Amazon-Holiday-Marketing-Guide

Last year, Kaspien’s Q4 marketing efforts yielded a 24% MoM increase in sales from October to November, as well as a 17% MoM increase in sales from November to December! 

But the work that went into delivering those results began much earlier. Even though it’s only August, now is the time to start finalizing your Amazon holiday strategyThe work behind Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions begins in earnest during September, and things only escalate from there.  

This year, Black Friday falls on November 29th this year, with Cyber Monday following on December 2nd. In preparation for these major shopping events and the holiday season, we’ve prepared a month-by-month guide of what brands can do to maximize their Q4 sales.  

SEPTEMBER 

Submit Holiday Lightning Deals 

Note that Amazon tends to favor high volume SKUs for the best placement, so most brands will be better served by investing more in their Amazon search marketing rather than investing in Lightning Deals. 

If you do have high volume SKUs, Lightning Deals can be a powerful marketing tool. Last year, the deadline for submitting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Lightning Deals was September 21st. To participate this year, you should be considering options in August and finalizing decisions by mid-September.  

To be eligible for Cyber Week Lightning Deals, products must: 

  • Be Prime eligible 
  • Be listed as New 
  • Have 3+ starrating 
  • Have FBA or SFP fulfillment 
  • Include at least 60% of all variations if the ASIN is part of a variation listing 

Verify Inventory Levels 

With a practically guaranteed increase in traffic and sales during Q4, brands need to confirm they have enough inventory stocked. Running out of stock during holiday sales is an entirely avoidable headache, so long as you prepare. 

Amazon has delayed receiving times at its distribution centers as the holiday season approaches because inbound inventory exponentially increases as sellers prepare for increased traffic. If you haven’t already, you should begin increasing your inventory shipments immediately.  

Brands should also reach out to their manufacturers to ensure they can produce the necessary inventory, and work with sellers to verify they are well supplied. If you use Seller Fulfilled Prime or third-party fulfillment services, you may need to plan on hiring seasonal workers. 

OCTOBER 

Plan Amazon Coupons & Giveaways 

Along with Lightning Deals, brands should also start planning for coupons and giveaways. These promotions increase visibility by placing your products on Amazon’s coupons and giveaways pages, which are among the most visited pages on Amazon. During major shopping events, those popular pages see even more traffic as more shoppers seek out great deals. 

Partner with Influencers on Holiday Gift Guides 

Influencers are content creators who have amassed large followings on social media, blogs, YouTube, and other sites. During the holidays, many shoppers turn to social influencers for gift ideas. Brands can partner with influencers, placing their products in wide-reaching holiday gift guides.  

Seek an influencer who’s already engaged with your target audience, guaranteeing that your product is seen by relevant shoppers.  Influencers’ gift guides reach thousands of shoppers every year, making them incredibly powerful tools for brand awareness and driving sales. 

Add Seasonal Search Terms 

Officially, Amazon prohibits the use of holiday imagery and copy, including keywords such as “gift or “Christmas.” However, brands can use those and similar search terms in their ad campaigns to target seasonal traffic. Adding holiday search terms to campaigns early allows brands to start building traction early, gaining a competitive advantage.  

NOVEMBER 

Promote Your Deals Through Social Media Ads 

In the weeks leading up to and through Cyber Week, start promoting your deals, coupons, and giveaways with paid social ads. These targeted ads raise your brand to top-of-mind as consumers head into Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Interested shoppers will seek your products directly, bypassing much of the competition.  

Intensify Sponsored Product Campaigns 

Sponsored Product Ads and Sponsored Brand Ads remain some of the most effective tools for Amazon marketing. Which, of course, means that nearly every brand that advertises on Amazon uses them. 

To make sure that your products continue to gain top placement, you’ll need to put some extra budget behind them during November and December. The increased expenditure can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a worthwhile investment: 

Last year, Kaspien generated a 24% month-over-month increase in sales from October to November, as well as a 17% month-over-month increase in sales from November to December!

We were able to achieve those stellar results in part thanks to AdManager, our proprietary bid optimization software. It automates several key optimizations, ensuring sponsored ads are always running at top performance. 

Utilize Amazon Livestream  

During Cyber Week, run branded videos on Amazon livestream. These videos can be played on repeat for hours while a brand represent answers questions submitted in the chat.  

Kaspien has been testing Amazon’s new livestream service throughout 2019, and we’ve seen increasingly positive results. During Prime Day, our livestreams garnered 36,000 views and more than 500 clicks to listings! 

For a complimentary and relatively new service, Amazon livestream provides an incredible amount of brand exposure.  

DECEMBER 

Maintain Heightened Marketing Efforts 

Your marketing efforts should have built to a crescendo in November. Now in December, those efforts should largely be maintained. Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand ads will still need larger budgets to remain competitive, coupons and giveaways will continue to improve your visibility and capture traffic, and social media marketing and influencer campaigns will drive shoppers to Amazon for conversion.  

Want Help Strategizing?  

Reach out to your Kaspien account manager or drop us a line on our Contact page to collaborate with Kaspien on your holiday marketing strategy.  

Prime Day is Amazon’s biggest sales event of the year, and it’s rapidly drawing near. To help you make the most of the day, we’ve put together our top 5 tips for improving your brand’s Amazon marketing strategy before Prime Day 2019.  

1. Launch or Expand Social Media Marketing 

Advertising on Amazon is fierce, especially leading into and through Prime Day, but you can get a leg up on the competition by extending your marketing beyond Amazon to social media. At Kaspien, we deploy paid social media ads and influencer campaigns to maximize our partners’ visibility and increase listing traffic. 
 
Paid Facebook and Instagram ads direct shoppers straight from social media to your Amazon Brand Store or listings. These ads are useful year-round, but they are particularly useful during peak seasons and sales events like Prime Day. They’re also an ideal tool for products that struggle to place high on the search results or are in a saturated category because they bypass Amazon’s search engine and competitors’ Amazon ads. 
 
Alongside paid social ads, you can also work with influencers to reach targeted audiences. Influencers build followings around a central focus, such as cooking, fitness, outdoorsmanship, and more. As a result, partnering with an influencer in your category can provide you access to a highly relevant and engaged audience. These shoppers are more likely to act, either immediately or at a future date, because they already have strong interest in your respective category.  
 
Kaspien’s social media marketing is among the most efficacious in the industry. If you want to learn how our experts can enhance your digital marketing strategy, reach out through our contact page

2. Utilize Prime Day Coupons 

Prime Day is known for offering some of the best prices of the year, which means that shoppers come to Amazon expecting coupons, BOGOs, and deals. Make sure your brand is ready to answer those coupon hunters with great offers. You can even pair coupons and giveaways with your social media ads and influencer campaigns, elevating them from tools for brand awareness and traffic into sales drivers.  
 
If you’re launching new products this year, Prime Day coupons can be a phenomenal way to jumpstart their velocity and position them for long-term success. You can either offer a significant discount for the new product, or you can use a BOGO to partner the new product with a best seller. By linking a new product to a product that sells well, the new product can share the benefits of the other’s strong velocity. 
 
This same strategy can also be used to accelerate the sales velocity of any underperforming product. 
 

3. Optimize Your Sponsored Product Ads 

Social media marketing is a powerful tool for reaching consumers off Amazon, but Sponsored Product Ads remain king of on-Amazon marketing. These ads are the highest converting ad type on Amazon, and with so much riding on Prime Day, you can be sure that the bidding wars for sponsored ad placement will be fierce. That means that you can’t afford to waste ad spend on low-converting terms.  
 
Kaspien created a bid optimization software called AdManager that minimizes wasted ad spend and maximizes revenue by automating four major optimizations. 
 

 
Enhanced by AdManager, our Sponsored Product campaigns can increase channel sales by up to 30%. Apply to the Beta today.
 

4. Optimize Listings for Discoverability 

Alongside paid marketing, SEO represents one of your best tools for reaching shoppers on Amazon. By optimizing your listing for Amazon’s search engine, your product will place higher on the search results page when shoppers enter a relevant query.  
 
To improve your organic SERP placement, your listings need to be rich with relevant keywords, and you should fully utilize the backend search terms. The listing title, bullet, and product description are all indexed by Amazon’s A9 algorithm, so focus your keyword efforts there. At this time, Amazon does not index keywords located in Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) or A+ Detail pages. 
 
The number and rating of customer reviews can impact a product’s SERP placement. If your product currently has fewer than 5 reviews, you can enroll it in Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program to help generate reviews.  
 
If you receive low customer reviews, read the feedback and see if any issues stemmed from a misunderstanding of the product. If so, it’s a relatively quick and easy fix to provide more or clearer information in the bullets, allowing you to set more accurate customer expectations and reduce the odds of future negative reviews. 
 

5. Optimize Listings for Buyability 

While keyword density is crucial for organic discoverability, you must balance it with readability. A string of keywords is great for search engines, but it’s useless and even off-putting for shoppers. 
 
To write great copy, strive to write bullets that are concise yet informative. Whenever possible, write in an active voice, and describe both features and benefits. Features are what makes a product unique and what functions it performs. Benefits are what positive emotions or experiences the user enjoys as a result of using the product, such as joy, pride, or relief.  
 
Although EBC and A+ Detail pages are not indexed by Amazon’s algorithm, they do provide an opportunity to highlight special features, additional uses, and more space to elaborate on features and benefits. 
 
In addition to informative and compelling copy, optimized listings contain stunning photography and inspiring videos. When shoppers view the search results, it’s the image that piques their interest and draws them into the listing. Once there, additional images and videos convey your product’s quality and give shoppers confidence in their purchase. 
 
If you need photos or videos for your listings, social media, or website, reach out to Kaspien’s in-house creative agency and request a custom quote.   

By following these five tips, your brand will be well positioned for a profitable Prime Day. Learn about more effective marketing strategies in our free whitepaper, The State of Amazon Marketing.

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to your account manager or contact us directly.  

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads are among the most impactful paid advertising tools in online retail. Although these ads appear only on Amazon, nearly half of US shoppers begin their shopping journey on Amazon and 73% of daily online shoppers click on products ads while browsing. Of those who click on the ad, a staggering 83% purchase the product!

The problem is, everyone else also believes in the power of Sponsored Product Ads, creating fierce bidding wars. To compete, you need your dollars to work more efficiently, driving more conversions for less money.

We’ve been working on that.

Introducing Kaspien’s AdManager

AdManager is Kaspien’s proprietary campaign optimization software. Through active machine learning, AdManager automatically updates targeted keywords and bids based on performance goals that you define.  

Amazon advertising operates using an auction system, with sellers bidding on search terms. The seller with the highest bid and best performing ad typically wins the auction. When a shopper enters the search term, that seller’s ad appears on the page. The seller is charged only if the shopper clicks on the ad.

By automating campaigns through AdManager, we ensure that your campaigns undergo continuous optimization, regardless of time or day. If our team is out on the weekend or seasonality picks up, your campaign will still be able to capitalize on that momentum.  

Features

Bid Optimization
AdManager can bid up or down at the keyword level, ensuring maximum profitability. You can customize the metrics used to determine the bidding strategy, including ACoS, ROAS, clicks, CPC, ideal CPA, ideal CPC, sales, and more! Bid optimization runs daily. 

Daily Budget Optimization
If a campaign runs out of daily budget due to high clicks and conversions, AdManager can automatically increase the daily budget to continue capitalizing on the momentum. AdManager checks on the daily budget every hour. 

Search Term Optimization
AdManager runs weekly audits for converting search terms and adds them to the campaign as keywords, making the campaign more efficient over time and amplifying your return on investment. 

Add Negative Keywords
AdManager also automatically re-designates poorly performing keywords as Negative Keywords, which prevents future bids on those terms to minimize wasted ad spend and increase campaign relevancy. 

Our software engineers and developers have invested well over 5,000 hours into AdManager, and we’re continuing to improve and expand its capabilities. Best yet, this highly customizable bid optimization software is complementary to all our Sponsored Product campaigns. 

Why You Need an Ad Platform

The calculation for your ads’ ideal CPC is fairly straightforward. The challenge is not in the formula; it’s in the variables. The numbers you need plug into the calculation change every day, with conversion rates rising and falling day by day and week by week.  

To get maximum return on investment, you need to update those numbers daily so you’re never bidding too much or too little. Sellers can manually monitor their products daily, but the practice is simply not scalable.  

By automating campaigns, AdManager allows you to simultaneously optimize Sponsored Product campaigns for hundreds of products, saving you time, minimizing wasted ad spend, and maximizing return on investment. 

Learn How AdManager Can Help You

If you want to take your paid advertising on Amazon to the next level, reach out to your account manager or contact Kaspien through our contact form.