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Finding an edge: How to drive external traffic to your Amazon listings

Ramiro Velasco is an Account Manager at AMZ Advisers. Ramrio and his team have been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts, creating in-depth content marketing strategies and running effective off-platform marketing campaigns.

The key to long-term success on Amazon is and always has been staying ahead of the competition. There was a time when standing out with images and copywriting was enough. With an ever-growing number of competitors on Amazon, that is no longer the case, and we as sellers must find new ways to get traffic to our listings.

Why use off-platform advertising?

Truth is, being found on amazon has never been more challenging. Every seller wants to be on page one of Amazon. But with over 1,000,000 new sellers joining Amazon in just the first half of 2019, competition is fierce. Furthermore, advertising on Amazon is more expensive than ever, and the average CPC only grows with every competitor that enters the market.

It’s times like these when it is most important we find our edge – an advantage over the competition – and use it to move us closer to our goal. This is where off-platform traffic comes in.

Off-platform traffic may just be edge your listing needs to gain traction and rise through the organic ranks.

No one knows exactly how Amazon’s A9 algorithm makes its decisions, but experience has taught us there are three critical factors in indexing:

  • Sales Velocity – How many units are sold daily
  • Sales History – How long has the products been getting sales
  • Conversion Rate – How often people that find your product actually buy it.

Getting shoppers to your listing, and more importantly – the right shoppers – has the possibility to positively affect all 3 of these metrics.

Where should you market your products?

Picking and working on different platforms may seem daunting at first. It seems like there are new sources of potential traffic popping up every day. The social media landscape seems to be changing on a monthly basis ever the mighty MySpace fell to the colossus we now know as Facebook.

But keep in mind it is important to protect your metrics. The last thing you want is plummeting conversion rates because you’re sending everyone straight to your product listing. Hooking your audience, and redirecting them to a landing page prior to Amazon, is the best way to increase traffic without potentially hurting your conversion rates and other metrics.

That’s why it’s important to understand your target demographic and what meets their social media needs. Below are some pointers for the big 4; Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google Shopping Ads.

1) Facebook

Facebook and its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp have a combined monthly active user (MAU) figure of 2.41 billion. That’s right, billion. With a B. That amount of user data translates to one of the most powerful advertising platforms on the planet, with the ability to target advertising to specific groups of people based on interests, activities, and location among many other parameters.

On Facebook, we have found that focusing on video advertising yields the best results for the following reasons:

  • Cost of video engagement is significantly lower
  • Video captures the attention of viewers
  • Video is the highest converting advertising medium

Fact is, customers unknowingly seek emotional connections to products they are buying. There is no better and quicker way to catch those feelings than through video. Video engagement can cost less than $0.01 and allows you to introduce your brand through compelling content.

2) Instagram

Instagram has operated under the Facebook umbrella ever since their acquisition back in 2012. What this means for us is that Instagram uses Facebook’s incredibly powerful ad engine. However, consider that Instagram is a much more visual medium; qualities crucial to capturing attention. The image-based nature of the platform along with the scroll-to-navigate design makes it ideal for image and video publicity.

Also, Instagram’s demographic is considerably more defined and overall younger: Over 71% of the 1 billion monthly users are under the age of 35. This is incredibly valuable, as it’s also this demographic that makes up the bulk of the most frequent shoppers on Amazon.

Finally, with Instagram you also have the possibility of resorting to influencer advertising. That is, getting users with a large following to review your products and provide social proof that can entice potential shoppers to give your product a chance. These influencers can post a link to send traffic to where you want it, so a link to your Amazon product will send warm leads that may be interested in purchasing.

Of course, you must do your due diligence – follower numbers and cost of advertising are not always clear in this market, and having professionals take care of this negotiation may be best for you and your brand.

3) YouTube

We’ve established how great visual mediums are for capturing the attention of potential shoppers and YouTube videos are no different. YouTube, like Instagram, runs on the same massive collection of data as its parent company. In this case, that’s Google. YouTube videos appear on Google search results and can be a very efficient way to provide both social proof, and in-depth information about how your product works.

Out of the four, YouTube is also the platform that offers the most creative freedom. Influencer sponsored content, reviews, and even the ever-popular unboxing videos, in which shoppers open the product as is delivered and give their first impressions to their audience.

Although content creators must disclose whenever a video is sponsored, and YouTube itself places a “sponsored content” disclaimer, the resulting videos still offer a very organic feel and provide social proof unmatched by other platforms.

As if this weren’t enough, 73% of shoppers watch a video prior to making a purchase. Securing your YouTube search results just as you would on Amazon could just be what converts a considerable portion of potential customers to a “yes” from a “maybe.”

4) Google Shopping Ads

Speaking of gigantic collections of customer data, let’s talk about Google. Amazon still leads the race in raw product searches, but shoppers that start their search on Google, on average, purchase products much quicker. Building out your Google shopping ads is a fantastic tool for moving traffic through your amazon listings.

Google has a list of requirements that make their shopping ads a little more complicated. First and foremost, you need a verified domain to even get your hands on a google shopping account. Then, you need a functioning ecommerce website with both cart and checkout features.

It seems complicated, but a landing page is a way to kill two birds with one stone. A landing page on your brand’s website can be used for ads, while simultaneously filtering potential shoppers before redirecting them to your Amazon listing.

Closing thoughts

As incredibly valuable as Amazon optimization is, sometimes we must find other ways to drive traffic. Maybe you have a new product that hasn’t yet built a demand on Amazon, maybe you’re looking to thrive in a heavily contested category, or maybe business is just great – but it could always be better.

Bottom line is, off-platform traffic to Amazon is an excellent tool for increasing organic sales. Every one of the platforms discussed has benefits – and drawbacks. Experts may spend entire careers learning the ins and outs to get the optimal results, But that’s the beauty of the information age: We are free to experiment and learn. With proper management and precautions, it could just be the key to securing that page-one spot you’re after.

If you feel off-platform traffic is the key to your business succeeding, and it just may be, it is never a bad time to start.

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