It’s no secret that Amazon is taking over the world. So, it should come as no surprise that Amazon is also taking over every aspect of digital marketing, including influencer marketing. etailz, a leading retailer on Amazon, was one of the first third-party retailers to adopt influencer marketing as a means of driving external traffic to Amazon. Here’s what we’ve learned.
So often, Amazon retailers solely focus their marketing efforts on capturing the attention of the shoppers already on Amazon. And, why not do so? Amazon’s already done the hard work of acquiring the consumer, right? Wrong. Or rather, half wrong. 49% of product searches start on Amazon, which means the other 51% of shoppers are beginning their searches elsewhere. Guess where they are: On social media. And, how do you reach them? Through influencer marketing.
Amazon themselves recognize the value of influencers. Its influencer program is an extension of their affiliate program which enables influencers with a certain follower threshold to create their own Amazon storefront, share products through custom URLs, and earn money by doing so. Amazon’s also recently launched its celebrity store which displays curated lists from top celebrities. So, whether micro or macro, Amazon is clearly interested in providing opportunities for influencers of all sizes. This is why it’s so important for Amazon retailers and brands to dedicate a portion of their influencer budget specifically toward working with influencers dedicated to driving traffic back solely to Amazon. Here’s how we do just that.
As the introduction to your brand for many consumers, influencers play a crucial role in your overall marketing strategy. At etailz, we’ve found unparalleled Amazon marketing success by implementing a holistic marketing philosophy funnel. At the very top of that funnel are influencers driving hyper-relevant traffic from their blogs and social profiles to an Amazon listing or Amazon brand store. If a brand is not utilizing these external influencer initiatives, their customer base on Amazon will inevitably plateau, even with high marketing spend on the platform. A constant flood of new customers needs to be streaming onto the Amazon platform in order to continue seeing maximized success on the channel.
Once external traffic has been driven to the marketplace through influencer and social media marketing, it’s time for Amazon CPC ads, coupons, and giveaways to capture the on-platform customer’s attention. At the bottom of the funnel is the ever-important listing content. Optimized copy, photos, and videos must be in place to ultimately convert the customer. Without these foundational marketing elements in place when an influencer campaign launches, the entire campaign is at risk of failing to produce significant results due to ineffective listing content. The success of the whole depends on the quality of the components. Together, they create a holistic strategy that produces results. And, it all begins with influencers.
Here are 7 strategic ways we use influencers as part of our Amazon marketing strategy:
#1: An instant team of content creators
Influencers are respected content creators producing stunning content, including photography and video, that can also be used within Amazon listings. We work with many brands who do not have in-house photographers and will instead hire out their Amazon listing images to influencers, getting the dual benefit of both an influencer campaign and customized assets. It is important to be upfront about your intent to utilize an influencer’s content in a commercial setting, as some influencers may charge extra for those rights. Even so, we’ve often found gaining commercial rights is still cheaper than hiring a professional photographer.
#2: It’s All About Gaining Trust
In a world of knock-off brands and counterfeit product, consumers are more aware than ever of these potential scams, especially on Amazon. It has recently started cracking down on counterfeit product through its transparency program, which demonstrates what an important role a brand’s reputation plays in success on Amazon. Spreading the word and building up your brand’s credibility over counterfeits and your competitors can be achieved by employing reputable influencers to promote your products. Influencers spend years gaining the respect of their followers, making them the ideal advocates for your brand. If an influencer is promoting your brand, that’s just another way to differentiate your products from any counterfeiters and your competitors. You can also control which links influencers include in their promotions, ensuring that you’re driving shoppers to your authentic listings and they’re not stumbling into fake listings on Amazon.
#3: Launching New Products
Influencers are a powerful asset for launching new products. Without a history on Amazon, the first priority for new products is increasing product visibility. One brand that applied this lesson well is JumpOff Jo, a family lifestyle company who creates products that “grow with your family.” JumpOff Jo collaborated with Janene Crossley, a top one percent Instagram influencer in the Moms community, to promote its Little Jo Kids TeePee Tent on her blog and Instagram. Through Crossley’s posts, JumpOff Jo promoted its brand and product to thousands of relevant consumers, building brand awareness and driving sales. They were able not only to gain additional visibility on Amazon, but they also gained hundreds of followers on their own social accounts, providing evergreen value well beyond the campaign.
#4: Integrating Other Amazon Strategies Into Your Campaign
With so much noise on social media, it’s important to entice your influencers’ followers with something extra. We often set up unique coupon codes for influencers to share with their readers. Whether you’re having a major influencer distribute this code or hundreds of micro-influencers share it with their readers, including a discount in their posts always amplifies your reach. This also improves your ability to track direct Amazon conversions via coupon code redemptions. We have also used influencers to promote Amazon deals, giveaways, and new product launches.
#5: Setting Up Each Campaign to Have a Lasting Impact
While many of the campaigns we run are on Instagram, we often suggest blog posts and/or YouTube videos as part of the campaign. These content types are evergreen, capable of featuring trackable links leading back to Amazon, ideally, forever. Case in point: A YouTube campaign we ran for a client has produced over 4,000 highly-relevant clicks back to their Amazon listing over the past nine months.
#6: Reuse influencer content on Social Media
Repurposing influencer content is not a new idea, but where we’ve seen success is either boosting the influencer’s content via their profile and directing right back to the Amazon listing and/or repurposing their content to create a social ad. Any way you can increase awareness that your product is available on Amazon via fresh content will only help your Amazon sales increase.
#7: Measuring Results Effectively
Of course, influencer marketing on Amazon presents its own set of nuances. Tracking sales has historically been near impossible, with no access to place tracking code on Amazon’s back end. Fortunately, Amazon has seen the value in driving external traffic to its platform, and the company has recently enabled retailers and brands to create trackable links via Amazon brand stores. For the first time ever, we are now to create trackable links unique to each influencer so we can accurately measure and attribute sales to their efforts.
An Amazon brand store can be created by the brand itself or by a registered agent of that brand. These brand stores act as cohesive catalogs for brands and include an unprecedented amount of external tracking abilities. Whenever we’re running an influencer campaign for a client, we ensure their brand store is optimized to receive (and convert) traffic. It must be cohesive with the content the influencer is publishing to create a seamless experience for the shopper who is coming from social media to the Amazon platform. At the end of the campaign, we’re able to measure how many brand store page views, orders, and sales each influencer drove, which in the world of Amazon influencers, is, simply put, a game changer.
In summary, influencers are becoming more and more respected in the world of marketing, Amazon marketing included. Even if you already have a robust influencer program directing traffic to your direct website, consider layering dedicated Amazon influencers into that strategy. But, be warned, directing influencer traffic to Amazon is very different than the traditional route of driving customers to your direct website. Tracking is more difficult, there are additional logistics, and more things that have to fall perfectly into place on Amazon itself. Amazon is a very volatile place so you want to ensure everything is looking its best before you allocate the resources to have influencers drive traffic back to there. By utilizing our tried and tested strategies above or working with an expert in Amazon influencer marketing, you’ll be set up for success.