As of October 2021, Amazon boasted 41% market share of retail e-commerce space. It’s easy to look at this number and be impressed that they hold the largest share. What you should also realize is this statistic means 59% of e-commerce shoppers are buying elsewhere. Diversification across multiple marketplaces is encouraged, but often time and cost prohibitive. The solution is to drive external traffic to Amazon listings and Brand Store.
Benefits of Driving External Traffic to Amazon
Increasing your access to a larger market share is a benefit, but it’s not the only one. We’ve talked in a previous blog about how to drive internal traffic to Amazon, but 59% of shoppers surveyed said they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make in-store or online. Consumers who end their shopping journey on Amazon aren’t always starting there.
Advertising is all about being in the right place at the right time with the right product. Your customers take to search engines such as Google and Bing, hoping to solve their issues. Be present in these spaces when customers ask questions to provide your product – and a link to its Amazon listing – as the solution.
Amazon views external traffic as a benefit, too. The details of the algorithm are not publicly disclosed, but we do know that your ability to drive external traffic to your brand is a factor when ranking you as a seller compared to your competition.
How to Drive External Traffic to Amazon
To be heard above the din, educate yourself on the noise your customers are hearing. Understand who else is trying to capture their attention and what tactics they’re using to get it. There are several services and software available to discover what keywords bring traffic to top listings. In successful campaigns, organic and paid efforts are focused around specific terms. Knowing what terms work for the competition gives you an idea of where to start.
Once you’ve determined how you want to speak to your audience, it is time to decide how to reach them. Here are 4 tactics that drive external traffic to Amazon brands:
Readers trust the opinions of their favorite bloggers and brands. The holy grail of driving external traffic to Amazon is when blogs and online resources add a link to your product within their content. Their preferential mention of your product has great weight in the eyes of your consumers.
But how do you get there? You ask.
Who To Ask
Tools and manual search allow you to find articles where your competitors products are mentioned and linked. Take a moment to reach out to the editor of the piece and see if they would be willing to link to your product instead, giving them a compelling reason that your product is superior to the one already listed.
But how do you know if the sites you’re looking at are where you want your link? Read through the site. Ask yourself:
- Do they portray the same ideals that your brand represents?
- Are they making smart and informed recommendations?
- Are they an individual or a company?
- Is the author listed?
- Is it a broad affiliate or a niche site?
- How often do they update?
Research their target audience and the following aspects of the site:
- Reach – The number of potential customers coming to the provided domain.
- The higher the reach, the harder it might be to get a response. The lower the reach, the less likely it is to drive traffic. Look for something in the middle.
- Authority Score – A metric to gauge domain’s quality
- A higher score means it’s more likely to rank. A lower score could signify a new site.
- Competition – The number of products who have links from that domain
- Higher amount of competition usually means automated lists or listings scrapers, less likely to make changes to their blogs. Lower competition signifies a niche or small site that might have too narrow of a focus to be worth your efforts.
Once you’ve selected links to ask for, find the site or authors contact information. This is often listed on the site or search for their LinkedIn profile. Familiarize yourself with their social media posts, following their profiles so your name is recognizable and to understand what approach will be most successful.
How to Ask
Craft a compelling argument as to why you offer a better solution. Broken links to deactivated products, higher rankings, and better price points make convincing arguments to update content.
Tones to utilize when addressing an editor include:
- Flatter – Make it truly known you’ve read their content and really appreciate what it brings to the table, potentially including specific examples
- Boast – Let them know how your product will improve their content with quantifiable differences. Offer a sample for future articles they plan to write. If they’re an affiliate, include information on pricing and rankings if better than competitors. Just make sure not to overdo it.
- Help – If you found a broken link to a product, let them know you noticed and provide your link as a solution
Amazon Attribution Program
Amazon Attribution is a beta program started in 2017. It is a free measurement solution that gives marketers insight into how their non-Amazon marketing channels are performing. The program provides trackable links you can insert into your off-Amazon efforts across social media, ads, and your website. Easily identify how your campaigns are performing and allocate budgets accordingly.
These links generate metrics to quantify external traffic improvements, including:
- Click Throughs
- Detail Page Views
- Product Sales
Keep in mind that the Amazon Attribution program uses a Last Click Model, meaning that each goal success will be attributed to the last source that the user interacted with before completing the action. You will not know how many other marketing efforts users interacted with before taking action, only the most recent.
Social Media Marketing
Marketers are often asked if social media is worthwhile. According to a study, internet users worldwide in 2020 spend an average of 145 minutes per day on social media. If the goal is to be where your audience is, it’s clear that your brand needs a social media presence. The next question becomes how to execute a social media marketing strategy successfully. Here are a few steps to get you started:
Set Your Budget and Goals
Start with a conservative budget. You can always increase as you see results. Be patient, a social media following takes an average of 2 years to build. Like Rome, it will not be built overnight. Decide what metrics determine progress towards achieving your goals. These might be metrics provided by the social media platform or by Amazon if you’re using Amazon Attribution links.
Find Your Audience
Take the time to figure out who your customers are, what their interests are, and what content they’re engaging with. Analyzing data from your website or existing social or a practice called “social listening”. This is done by determining what hashtags and topics are important to your consumers. Find groups, pages and hashtags they’re frequenting and follow them to organically join the conversation.
Share Your ‘Why’
Establish trust with your audience and show them your value amongst competitors. Share the ‘why’ behind your business. What makes your business special? Highlight whatever sets you apart – innovative processes and materials, a dedication to health, the most experienced, the roughest and the toughest, the simplest and easiest.
Create Consistent Content
Establish a brand voice. Speak to your audience in a way that resonates. Create written content, images, videos, infographics, and more that speak to unique pain points and provide solutions. Take your knowledge of what your customers are searching for and address them in meaningful ways via social media.
Collaborate and Engage
Social media is all about networking. Find related pages, events, and groups that compliment instead of compete, and interact with and share their content. Reach out to the page and see if they’d be willing to do the same. Respond to comments and shares of your posts. Show users there are real thoughts, interactions and feelings behind your brand. Give engagement to get engagement.
Direct Traffic to Amazon
Utilize Amazon Attribution links to drive external traffic to Amazon. 89% of consumers are more likely to buy products from Amazon than other e-commerce sites. Orders placed through Amazon are eligible to submit reviews. A higher volume of reviews and increased traffic to listings are both key to the Amazon algorithm in deciding which products to present on the SERP.
Many have pooh-poohed influencer marketing as a fad not worth the effort, but that attitude is dashed when you look closely at the numbers. Since 2016, influencer marketing has shown steady growth, responsible for $1.7 billion in 2016, $9.7 billion in 2020 and $13.6 billion in 2021. These numbers are proof that influencers have the ear of your consumers and are encouraging them to buy products that they endorse.
Look for Influencers who Match Your Brand
Find influencers that speak to your niche using influencer marketplaces or with a little bit of legwork. In your social listening you will likely come across influencers speaking to your topic. Sponsored posts must be labeled as sponsored, making them easy to pick out. Reach out to these people with an explanation as to why you think they should endorse your product.
Paid vs Product Exchange
There are two ways to set up an influencer marketing campaign. One option is to offer payment, the other is to offer free product in exchange for their work. Send them product or payment and in return you receive imagery, sometimes video, and access to the viewership of their cultivated list of followers.
The more followers an influencer has, the more you can expect to pay, but not all influencers require payment. There are a vast number of micro influencers who are willing to trade their services for free product. This model is a great way to get started in the world of influencer marketing. Use your budget as a guideline in choosing what size of following makes the most sense to achieve your goal.
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