Tips for Influencer Marketing

Online shoppers can’t physically inspect your products before buying them on online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay, and Walmart. As such, recommendations are one of the few ways that online shoppers can connect with your products, and influencer endorsements are one of the best forms of recommendation. Influencers spend years gaining the trust and respect of their followersmaking them ideal advocates for your brand.  

Nowadays, many brands run influencer marketing campaigns. That shouldn’t be surprising, as influencer marketing is one of the best forms of social proof. Their followers trust their actions and guidance within their particular niche. This trust is incredibly valuable to growing brands.    

Influencer marketing campaigns can be challenging to manage and execute, but have no fear. In this post, we’re sharing seven tips for how to manage and maximize the results of your influencer marketing campaigns.   

1. Create Goals for Your Marketing Campaigns  

As with any project, a successful influencer campaign starts with clearly defining goals. Your goals should be tailored to your specific brand, as goals will differ depending significantly on your current social media development level. Common goals among brands include brand awareness, brand engagement, driving traffic to your listings or website, driving sales, or increasing followers for their social media. 

2. Clearly Define Your Goals to Your Social Influencers  

Now that you have clearly defined goals, they need to be communicated to your influencers. If your influencers are not on board with your goals, they are not the right fit for your influencer campaign. Additionally, if your primary goal is to drive traffic to your listings, they need to be aware of that so they can be sure to include all relevant links.  

3. Engage with Your Social Influencers  

Engaging with your influencers keeps them excited about your campaign. Before the campaign starts, message your influencers personally and see if they have any unanswered questions. Also, follow their account and like some of their posts. Start engaging with their brand, so they start engaging with yours. During the campaign, continually message them about their efforts, progress, and results. It is your role to keep them in the loop about changes or errors in their posting. After the campaign is over, thank them and discuss their results. Influencers are not Facebook or Instagram Ads; they’re people, and they need to be engaged to maximize efforts.   

4. Allow Your Social Influencers to Be Creative  

Micro-managing influencer’s content is how influencer campaigns turn into advertising campaigns. Influencers know their audience best. Let your influencers play around with styles, messaging, and so on. The best way to ensure they stay aligned with your goals is to give them the freedom to be creative.   

5. But, Give Them the Specifics 

There are a few specific details that do need to be communicated. This type of communication includes giving them a specific link for your listings or website, how many pieces of content they need to produce, whether the product needs to appear in the post, and so on. These communications should be made before you hire an influencer.   

6. Track Post-Performance Metrics 

Like any marketing campaign, you need to have metrics to see how the campaign performed. In the case of influencer marketing, tracking likes, comments, views, click-through rates, and so on can provide insights into overall campaign performance. Knowing the ROI on your influencer marketing campaigns will allow you to identify what is working and what is not working. If promoting products on Amazon, you can use Amazon Attribution links to associate performance metrics with individual influencers.

7. Create A Relationship with Your Highest Performing Influencers 

Now that your influencer campaign is over, identify the highest performing influencers based around your goals and post-performance metrics. These are going to be the influencers you want to create long-term relationships with. You can do this in several manners, such as asking them to join other influencer campaigns, reposting their content, continuing to engage with their brand, and so forth.   

Looking for Help with Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns?  

Kaspien was the first major third-party seller to combine influencer marketing with Amazon marketing. We’ve spent over 4 years running over 150 influencer campaigns for our partners. Learn more about how we can drive traffic to your listings through influencers. 

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Amazon and social media marketing

What is Social Media Marketing? 

Social media marketing is the act of promoting products and brands to consumers on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Triller, TikTok, and Snapchat. In today’s virtual age, social media marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools that brands have at a relatively low cost. 

When done in tandem with other marketing efforts, social media marketing can deliver extraordinary results. A great example of this is Häagen-Dazs’ Instagram and TikTok viral marketing campaign in the United Kingdom. In this campaign, Häagen-Dazs sponsored a weekly home-entertainment series, called “Secret Sofa,” which was promoted by influencers. They had numerous UK creators on TikTok and Instagram create videos around the sponsored series. From this campaign, Häagen-Dazs doubled its Amazon orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   

There are two types of social media marketing: organic and paid. 

Organic Social Media Marketing 

Organic social media marketing is any activity that doesn’t require a budget, such as posting, commenting, replying to messages, or interacting with other accounts. Organic marketing is all about growing brand awareness and engaging with your audience. Building relationships and earning customer trust is just as essential for brands online as for brick-and-mortar stores. It’s about striving to achieve the familiarity and service of a locally owned business, but on a much larger scale.

Learn about Kaspien’s organic social media marketing services.

Paid Social Media Marketing 

The second type, paid social media marketing, is about reaching your consumer through paid efforts on social media. These can include influencers, paid advertisements, sponsorships, and much more. Paid marketing is meant to drive traffic and sales on websites or online marketplaces. 

Learn about Kaspien’s paid social media marketing services.

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How to Use Social Media Marketing to Drive Amazon Sales 

Social media marketing can seem like a daunting undertaking for brands new to the space. It can be complicated, but there are a few principles to guide you.  

First off, engage with your audience. Use social platforms to create content, such as images and videos, that display your brand’s values and aesthetic. Do you want your brand to be seen as witty, earnest, fun, no-nonsense, etc.? You can reinforce your branding every time you engage with your audience with copy and visuals alike.  

Second, include a call to action. Suppose your goal is to sell a product, point shoppers to your products and listings. Not every post should include a CTA, as that risks coming across as overwhelming or making the relationship feel shallow. Balance CTAs with organic engagement.   

If you first engage and interact with your social network on the social platforms, directing them to your listing or website will be much easier. In many cases, shoppers need to connect with your brand long before they consider purchasing your products.  

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Promote Products Online: Amazon Marketing 

Amazon is the largest online marketplace and shoppers on Amazon have a higher intent to purchase than those searching via Google. The problem is that Amazon advertising is getting more expensive. In addition to growing brand awareness and building loyalty, social media marketing can help brands grow their Amazon sales. Reaching shoppers off Amazon and directing them back to Amazon allows you to bypass competitors’ Amazon ads. Plus, if they’ve interacted with your brand on social media in the past, you’ve already gained their trust on Amazon. 

Thanks to the Amazon Attribution Program, you can even attribute on-Amazon sales to off-Amazon promotions. If a consumer finds your products through your social media, and you’ve placed a trackable link created via the Amazon Attribution Programyou’ll gain insights such as clicks, Amazon listing views, and purchases. Amazon attribution is a necessary tool to gauge the effectiveness of your social media efforts. 

Run Amazon Giveaways via Social Media 

One great example of how to utilize social media marketing to drive Amazon sales is through product giveaways. Amazon used to run a program called Amazon Giveaways, but Amazon retired giveaways in October 2019. We saw great success in running product giveaways, so the loss of the program was disappointing (BUT, we did create a list of low-cost marketing alternatives to Amazon Giveaways). However, through social media marketing, you can still run giveaways manually through your social media channels. Our partners have seen excellent results promoting their Amazon listings through giveaways held on their social media channels, as it’s a natural way to drum up interest in your products on Amazon. 

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EPISODE 8

Social Media Marketing and Amazon

Social media is a powerful tool for establishing connections and building relationships. Brands can leverage social media to reach more shoppers and cultivate authentic, engaging experiences with their customers. In this episode, Kaspien’s Inbound Marketing Manager, Katie Capka, joins Kunal to discuss the myriad uses and benefits of running active social media accounts for your business, when and how to leverage paid social ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and the rich opportunities afforded through influencer marketing.

social-media-strategy-for-Amazon-marketing

It’s no secret that the Amazon landscape is becoming increasingly saturated. As a result, it takes more to stand out these days: More effort, more time, and more money. So, what are you going to do to stand apart from the competition?  

Our recommendation: Beef up your social media strategy; it’s often an untapped gold mine of potential. Both paid and organic social media will increase your brand presence off of Amazon, yes, but social media will also create tangible impacts on Amazon.

For example, we launched a private label brand in the baby & kids category, and through active Facebook & Instagram pages and social ads directing back to Amazon, we were able to produce over 30,000 organic monthly brand name searches on Amazon within the first few months. We took this brand that no one had ever heard of, and through social media, had 30,000+ people searching for the brand on Amazon with presumably high intent to purchase.  

Here’s how we did it. 

Integrate Amazon into Your Facebook & Instagram Pages 

Whether you’re creating your social profiles from scratch or have an active social community already, there are social media strategies you can implement to help drive more traffic to Amazon specifically:  

  • Include a link to your Amazon brand store or Amazon listing(s) in your Instagram bio. You can either put this as the only bio link or use services such as tap.bio or linktree to maximize that space. In your bio, mention that your followers can shop on Amazon via that link. Here’s a good example. 
  • Set up your Facebook shop page. Did you know that anyone with a Facebook business page can create a digital storefront that displays on your Facebook page and has the ability to link directly to each Amazon listing? It’s a piece of cake to set up and link right to Amazon, like this brand does. 
  • Regularly link to your Amazon listings or brand store in your Facebook posts. Since you can include links directly in your Facebook posts, take advantage of that space to post direct links to Amazon, but don’t do it so often that it begins to look spammy.
    Here’s an 
    example of a Facebook post that integrates a trackable link in the caption.  

  • Use attributable links – always. With the recent release of the Amazon Attribution Program, there’s no reason why you can’t make every link trackable. Learn all about the Attribution program in this blog post. 
  • Include Amazon coupon codes in your posts and/or Instagram bio. Use the Amazon Promotions coupon codes feature to create an eight-digit coupon code that can be shared anywhere you please on social media. This will enable you to see how engaged your audience is based on how many redemptions you receive, as well as provide your followers a nice treat. 
    This brand
     does a good job of sharing an Amazon coupon code in their Instagram bio.  

  • Use your social pages to communicate updates about your brand on Amazon, like a new coupon, product launch, or price cut.  

Don’t have social pages set up or a team to manage them? We have a team of Facebook Blueprint Certified social media strategists who can do it for you!  

Drive Targeted Traffic to Amazon with Facebook & Instagram Ads 

If you really want to start driving a significant amount of off-Amazon traffic back to your Amazon listings or brand store, paid Facebook & Instagram ads are a quick, strategic way to do it. Within 30 minutes, our experienced social media experts can have a campaign set up and launched that’s driving people from social media directly to your Amazon listings.  

Here’s how we typically build a paid social campaign: 

  • Campaign objective – Traffic. It’s no question that the best campaign objective for driving conversions is, not surprisingly, the conversions objective. Unfortunately, there’s no way for any of us to place Facebook’s tracking pixel onto the back end of Amazon (maybe someday we will be able to – what a dream that would be!). That means we cannot use the conversions objective because there’s no way for Amazon to communicate back to Facebook when someone completes a conversion event. The next best objective we have is traffic. Or, maybe video views, if you have a good video.  
  • Ad sets – We typically build out at least 3 ad sets per campaign based on these 3 audience types: 
    • Interest-based audiences – This ad set is built using Facebook’s demographics and interest targeting. We build these audiences based on information from our partners and educated guesses about who would be interested in the brand. We then review this audience weekly to make adjustments based on which demographics are clicking the most. 
    • Custom audiences – These are audiences based on some sort of value, like your Facebook page followers, an email list, or video viewers. For example, we could create a custom audience of people who have abandoned the cart on your direct website and target them with an ad urging them to purchase on Amazon instead. 
    • Lookalike audiences – I’m a huge fan of lookalike audiences because they’re an easy, strategic way to expand your reach beyond your current social following and customers. I like to create lookalike audiences based off of Facebook followers, email lists, and those who have previously engaged with Facebook/Instagram ads or posts.  
  • Use eye-catching creative – There’s no point in running social ads if you don’t have something beautiful to put money behind. Facebook puts a lot of weight on the creative and may not even approve your ad if there’s too much text in the image or it’s in bad taste.  
  • Again, use the Amazon Attribution Program to create trackable links – I create a trackable link for each ad set, or sometimes even each ad, so I can gain insight into exactly which audience or piece of creative is driving sales. You’ll have to view these insights directly in the Amazon Attribution dashboard, as they’re not currently viewable in Facebook.  

We’re firm believers in using paid and unpaid ads in your social media strategy to not only increase Amazon traffic and sales, but also increase your brand’s presence overall. However, creating effective social ads can be an extremely daunting process without the proper training or experience. That’s why we have a team in-house who is Facebook Blueprint Certified to run them for your brand! We can run social ads back to your website, Amazon, or both.

Reach out to use via our contact form to get a quote.  

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Amazon Attribution Program

If you retail on Amazon, you should be excited about the Amazon Attribution Program. The best business decisions are backed by data, and the Attribution Program allows marketers, for the first time, to reliably attribute nearly all off-Amazon digital marketing efforts’ impact on Amazon engagement and sales. 

For the first time, you can measure the impact of search, social, display, email, and video media channels based on how consumers discover, research, and buy your products on Amazon.
– Amazon 

 

What Is the Amazon Attribution Program?

The Attribution Program has many similarities to UTM codes in Google Analytics. The platform allows advertisers to create unique tags that are then added to an Amazon URL, most likely the URL of an Amazon listing or brand store. The tag can be created to represent any depth of granularity, from the campaign it’s a part of, the channel it’s deployed on, or even a specific keyword. By doing so, advertisers can discern which campaigns, channels, ads, and keywords are making the biggest impact on their Amazon business. 

The Amazon Attribution Program was news to many this year, but it actually dates back to 2017, when Amazon invited a few, select brands to test the earliest iteration of the program. Amazon opened the doors to its beta in 2019. Currently, the beta is free and open to vendors and sellers in the US, with limited access in the UK. Brands must be enrolled in Brand Registry to utilize the Amazon beta program.  

Measure the Impact of Your Off – Amazon Ads

In short, it’s a huge win for data-driven decision making, especially for social media, influencer, and video marketing as they become bigger players in brands’ digital marketing strategies. Instead of identifying correlations between Amazon sales and off-Amazon marketing, marketers can now prove causationempowering business owners to make more informed decisions about how they invest their marketing dollars. 

Prior to the program, there were few ways to attribute Amazon sales and engagement to marketing on social media, emails, display ads, and video ads, and each of the existing methods had limitationsWith Amazon accounting for more than a third of online sales in the US, the lack of a reliable attribution model poised a significant hurdle to making informed marketing decisions. 

How Amazon Attribution Works 

The Attribution Program uses a 14-day window, last-touch, cross-device attribution model. Breaking that down, any engagement by a user within the 14 days preceding their purchase will be tracked. If they engage with multiple advertisements, only the last advertisement they viewed or clicked prior to purchase will receive the attribution. Finally, the Attribution Program can track the same user across multiple devices, so if they engage on their smart phone, then two days later make a purchase from their desktop, Amazon can still track the attribution. 

A Resource for the Amazon Individual Seller

The Attribution Program is a self-service platform. It’s structured using four hierarchical layers: Advertisers, Orders, Line Items, and Tags. 

  • Advertisers are the organization running the ads. This can be the seller or an Amazon agency running marketing on their behalf. 
  • Advertisers create Orders. Orders can be thought of as a brand or a product line. Reports are pulled at the Order-level. 
  • Line Items can be created using any Amazon URL. We suggest creating Line Items for specific listings and Brand Stores, as these are the locations advertisers are going to direct consumers to most often. By default, Line Items include the publishing destination, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Google. 
  • Tags are the unique text created by the Attribution Program that are added to the provided URLSimilar to UTM codes in Google Analytics, the unique URL+tag can be used when embedding links in off-Amazon marketing efforts, enabling attribution. 

How to Utilize the Attribution Program 

Step one is start collecting data. That means immediately creating tags through the Attribution Program for all off-Amazon marketing that you can use to drive traffic to Amazon. The Attribution Program provides data, but it’s still up to advertisers to determine how to use that data. 

As information comes in, advertisers can refine their strategies, directing budget and time to increasing advertising effectiveness. Consider what factors are causing an ad to perform well or poorly. Are there any commonalities? Is it based on the copy, graphics, or temporal factors such as seasonality or trends? Do certain channels perform better than others? 

Data gleaned from the Attribution Program can be used to improve other efforts as well. For example, if you learn that your most engaged customers are most active on Facebook, you can direct more of your attention there for non-Amazon focuses. 

By allowing data to guide your efforts, you can increase your return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), use time more effectively, increase traffic, and grow sales.  

Need Help Advertising on Amazon?

Kaspien Amazon PPC Services

Kaspien is an industry-leader in Amazon paid search marketing, leveraging Amazon Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads, and Product Display Ads to drive meaningful sales growth and increase brand visibility. Enhanced by our proprietary CPC bid optimization software, AdManager, our partners’ Sponsored Product campaigns average a 30% sales increase, 10% ACOS, and 10:1 ROAS.

Stretch your marketing dollars further.

Schedule a call with us today, and we will discuss a tailored paid search plan for your business needs.  We’re here to help!

Amazon Attribution Program

Amazon is working on two exciting programs that will make it easier than ever to incorporate influencer marketing into your Amazon marketing strategy: Amazon’s Influencer Program and Amazon’s Attribution Program. These services provide a means to track and attribute influencers impact on brand awareness and sales. 

AMAZON’S INFLUENCER PROGRAM 

The Influencer Program is an expansion of Amazon’s Affiliate Program. Available since 2017, it allows individuals with large followings and strong engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube to create personalized storefronts on Amazon. 

“With the Influencer Program, you get your own page on Amazon with a URL to showcase the products you recommend to your followers. This gives you an additional way to direct traffic to Amazon, which is especially useful where hyperlinking isn’t possible (e.g. Instagram captions or video content.)” 

– Amazon Influencer Program FAQ 

Examples of current influencer storefronts: 

As you can see in the examples above, each influencer storefront has a vanity URL – amazon.com/shop/influencername 

The vanity URL allows influencers to direct traffic to their storefronts. Any product listing navigated to through the influencer storefront has a unique tag attached to the URL, which is used to attribute page views, sessions, and sales.  

Currently, the storefront customization is fairly limited, but per AdExchangerAmazon is currently working on a means for influencers to import content from their social media pages to the storefront, creating an aesthetically rich, personable experienceYou can read more about crafting great personalized experiences in our blog post on behavioral economics applied to marketing 

Benefits of Influencer Storefronts

The influencer storefront is a mutually beneficial feature for influencers and their brand partners. For brands, the ability to attribute traffic and sales allows them to measure the results of their influencer marketing dollars, which was previously quite difficult.  

For influencers, the storefronts allow them to provide a curated selection of products for their followers, reinforcing the personalization that draws their audiences to them. Influencers attract followers because people like their personality and put stock in their opinions. The storefront provides a convenient, centralized location for influencers’ followers to view the products that they’re willing to put their weight (and name) behind. 

AMAZON ATTRIBUTION PROGRAM 

The second of the two programs that will enhance social media marketing is Amazon’s Attribution Program. Currently in beta, the Attribution Program allows US brands enrolled in Brand Registry to utilize a cross-device, 14 day, last-touch attribution system for promotions on non-Amazon sites.  

That’s a mouthful, so let’s break it apart.  

Attribution for Off-Amazon Promotions 

Starting with the last part, “promotions on non-Amazon sites:” The Attribution Program allows brands to create unique tags for each of their off-Amazon marketing promotions. The tags can be for campaigns, products, ad-groups, keywords, channels, or any combination of them.  

Once a tag is created, brands attach it to a link for their product listing or brand store. When this link + tag is used in its respective promotion, brands can isolate the results driven from each promotion. 

For example, a brand could create a tag for a giveaway hosted on their Instagram, then create a separate tag for the same giveaway hosted on their Facebook. Even though the link might be identical, the tags differ, allowing brands to isolate attribution.  

Cross Device Tracking 

“Cross-device” means that the program will track a shopper’s journey across multiple devices. If a shopper clicks a Facebook ad while on their phone, then purchases the advertised product two days later from their laptop, Amazon will attribute the sale to the mobile Facebook ad. Pretty neat 

14-Day Window 

If a shopper clicks a link that has been tagged through the Attribution program, Amazon will attribute any page views, purchases, or sales to that promotion if it occurs in the next 14 days. 

Last-Touch Attribution  

The caveat to the 14-day window is that Amazon attributes page views, purchases, and sales to the point of last touch. If a shopper clicks Ad #1, then a day later clicks Ad #2, then a week later makes a purchase, Amazon will attribute the sale only to Ad #2 because it was the most recent point of contact.  

According to an Amazon spokesperson, Amazon will still attribute the sale to the last-touch promotion regardless of whether the sale occurs through the brand store or through the product listing and vice versa. If a promotion links to a listing, but the customer converts in the brand store, Amazon would still attribute the sale. 

The spokesperson also states that in 2020, Amazon hopes to move to a multi-touch attribution system.  

INFLUENCER MARKETING POTENTIAL 

Influencer marketing has been building momentum for years. With Amazon accounting for 38% of online sales in the US, these efforts to enable a data-driven approach are big news for the industry.  

Kaspien has utilized influencer marketing to drive Amazon sales for over two years. You can view the results of our services in our Influencer Marketing Overview 

We can run influencer marketing on your behalf as your retail or agency partner. Get in touch with us to start utilizing our service. 

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Launch new products on Amazon

Jack-o-lanterns and candy corn already line the shelves of grocery stores, heralding the arrival of fall and the holiday season. But even as the busiest shopping time of the year grows near, some brands are looking further aheadplanning for the launch of new products in the coming year. 

If you’re among that group, you’re well aware that creating and releasing new products is an exciting but complicated process. After spending months researching product opportunity, target audiences, competitive landscape, and developing the product, you hope that all your time and energy will pay off after launch day, but that’s far from a guarantee. 

Markets are increasingly saturated as retailing and direct selling become more accessible, with Amazon occupying the forefront of that trendAmazon is only one marketplace, but it accounts for a significant portion of ecommerce sales, with estimates ranging from a third to half of online sales in the US. Its predominance makes it a key player in any product launch strategy. 

To position your product for a successful launch, you need to enter the game with a holistic strategy for marketing, inventory management, and customer service. 

Launch New Products with Kaspien’s FTM Program

To help with that effort, Kaspien has introduced our First-to-Market (FTM) Program, comprehensive package wherein Kaspien provides marketing, logistic, and account support for a set monthly rate. 

Learn More 

Services include: 

  • Marketplace competitive analysis 
  • Product compliance assessment 
  • Dedicated account manager to consult with on an outcome-oriented strategy 
  • Inventory management support 
  • Brand protection software 
  • Listing creation and optimization 
  • Paid Amazon advertising 
  • Complimentary use of Kaspien’s bid optimization software 
  • Amazon coupons 
  • Amazon giveaways 
  • Customer feedback emails 
  • Access to social media marketing 
  • Access to influencer marketing 
  • And more!  

Over our 11 years on Amazon, Kaspien has helped launch hundreds of new products, establishing and refining best practices. This program draws those insights together into a convenient, comprehensive services package. 

Proven Results 

We’ve deployed our strategies to successfully launch new products on Amazon for leading brands, including 3M and ZippyPaws, rapidly increasing visibility and driving sales for new product lines. 

Alongside established brands, we’ve also seen fantastic results for entirely new brands, including: 

  • 30,000+ brand name searches on Amazon per month within one year of launching 
  • More than 1,000 followers on social media within one year of launching  
  • 43% increase in sponsored ad ROAS and a 37% increase in channel sales thanks to Kaspien’s bid optimization software, AdManager 

Now, we’ve introduced the FTM Program to help your new products succeed too 

What It Costs 

The FTM Program starts at $4,000/month retainer, which pays for labor and up to $1,500 of monthly marketing services. The program transitions to a wholesale retailer partnership when revenue reaches a sustainable rate, typically occurring within six months of product launch. 

Get Started 

Enroll in the Kaspien’s FTM Program by reaching out to your Kaspien account manager and filling out our contact form 

The Secret to Great marketing is Great Storytelling

Traditional marketing theory tells us that when consumers shop, they prioritize rational over emotional decision making, considering factors such as function, quality, and price before anything else. But behavioral economics – the theory that consumers’ purchasing behavior is linked to psychological, cognitive, emotional, social, and cultural factors – tells another story 

According to Gallup, buying decisions may be weighted in favor of emotional thinking as drastically as 70% emotional and 30% rational. They also found in a study of 10 companies that those who applied behavioral economics in their business strategies outperformed peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin during a one-year period.  

As sellers near the busiest time of year for retail, it can be incredibly impactful to take a moment to reassess your marketing collateral. Are you appealing to emotional thinking on your product detail pages and banner ads? Do your social ads come across as personable and relatable?  

Drawing on emotional factors to influence shoppers’ decisions doesn’t mean that marketers should ignore pragmatic factors. They are top buying considerations. Rather, it means that marketers should enhance theianswers to pragmatically-minded questions by delivering them within an appeal to emotional decision making.  

Tying Emotion into Marketing 

Incorporating an appeal to emotional thinking in marketing can be done in your visuals and images.  

Visuals 

In visuals, it involves showing positive emotions, such as joy, relief, or pride. It highlights the experiences enjoyed because of a product.  

This image from JumpOff Jo’s Blanket Fort is a prime example. In this image, the product is part of the background, and the focus is instead on the experience: The kids are bonding, enjoying spending time together in their blanket fort.  

 A Lifestyle Image that Highlights Emotional Value

This image is great for use on a website, social media, and the Amazon listing page. It appeals to our emotions and helps us visualize using it with our own families. To complete their pitch and also appeal to rational thinking, JumpOff Jo includes studio images as well, which highlight product features.  

Reach out to Kaspien’s Creative Services team to produce custom photos, videos, or graphics. 

Copy 

In copy, appealing to emotion relies on the writer’s principle of “show, don’t tell.” Instead of writing, “your child will love riding their new bike,” you can write, “Watch your little one whoop and laugh, eyes wide, as they race down the road by themselves for the first time.” The former tells; the latter shows.  

This approach to copy and visuals can and should done in any media representing your brand, from your packaging to your Amazon listings.  

One brand that executes this well is Big Betty, a brand that makes oversized glassware and novelty items, including Pinot Protector, an elastic wine stopper. 

 Big-Betty-Pinot-ProtectorExample of excellent branding copy

They utilize the same personality and humor from the product in the listing copy, without sacrificing keyword density. Their branding is consistent across media, and their appeal to emotion (in this case, an admittedly crass sense of humor) is woven together with pragmatic factors, such as the airtight seal and reusability.  

The Secret to Great Marketing is Great Storytelling  

Marketing to rational thinking comes easily, but it can be tricky to consistently market to emotional thinking as well. The most effective way to ensure that you consistently appeal to emotional thinking is to incorporate it into your branding. 

To create effective branding, it should be framed as a story. All good stories have distinct characters, which means your brand needs to have a distinct look and feel. This includes your imagery and copy across all channels, offline and online.  

Impactful Marketing Spans Channels

Offline and online marketing impact each other, especially when they’re coordinated to work in tandem. If you’re memorable in one place, you’re memorable elsewhere. That’s what makes cross-channel marketing one of the most effect tactics in the industry. Shaping a good story across your brand outlets can provide a significant advantage across channels, especially on the highly saturated marketplace that is Amazon. 

Great Stories Have Heroes

Our favorite stories consist of protagonists to root for, sympathize with, and relate to. They share our values, inspire us, make us laugh, or provide something else of tangible or intangible value. A marketer’s job is to make that protagonist your brand, there to help your customers overcome problems and achieve goals. 

By creating a distinct, personable, relatable, and truthful brand persona, you make your brand memorable, invite increased engagement, and earn customer trust 

Telling Your Story 

Branding is multifaceted and varies greatly by industry, but here are a few universal tips for how to get started: 

  • Who is your target audience? What are their interests? What are their pain points? The more information you have, the better. Create a persona that represents the ideal customer for your brand and think about how you’d approach them. 
  • What is your brand’s origin story? Why’d you enter the business? What problem or need did you see that your product addresses? Your brand’s origin story can be a tale of innovation, perseverance, or ambition that you can draw inspiration from when crafting your branding. 
  • What are your brand’s goals? Think beyond profitability. Your goals (often represented in a mission statement) should be clear, actionable, and inspirational. It’s a tall order, but it will provide direction for your marketing, your employees, and your customers. Dedicate serious thought and attention to this. 
  • Can you tie your brand to a larger cause? Why does that cause matter to your brand? How are you contributing to it? Linking your brand to a greater issue or movement can increase your visibility and engagement with your target audience, although you must be prepared to back up words with actions. 
  • How will you align visuals with copy? Your imagery, packaging, and writing should to work together to represent your brand.  

More Free Resources

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.  

Selling your products on Amazon and other online marketplaces offers immense potential, but it can be a daunting prospect, even for experienced brands. To give your brand the best shot at a successful launch, you need to start with a strong foundation, both in product design and marketing. That involves researching target markets, assessing competitor products, creating keyword-rich listing copy, producing Amazon-compliant photography, preparing Amazon search marketing campaigns, and coordinating influencer marketing and social media marketing to generate early traction. 

Well before you get there, you need to create a game plan, a strategy that will make each decision purposeful rather than spasmodic. We’ve helped launch thousands of profitable brands and products on Amazon, and we’ve learned a thing or two about best practices. 

Whenever we consider a first to market launch, we apply a four-step framework. 

Step 1: Definitions

 From the beginning, you need to know who your audience is, what your goals are, and at least some specific steps for how you’ll get there. By establishing definitions at the start, you’ll create clear direction for preparatory and maintenance work. 

  1. Define your target audience. What are their needs, and how will you fulfill those needs? What platforms do they frequent? What ideals can you appeal to?  
  2. Create realistic and incremental growth plans. Lofty goals are admirable, but a ladder with a rung only at the top is useless. You need incremental, tangible goals that will take you step by step to the finish line.  

Step 2: Analysis

 Once your goals and action items are defined, assess your current product iteration. You should have gone through product design a number of times before this stage but revisiting it once more will ensure you’re still on track. If you find that you’re not there yet, you still have time to pivot before you invest more time and money in a weak venture.  

  1. Evaluate your brand or product with a SWOT analysis. Are you well positioned, or do you need to address issues before you launch?  
  2. While marketing will attract customers, it’s product design that determines if those shoppers are one-time buyers or return customers. Even if your price is better, a poorly designed product will lose to a slightly more expensive, better designed product. Before you invest your time and money in entering ecommerce marketplaces, confirm that your product is up to par.  
    1. If you’re entering an already competitive niche, reviewing competitor products’ reviews is a great way to get insights into product do’s and don’ts.  

Step 3: Construction

 Now comes the moment of truth. It’s time to build your listing. You’ll notice this is the longest section in this article, but if you’ve been thorough in your previous steps, this stage should be relatively painless. 

  1. People buy what looks good. Invest in professional photography and consider videos if your product is complex or you’re appealing to a niche audience. Amazon requires at least one image for your listing, but we recommend a mixture of studio and lifestyle images for a total of 5-7 photos. If you need creative assets, Kaspien’s in-house Creative & Digital Services team can provide everything you need. Check out some of their work here
    1. Amazon Gallery Image Requirements: 
      Image size: 500px – 10,000px
      Format: JPG, TIFF, or GIF
      Max File Size: 10mb 
    2. Amazon Hero (First Gallery) Image Requirements 
      Shows product only (out of packaging)
      100% pure white background
      Product must fill at least 85% of image area
      Must be in focus, not blurry   

       

  2. Invest time and resources in search engine optimization. Listing optimization matters for a couple reasons:  
    1. Titles, bullet points, and product descriptions are indexed by Amazon’s search algorithm. Seeding these sections and the backend with keywords is one of the few ways you can proactively improve your organic SERP placement. 
    2. If you want to index for shoppers’ searches, you need to use the terms they’re already using. Don’t describe your product from your perspective; describe it from shoppers’ perspective.
      1. Shoppers who bother to skim or read the copy are doing so because they want more information. That means you shouldn’t just vomit insensible strings of keywords to improve discoverability. Your bullet points and product description must be keyword rich, intelligible, and compelling.
    3. Amazon Listing Character/Bytes Limits 
      Title: 250 bytes 
      Bullet points: 1,000 bytes total for all 5 
      Product description: 2,000 bytes  

       

Step 4: Refinement

 Once your product is live, it’s time to collect data so you can refine and expand your efforts. 

  1. Promote your products off-marketplace with influencer marketing and social media campaigns. Partnering with influencers and running paid Facebook and Instagram ads are effective ways to drive off-site traffic to marketplace listings, increasing your total traffic, improving visibility, and driving conversions.  
    1. By directing targeted audiences from social platforms to your listings directly, you bypass marketplace search engines and competitors’ SERP ads.  
  2. Paid marketplace ads like Amazon Sponsored Products will be less effective while you have extremely high ranks, so use SEO and content marketing to drive down your rank. Once your category rank has improved enough, Cost-per-Click (CPC) ads can be a powerful force for amplifying visibility and sales. 
    1. Increasing listing traffic and sales with content marketing boosts your organic product rank, which improves the performance of your CPC ads on marketplaces.   
  3. Conduct regular evaluation and refinement of your marketing and product. Review ad performance, conversion rates, product rank, and customer reviews. 
    1. As mentioned earlier, customer reviews can provide great insight into what you’re doing well and what you could improve upon. Some complaints stem from misunderstandings, which you can correct by updating imagery and copy. Other complaints may be with the product – How can you improve its design to address those issues?  

In our decade of ecommerce experience, we’ve seen this framework lead to profitable and sustainable growth for our partners and their products. As the saying goes, half the battle is preparation. These four steps will position your company for a strong start and steady growth when you take your brand or products to sell on Amazon, Walmart, and beyond for the first time. 

Global ecommerce sales are expected to maintain steady growth for the foreseeable future, which means that international expansion poses a growing opportunity for your brand’s success. But before you take your brand to Alibaba, Amazon’s international domains, and other foreign marketplaces, you need to thoroughly understand the online landscape within your target markets. Each country has different laws for the use of consumer data, regulatory and customs requirements, tariffs, and more, all of which will determine whether international expansion is currently viable or even advisable for your company.

It’s a lot to take in, but preparing your brand for global online expansion can be broken down into three main phases.

 

1) Research your target marketplaces

Study each country’s trade laws to ensure you can protect your brand’s integrity. Risks range anywhere from trademark infringements to simple packaging violations.

Establish your Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Even if your brand’s IPR (trademarks, patents and copyrights) are protected in the U.S., they are not protected internationally. There are no universal IPR protections, so consider how to protect your brand and inventions before you begin international expansion.

  • File your IPR’s internationally to ensure protection beyond the U.S.
  • Look for conflicting registrations in new foreign markets. In certain countries, IPR is based on first to file rather than first to use. That means another company or an IPR troll could file a trademark or patent for your product, then charge you for the rights.
  • Consult an IPR attorney for legal guidance.

Understand international requirements for product testing, registration, labeling,  packaging and shipping.

While the compliance process takes time, it is critical. Failing to meet product and labeling requirements can result in your product’s removal from a marketplace and destruction by customs, fines, product recalls or even lawsuits for injury or misuse in extreme cases. Product testing, certifications, and the repackaging process have multiple variables, and rules differ by country, even within the EU.

  • Products must be tested and meet individual country standards, labeling laws, and any other outlined requirements. Safety testing rarely transfers across borders.
  • When shipping products internationally, you need to know quantity, where components and products were manufactured, where they’re going and how you’re moving them. Each factor can significantly affect your margins as you navigate foreign laws and tariffs. 

 

2) Create a framework for selling in each market

Once you’ve readied your legal defenses, prepare your brand for sustainable success by addressing the following questions. Is there demand? Do you have the necessary infrastructure? What’s the competition? Who can help you succeed abroad?  

Confirm international product demand and sales and distribution channels.

Think of launching in a new market like you’re launching an entirely new product or brand, and run through the same checklist you did when you launched your brand domestically. Lack of preparation here can result in stagnant sales or inventory, and it’s not always cost-effective to ship inventory back into the U.S. Create a plan in advance to address excess inventory or limited demand.

Identify appropriate strategic partners.

Select strong strategic partners to gain a clear understanding of what’s required to enter and succeed in a specific market or to help manage logistics, marketing, taxes, distribution, and sales.

 

3) Implement marketplace-specific product marketing

Once your brand is protected and well-positioned, you need to create a plan to manage product marketing. Consider your target audience, how you’re going to market to it, international competitors and the budget required to compete in a new marketplace.

Partner with regional influencers to drive local consumers to marketplaces.

Influencer and social media campaigns are an essential step in holistic marketing. Bloggers and social influencers help increase brand awareness and develop brand loyalty. These key individuals can be geographically or linguistically bounded, so identify and partner with influencers native to each foreign market to promote your brand with local consumers. 

Utilize culturally knowledgeable translators to create effective marketing.

Your search terms in English may be effective, but literal translations of those same terms may not carry the same efficacy in foreign marketplaces. Work with proven translation services to generate high-frequency search terms for each marketplace. The best marketers will utilize translators who have cultural knowledge, empowering you to tap into the cultural milieu of each market so your brand can better build rapport and relevance with local consumers.

Taking these steps will prime your brand for a successful launch and sustainable operation in foreign markets. If you do your homework early and establish key connections, you can take your brand and products around the globe.