Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) continues to evolve on the Amazon marketplace. It has become a fundamental feature for brands when creating product listings. This tool widely became available to sellers at the start of 2017, with the goal to enhance the customer shopping experience, improve conversions and ultimately increase sales.
Improving Brand Content
At the start, brands were uncertain as to whether EBC was worth the investment. At that time, there was no evidence that these pages drove results. It was a case of test it and see. However, with content advancing and competition continuing to grow and be more aggressive, EBC is already becoming a norm. Conversion is not the only motive to creating these pages. Today, it is not a question of “Should we invest in EBC?” It’s now a question of “Have we optimized our EBC for success?”
When EBC first launched, it was a case of getting something up on the Amazon platform while it was free! (EBC was offered at no cost for a limited time just after launch.) It didn’t have to be super professional with fancy graphics; the idea was to create basic content and then improve it over time. This is exactly what is happening now. Brands are reviewing their enhanced content and looking to optimize it. They may have seen some level of improvement in conversion, leading them to up their game and adjust the graphics and content to see even greater growth.
Enhanced Brand Content Template Changes
Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) has been continually improving Enhanced Brand Content. The previous fixed templates were recently changed to six modular based templates. The assumption is that these changes were based on previous learning and success rates. It’s also likely that the goal is to make them more responsive for mobile devices.
One key difference with these new templates is that the first two modules on the template are locked. In these modules, the seller must upload their brand logo and add in the product description. Amazon continues to focus on the importance of branding, offering more merchandising tools on Seller Central but only for brands registered in the Brand Registry. The product description section appearing at the top of the template in a specific location has definitely got my attention. Could this mean it will soon be indexed by search? You never know, so now is the time to make sure that it is optimized for search.
Optimizing Enhanced Brand Content
The question today is “How do we optimize our EBC for success?” It is important to be familiar with the 8-second attention span. Today we scan and scroll and jump screen to screen. Most visitors will not read word for word, yet want immediate answers and will spend very little time on a product page. The key with Enhanced Brand Content is that the graphics capture the customer’s attention and the content engages them. It needs to make the customer want to extend their time, be easy to read and help the customer make an informed buying decision. Ideally, the page view converts into a sale.
Visuals are key. Visual content reaches an individual’s brain in a faster and more understandable way than textual information, which fits in well with the audience of today. Use text on images, highlighting key benefits or using icons so the customer gets an immediate answer as to what the item is or does. If this captures their attention, they might then be inclined to read some more of the text. If they don’t have time, they might at least shortlist the page to read in more detail later. Use lifestyle and action shots to get the customer to imagine using the product. This does not require specific photography. There are lots of great stock images out there at affordable prices.
Alongside these compelling visuals, it’s all about writing enticing copy. You need to write like the customer thinks, not how the brand thinks. The most important aspect of the content is focusing on “What’s in it for me?” Highlight the benefits, giving the customer a reason to buy and illustrating how the item will help them. The biggest mistake I see brands make here is focusing on the feature rather than the benefit. It’s great that the cell phone cover has a snap click closure, but what does that mean to the customer? It means it is easy to install, therefore the brand should be focusing more attention on the easy to install part and then elaborating on why it is easy to install, because it has a snap click closure. It also must be relevant to the product. When writing product copy, ask yourself:
- Does the customer really need to know this?
- Does this help someone make a buying decision?
A feature may be important to the brand, but if it doesn’t mean anything to the customer, there is no point including it. You may only cause unnecessary noise and confusion.
There is a crazy amount of competition on the Amazon marketplace, so make sure you are highlighting your key selling points that differentiate you from competitors. Don’t hide away from any purchase barriers, such as item cost. Turn that into a positive, giving the customer information about why it is expensive, e.g. made in the US, made from organic cotton. Most importantly, make sure you familiarize yourself with Amazon’s guidelines regarding what you can and cannot write.
Content Is All Around You!
I have created various Enhanced Brand Content for my clients. Usually the issue I am faced with is that they have very little content available. In those cases, I try to become more creative. There is a lot more content around than you may initially see. You just have to hunt for it. Try these ideas:
- Start reviewing product packaging for nuggets of information or icons that you can elaborate on.
- Read product reviews and customer questions on Amazon and social media to understand what the customer is saying or wants to know. This also helps you write in the customer’s language.
- Check out your competition. What are they saying and focusing on? Find a benchmark to get started.
Once you’re done, make sure an “outsider” reads through your content and easily understands it. When you know everything about a product, you can assume the world does, too. Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Keep it Simple
In summary, keep Enhanced Brand Content simple and to the point. Busy images and way too much content will disengage and confuse the customer. These days the minimalist approach is the method most brands go with. (Apple is a great example of this.) Don’t forget to think and talk like the customer!