demonstrate how the product works, what it looks like, showcase its features and more. People watch and see, rather than read, making YouTube videos popular. You can also share your videos on other social media channels like Facebook.
“YouTube is the second most trafficked website behind Google.”
Pinterest: This image sharing hub is where you can store and organize your favorite inspiration and products on boards. Pinterest creates a central location to keep this information, thus allowing you to come back to it at a later time or share with your friends on Facebook (Are you seeing a pattern here? Everything’s connected, people and even social media platforms.). The images also have a website URL attached to them so users can click through for more information, or for Amazon sellers, click through to the Amazon listing or storefront.
“79.5% of Pinterest users are female.”
“Women ages 25 to 54 make 80% of the buying decisions in U.S. households.”
Social media platforms are growing each day. These are just a few. There is also Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more. Take some time to nail down your target market and see if it matches the demographics of the chosen social media platforms. We suggest not having all your eggs in one basket - choose three platforms in which to focus your social media attention.
The first question you should ask yourself is, ‘Where is my target market hanging out?’ Here is a brief overview of four popular social media platforms.
Advertising on Social Media
Advertising on social media has its benefits. It likely won’t break the bank, and you can get an ad created and set-up rather quickly - limited lead time. You are also able to identify your demographics and set that target market so people who would most likely be interested in your product are seeing your ads.
When using social media, your ad campaigns will likely present with the following objectives:
- Awareness: You want to continuously build your brand and recognition. In turn, it will expand your reach.
- Consideration: Social media ads can send traffic to your Amazon listing or storefront, website, increase engagement, generate leads and open a line of communication.
- Conversion: Converting from a conversation to a sale and driving people to your online storefront, not a list of your competitors.
For your ads to stand out it’s important to note that short videos perform really well and grab attention. It’s a moving visual and allows marketers to share more information quickly in what appears as ‘less text’. Remember, people want to see, not read. Quality photography and lifestyle photography also will convert well for advertising.
Influencers and Giveaways
The internet and social media have made it easier than ever before for ordinary people to spread their ideas and opinions – including those regarding products and services. Now, more than ever before, consumers are making their voices heard. This increase in consumer power has given rise to a new kind of marketer – the influencer.
Influencer marketing can come in the form of bloggers and vloggers to Instagrammers. Thousands of people daily make their living partnering with brands that mean something to them, trying out their product and talking about it. They have built a trust with their audience. Many influencers will only promote products that they would actually use in real life - hence the importance of doing research and finding an influencer that fits into your product niche. This is also important because you want to make sure you’re using your marketing budget to promote to the correct target audience.
Amazon launched the Amazon Influencer program which allows users (influencers) to create personalized Amazon pages filled with their own product recommendations. It provides an easy way for shoppers to click through to your product and purchase.
“Email remains the #1 communication channel. 99% of consumers check their email daily.”
Email marketing is a marketing tool that is economical and cost-effective. It gives you the opportunity to reach a large number of shoppers, who have already shown interest in your product. Effective marketing emails convert prospects into customers, and one-time buyers into loyal brand supporters.
One of the benefits of email marketing is that you own your list. No one can take those leads away from you. Additionally people who purchase products that were marketed through email spend 138% more than those who did not receive email offers.
The email messages you send out can be tailored to resonate with your audience, which will add value to them. You can send out emails sharing ways to use your products better, offer a discount coupon for family and friends, or even introduce and create hype for upcoming new products. The email list and how your utilize it can really help drive outside traffic to your Amazon listings.
A Few Things to Double-Check Before Diving Into Social Media Marketing
1. Optimize, optimize, optimize
Make sure your listings are clear, concise and backed with keywords. If you are working hard to drive traffic to your listings, you want to make sure you can turn the consumer into the buyer. This includes making sure your product title, bullet points and description are showcasing your product and answering any questions your buyer may have before finalizing the sale.
You’ve heard the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. This couldn’t ring any truer for your listings. The majority of people want less to read and prefer to actually see the product.
It is critical that your product photography is high resolution and presents your product in the best light. People like to see lifestyle photography. This means showing them the product in real life. If it’s a throw pillow, show that pillow on a couch so they can see it styled and get a feel for the size of the pillow.
Just like having an influencer back your product, reviews can make or break your sale. Quality reviews can make the shopper feel more confident in your product. Amazon spends a lot of time and effort working against counterfeit products on the marketplace, however, there are billions of listings. By having reviews associated with your products you are letting Amazon and shoppers know that you are selling the product as it was described in the listing.