Originally published on February 13, 2019, updated April 30, 2020
Industry experts reveal their thoughts about building a brand on Amazon.
Topics covered include:
You can watch the webinar above or check out the show notes below for the recap and a full transcript.
You’ve launched your business on the largest online retail website in the world and now you’re wondering what to do next. While you’ve already taken that first, huge step, your work has just begun. Amazon is incredibly competitive, so it’s absolutely crucial that you find ways to set yourself apart.
In this incredible webinar, you’ll learn tips from industry superstars including Liz Adamson (Egility), Brandon Andrews (The Private Label Insider), Steph Nissen (Atomic Revenue), Shannon Roddy (Marketplace Seller Courses) and Brigette Young (The Modern Muse Company). Hosted by eComEngine’s very own Liz Fickenscher, this is one presentation that you won’t want to miss! In the meantime, here are some highlights.
What goes into making a brand? Is it just about coming up with an eye-catching name and logo or is it more than that? As Adamson explains, your brand is “the way you can stand out from the hundreds and hundreds of thousands” of other sellers on Amazon. Without brand identity, your listings will "really look like any other product on Amazon.”
Roddy echoes this statement saying,“Without branding, you get into a pure price comparison model where customers are going on Amazon and only looking at the price and reviews... The way to get out of that is to create brand awareness and brand equity.”
Ultimately, brand equity is really about how customers perceive the value of the brand. As Nissen states, “Your brand becomes your promise to consumers about what you’re going to deliver in the experience they are going to have with you and the quality you’re providing.”
Your product listings are optimized, you’ve launched a website and your social media accounts are active — now what? With all of the essential components in place, it’s time to find your audience. The best way to do this is to let your customers know who you really are.
“The story about who you are and what you stand for becomes pivotal in creating a brand both on and off Amazon,” Nissen says. “Consumers have lots of choices, so if they’re all the same price and they’ve all got decent reviews, what ultimately helps them pick what they are going to buy? The stories that you tell about your brand are what speaks to them.”
How do you do that? Through infographics, logos, lifestyle images and more, according to Adamson. “A mobile shopper should be able to just swipe through images as they are shopping on their phone and be able to get a good picture of who you are as a brand and what your product is and maybe even make a purchase decision without reading any of the copy.”
Amazon understands the importance of brands to the future of the marketplace, which is why all of the new tools are being built around them. By offering brand registered accounts special privileges, such as having full control over product detail pages, Amazon is encouraging sellers to take advantage of their Brand Registry Program.
One key component to the protection Amazon offers your brand has to do with your trademark. As Andrews states, “The trademark process takes a while — it can take 9-12 months for a trademark to be fully completed. It’s always recommended to start considerably ahead of when you want to launch your product.”
However, if you’re already selling without a trademark, Andrews warns that you may begin the process only to learn that someone else already owns it. “It’s best to get in front of this and begin transitioning your brand to something different before Amazon discovers the issue and forces you to make the changes.”
Taking the time to fully develop your brand equity concept is worth it. There are many ways in which you can make the most of your on-Amazon branding opportunities in order to gain a loyal following. The webinar goes into great detail with suggestions for:
According to Nissen, Facebook recently said that they expect 70% of new content added to business pages to contain video. This is because it resonates with customers. Roddy also focused on how having “unboxing, assembly or how-to instructional videos” on listings can add value and provide an excellent customer experience.
Your company deserves and needs a well-rounded existence, which includes branding outside of Amazon! One tangible approach is to make full use of product inserts. As Roddy explains, Amazon’s app can scan QR codes, so including one in the product insert is a great way to build brand awareness. Customers can scan the code and immediately be directed to a video relating to the product or taken to where they can leave feedback, for example.
Remember, keep your branding personal — make a connection with your customers but don’t overwhelm them. Always include your brand name and logo in product titles and descriptions to build brand recognition and awareness while focusing on creating a memorable, enjoyable experience.
By following these tips, along with the rest of the incredible insight you’ll gain from watching the webinar, you’ll be sure to set your brand apart from the rest.
Liz F: Hi everybody, thanks for joining us for the Building Your Brand on Amazon webinar today. I have got a wonderful, wonderful panel of people who are going to help us learn everything we need to know about getting started with our brand, about promoting our brand, about brand equity and all that stuff.
Liz F: So, we're just going to get started, I'm going to introduce you to everybody. If you have questions throughout the webinar, just pop them in the Q and A section. We're going to try to roll with it as we go. This is just one big conversation. So, I'm Liz. I am the industry liaison at eComEngine. We make software for Amazon sellers. So, you guys might have heard of us. And I have got Liz Adamson, Liz say hi.
Liz A: Hi everyone.
Liz F: From Egility. I've got Brandon Andrews from the Private Label Insider. Brandon say hello.
Liz F: I've got Steph Nissen from Atomic Revenue.
Steph: Hey guys.
Liz F: Shannon Roddy from Marketplace Seller Courses.
Shannon: What's up.
Liz F: And Brigette Young from Modern Muse Company.
Brigette: Hi guys.
Liz F: Isn't this exciting? I'm so excited. All right. So, we have some special offers for you guys. You don't have to memorize this. You don't have to do anything with it. We're going to email it to you after this. This recording will also be emailed to you, but everybody is throwing out some amazing special offers to thank you for attending today. So, we'll also show this at the end, and again, it will be in the follow-up email.
Liz F: So, our agenda. We're going to talk about the big picture about your brand, the big why. We're going to talk about brand awareness, brand protection, on Amazon branding and off Amazon branding. We've got a lot to cover. We're going to go a little bit more than an hour today. We've got enough time, so stick with us as long as you can, ask those really important questions. And let's just get started. So Shannon, tell us about the big picture. I know you're a big picture kind of guy.
Shannon: I am a big picture kind of guy. So, here's why branding on Amazon is so important. Without branding, you get into a pure price comparison model, where customers are going on Amazon and they're only looking at the price and the number of reviews and that's it. And that typically is a race to the bottom. Again, people if they're only purchasing based on price, it's a race to the bottom. So, the way to get out of that and to build a brand is to create brand awareness and brand equity.
Shannon: And brand equity is really the consumer's perceived value of your brand. And that can have to do everything with pricing, it can do with the customer experience, it can do with the look and the feel of the product, the overall tone of the brand, professional level of customer service. There's so many things that play into it, but the whole idea is, the golden nugget is building brand equity on Amazon.
Shannon: If you can effectively build and protect brand equity on Amazon, then you can win in a world that's so challenging with so many different challenges, both within the Amazon platform, with the Amazon itself, with unauthorized sellers, with resellers net violations, there's a ton of different ways that that can be destroyed. So, understanding that you need to build brand equity and understanding how to do it are probably the two most important things that we see for any brand owner on Amazon.
Liz F: Awesome. So, what is brand? Liz, you and I talked about this before. You talk to a lot of sellers a lot of the time. What do you hear about brand?
Liz A: I get a lot of questions from sellers, frankly, about why does brand matter on Amazon? And Shannon has already touched on quite a few points. And basically it's the way you can stand out from the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of widgets on Amazon. There are so many private label products on Amazon right now that really have no brand identity, have nothing beyond the fact that they really just look like every other product on the market.
Liz A: If you can create that brand on Amazon and start to create a following and brand loyalty, it will help your presence on Amazon, it will drive more traffic, it will drive more conversions. One of the examples I always go to is Anker. They do chargers, they do batteries, things like that. They built their brand on Amazon and they did an amazing job of it and have become one of the number one sellers on Amazon.
Liz A: And they've created this brand experience where even though I've shopped on Amazon and I may or may not have initially seeing that brand name when I purchased the product, when they sent that product to my home, it had a nicely branded box. It had a nice note in it. It had instructions to contact customer support. And then when I had problems with my product and I contacted them, I actually just left a review on Amazon and said, "This product didn't work. I didn't like it, don't buy it." They immediately contacted me, sent me a replacement and refunded my money.
Liz A: I'm now a loyal fan for Anker and that's part of their brand story. They take care of their customers. And they made an impression on me and I'll shop with them again. So, that kind of experience is critical for Amazon sellers if you're going to stand out in this extremely crowded marketplace that we now have.
Liz F: That's excellent. That's all excellent points. So Shannon, you were talking about brand equity and Liz, you mentioned brand story. I think that probably the most compelling stories that we hear from sellers, any kind of sellers are the ones that teach us about why they're doing what they're doing or the story behind what they're doing. And that's I think a really important part of the brand story. In addition to the customer service you provide, in addition to your packaging, in addition to all of it, there's so much to think about.
Liz F: But before you get started with... and if anybody wants to interject, because you know me, I'll just go on and on. But before you get started with any of that, there are some things that you need to do. And I'm missing, sorry, I'm just going to be a freak right now. I want Brandon to talk a little bit about getting started with your brand.
Liz F: So, there are some things that you need to do in particular. And I think Liz and Brandon, you both can hit this pretty well, but there are some things you need to do to establish your brand on Amazon to protect yourself. So, why don't we talk about that.
Brandon: Yeah, totally. When we think of, as Shannon was mentioning, your brand equity, it's important. Your brand is important not only to protect, but it's important to manage continually. So, when we think about Amazon specifically and protecting your brand, one of the key components really has to do with your trademark. It's almost one of those things where it's a non-negotiable item for you now.
Brandon: And so, for most of you guys, you're probably aware the trademark process specifically here in the United States, it takes a while. It can take 9 to 12 months for a trademark to be fully completed. Still boggles my mind why it takes that long, but of course we don't have control over that process. The USPTO, it's like that. So, the trademark process is important. And we always recommend in order to actually get your trademark off the ground is actually to start considerably ahead of when you plan to launch your product.
Brandon: So, let me give you an example of, if you knew that you're passionate or you wanted to enter, let's say, the kitchen market and you're going to be bringing products to the market inside of some sort of kitchen niche, we would actually recommend to go through the brand development process now. Go ahead and file that trademark, keep it generic enough by categories. You could have a sports and outdoor brand, you could have your kitchen brand, you could have your baby brand, whatever product categories you are going to go in, go ahead and file those trademarks now to get that process started.
Brandon: Sometimes there is some back and forth communication through that process. So, we want to make sure when we're ready to launch on Amazon, we are as close as possible to that trademark being completed because we know as Amazon sellers, it unlocks a huge amount of additional benefits for you as an Amazon seller, specifically on their platform.
Brandon: So, when we think about trademark, it's really a non-negotiable. It needs to happen. If you're selling on Amazon today and you do not have your brand trademarked, you need to go through that process. You may actually find that the name that you want to use is actually used by someone else who is trademarked. You can actually get out in front of that to start making sure that you transition your brand to something different before Amazon would actually slap you on the wrist and say, "Hey, this is a trademark brand that's now come onto the Amazon marketplace."
Brandon: So, it's a non-negotiable. It needs to happen. Again, we recommend doing it well in advance. So, the huge benefits specifically for Amazon is the Brand Registry Program. So, when we think about the Brand Registry Program, Amazon understands the importance of brands to the marketplace. Why the heck are they developing their own brands and bringing them to their own marketplaces? It's because they know this is the future of their marketplace. They continue to build all of their tools around brands specifically to make sure that we're leveraging the tools in order to grow our brand on their site.
Brandon: So, when we talk about brand registry, trademark is just a... it's a first step. It's a requirement as far as getting approved inside of that Brand Registry Program. But when we talk about just three core benefits, because I think these are important to outline. The first one is ownership of your product detail page. Part of the Brand Registry Program allows you to have full control over that product detail page.
Brandon: So, if someone was to ever try to make any adjustments, they can't because that product page is locked down because your brand is on file with Amazon. In addition to that, any changes that you need to make, for those of you that are not brand registered, you probably know the pain of trying to make changes to a product detail page even if you created it, making those changes are somewhat difficult. Simple changes, title changes, copy changes inside of your product listing.
Brandon: It can be difficult sometimes if it's not brand registered. So, not only do you get protection, but you really get full control. You can make those changes on the fly. So, that's really the first one. The second one is, it's much easier to report violations of someone else using your brand. So, if you have that trademark on a file with Amazon, you can contact Amazon. They top their stats around, I think it's around 95% of their brand registered violation. Anyone that reports a violation, they handle those within 24 hours, 95% of those requests. So again, this is an accelerated option for you to handle some of those violators who are trying to come in and take advantage of your brand.
Brandon: And then really Amazon allows for additional proactive brand protection that they have built into their system. And so, it's really multiple things that you're getting inside of your brand, but ultimately, it's your responsibility to make sure your brand's protected. That's why the trademark process is so important. But don't just get siloed into thinking about Amazon sales. Amazon Brand Registry is awesome, it's going to help your Amazon protection, but you need to think about even off Amazon. Making sure that you know what's happening about your brand.
Brandon: Every time a sale that happens that's not yours, it's going to leave a mark on that experience just like we were talking about earlier. And there's a realization too, right? Is we can't control everything in the WebSphere, right, if you will. We need to be very knowledgeable about the areas that a lot of these sales could happen, eBay's a common example that comes up. We need to know what's happening on eBay. We need to be reporting those violators.
Brandon: Obviously Amazon is a big player, so make sure your trademark is in place, make sure you take advantage of that Brand Registry Program, get your trademarks started well in advance as much as you can so that as close to launch date as possible, that trademark in that brand can be in place to protect you.
Liz F: Awesome. That's awesome information Brandon. We are going to talk about on Amazon branding and off Amazon branding. But first, Steph and Brigette, I would love to hear from you guys about, as you're thinking about your brand, as you're thinking about getting your trademark or brand registry, what are the core things that you need to remember as you start to establish your brand or as you start to reinvent your brand?
Brigette: Steph take it.
Steph: All right. Sure. Yeah. One of the big misconceptions around building a brand is they just think about their logo, the name, the colors, the fonts, the style of what it is. And Shannon touched on it earlier that we're trying to get away from people just buying things based on price. And your brand is so much more than what it looks like. Liz talked about the experience of it, that's a big element of what your brand is.
Steph: Your brand becomes your promise to consumers about what you're going to deliver, not in the product, but in the experience that they have with you, the quality of what you're providing. Your brand becomes the perception and the persona about who you are and what you stand for. It's the expectations of the quality and the experience you're going to have. And all those elements make up your brand.
Steph: And you need all of that information, both on and off Amazon, if you're going to build something that's recognizable, that sparks trust immediately as soon as I see it and you create a fan-worthy brand that people flock to. And then, Brigette, if you want to talk about that a little bit more about people flocking to a brand.
Brigette: Yeah, definitely. Everything that Steph said is so on point. And the important thing to remember is that the field should be seamless. So, whether I'm seeing your brand in a retail store, on your own website, on Amazon, anything like that, it should always feel the same and elicit that sense of trust and understanding about what that brand's about.
Brigette: So, whenever you're thinking about things, my recommendation is always, don't think of it as a brand owner, think of it from a consumer standpoint. How would that feel? How would that look to that consumer? And the experience, again, should just be completely seamless across all fronts.
Liz F: Agreed. That's good stuff you guys. All right. We're going to get into the nitty-gritty and, sorry I'm flipping around on the slides, but I think it's okay. Not exactly seamless, but we're flying by the seat of our pants here. It's cool. So, we're going to talk about on Amazon branding and then we're going to talk about off Amazon branding. There's obviously a lot you can do on Amazon to reinforce your brand and to promote your brand. And there are some really technical things that our people here know a lot about, so we're going to talk about that. We're going to talk about off Amazon branding.
Liz F: Again, if you have any questions, pop it in the Q and A in Zoom and we will answer it. But let's get started with all the on Amazon branding stuff that you can do.
Shannon: And Liz, before we do this, can we actually jump back? Because I think there was a part about brand story that Steph was going to touch on, because I think that's so important and plays into a lot of the stuff that we're going to talk about in terms of the on Amazon. Is that a slide that we...
Liz F: Well, let's just talk about that.
Steph: ... talk about it. Yeah, absolutely. The brand story and what you create, we talked about your brand's more than just the details of checking the boxes, I have a logo, I have a name. But the story about who you are, what you stand for becomes pivotal in creating a brand both on and off Amazon. So, when we think about the move of the direction towards people buying things from companies that they believe in versus products that they need, we have lots of choices.
Steph: We talked about there are thousands of sellers in the Amazon marketplace that are selling exactly the same thing. So, if they're all the same price and they have all got decent reviews, what ultimately helps you pick which one you're going to buy? Consumers, we now pick based on the way that we feel, we pick on what we align to and the stories that you tell and what speaks to us.
Steph: There is a professor and author, Mark Schaefer, who just released a book called Marketing Rebellion that now the power is in the hands of the consumer and that you have to connect with people again. Procter and Gamble soap, they have spent a hundred years pushing ads for buy, buy, buy this, buy this, buy this, buy this. And Mark tells the story of going into a friend's home and washing his hands in the sink and looking and seeing these little artisan soap bars next to the sink and coming out and asking the host, "Why did you buy those? Procter and Gamble has spent billions of dollars telling you to buy from them. Why did you buy this soap? Is it better? Is the quality better?"
Steph: And the host turned to him and said, "You know what, I don't know that I love this product. I don't know that I love the soap, but I love the hands that made it." It didn't matter what the product was, she needed soap. It doesn't matter, but for her what mattered, what made her decision was the people behind it, the feeling behind supporting this particular company that had a mission that she believed in, had people that she believed in. And that's the way people are going. So whether you're only selling on Amazon or you also have off Amazon, you've got your own storefront, other places. That story is what people are going to make their decisions off of now.
Shannon: Yeah. Steph, thanks for teeing that up because, again, I think that plays on Amazon branding. So, the whole idea is how do you embed your brand, your tone, your feel, your logo, your brand name as well as your brand story throughout the Amazon experience? So, everything from the seller bio. It should have your logo, you should use your custom storefront URL, you should build out your storefront. But starting at the top in terms of listing optimization, the one big one and one of the most obvious ones and one that a lot of people fight against is your brand name should go first in your product title.
Shannon: And it's just funny because sometimes people fight against that. They're like, "Well, I don't want to put the brand name in. I would just want to put my keywords in." And the thing is that the brand name is the first thing that they see in the organic search results, in a sponsored product listing or on the detail page. So, if people aren't seeing your brand name, they have no idea who made the product. So, you're not creating brand awareness, you're not building or reinforcing brand equity in any way.
Shannon: So, really the first and most pivotal things is, in your listing, use your brand in your title. And Amazon style guide typically requires that. The second one is in your product description. We typically recommend using HTML in that last paragraph. Take a brief, just two or three sentences and tell a little bit about the brand story. Tell about the owners, who founded the company?
Shannon: As Simon Sinek says, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." And so, I think that you can create that authentic emotional connection with somebody. I've got a company that I'm working with right now called AD RescueWear. And it's these two moms who had kids who suffered from eczema. They created this product line, this clothing product line to help people with eczema. And it's such a cool brand story. It's like you have to share that every place that you can. And those are one really powerful way to do that.
Liz A: Yeah, I'll jump in. When I work with sellers to create their copy for their product pages, I often get pushback on this point on, "Well, nobody's searching for my brand. They don't know who I am yet. I'm just launching. Why would I include my brand name?" And my response to that is, no, they're not necessarily searching in the search bar for your brand name. They're probably searching for soap, or luxury soap, or whatever the case may be. But once they get to that page, and they see that brand name, and then they purchase the product and have a good experience, if your brand name has been imprinted in several parts of that journey, on the product page, on your EBC content, in your storefront, in the packaging that you send to them, in your follow-up emails you're sending, as long as you keep imprinting that brand name and they begin to remember you, begin to understand your story, then they are a repeat customer basically.
Liz A: And so, you need to think beyond that first sale, beyond that discovery phase and into customer retention and building that customer loyalty that will ultimately grow your business.
Liz F: That's a great point.
Brigette: I Actually wanted to add one example. I would say real life, it's not, it's from the TV show Grace and Frankie if you guys have ever watched it. But in the story, it just made me think of what you guys were saying. There's a scene where they own a beauty brand and they're going to white-label it and sell the brands as the hotel, the soaps and lotions and shampoos and things like that.
Brigette: And there's a big argument between the mother and daughter who own the company saying, the daughter is ready to white-label it just to get the deal done and make the money. And the mother says, "Absolutely not. You cannot give up the brand name. That is the one thing you cannot give up."
Brigette: And it's true. You need to start somewhere. You have to create that demand for your brand and that affinity with your brand and that recognition of your brand. So, even from an outside Amazon perspective, it's so critical to make sure that you are always including your brand because that's how you build your following, your loyalty. It's absolutely critical.
Brandon: Yeah. I want to add one thing around this too because this is important. This step is important. So, when we talk about branding, we also fail sometimes to realize because we're letting data rule decisions on how we're crafting some of this. And although it's important from keyword volume and demand and all of those things, we need to remember we're talking to humans here, right? And so, there's an emotional side of this writing and crafting your product title through your descriptions all the way through. There is an art to that.
Brandon: And so, we need to remember the context of who we're ultimately trying to communicate with. We think broad, keyword, demand, volume, those types of things, but we really need to start thinking about our ultimate customer of who we're trying to reach and speak directly to them and build an emotional connection throughout our copy. Again, obviously those other things are important, but we have to remember these individuals are making a decision based on how they're feeling through the process of interacting with your product listing. So, when we think about building each of these sections, that's really important to make sure that you're building in some of that emotional connection inside of your brand.
Brandon: Naturally your brand story can do that because they're going to be building a connection to it. But remember, you're speaking to a person, and so make sure that the data isn't trumping that always. Make sure to obviously use that to place it in the important parts. But ultimately your bullets, your product description, all those things should really be speaking to the person.
Liz F: That's a great point Brandon.
Liz A: I think that's a good lead in to how images play a part in branding as well. It starts with this copy. Of course, we need the copy for indexing. We need the copy to be able to explain exactly what the product is. But we can't be forgetting the images. There's image optimization, there's enhanced brand content and there's storefront, and video as well. Those four pieces of the Amazon product page and the Amazon experience will help further communicate and speak to the customer on a personal level and be able to communicate what your brand is.
Liz A: And it becomes more and more critical as you think about shopper behavior and the fact that Amazon mobile shopping has an extremely high adoption rate. And they may not be going and scrolling and reading through your bullets and your description, which gets buried on the Amazon mobile app, but they will be looking at your images. When you're on mobile, you see title, images, price and add to cart button. So, if you've got nine images that are not only of the product and showing those details of the product, but they're telling your brand story through infographics, through logos, through lifestyle images, a mobile shopper can then just swipe through those images as they're shopping on their phone and be able to get a good picture of who you are as a brand, what your product is, and even make a purchase decision right there without ever reading your copy. So, you've got to keep that balance between image optimization and your copy when you're creating those product pages.
Shannon: Liz, I think that's so key. And we always tell people, "Use lifestyle photos." And sometimes people get overwhelmed and they feel like it's too expensive, especially if you're a startup, you're getting launched. There are some really great tools, and I just want to mention two of them. One is, companies like Upgraded Images, they can help you. If you find a stock image, they can actually shoot your product and then they use graphic designers that will actually put your product into the stock image. It's a very cost-effective way to help people envision what your product looks like and use in the real world without having to schedule two or $3,000 on those shoots.
Shannon: The other one that's absolutely critical we use is called Pickfu. And what Pickfu does is it allows you to compare either two or multiple images. So, if you're looking at images for your primary image, images for your infographics, or some of your branding photos and allow Amazon customers, and you can specify demographics, to get real-time data and feedback of what people prefer, it's incredibly, incredibly helpful.
Shannon: But yeah, you want to convey the feel and the tone of your brand through your images. And I've worked with companies that have a protein powder, for example. Well, they had images of people hiking and biking and outdoors and they were being athletic, or exercising, or getting in shape. It didn't matter that the product wasn't in the photo, that wasn't the point. People saw the images and they got it. They understood what the brand stood for and what kind of lifestyle it was about. And that's what people bought into. And that's so important.
Shannon: So, on the low end you can use stock images as long as you have the rights to do that, but you can also place your product into lifestyle photos or on the high end schedule your own lifestyle photo shoots.
Liz F: I love it.
Steph: Can I echo Shannon real quick? The point of you don't have to have your products in the photos or in the video, I really want to bring that home because that is so, so critical. When we think about things from big brands down to the smallest brands who maybe has one product, Nike and Gillette of the world when they do a video campaign, they're not showcasing all the different features of their products, they're creating a feeling. They're using their brand and everything to get you to make a buying decision. They're not telling you, you can go buy these shoes for 24.99. There's no pricing information. There's no product detail information.
Steph: It is literally just about the brand, and the feeling, and the community that you'll be a part of if you purchase and what you can be, what you're going to be a part of and what club you get to be a part of if you make that buying decision. But they're not telling you to buy it.
Brigette: One more addition... Oh, if I may, just really quickly.
Brigette: I was going to say, I have clients from all different types of walks and it applies to Amazon and off Amazon as well. But I would say that regardless of age, I would average the viewing of content at about 60% on mobile, just across the board, everything, for all types of clients. And then basically the younger you are, the more that you're looking on mobile, the more that you're looking at video, the more that you're looking at image. So, it's even that much more important if you want or expect to have younger customers, it even becomes more amplified, more critical.
Brandon: Yeah. A lot of times when we're dealing with images, it's really two questions that we're ultimately asking, that we're trying to communicate through our images. It's what problem is this solving for the consumer and how is it making their life easier? That's really the two, just those two frame of references. And when you're building out your pictures, those build your use cases much like we're talking about Nike. They're showing you the different ways that you can interact different environments through your product. We work with clients all the time. We do exactly what Shannon was talking about, taking product images from a studio and placing them in with stock images.
Brandon: It's actually relatively inexpensive to do. And so, there are great options if you want your products inside of your pictures, if you don't, it's just a matter, again, what are we trying to communicate? How are we solving the problem? How are we making life easier for these customers as they interact with our product? If we're accomplishing really just those two things, there are pictures that's going to speak pretty loudly to them.
Shannon: And one of the cool strategies that Daniel Boltzmann talks about is this idea of having your copy and your images parallel the same story. So, whether somebody is reading the copy or looking through the images, they're essentially getting the same story. And it's such a cool thing because some people are more textual and some people are more visual. And you're able to parallel that and provide all the information in a way that people prefer to consume it.
Steph: That's a great point and I'm going to add a note to video and everything. When people watch videos, most people watch videos with the sound turned off. So, please put on some captions if there are words there or just let the visuals tell the story. Please, please, please use captions. I cannot stress that enough.
Steph: Even personally, I'm a hard of hearing person. I'm in the deaf community, and most people don't know that I read lips more often than I hear what people are saying. So, the captions play a huge role in me being able to consume content and be able to make my buying decision. And that's a huge segment of the audience that people leave out all the time.
Liz F: That's a great point. Let's talk a little bit more about video though. So, in terms of on Amazon branding, where can you put a video and how long can the video be, and what should the video consists of? Shannon, talk to me about video.
Shannon: Yeah. So, I'll talk about some of the technical standpoints. And then I know Steph has some great content about what goes inside the video. So, from a technical standpoint, if you don't have brand registry, Amazon is allowing you as a seller to upload your own videos under related video shorts. So, this is below the fold. It's typically above the product reviews and you can typically upload one video in the related video shorts.
Shannon: If you have more, there's tools like AMZ Product Video that will allow you to upload videos to multiple ASINS at a time. If you have brand registry, you have the ability to add video with enhanced brand content up at the top, under the image block. So, that's obviously the one that people are going to watch first. And typically that first video will show up at the top and also under related video shorts.
Shannon: One of the coolest things about this is when you add a video to Amazon, Amazon gives us its own detail page, its own custom URL. And one of the most effective ways that we've seen this is a dual strategy. At the top, under the image block, we recommend putting a brand name video or a product review that talks about the brand and the product. It's a sales video, essentially. Typically, 30 seconds is all you need. Every 30 seconds, more and more people drop off. So, don't upload a five minute video. Even 90 seconds is pretty, pretty long. So, shoot for the 30 to 60 second range for sure.
Shannon: At the bottom under related video shorts, one of the best ways we've seen that utilized is by having unboxing, assembly or how to instructional videos. And so, the coolest thing that we do with those videos, because sometimes people watch them before they buy the product, sometimes they don't, but you can show people how easy it is to use the product and that may actually encourage them to buy it because they go, "Wow, that's all you have to do is just plug and play."
Shannon: In cases, what we do is we take a screenshot, the thumbnail of that video, we add a play button to it, and in our FeedbackFive emails, we've linked that video and we send those as part of our primary email. So, whether it's seller feedback or the initial email outgoing. And we'll typically say, "Hey, your product is out for delivery," or, "They're arriving in the next day or two. Here's a video that's going to show you how to use it." And those are so critical. We did this with click belts and people were having trouble threading the belt buckle.
Shannon: But the cool thing is once we added the video, positive product reviews increased, product returns decreased, and overall customer satisfaction and sales went up. So, the simple thing was, people just needed a 32nd video to show them how to do it correctly. But linking to that video from the FeedbackFive email was so critical and became a really big part of our strategy for any client that had any product that required a little bit of unintuitive use or assembly that they might need to know.
Liz A: Yeah, I'll pile on there real quick. We had the same experience with a client who had a product. It was an amazing product, but after we launched, we saw that we were struggling with reviews. The return rate was really high. In fact, the return rate was high enough that Amazon shut down a couple of the listings. We had them shoot a video on how to use the product, how to install it. We included that in our FeedbackFive follow-up emails, and almost immediately product reviews stabilized, the return rate dropped, and we haven't had any problems since with a high percentage of return. So, being able to show customers how to use your product through video is extremely powerful.
Liz F: I actually have a use case for that and thanks for using FeedbackFive, you guys. But we have a FeedbackFive user who, the way his product is packaged, he just had some very simple instruction. It's in a tube. And he was concerned that people would rip it, taking it out of the tube.
Liz F: And so, he made a gift and he just embedded that in his FeedbackFive email, and then boom, that's done. And he doesn't have to send them. So, that was pretty cool. We just implemented that option a little while ago, but yeah, you can do a gift too, so that's fun. Steph, let's talk a little bit about the heart of the video.
Steph: Sure. And Shannon gave some great examples already. Like how to put my product together, the unboxing videos do really well. And the way that I look at video, and Brigette will speak to this too, it's not just about being on Amazon, it's about what we're going to do with it off Amazon too. We talk about the how to video. YouTube is the number two search engine behind Google in everything. And the most search phrase on YouTube, how to. How to... whatever it is.
Steph: So, those videos that you create on Amazon, that's content that all gets repurposed. And if you're doing a 92nd clip or you do make the five minute video, you're going to chop it up into pieces and create story content for Instagram Stories or Snapchat or just upload to Facebook Watch.
Steph: You're going to put it on your YouTube channel and it just creates ongoing content. Facebook recently came out and said that the content that you share on your Facebook business page, if you're using that to drive traffic, they want 70% of the content you post to your page to be video. So, video is more important than ever.
Steph: So, in the mix of it being product-based videos and the lifestyle videos, how tos, unboxings, user-generated content. So, if you put a note inside the box when they unbox it that says, "Take a picture," and everything and, "Here's our hashtag, here's our Instagram account," and everything, "And tag that," that now you can repurpose. And talk to them and say, "Hey, I want to feature you." And you could create a whole video of just user-generated content and build this community around like, "Look at these happy people with my thing that showed up at their door."
Steph: We recently did this for one of my Amazon clients, and I did a whole unboxing story to their Instagram account. I did a takeover of their account. And then as soon as it arrived at my door, I was taking video of it sitting outside my door, and bringing it inside, and a mix of images, and videos, and hashtags, and gifts, and everything. And it would play that this whole story, which was a massive piece of content that we compiled into one video and uploaded to their Amazon listing so that somebody could go through the whole experience with me.
Liz F: That's awesome.
Brigette: And what's also nice about what Steph's talking about is, if you do something like a feature video where you feature certain customers, then they're more likely to share it, they might have shared it already, but they're going to share it again because now they're excited to have been featured. So, it's a really smart move and it's a nice thing to do, frankly.
Liz F: I agree with that. Liz, let's talk a little bit about advertising on Amazon. So, we put so much effort into our content, we put so much effort into making sure our product photos are awesome and that our videos are on point. But then, there's this whole competitive world of Amazon as we are all aware. How can advertising, I mean, obviously it's necessary, but also what are some tips you've got in regards to a brand who is trying to really kill it on Amazon?
Liz A: Right. So, in terms of branding in advertising, there's several points to keep in mind. One is that bidding on your brand name. I get clients who say, "Well, why should I bid on my brand name? I'm going to pop up when they search anyway." Well, the reality is if you're not bidding on your brand name, your competitor is, and there's example after example on Amazon where you've searched for brand name and you see your competitor pop up in that first spot listing.
Liz A: And so, it's a defensive play to make sure that you are taking that space and not your competitor. And the way Amazon advertising is evolving, depending on which search results page you get, the majority of those spots above the fold are all paid placements. It's not organic. And Amazon's, I believe, is going to continue to expand on that.
Liz A: So, you should be bidding on your brand name in addition to your primary keywords, of course. Another tactic you can use for targeting is, Amazon rolled out recently the PAT ad. So, this is a product attribute targeting. You can now basically bid on specific ASINS, you can bid on specific brands, you can bid on specific categories. And one tactic we're using very successfully, especially with larger catalogs, is placing ads on your own ASIN.
Liz A: So, let's say you sell jewelry and someone is shopping for your earrings and you basically target that ASIN, your own earrings with your bracelets, for example. So, you're in essence cross-selling different parts of your catalog. We've had a lot of success with this, when you've got complimentary products that you sell so that you can basically pull that customer into your catalog and they're shopping your brand for multiple solutions and not just one.
Liz A: Another tactic we've been using very successfully as well is using storefront as part of your advertising strategy. So, build out a nicely branded storefront that reflects your brand accurately, create not just the homepage, which I see a lot of that. I see a lot of sellers just creating home pages and they feel like that that's done. You should be, especially again for larger catalogs, you need to be creating pages and sub-pages for an each product line.
Liz A: So, back to the jewelry example, you should have a page for bracelets, you should have a page for necklaces. If you do gemstones, do one for each gemstone that is featured on your jewelry. Do one for birthstones, I saw that example today. And create a bunch of sub-pages for your storefront.
Liz A: Now, the benefit to that is, is not that a customer is going to browse into your storefront. They don't do that. But then you pair that with the headline search ads. So you take your headline search ad and instead of driving it to this big, giant homepage that has all of your products, you're targeting a very specific audience. Again, maybe they're looking for diamond bracelets or whatever the case may be. You target that short list of keywords around that particular product and then you drive them to that particular sub-page where they can see your whole variety of bracelets, in whatever they are.
Liz A: And we've seen higher conversion rates that way and my belief is, not only are they reacting to what they saw in the ad, but now they're in your catalog, they're in your storefront. Maybe they didn't like the first thing that they saw, but now they have an opportunity to look at everything else you offer. And maybe they might find something else they liked better and they'll purchase from you.
Liz A: So, thinking about your brand as a whole and your product catalog as a whole and using those headline search ads, bidding on your brand name, using storefront and making sure you're bringing that customer in and providing them with a good experience with your catalog.
Shannon: Liz, I have two really cool comments to build on that. So one is, you take a look at a... in most categories, a typical search results page if I search for a specific widget, we've got a brand at the top, typically you have two sponsored product listings and then to organic listings. If you are running consistent ads for both brand ads and sponsored products for specific search terms, over time if it's a good quality product, you're going to be able to get those two organic spots as well, which basically means you own the entire search results page above the fold.
Shannon: And that is huge. That is like ultimate brand equity, right? For specific keywords. So, that's one thing. And then I love what you said about the product attribute targeting. I work with a company now called Pure Country Weavers and they have these really cool woven throw blankets and tapestries, but they also have pillows and tote bags that go with those products.
Shannon: And so again, it's a great way to advertise those accessory products on their primary products. And as people begin to purchase them together, the other benefit of that is that you get the frequently bought together or frequently purchased together that will show up automatically. So that way, after a certain amount of advertising, people are just going to be able to see, "Wow, I can buy this throw and I can buy the tote and I can buy the pillow at the same time."
Shannon: The other thing that, that product attribute targeting does as well is if you're advertising your accessory products on your own listings, it's again blocking your competitors from advertising on your listings as well. So, this is both offensive and defensive for brand protection and brand growth strategy.
Liz F: That's a great point, Shannon. So, we covered listing optimization, image optimization, Amazon advertising. We touched on enhanced brand content. Do we feel like we have anything more we want to say about that at this time?
Liz A: I think that plays into most of what we were talking about using those visuals to communicate your brand story. And we particularly, since EBC is down below the fold, we do use that a lot to really tell the brand story and make sure the customers connect with who you are.
Brandon: Now, I think the bottom line is just spend the time. Spend the time fully developing this. It's worth it. It's worth it. It'll really increase your long-term results. This brand equity concept that we're talking about, it's worth your time.
Shannon: The other thing with EBC is, there's two really cool takeaways. One is, over 60% of people, of customers read the product description. I was floored when I saw that statistic. I think it was put out by Feedvisor a couple of years ago. But we know that adding enhanced brand content over just a block of text typically increases conversion rate and sales by 15 to 20%. That's huge. That would not be the case if people didn't read the product description. They only see that if they go down.
Shannon: So, that's the first part of enhanced brand content. Huge increase in conversion rate. Just doing that alone. It has to be done well. I know companies like Egility does that. There's a couple others, but make sure it's done well. The other really cool thing that you can do with EBC that you can't do anywhere else on Amazon is you can cross-promote your products. So, at the bottom you have a product comparison section. So, we have Table Mate and we've got all of our Table Mate products from all the different dimensions. You can have a grid of different benefits and pros and cons.
Shannon: It's absolutely huge for customers to be able to see the little products. Amazon does not allow you to do that anywhere else. You can't say, "Hey, see this other ASIN," in your product feature description. So, those two benefits of EBC are really, really critical for this as well.
Liz F: That's a great point, Shannon. Keep in mind if you guys have questions, pop them in the Q and A or in the chat. We'll answer them either way. We're not real strict about that kind of stuff. So, we have covered on Amazon branding. There have been some resources that you guys have mentioned and we've shot those out to the group and we'll mention those in the email that follow up. But let's talk a little bit about off Amazon branding. I don't know why I picked that picture, but I did.
Liz F: Amazon is very, very important, but developing your brand in other places and keeping that story consistent like we've all been talking about all day today is really important too. So, let's talk a little bit about the off Amazon branding you can do. And you guys, if you have any questions, ask us. Shannon, talk to me about product inserts.
Shannon: Okay. So, product inserts, a lot of times people just have texts. "Hey, here's a product. Contact us if you have any issues." One of the things that we discovered that's super, super cool is the use of QR codes. Most people on their smartphones don't have a QR code reader. I think they thought they were going to be huge years ago, but you have to download them as a separate app and it doesn't really make sense.
Shannon: The cool thing that you can do is the Amazon App, in addition to be able to scan barcodes when you go to the store and you want to probably shop on Amazon. Amazon's App can also scan QR code. So, one of the really cool things that we've done is we've seen the ability to add a product insert that says, "Hey, can you take 30 seconds to leave a seller feedback?"
Shannon: And instead of giving them a super, super long URL that they got to try to go to their computer and type in, we know that over 30% of Amazon customers shop on their mobile phone. So, they can literally open the Amazon app, scan that QR code, it'll take them right to seller feedback. Same thing for product reviews, same thing for a video. If you've got that video again on your related product videos, you can say, "Hey, your product's here. Open your Amazon App and scan this code and watch our 32nd video on how to use it." That's so customer-friendly. It's what we call customer pre-service. You're addressing their issues before they have to contact you. And as well you can also have that contact us link. So it's like, "Hey, you have a question about your product, scan this QR code in your Amazon app." It literally pops it up and they can just put in their questions.
Shannon: So, product inserts are simply another way to get that brand awareness out. A company that did this really well, headsets.com, I got my headset from them. So cool. They had stickers for customer service that I could put on the product if I wanted to. They had information, they had a letter from them. And I even received a follow-up call a few days later, making sure everything worked okay. It was funny, it was engaging and again, all of this builds brand equity, brand awareness. And the one part that we didn't talk about from the on Amazon part that I'll just mention in retrospect is customer service. One of the most powerful things that affects your customer experience is the customer service. And we've had people who hated the product.
Shannon: They're like, "I didn't like the product. Had a problem with something," "Oh, it turns out you got a defective unit. We're going to give you 15% off and we're going to refund 15% and we're going to send you a free replacement. We're going to ship it two days. You'll have it two days." Kind of like, "Wow." And they love it so much. That builds huge customer loyalty because they know no matter what product they buy from you, they're going to have a good experience. So again, whether it's on Amazon, off Amazon, it's about having your brand presence in front of them and engaging them in a way that's really positive.
Liz F: That's a great point. I will say because I have to, I can't help it. If you are going to request feedback or product review on a product insert, make sure your language is TOS compliant, please. Thank you. Which is a great segue into product review requests emails, which is the next thing on this list. We do have a question but I want to answer it in a minute. So anonymous attendee, please hold on a while. We'll answer your question, just a second. But obviously eComEngine makes FeedbackFive, we allow you to send emails automatically to ask for feedback or ask for product reviews. So, that is a good way to reinforce your brand with your logo, and your brand story, and all that jazz, but send a short TOS compliant message. Shannon, do you want to talk a little bit more about that?
Shannon: I mean, I think we've already touched on a couple of those, the different uses. Again, you don't want to overwhelm people. You don't want to bombard people. Best practices are, one, use your logo, sign it off as the brand owner. Again, if it's from our Amazon customer service department, nobody cares about that. So, we'll typically say, "Send it as you." Sign off as you, you're the brand owner. You've crafted this message and if it's personal, they realize it's a conversation, not just a template email being sent.
Shannon: So, I think that's really important from the branding side. Other than that, it's just keep the emails really concise, only ask for one thing at a time, provide value before you ask for anything in exchange. And again, use Feedbacks Fives. They've got great customer support. If you want help increase your open rate increase, if you need help with emails, they've got a great customer support staff that's able to help you with that.
Shannon: We've typically seen that our open rates are about 20, 25%, which is really, really critical. You can do everything from add emojis in the subject line to customize the day and time that those emails go out. All that's seller-specific, it takes time to test that out, see what works and what doesn't. But in terms of branding, add your logo, make it personalized, make it from you. Make it enjoyable. Tell a joke. Do something that conveys who you are. Again, you're looking for an emotional connection to your customers, not just, "Hey, you bought our product, would you give us some feedback?" Go above and beyond, they'll thank you for it.
Liz F: But be TOS compliant, please. And we can help you with that over here.
Shannon: TOS compliant.
Liz F: Yeah. We do have a question, so before we get into all these other off Amazon things... Someone said, "If we do not want to start a brand, how do I buy a brand? Is there a broker we can use or a list of brands for sale? Is this a thing that happens?" I don't know the answer to that. Do you guys know if there are brands for sale out there?
Brandon: Yeah. Yeah, there are. There are several sites out there. One that comes to mind is called Empire Flippers. I don't know these guys personally, but I know that they do quite a few deals onsite on their website specifically. They range anywhere from $30,000 all the way up to a few million depending on the size that you're looking for.
Brandon: Now, the biggest thing that you're going to want to make sure is the vetting process. They go through a pretty strict vetting process from a financial side and you're going to get full access to that information. But you're typically going to be paying a pretty penny for the amount of effort that they've put in to their branding, to their sales, to their portfolio.
Brandon: And so, it's going to take you a while to develop and to continue that on top of that to actually earn back that initial investment. But it is happening and it's something that's still popular for sure. So Empire Flippers is one that I'm familiar with.
Liz F: Scott is here. Hi Scott. He says, "Empire Flippers is good, Flippa, Latona's, great content guys." Oh, thanks Scott. Okay, I'm going to pop Scott's, because he says Empire Flippers is good and Flippa and Latona's. So guys, I'll pop that in the chat for you guys.
Liz F: So, let's talk about eCommerce websites because I know that when I first started selling and then I was like, I'll just work with sellers because they're braver than me. But I watched a lot of the training videos that people put out and a lot of people say it's absolutely crucial to have an eCommerce website of your own rather than just an Amazon storefront or an eBay storefront or both. So, talk to me about that.
Steph: Yeah, I'd love to speak to that. So, eCommerce websites, I mean, that'd be a whole slew of things. It can be Shopify, it can be WordPress with WooCommerce, it could be Wix even has eCommerce functionality now. All of them come with different features and you can explore what those are. But really the purpose of having eCommerce websites outside of Amazon is allowing your brand to exist outside of Amazon, allowing for someone who when they see your brand on Amazon and I go there and I'm searching out what products and then I open up a new tab and I go to Google and go, "Who is this? Who is this brand and everything? What else do they stand for? I want the bigger picture, I'm going to do my homework."
Steph: We are in a very self-serving environment now where we all know how to Google, we all have these smart phones where we can get all the information we need at our fingertips. And when someone searches for you and you don't show up, you've started to sever the trust there because you're just a Amazon, you could be anybody at that point. And that goes into social media on the list.
Steph: When I go up and I look for your social media accounts, it's not that your social media is going to drive new sales and people are going to message you and bombard you with I want to buy your stuff, it is creating the trust, creating the brand, creating the community for people to engage with you. Giving them somewhere to go when you've created with your FeedbackFive emails and all the customer service you've created in that experience of on Amazon to be able to continue the relationship with them after they've made the purchase.
Steph: So, one, they'll come back and buy again, they'll tell their friends everything to go, this is the company you need. I'm not going to send most cases. You're not going to actually share the Amazon listing with someone. You're going to send them to their website, you're going to share and tag them on an Instagram post. Like, "Oh, this was the company I was telling you about because now you've reminded me and you're staying top of mind."
Steph: Again, so that's where those eCommerce websites, the social media come into play is staying top of mind and continuing the relationship with your brand and the consumer as you go.
Liz F: That's a great point. So, we also talked about advertising on Amazon, but what about you've grabbed this eCommerce Website, what about Google ads and PPC and that type of advertising? Because starting to really rack up your monthly costs here too.
Steph: Yeah, there's a lot of costs involved with all of these pieces. And when people go to Amazon to look, they're going to buy. When I go and search for a product on Amazon, my intent to purchase is much, much higher than someone going to Google. That's where most of us are going to research and make an informed decision. So, we're using Google and PPC ads to drive, you could be driving purchases, but you're also driving the information hunt and search talked about earlier, YouTube and how-to videos. That's a big search term, how to whatever solve this problem that I have.
Steph: I did this once where, in a friend's kitchen which her can opener was not one I had used before. So, I literally went to Google and said, "How do you use a pampered chef can opener, nary thing because it's one of the ones that goes on top and not on the side. And I was like, "I can't believe I don't know how to use this can opener." But immediately when I started searching for it then I had videos that popped up from pampered chef. I had their website, there was blog articles, there was user reviews and talked about... immediately given all this information about why they do it this way, what makes it different and unique and answered my question of how to use it. So, people go to Google to search and do research. People go to Amazon to buy.
Liz F: That's a great point. So, then where does social media tie into all of this?
Steph: Social media is that community. Social media is staying in touch with them where you use emails to stay in touch with people. And with social media, I get to see them posting based on the product inserts that we put in, based on the experience they had after they purchased of them doing unboxing videos, of them posting a picture or searching out. People using my hashtag and finding people that enjoy the lifestyle and finding more people to talk about my product that maybe don't know me yet but may not discover me any other way than if I make the first move.
Steph: On Amazon people are searching for that product and whatever they need on social media. You can also make the first move to start a conversation with somebody new and respond to... You get on Twitter is a big customer service platform and everything. And I did this with my own, even in the B2B space, did this years ago where I would search for people who are complaining about their Facebook business page. And then I would tweet them back and say, "Hey, I have a solution for that. Have you tried X, Y, Z?"
Steph: And those people weren't buying from me. I was answering their questions for free, but it builds up over time. And those people then, I've had people come back to me later who then referred me and everything to a business and I got business from who they knew. So, the way that you interact, the education, and the entertainment, and the community that you're building in your videos on your Amazon and letting them continue to live in that community with you on social media.
Liz F: And Steph has this awesome offer for you guys, because Atomic Revenue is all up in all of that stuff. And she's got this great offer that's going to come out to you guys where they'll just look at your whole snapshot, right Steph?
Steph: Yeah. Yeah. We do a revenue, we call it, revenue assessment and everything. It's free. It's 30 minutes you'll spend it with me and we'll walk through all of the elements of your business on Amazon, off Amazon, the digital piece, the non-digital piece and everything. If there is actual storefront side to it, if you have salespeople in the field, we'll look at all the pieces together and then figure out what the barriers are and where we need to go next.
Steph: And sometimes that's about connecting you with some of the other people on this call and be like, "All right, I need you to go talk to Liz because this is, she's the answer to that." And we do that with a lot of the different people that we meet and our partners is we get the full snapshot of the business and we plug in the answers that you need to continue.
Liz F: That's awesome. So Brigette, tell me a little bit about relationship marketing and how that can work for an Amazon seller.
Brigette: Definitely. Well, Steph gave me a great segue. And one thing I just wanted to point out, when we're talking about all of these channels, it's certainly implied, but one thing to remember is that having your brand's presence on these various channels, especially the ones that are most relevant to whatever your product is, it adds legitimacy too, right? Because if I go looking for a product and I only find the Amazon listing, I'm kind of like, "Oh."
Brigette: But if I start to see the social page and the website and all this other stuff, it paints a picture of a real brand with real people working behind it with vision. So, that's certainly something to remember. And we talked about Google, we talked about social and all of those things are certainly important. One thing I get asked about all the time is influencer marketing. And is it important, how do I do it? How do I find an influencer? All that stuff. And it has become important. I mean, there's nary a marketing campaign these days that doesn't have a nod to an influencer in some respects.
Brigette: I think there is a big misconception though with people thinking that they have to get the biggest influencer possible and spend their entire marketing budget on it. You do not.
Liz F: You don't need a Kardashian.
Brigette: You don't need a Kardashians. In fact, very few people do. Just being silly, but the reality is it's much more important for the influencer that you're considering to match up with your brand. It should be a very obvious connection to what their visuals look like. The way that they talk to people, what they're about. Are they a mom? Are they into fitness? Are they an outdoors man? Are they a first responder, whatever they are, make sure it's relevant for your brand. Don't obsess about the following, that matters, but it can also kill your whole budget. You need to focus more on, are these people communicating with an audience that is either your audience or what you would like to be your audience.
Brigette: And that's the framing that you should go into researching an influencer. There's a lot of ways to find one. Everything from agencies where you will pay a bundle to, I know for example, like the L.A. Times can get you a group of influencers. So, a lot of media-driven brands also have influencers that they work with, a network of influencers, if you will. So, if you have a favorite media brand, ask the question, more of them have it than you would expect.
Brigette: There's sites that you can go to, like Social Bluebook and Famebit where you can go in through a portal and search for what you're looking for, putting your budget, negotiate with these influencers and those sites just take a little percentage of each transaction. Or you can of course contact them directly.
Brigette: So, there's a lot of different opportunities, but the most important thing to remember is just make sure that they're on brand and that their audience is your audience or your desired audience. So, while influencers are important, certainly they're not everything, but it's definitely something to consider, especially if your product lends itself to a particular lifestyle.
Brigette: Another recommendation I typically offer most of my clients is to consider partnerships. And your partner brand doesn't necessarily have to be another Amazon brand. In fact, maybe better if it's not, but you can look for partnerships in your day-to-day lives in your local communities, and whether it's something as simple as offering your product as a prize for a local event and asking, let's say, you're contributing a product to a raffle, make sure you get some branding out of it. Have them include you in any email blasts or social media posts about the event as an in-kind sponsor. Make sure there's a link to your Amazon storefront.
Brigette: As Shannon mentioned, you can put a QR code on some flyers and have this distributed out in the venture and goody bags. But I do suggest always trying to remember that, of course, keep your branding consistent and try to do something with some sort of trackability, something that you can go back to and see what efforts really work for you.
Brigette: Specifically in the realm of influencers, one thing that you can do, and these guys probably know a lot more about it than I do, is look for an influencer, for example, that is an Amazon affiliate. If they're an Amazon affiliate, what that means is that when they're sharing out your information via a link, they actually get paid a commission if something is sold. And not just on that particular product, but anything they put in their basket at the same time from that link.
Brigette: Why that's important, if you're negotiating with somebody and trying to figure out what to pay them or give them for an opportunity, it's important to know that they are getting a commission on the backend too. And that may play into your budgeting. So, influencers certainly, partnerships certainly. We, Modern Muse Company, specialize in partnerships. Influencers we work with a lot of people who are really, really good at that.
Brigette: I know we were talking about bringing in the people who are best in the specific niches. We do the very same thing when it comes to marketing. And so, those types of things are just things that you can always be using in addition to what you're doing on Amazon to continue driving traffic and always thinking about how to send people that direction.
Brigette: The last thing I'll mention is just, again, events. Events are a great way to create awareness, whether it's local or a larger event or something like that. Oftentimes, contributing a product or a coupon or anything like that is a great way to get awareness and to drive people from off Amazon to your Amazon site and start developing relationships there.
Liz F: That's a great point. You gave an example, because I made everybody come to a practice on Friday afternoon, I know it was terrible but I was like, "How are we going to do this? Because I was completely unorganized," but I probably shouldn't have told you guys that. But Brigette brought up ideas about, if you've got a special kind of tactical flashlight and then I think you mentioned if there's a police ball in town or if you feel a lot of first responder uniforms in your local dry cleaner, you can maybe put out a bowl and do a raffle. I mean, a lot of stuff that you can do just in your own town that helps you...
Brigette: Very easy to get them.
Liz F: Well, and I think that a lot of that is trial and error too. I mean, if you start grassroots marketing your own brand and you see what works with your family members, and you see what works with your friends and then you start to get an idea of what your brand really is. And I know a lot of you guys that are watching this have already thought about this. You've already done the work, you already have a brand. And so, hopefully some of the tips we've given you today will help you launch into the future successfully and happily.
Liz F: We do have one question and it's about a product review request. So, I'm going to flip over to the, about eComEngine slide so you guys can read that. We're eComEngine, we're headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, University of Virginia, won basketball? Basketball. So, yay. I know a lot of people was brackets were like really, really happy today. They were happy about the brackets.
Brigette: It was a good game last night.
Liz F: It really, I've heard, it was. I don't do so much the sports thing, but when somebody asked about product review requests, some customers opt out of receiving emails from sellers, how can FeedbackFive get them to those people if they've opted out? A short answer is, we can't.
Liz F: Amazon introduced to opt out and I think it's actually a good thing because you don't want to send emails to people who don't want to get emails from you. That results in what I like to call spite feedback and product reviews where you're like, "Look, I opted out." So, if you have found a way around it, I still don't suggest that you do it. But it's there for a reason and if people don't want to receive emails from you, then I don't suggest that you send them.
Steph: I have to agree with that statement. When somebody is happy, they'll tell one person, when somebody is upset, they'll tell 10.
Liz F: That's the truth.
Steph: And they'll tell everyone on every network. So, they're going to go to Amazon, they're going to go to social media, they're going to talk about it at family dinner, it is going to destroy everything. So, if someone tells you no, no is the answer.
Shannon: Yeah, use a product insert, because a product insert, nobody opts out from and it's convenient. It's there in front of them, if they want to respond, they can, if not, they don't need to.
Liz F: And be TOS-compliant on that too.
Liz A: Yeah, I was going to say there are ways to get around that system of opting out, but if you do do that as an Amazon seller, you risk suspension from Amazon, they're not going to let you mess with their customers.
Liz F: Right. And we make it easy at FeedbackFive to not get those bounce backs that you get because you can just send us your opt out notifications so you don't get them. And then everybody goes onto our global opt-out list, which is huge because we've been around forever and we've always put people on that opt out list if they opted out on our tool.
Liz F: So, we make it as easy for you as possible. But let's talk about special offers real quick. If you want to try any of eComEngine's tools, just use the coupon code BRAND on the third page of the signup wizard and you get a 30 day free trial for RestockPro, or FeedbackFive, or you can get 150 free credits of MarketScout, which recently had a name change. It used to be called eComSpy, now it's called MarketScout. And the links will be in the email that you guys get after the webinar later today. Liz, talk to me about your offer.
Liz A: So, we are offering a free 30 minute consultation for Amazon sellers. We'll basically get on the phone with you, take a look at your Amazon account, give you an outline of what needs to happen next to really accelerate your Amazon sales.
Liz F: Liz is awesome, guys. If you haven't met her yet, she's awesome.
Liz A: Thanks.
Liz F: Brandon.
Brandon: Yeah. So, one of the core missions for us at The Private Label Insider outside of the services and things we work on clients with is really to make sure we're bringing relevant information specifically to Amazon. A lot of our content is around Amazon. So, over the last year, year and a half, we've actually developed a network of dozens of industry experts, eComEngine is one of those partners. So, we're so glad that they provide some amazing content for us, but it's such a noisy environment out there of so much information, blogs and podcasts and videos and there's so much out there.
Brandon: So, we try to bring all of that under one roof. And so, one of the things we release is a monthly Insider's newsletter. And so, just for being on the webinar, if you're watching this later you can follow that link and we'll give you a free copy of our paid newsletter from this past month.
Liz F: It's so pretty. All right. And we talked about Steph's offer earlier because I wish I was an attendee of this webinar so that I could get this. So Steph, just run it through one more time since this is the session for that.
Steph: Yeah, sure. So, it's a free revenue assessment. If you go to that link there, AtomicRevenue.com/Drive-More-Revenue, we'll get a 30 minute session. It actually is a full process and worksheet that we'll go through. So you'll actually have a deliverable at the end of you get the whole snapshot and everything. We're not just going to have a conversation and I'll tell you what I think. There's a process, we're very process and data-oriented at Atomic Revenue. So, you'll get something out of it and whether we work together, or I plug you in with a partner or you want to take it and run with it, you'll at least have somewhere to start.
Liz F: That's awesome. And Shannon?
Shannon: Yeah. So, Marketplace Seller Courses, it's basically a hub for a brand owner. So, I mean, some of the webinars that we offer are free on our website, so we have one on affiliate marketing, we have one on social media to drive social media traffic in Amazon. But we have paid courses, again, designed to help brand owners start, grow and protect their brands on Amazon. And we have five different courses that we currently offer or you can buy the bundle and you can get 50% off using me the coupon code eComEngine.
Liz F: It's good stuff. And then Bridgette, tell me about being a Museling.
Brigette: Yeah. I have to offer a little testimonial to Shannon services for us just because, of the clients that I've sent to Shannon who have either worked with him directly or signed up for his courses, all of them have seen an increase in sales. So, just something to keep in mind.
Brigette: And our offering is 50% off our soon-to-be-launched private Facebook community called Modern Muselings, which has been created because we saw that there's a need for a lot of startups, small business owners, small brand owners on Amazon to have marketing support. But a lot of times what happens is there's just so many expenses involved in getting started that marketing just doesn't make it into the budget and we know how critical it is to have some resources and some tips.
Brigette: So, we've created this group to be a support system where you can check in, get tips, opportunities, tutorials, all kinds of good stuff, just to help you along your way and it's a very accessible thing. We're launching May 1st. So, at the moment, if you are interested in joining Modern Muselings, please go to our website at modernmuseco.com. There is a form that you can fill out and we will notify you, send you all the information about it over the next few weeks and then you can sign up when we are officially launched.
Liz F: And I'll pop that link in the email.
Shannon: And I have a testimonial about Brigette's services because we had a company on Amazon, we were looking to do an event and Brigette said, "Hey, here's an event." And it was literally one event and it was literally just a referral and I think we spent about $250 and some flyers, some onsite giveaways and product. And we did $7,000 on Amazon that week just from that event. So really, really cool opportunities that you can get through Modern Muse.
Brigette: Thank you.
Liz F: Well, you guys are so awesome. Thank you so much for coming. I'll put links to all the relevant locations in the email that I send out along with the recording. Someone did ask a question but then they dropped off, but they asked, "Who among these people will be hands-on in helping me update my product listings and update my ads?" And so, if you're one of those, raise your hand.
Liz F: Oh, come on. So, Liz will help you with that. Shannon does listing optimization and we've got you covered. So, just contact the people here and thanks so much for coming. Oh wait, we have a raised hand. Hi raised hand, do you want to type your question into the question box? We still have some time. Every time I smile my ear bud pops out.
Brandon: Maybe Jim was saying I can help with optimization too.
Liz F: Oh. Oh, okay. Well, if you can then email us. Oh, contact info for all the participants, that will be in the email that you get after this webinar. So, I'm going to render the video, I'm going to upload it to YouTube and it's going to be there for the whole world to see. Thank you so much to all of you guys. I was looking at your actual pictures and I need to look so you can see that I really appreciate your help today. We're going to keep on doing great content like this for you guys. Thanks to everybody and we'll see you next time.
Liz Fickenscher is the Industry Liaison for eComEngine and works with brand owners and all different types of sellers to understand their pain points and how to help them be successful on the Amazon marketplaces. She moderates this webinar.
Liz Adamson the founder and lead consultant for Egility. She is an experienced seller, advisor and brand manager and she has over ten years of experience in the eCommerce space. She talks about positioning your brand for maximum impact, including EBC, listing optimization and more.
Brandon Andrews is the CEO of The Private Label Insider, a company dedicated to continuing the education of the private label community with their network of industry experts. In addition to helping others get started on their eCommerce journey, he also works closely with large companies to take their retail business online to marketplaces like Amazon and beyond.
Steph Nissen is the Head of Digital Operations at Atomic Revenue, a fantastic digital agency focused on lead generation, sales conversion and customer advocacy. Steph knows everything there is to know about social media in the eCommerce space.
Shannon Roddy is an entrepreneur and eCommerce consultant that is the brains behind Marketplace Seller Courses, a comprehensive course to get brands started on Amazon. He has more than six years of consulting experience and addresses brand and product launch on Amazon.
Brigette Young is the founder and CEO of Modern Muse Co, an agency focused on solving complex business problems and helping brands grow. She is a marketing guru who is especially well-versed in the realm of influencer marketing.
Originally published on February 13, 2019, updated April 30, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.