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Amazon continues to take the lead in ecommerce, in part because it is constantly innovating its marketing. In particular, Amazon is developing new marketing lever options for manufacturers on a regular basis.
With so many options available, it can be hard to know which marketing levers to pull. Some programs make a lot of sense, such as Amazon Posts, which at the moment is just free advertising, but with others such as Premium A+, it’s difficult to see any kind of ROI that makes it worth it. Here, we’ve ranked the top 5 levers you need to pull—and one to avoid, according to a study from the Cleveland Research Company.
1. Amazon Posts
As mentioned beforehand, Amazon Posts are just free advertising. This social-media like content is populated across different parts of Amazon’s website. While it does cost money to create the content, most participating manufacturers recycle their social media content, meaning participation in Amazon Posts effectively costs nothing.
If you’re still not sure about why you should add participating in Amazon Posts to your sales strategy, let me repeat: FREE ADVERTISING.
Search still dominates, according to the CRC, and manufacturers will likely have to grow their spending to at least be in line with their sales growth to fend off the competition, as search strategies for many manufacturers are maturing or have matured through the use of technology platforms or skilled agency partners.
In short, though your sales might be growing, to keep that growth you have to up your rankings in search to ensure your products are still appearing first. Our quick SEO checklist for Amazon Sellers can help you out there.
3. Amazon DSP
Amazon’s demand-side platform enables advertisers to programmatically buy display and video ads. According to the CRC, more manufacturers are looking to test out this platform and invest more significant sums, in order to improve advertising capabilities and reach users who are not yet aware of their brands.
While Amazon’s DSP will have a learning curve for manufacturers and brands determining the kind of ads they want to appear and their ROI, investing in DSP is an important part of an upper funnel brand building strategy that leads to successful sales.
4. For grocers: tailor strategy to Amazon Fresh
This lever doesn’t have a catchy name or acronym, but it’s no less important. According to the CRC, the Amazon Fresh shopper demonstrates more browsing behavior than is typical of a shopper using a core site, where the majority of shoppers use search.
Because of this, manufacturers cannot simply copy and paste their core site strategy to Amazon Fresh—instead, manufacturers need to better understand how shopper’s behavior differs on each platform and adjust their customer lifetime value models accordingly.
5. Understand and implement video ads
The CRC reports Amazon is making a deeper push into video across different aspects of its platform, including search video ads, livestreaming video, and OTT streaming advertisements on Fire TV, and that’s just the beginning.
According to the CRC, manufacturers suggest Amazon is ahead of its retail peers in terms of video capabilities. Although it may still be a few years before Amazon fully leverages its video capabilities, part of a successful sales strategy for manufacturers and brands includes upping their own video ad game to at least be on par with Amazon’s so as to take advantage of all that Amazon has to offer, video-ad wise.
What to avoid
Of course, not all of Amazon’s market lever innovations are showing a great ROI, at least not yet. We’re talking about Amazon’s “Premium A+” content, which comes with a price tag of around $500,000.
Research from the CRC has yet to find that Premium A+ content has a clear ROI, so until there is a demonstrable return, save your money and spend it elsewhere.